How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

What's the difference between an architectural and a regular shingle roof?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Architectural shingles are a premium grade of asphalt shingle roofing. The shingles are thicker and have a distinctive, textured appearance. They are sometimes called dimensional or laminate shingles, and were introduced in the 1970s in an effort by manufacturers to create a higher-end product.  

   Regular roof shingles are called “3-tab” in the trade, for the 3 tab/flaps with quarter-inch grooves between them in each panel. They run in flat, even rows as opposed to the textured and layered look of architectural shingles.

   Regular shingles have an average 15 to 20-year life. Sometimes a couple of years more. An architectural shingle roof has a 24 to 30-year life, with some super-premium grades rated for up to a 40-year lifespan. And architectural shingles come in wider variety of colors, subtly variegated color patterns, have greater resistance to uplift in a windstorm, and have a heavier granule covering.


    All of this comes at a premium price, of course. Typically, an architectural shingle roof will cost about 25% more, but the premium, heaviest shingles even more. But you are rewarded for the extra investment with a 50% longer lifespan and a better looking roof.  

   Architectural shingles start with a heavier mat base, typically fiberglass that has been coated with asphalt. Multiple layers are then overlapped and laminated together to create the distinctive texture. The finished product weighs about 100-lbs. more per “square” (a roofer’s term for 100 square feet of roof area) than regular shingles. Builders also like them because minor imperfections in the roof deck are concealed by the texture. 

   If you currently have a regular shingle roof, most  realtors we know recommend upgrading to architectural shingles when it’s time for a roof replacement, because of the all-important curb-appeal boost it gives an older home. 

    Also, see our blog posts What's the average lifespan of a roof? and How can I be sure my roofing contractor got a permit?

     Visit our ROOF AND ATTIC page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

Wells

Septic Tank Systems

Structure and Rooms

Plumbing Pipes

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests

Sinkholes

Stairs

When It First

Became Code

"Should I Buy A..."

Park Model Homes

Site

Shingle Roofs

Safety

Stucco

Remodeling

Wind Mitigation

Roof and Attic

"Does A Home

Inspector...?"

Pool and Spa

"What Is The Difference Between..."

Radon

Brick

Plumbing

Concrete and

Concrete Block

Metal Roofs

Foundations

Modular Homes

Rain Gutters

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants

Condominiums

Older and

Historic Houses

Crawl Spaces

Mobile-Manufactured Homes

Building Permits

Life Expectancy

Clay Soil

Insurance

Floors

Insulation

Toilets

Exterior Walls

& Structures

Generators

Common Problems

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Garages and Carports

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Electrical Panels

Sprinkler Systems

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

4-Point Inspections

Hurricane Resistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Home Inspection

Heating and Air Conditioning

Building Codes

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Energy Efficiency

Washers and Dryers

Electrical

Kitchens

Doors and Windows

(placeholder)

Cracks

Electrical Wiring

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Plumbing Drains

and Traps

Appliances

Smoke & CO Alarms

Aging in Place

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.

Bathrooms

Lighting

AFCI, CAFCI,

DFCI, & GFCI

Sinks

Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size

Attics

Electrical Switches

Siding

Search

This

Site

Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete

(placeholder)

Foundation Certifications

Tiny Houses

About Us

(placeholder)