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What's the Most Common Type of Asphalt Shingle?

January 5th, 2022 | 5 min. read

What's the Most Common Type of Asphalt Shingle?

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An asphalt shingle roof is the most common type of roof in the United States. While asphalt is the most common type of roofing material in general, one specific type of asphalt shingle is more common than the others. 

There’s actually a pretty good chance this is the type of roof you’ll see on the majority of homes in your neighborhood. So, what is the common type of asphalt shingle?

For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has taken pride in educating homeowners about all aspects of the roofing industry. Now we’ll do the same for you. 

To start this article, I’ll get right into the most common type of asphalt shingle. After that, I’ll give you the 3 things every homeowner needs to know about this specific type of shingle. 

What’s the most common type of asphalt shingle?

The most common type of asphalt shingle in the roofing industry used to be 3-tab shingles. But the roofing industry has started to phase them out with the improvement of technology. 

architectural asphalt shingles

While you’ll still see 3-tab on homes today, architectural shingles (also known as dimensional) are now the most commonly used out of the three types of asphalt shingles. Architectural shingles are designed to give your roof a good-looking random pattern or simulate the look of a wood shake roof.  

The reason for their popularity comes down to affordability (more on that later). But even though it’s the most affordable, it’s still a great roofing material. 

Just know it’s important to invest in quality materials, components, and workmanship instead of looking for the lowest price.  

3 things to know about an architectural asphalt shingle roof

Now you know architectural shingles are the most popular asphalt shingle on the market today. But what do you actually know about them? 

Below are 3 things every homeowner needs to know about architectural asphalt shingles.  

1. The warranty on architectural asphalt shingles

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

The workmanship warranty depends on the local roofing contractor you hire and varies from company to company no matter what type of roofing material you have. However, there are a couple of material warranty options on an architectural asphalt shingle roof specifically. 

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

The 50-year non-prorated enhanced warranty means the manufacturer covers the architectural shingles and the rest of the roof system’s components for the life of the material themselves. This means if there’s ever a problem with your shingles or another component, the manufacturer will pay to take care of it. 

But you need to be aware that improper roof installation and inadequate attic ventilation will void your enhanced warranty. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a high-quality roofing contractor to install your architectural asphalt shingles to protect your investment.

2. The cost of an architectural asphalt shingle roof

The biggest concern most homeowners have when getting a new roof is the cost. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to give you an exact price due to all the different cost factors

However, I can give you a general idea of the budget you’ll need for an architectural asphalt shingle roof. 

how much does an architectural asphalt shingle roof cost

For a two-story house with a little complexity and good accessibility, you can expect an architectural asphalt shingle roof to cost around $4.76 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 an enhanced warranty.

No matter what, a roof will always be a sizable investment. But even though the price can be intimidating, an architectural asphalt shingle roof is the best affordable roofing option.

3. The lifespan of architectural asphalt shingles

After paying for a new architectural asphalt shingle roof, you need to know the return you’ll get on your investment. That’s where a roof’s lifespan comes in. 

Architectural asphalt shingles have a manufacturer-specified lifespan of around 30 years. As long as the shingles are properly installed and your attic is properly ventilated, your roof will get as close as possible to its maximum lifespan. 

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. 

Is an architectural asphalt shingle right for your roof replacement?

Now you know 3 things every homeowner needs to know about an architectural asphalt shingle roof. Knowing your warranty options, the lifespan, and the cost helps you determine if it’s the right asphalt shingle for you. 

But how can you really determine that without knowing anything about the other types of asphalt shingles? To help you truly find the right asphalt shingle for your roof replacement, we wrote another article that compares the 3 types. 

Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality asphalt roof repairs and replacements for homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas. We take pride in our work and offer a lifetime workmanship warranty to back it up. 

Check out 3-tab vs. Dimensional vs. Luxury Asphalt Shingles (Aesthetic, Cost, & More) to find the right asphalt shingle for you.

the complete guide to purchasing a roof

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