Are Architectural Shingles Worth Extra Cost or is Cheaper Better?

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Since almost every brand of asphalt shingle looks good when new, it’s all too easy to think that any kind will do. However, not all asphalt shingles are the same. For example, architectural shingles often survive extreme winds, ice dams, wind-driven rain and large hail better than traditional 3-tab shingles.

Since an architectural shingle roof is easier to install, is more durable and comes with a better warranty, its lifespan cost is, in many instances, actually less than that of a more basic 3-tab roof. When northern NJ homeowners take everything into consideration, they often conclude that architectural shingles are the better investment. Are architectural shingles worth the extra cost? Definitely!

What Exactly are Architectural Shingles?

For decades, when people spoke of asphalt shingles, they typically meant the 3-tab variety. These more basic shingles feature a woven fiberglass mat embedded in asphalt and covered with protective mineral granules. Along the bottom of each shingle, you’ll find three “tabs” separated by quarter-inch grooves. Architectural shingles have now taken over as the most popular style. They are also called dimensional or compositional shingles. They feature a tough fiberglass mat laminated between two layers of asphalt and covered with protective mineral granules. This laminated design yields a thicker, more substantial product than basic 3-tab shingles.

Do Architectural Shingles Deliver More Value?

There are a number of ways that architectural shingles are a better long-term value. Consider that they:

Are more dimensional

Due to differences in construction, 3-tab shingles tend to look flat while architectural shingles look far more three-dimensional. As a result, architectural shingles usually generate more curb appeal.

Weigh more

When you invest in architectural shingles, you are getting more product per square. In fact, architectural shingles can weigh 50-100 percent more than their 3-tab counterparts. These thicker shingles tend to hold up better during the repeated freeze-thaw cycles so common in the Tri-state region. Over time, shingles can develop tiny cracks. Water in these fissures expands as it freezes, widening them over time. A thicker, heavier shingle better endures this process.

Are less vulnerable to storm damage

are architectural shingles worth extra cost

*Photo courtesy of Owens Corning

Tri-state homeowners understand that the weather can get pretty dramatic from time-to-time. Hurricane-force winds and severe ice storms bring down large branches that can damage shingles. High winds alone can loosen shingles until they break or come right off the roof. Furthermore, research reveals how “sealed shingles that have been affected by wind show lasting evidence of the event having occurred.” Compare the low 60 mph wind rating common with 3-tab shingles to the 130 mph wind rating of GAF’s Timberline series and Owens Corning’s Duration TruDefinition Premium series.

Have a positive impact on property value

Prospective homebuyers often prefer the highly textured, more dimensional look of architectural shingles. When the time comes to sell, this may mean a quicker sale or a better offer. Also, an investment in high-quality shingles sends a signal that you took good care of your home. Finally, it’s helpful to get architectural shingles that come with a transferable manufacturer’s warranty. Major roofing manufacturers like Owens Corning and GAF offer warranties that can be transferred one time.

May save energy

are architectural shingles worth extra cost

*Photo courtesy of GAF

When you consider re-roofing or a roof replacement, you may want to look carefully at a special type of architectural shingle designed to reflect more of the sun’s UV rays away from your roof system. Energy Star-rated products like GAF’s Timberline Cool Series shingles and Owens Corning’s Duration TruDefinition Premium Cool shingles can keep attics cooler, thereby reducing the load on cooling systems.

Come with better warranties

Warranty coverage is often a good indication of quality and durability. Obviously, top roofing manufacturers only offer lengthy warranties when they are highly confident in their products. If you learned that one type of shingle was warrantied for 2.5 times that of another, which one would you choose for your home? For example, GAF’s Silver Pledge and Golden Pledge warranties include 50-year coverage on materials when they cover architectural shingles, but only 20-year coverage on the basic 3-tab variety. When you factor in the overall lifespan and reduced maintenance and repair costs, NJ homeowners typically find that an architectural shingle roof will actually be a better value in the long run. For example, compare a 50-year roof and a 20-year roof. The annual cost of a roof with a 20-year lifespan is $50 per $1,000 of roofing expense, while the longer-lasting 50-year roof costs just $20 per $1,000.

Benefits of Working With a Certified Contractor

When you want expert information about the latest in asphalt shingles, invite a factory-certified roofing contractor to your NJ home. Certification by a major roofing manufacturer like Owens Corning or GAF signals that a roofing company meets stringent standards regarding customer service, product knowledge and installation expertise. For example, a GAF Master Elite Contractor or an Owens Corning Preferred Contractor will possess detailed knowledge about the 3-tab and architectural shingles produced by these leading manufacturers. When a homeowner asks, “Are architectural shingles worth the extra cost?,” the answer is often a resounding “Yes!”

Contact Us for Prompt Assistance

Since 1977, northern NJ homeowners have trusted CRS to give them the honest facts about their roofing systems. Count on the roofing pros at CRS to provide you with the expertise you need when you ask, “Are architectural shingles worth the extra cost?” CRS is a full-service roofing contractor that values its long-term business relationships with homeowners in Bergen, Essex and Passaic counties and beyond. We provide certified roof inspections, regular roof maintenance, emergency work, updated roof ventilation, structural repairs and complete roof replacements. To schedule a visit by our certified roof inspector, please contact us today!

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