Best Roof Shingles: Your Ultimate Buying Guide

Last updated on June 1, 2024

Discover the best roof shingles for your home and learn what makes each type stand out in this comprehensive buying guide.

Key takeaways:

  • Durability, warranty, aesthetics, cost, and energy efficiency are important factors to consider when choosing roof shingles.
  • Asphalt, metal, wood, slate, and solar are popular types of roof shingles, each with their own pros and cons.
  • Asphalt shingles are versatile, easy to install, and cost-effective, with options for three-tab, architectural, and luxury styles.
  • The average cost of roof shingles varies depending on the type, ranging from .50 to per square foot.
  • GAF, Owens Corning, CertainTeed, Tamko, and Atlas are top brands known for their quality and features.

What to Look for in Roof Shingles

what to look for in roof shingles

When choosing roofing shingles, you might think it’s a piece of cake, but it’s more like a multi-layered birthday cake. Let’s slice through the layers together:

Durability: You don’t want your roof crumbling like a stale cookie. Look for shingles that can withstand the elements, be it scorching sun, heavy rain, or a snowstorm.

Warranty: A good shingle comes with a warranty that lasts longer than a Hollywood marriage. Aim for warranties offering at least 20-30 years of coverage.

Aesthetics: Your roof is the cherry on top of your home sundae. Choose a shingle color and style that complements your house’s overall appearance and makes your neighbors green with envy.

Cost: Budget matters. While you might not want to splurge like you’re the Sultan of Brunei, you also don’t want to go so cheap that your roof pouts and quits after one season.

Energy Efficiency: Keep your attic from turning into a sauna. Some shingles come with reflective materials that can help reduce cooling costs.

Ease of Installation: Unless you’re aiming for the next season of a home improvement reality show, pick shingles that are easy for professionals to install, saving both time and labor costs.

Fire Resistance: Safety first! Opt for shingles that have a high fire-resistance rating to keep your home guarded.

Make your roof selection process easy-peasy by keeping these key points in mind.

Types of Roof Shingles

There’s a delightful assortment of roof shingles available to suit different tastes, needs, and budgets. Asphalt shingles, the crowd favorite, are not only affordable but also fairly easy to install. They come in two main types: fiberglass and organic. Hint: fiberglass is lighter and more fire-resistant.

For those keen on durability, consider opting for metal shingles. These are a bit pricier but can withstand almost anything Mother Nature throws at them. Plus, they’re recyclable—Mother Earth will thank you!

Wood shingles add a touch of rustic charm to your abode. However, they require regular maintenance and aren’t always fire-friendly unless treated. Slate shingles, meanwhile, scream luxury. They’re incredibly durable but weigh a ton—make sure your roof can handle the load!

And let’s not forget about solar shingles. They’re the new kids on the block, seamlessly blending eco-friendliness with high-tech energy solutions. Think of them as the Elon Musk of shingles.

Each option has its own set of perks and quirks, making it essential to consider your specific needs and priorities. Happy shingle hunting!

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the chameleons of roofing. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and textures, making them the go-to choice for many homeowners. They’re like the jeans of shingles – versatile, reliable, and not too hard on the wallet.

They are divided into three main types: three-tab, architectural (or dimensional), and luxury. Three-tab shingles are the classic choice—flat and uniform in shape. Architectural shingles, however, add a bit of flair with a layered, dimensional look. For those who want to feel like they’re living in a castle, luxury shingles imitate the rich textures of natural slate or wood shake.

What’s great about them? They’re durable, easy to install, and have a life expectancy of up to 30 years with proper maintenance. Plus, they have good fire and wind resistance. Some even have algae-resistant coatings, so your roof won’t end up looking like a science project gone wrong.

Keep in mind that proper installation is key. Even the best asphalt shingles will struggle if sloppily installed. So, chat up a trusted roofer. Ask lots of questions. Be inquisitive. Your roof and your wallet will thank you.

What Is the Average Cost of Roof Shingles?

When it comes to costs, things can get as unpredictable as your neighbor’s cat. But fear not, we’ve got it all laid out for you.

  1. Asphalt Shingles: Your wallet’s best buddy. Expect to pay anywhere from $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot. These are the go-to choice for most homeowners. They’re like the peanut butter to your jelly – reliable and affordable.
  1. Wood Shingles: For those looking to add some rustic charm. These beauties can range from $5 to $12 per square foot. Definitely more of a splurge but boy, do they look good.
  1. Metal Shingles: Think of these as the cool kids on the block. Prices vary from $5 to $12 per square foot. They’re durable and funky, like the James Dean of shingles.
  1. Slate Shingles: The luxury option. Ranging from $10 to $30 per square foot. These are for the folks who want their roof to say, “I’m fancy and I know it.”
  1. Composite Shingles: The middle ground, blending different materials. Prices hover around $4 to $7 per square foot. Perfect for those who can’t decide between the yin and the yang.

Remember, these prices include materials and installation. Always check with local suppliers because costs can play hide-and-seek with your budget depending on your location.

Top Roof Shingle Brands

GAF is a heavyweight contender in the shingle world. Known for their Timberline series, these shingles are like the Swiss Army knife of roofing—durable, versatile, and darn good-looking.

Owens Corning doesn’t just make fiberglass. Their shingles, notably the Duration series, boast incredible wind resistance and a feature called SureNail Technology. Sounds fancy, right? It is. It’s like putting tiny, invisible anchors on your roof.

CertainTeed offers luxury at a premium. Their Landmark series is a hit for those who want their roofs to turn heads, just like teenagers at a pop concert.

Tamko is the underdog that packs a punch. Their Heritage series brings great value for those watching their wallets without wanting a flimsy roof.

Atlas is your go-to for algae resistance. Thanks to their Scotchgard Protector, their Pinnacle Pristine shingles wave goodbye to those ugly black streaks.