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6 Roof Shingle Types To Consider For Your Home (Pros & Cons)

Choosing the right type of roof shingle is an important decision for any homeowner – it literally impacts the roof over your head. With an array of options available, each offering diverse benefits and drawbacks (along with variance in price), it can be challenging to settle on one that suits your home exterior perfectly.

Shake Guys want to provide you with a comprehensive guide – exploring 6 different (the most common) types of roof shingles, discussing their pros and cons in more expansive detail. Keep reading to discover which roofing material will best cater to your needs while enhancing your home’s exterior aesthetic.

Asphalt Shingles

asphalt shingle roof of white modern house

Asphalt shingles are a popular and affordable choice for homeowners. They come in two main types: three-tab shingles and architectural shingles. Three-tab shingles are the most basic option, with a shorter lifespan compared to other roofing materials.

On the other hand, architectural shingles offer more aesthetic appeal, durability, and color choices. Both options provide reliable protection for your home against the elements.

3-tab Shingles

3-tab shingles, or strip shingles, are predominantly used in home roofing, and are a type of asphalt shingle known for their cost-effectiveness and lightness. Each shingle exhibits a flat uniform look adorned with three tabs, providing simplicity in design but limiting variation.

These characteristics make the installation process straightforward and less costly than other options. However, the lighter construction results in lower durability and lifespan compared to their architectural counterparts.

While they offer an economical solution for roofing needs, 3-tab shingles may not resist harsh weather conditions or wind damage as effectively. Despite these drawbacks, many homeowners continue to opt for this convenient choice in traditional roofs due to its affordability.

By point of comparison, “dimensional shingles” are still asphalt shingles, but simulate a pattern, or wood shake look. These are sometimes referred to as “architectural shingles.”

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles, referred to as laminate shingles or dimensional shingles, are a popular choice in roofing materials and crucial for the integrity of your entire roof system. They stand out due to their layered appearance, offering unique customization possibilities regarding shape and size.

As part of other roofing components used on residential buildings, these asphalt-based shingles bring a textured charm akin to wood shakes without compromising durability.

Significantly heavier than three-tab shingles – about 50 percent more – they provide enhanced protection from roof leaks and weather elements while maintaining structural integrity.

Despite being pricier than their counterparts, architectural shingles often justify the cost with increased lifespan – up to 30 years in some cases – and extended manufacturer’s warranties that may cover up to half a century.

Metal Shingles

green corrugated metal roof on house

Metal shingles are a popular roofing option due to their easy installation process and exceptional durability.

Aluminum shingles are known for their affordability and resistance to rust, while standing seam metal shingles offer a more sleek and modern appearance.

These metal options provide long-lasting protection for your home. They are more sturdy than slate shingles, and metal roofing shingles offer comparable protection for your property.

Aluminum Shingles

Aluminum shingles are a popular choice for homeowners looking for a durable and long-lasting roofing solution. Made from lightweight yet sturdy aluminum, these shingles offer excellent resistance to harsh weather conditions, including high-speed wind, snow, and hail.

Additionally, they are fire-resistant and can withstand extreme temperatures without warping or cracking.

With an average lifespan of 50 years or more, aluminum shingles provide homeowners with peace of mind knowing that their roofs will stand the test of time.

Metal shingles allow homeowners to achieve the desired aesthetic for their homes while enjoying the benefits of energy efficiency and environmental friendliness that come with metal roofing options.

Wood Shingles (Cedar Shakes)

Wood shingles, more commonly known as cedar shakes, provide a classic and natural look to any roof.

They offer excellent insulation properties and can withstand harsh weather conditions. However, they require regular maintenance and are inherently more prone to fire damage compared to other roofing materials. That being said, they do typically withstand the elements better than asphalt shingles, lasting for 10 years longer, on average.

Cedar wood shingles and shakes have their own set of pros and cons that homeowners should consider.

On the plus side, cedar shingles are incredibly durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions such as hurricanes, heavy rains, hail storms, and snowstorms.

Additionally, cedar shakes are sustainable materials that can be recycled. In terms of sourcing the wood for these shingles, we always ensure suppliers or manufacturers replace every tree that is harvested with a new one planted.

Cedar shakes tend to be more expensive than other roofing materials like asphalt shingles. Despite requiring more maintenance, many homeowners find the unique beauty and durability of cedar shakes worth the investment in upkeep and cost. They remain a popular roofing material.

Composite Shingles

composite roof of house against blue sky

Composite roofing shingles (or composition shingles) offer a great combination of style, durability, and affordability. Made from synthetic materials like plastic polymers, these shingles can mimic the appearance of high-end roofing materials such as slate or cedar shake. 

These options are typically even offered from high-end companies like DaVinci Roofscapes.

They are available in a wide range of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to find the perfect match for their aesthetic preference.

Not only do composite shingles provide excellent protection for your home, but they also offer enhanced insulation benefits that are long-lasting – typically for a period of 50 years.

These eco-friendly shingles can withstand the elements without needing costly repairs or replacement compared to asphalt roofing shingles or wood shake shingles.

Whether you’re looking to enhance your home’s curb appeal or improve its energy efficiency, composite shingles are an excellent choice for any residential building. A huge bonus to composite shingles is that these can be installed during any season – including winter – with a nail gun.


When considering possible roof shingle options for your home or business, it’s important to consider the corresponding value of each, comparatively. Asphalt shingles offer affordability and easy installation, but may have a shorter lifespan compared to other materials.

In consideration, wood shingles (namely cedar shakes) provide a natural aesthetic value not found in other shingle options. However, they will inherently require more maintenance.

Understanding the different types of roof shingles out there on the market and their unique characteristics, can perhaps help you make a more informed decision that meets your needs in terms of cost-effectiveness, durability, style, and energy efficiency.

Regardless of which shingle preference you end up settling upon, Shakes Guys have the expertise and experience to help make your roof replacement a simplistic, stress-free process. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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