Architectural Roof Shingles

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What are Architectural Shingles?


Architectural roof shingles are a type of asphalt shingle that is designed to look more ascetically appealing. Many feel that architectural shingles or a.k.a laminate or dimensional shingles resemble the look of wood shake. Architectural shingles are an upgraded shingle when compared to traditional 3-tab shingles.

Benefits of Architectural Shingles:

Architectural shingles are thicker and have a longer manufacturers guarantee than 3-tab shingles. These types of shingles are quickly becoming the norm among residential homes. In fact, it is highly speculated that the architectural shingles will almost entirely replace the traditional 3-tab shingles. The market is so definite on this fact because of all the added benefits that architectural shingles provide. Some of the most obvious are looks and durability.

Negative Aspect of Architectural Shingles:

However, one of the negatives with these dimensional shingles is their price. Dimensional shingles are more expensive than 3-tab shingles and that is why they are still not the shingle of choice for home owners/property owners that are looking for the least expensive asphalt shingle. In cases where the property owner simply wants something that will cover the roof rather than last a "lifetime" they tend to opt in for the 3-tab shingles because they are cheaper in price.

How to Install Architectural Shingles

Installing architectural shingles is similar to installing 3-tab shingles and in fact the process is almost the exact same. Below is just a quick guide to installing / laying architectural shingles down. If you are not an experienced DIYer or contractor we recommend hiring a professional roof contractor to properly install your architectural shingles. Why? Because it is worth doing right and if something happens most (all should) have at least a 5 year leak free guarantee.

Steps To Installing Dimensional Shingles

* This is a simplified version of how to install an architectural shingle roof. Please refer to more complete tutorials or instructions if you wish to get all the steps for installation. Remember to check the manufacturers instructions and warranties to make sure your installation procedure is in adherence in order to qualify for the warranty.

  1. If you are doing a re-roof, apply and receive a city permit to re-roof the roof.
  2. Remove the existing shingle roof. Some people opt out of this step and simply roof over the existing shingles. This is not recommended. *We will go into why in a future article.
  3. Lay the proper underlayment and roof edging. Both of these aspects of the roof are very important when it comes to keeping the roof leak free.
  4. The first row of shingles will be slightly different than the rest. You start the first row by cutting off the 3-tabs and using the upper portion. Make sure you have a slight overhang. This first row will not be architectural shingles but will be 3-tab shingles.
  5. Once the starter row is complete you can begin with the second row or technically still the first row by laying the architectural shingles flush with the starter course.
  6. During the process of laying the architectural shingles side by side make sure you chalk horizontal lines to make sure your rows are straight.

Architectural Shingles Colors

Just like 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles come in many different colors. Your color options will depend on the brand of shingle you choose and the area you are located in.

Architectural Shingles Cost

* The best way to know how much architectural shingles cost in your area is to contact multiple roofing contractors and get prices. Architectural shingle prices have continued to rise throughout the years. Why? Why does the cost of almost everything seem to continue to go up? Oh and asphalt shingles are a petroleum product and as long as we see prices rising at the pump the shingle prices rise too.

Architectural shingles differ in price based on a view variables. These variables are color, warranty, geo location, availability, quantity purchased, brand, cost of oil, etc… We have done our best to give you average prices of architectural shingles to help give you a ballpark figure as to how much they cost.

Cost Per Bundle (avg): $28 or about $86 a square.
~ As Of: (August 2013)

Remember that this price will continue to go up. With architectural shingles it usually takes 3 bundles per square.

Architectural Shingles Brands

GAF Architectural Shingles

Tamko Architectural Shingles

Certainteed Architectural Shingles

Timberline Architectural Shingles

IKO Architectural Shingles

Architectural Shingles Pictures

Architectural Roof Shingles Pictures

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