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What are Designer Shingles? (Are They Worth the Money)

July 11th, 2022 | 6 min. read

What are Designer Shingles? (Are They Worth the Money)

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Choosing the type of asphalt shingle you want for your roof replacement is a big decision. Most homeowners go with the standard architectural shingle for affordability. 

However, some homeowners don’t mind paying more for something a little different to make their roof stand out from the rest. That’s where designer shingles come in. 

But what are designer shingles? Are they right for you? Better yet, are they worth the amount of money in the first place?

In my 30-plus years in the roofing industry at Bill Ragan Roofing, I have helped homeowners find the perfect shingle to fit their style and budget. Let’s figure out if designer shingles are right for you. 

We’ll answer the following questions in this article:

  • What are designer shingles?
  • How much do designer shingles cost?
  • What warranties do you have on designer shingles?
  • How long will designer shingles last?
  • Are designer shingles worth the money?

Let’s get to it. 

What are designer shingles?

Designer (also called luxury) asphalt shingles are the “premium” line of asphalt shingles. A couple of things that make designer shingles stand out from 3-tab and architectural shingles

designer (luxury) asphalt shingles

The first thing is their high curb appeal. Designer shingles look like slate tiles to mimic the look of a slate roof to make your roof stand out compared to the other types of asphalt shingles. 

The second thing is their size. Designer asphalt shingles are bigger and thicker, making them more durable than 3-tab or architectural shingles (more on that later). 

Just know that the word “designer” is used by some manufacturers for their higher-end lines of architectural shingles. So, while the term “designer” is used, I prefer calling them luxury shingles to avoid confusion. 

But no matter what you call them, they’re the top-of-the-line asphalt shingle and come in at a premium price point. 

How much do designer shingles cost?

As I just said, designer shingles have a premium price point. To be completely honest, most homeowners won’t be able to afford this steep price. 

Before I get to the cost, you need to know I can’t give you an exact price for designer shingles because of factors that go into a new roof’s cost. However, I can give you a general idea of the budget you’ll need if you choose designer asphalt shingles for your roof replacement. 

designer (luxury) asphalt shingle roof

For a two-story house with a cut-up, complex roof, a steep pitch, and not easily accessible, you can expect a new designer asphalt shingle roof to cost around $8.00 per square foot. It’s understandable if you have sticker shock and for this price to be intimidating. 

As I said, most homeowners won’t be able to afford a designer shingle roof. But if you’re looking for a more affordable but still good quality material, architectural asphalt shingles are a great option. 

What kind of warranties comes with designer shingles?

You’ll have two types of warranties after your designer asphalt shingle roof is installed. The first one is on your roofing contractor’s workmanship, which varies depending on the company you use. 

The second one is from the manufacturer, which covers problems with the designer asphalt shingles themselves. Designer shingles come out of the package with a 30-year prorated material warranty. 

But if you form a complete roof system by using one manufacturer’s roofing components and materials, you’ll qualify for a 50-year non-prorated warranty. This enhanced warranty ensures the manufacturer covers your entire roof for the life of the roofing materials.

Unfortunately, improper roof installation and inadequate attic ventilation void any manufacturer warranties you have. To avoid this happening to your investment, you need to hire a high-quality roofing contractor to install your designer asphalt shingles. 

How long do designer shingles last?

Because a designer shingle roof is a big investment, you should expect a big return. This return comes in the form of a roof's lifespan.

The lifespan of a roofing material is the number of years you get out of it. Remember, designer shingles are bigger and thicker than the two other types of asphalt shingles. 

Because of this, they have the longest lifespan of the asphalt shingles. As long as they’re installed correctly and your attic is properly ventilated, you should get up to 30 years of life out of designer shingles. 

You can push that number even further to around 50 years in perfect conditions. Just know there are a lot of factors that impact the life of a roof

So, it’s impossible to put an exact number on the lifespan of any roofing material. But as long as the designer asphalt shingles are properly installed and the attic has adequate ventilation, they will get as close as possible to their maximum lifespan.

So, are designer shingles worth the money?

Now that you’re at this point, you should have a pretty good idea if designer shingles are right for you. But are designer shingles really worth the money?

In my opinion, designer shingles are well worth the price tag. They’ll cost more upfront, but they’re worth it for the lifespan and curb appeal it adds to your home. 

Even though I say designer shingles are worth the cost, I never recommend going far beyond your budget. So, you may consider going with architectural shingles if you have to stretch your budget quite a bit to afford them. 

However, designer shingles are well worth the price if they fit your budget. 

Are designer shingles the right roofing material for you?

There you have it; you now know what designer shingles are and the key things you need to know about them. After reading this article, you should have a pretty good idea if they’re the right roofing material for your roof replacement. 

If you decide it is, you’re ready to reach out to a local roofing contractor. But what if they’re not? Or what if you just want to know the other roofing materials available?

If this sounds like you, I have just the thing you need. The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof has all the advantages and disadvantages of popular residential roofing materials, plus their cost, lifespan, and warranties.

This free buyer’s guide also helps you find a great roofing contractor, the roofing components you’ll pay for, how to pay for your new roof, and so much more. Make all the right decisions by getting The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof now. 

Since 1990, Bill Ragan Roofing Company has replaced thousands of roofs in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas. No matter what type of roofing material you want, you can count on our expert craftsmanship to give you a roof that’ll last for decades. 

If you’re local to Nashville or another Middle Tennessee area, don’t hesitate to Contact Us so you’ll never have to worry about your roof again. 

Here’s The Complete Guide to Purchasing a Roof, so you have all the information you need to make the right buying decisions.

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