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What are Architectural Asphalt Shingles? (3 Things to Know About Them)

September 1st, 2021 | 5 min. read

What are Architectural Asphalt Shingles? (3 Things to Know About Them)

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Choosing the right type of roofing material for your roof replacement is a huge decision. If you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably considering architectural shingles. 

But how can you decide if architectural shingles are right for you without knowing anything about them, including what they are? Luckily, we’re here to help out. 

Here at Bill Ragan Roofing, we want you to have all the information needed to make the right purchasing decision. That’s why we’ll be breaking down what architectural shingles are and 3 important things to know about them. 

By the end of this article, you should have a good idea if architectural shingles are the right roofing material for your replacement. 

What are architectural asphalt shingles?

Architectural shingles (also known as dimensional shingles) are an asphalt-based roofing material.

architectural asphalt shingles

They are designed to give your roof a good-looking random pattern or simulate the look of a wood shake roof.  

architectural asphalt shingles

Architectural shingles are the most commonly used asphalt roofing material out of the three types of asphalt shingles. Not only are they the most popular asphalt shingle, but they are also actually the most common type of roofing material installed on roofs today.

If you’re walking down the street looking at roofs, chances are they have architectural shingles on them. 

3 things to know about architectural asphalt shingles

Now that you know what architectural asphalt shingles are, you’re ready to learn 3 important things to know about them. Let’s get to the lifespan, warranties, and cost of architectural asphalt shingles. 

1. The lifespan of architectural asphalt shingles

The lifespan of a roof is the number of years you get out of it. As long as your roof is properly installed and properly ventilated, it will get as close as possible to its maximum lifespan. 

With that in mind, architectural asphalt shingles have a lifespan of around 30 years. But how close will they actually get to that 30-year mark?

A good rule of thumb is that architectural asphalt shingles should last around 80-85% of their maximum lifespan due to the factors that impact the life of a roof. This means you can expect to get around 25-28 years of life out of architectural shingles with proper roof installation and adequate attic ventilation. 

2. The warranties on architectural asphalt shingles 

There are two types of warranties you’ll get for architectural shingles: a material warranty on the shingles themselves and a warranty on the roofing contractor’s workmanship. 

The workmanship warranty you get depends on the local roofing contractor you hire and varies from company to company. On the other hand, you’ll have a couple of material warranty options on an architectural asphalt shingle roof. 

Architectural asphalt shingles automatically come out of the package with a 30-year material warranty that’s prorated after 10 years. However, if you use all of a single manufacturer’s roofing components for your roof system, you can qualify to get the enhanced warranty. 

This 50-year non-prorated warranty ensures the manufacturer covers the architectural shingles and the rest of the roof system’s components for the life of the roof. Be aware, improper roof installation and inadequate attic ventilation will void the enhanced warranty. 

That’s why it’s crucial to hire a high-quality roofing contractor to install your architectural asphalt shingles.

3. The cost of architectural asphalt shingles

The biggest factor in the decision-making process for most homeowners getting a new roof is cost. Keep in mind that no matter what type of roofing material you choose, it will be an investment. 

Unfortunately, I can’t give you an exact price for a new architectural asphalt shingle roof due to all the different factors that impact a roof’s cost. However, I can give you a general idea of the budget you’ll need for your roof replacement. 

For a two-story house with a little complexity and good accessibility, you can expect an architectural asphalt shingle roof to cost around $5.86 per square foot. This includes a good quality architectural asphalt shingle, upgrading your underlayment, and using all of the manufacturer’s roofing components to get the enhanced warranty.

No matter what, a roof will always be a sizable investment. Even if the price is intimidating, you must invest in quality over trying to get the cheapest roof possible

Which asphalt shingle is right for you?

After reading this article, you have a good idea if an architectural asphalt shingle is the right roofing material for you. But remember, there are 3 types of asphalt shingles. 

So, how can you be sure an architectural asphalt shingle is the right choice when there’s two other asphalt roof options? That’s why it’s important to see how the 3 types compare to each other on important factors like the ones we discussed in this article. 

Because we want you to make the right purchasing decision, we wrote another article comparing all asphalt shingles to help you even further. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has proudly provided homeowners in the Nashville area with high-quality roof replacements since 1990. We take pride in our workmanship and offer a lifetime warranty to ensure your roof is protected for decades. 

Check out 3-tab vs. Dimensional vs. Luxury Asphalt Shingles (Aesthetic, Cost, & More) to learn how the types of asphalt shingles match up to each other on important factors.

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