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How Do I Choose the Right Asphalt Shingles for My Roof

Asphalt shingles have been made widely available in a nearly endless variety of styles and color options, which help to make them one of the most popular roofing materials available today. The wealth of options available can make it difficult for homeowners to know which styles or colors to choose, and what things to take into consideration before making a decision. Here’s what you need to know about asphalt shingles in order to make the right choice.

Things to consider

Before you decide on what kind of asphalt shingles you want to use on your roof, there are a few important elements to consider that may influence your decision. First, your roofer will take accurate measurements of your roof either by hand or via satellite image, as this will give you an idea of how much material will be needed to cover your roof, and how much your roofing project will cost you – different styles of asphalt shingles can have widely varying prices.


You’ll also want to consider things like the shape of your roof, as some asphalt shingles are better suited to different pitches than others. Warranties are another major consideration, as different makes of asphalt shingles will come with different lengths and types of warranty.


Since the lifespan of asphalt shingles is one of the biggest reasons for their popularity, you may want to consider some of the factors that can influence how long asphalt shingles will last on your roof. Climate is an important factor in the lifespan of asphalt shingles, as weather can play major a role in their breakdown.


Other than these considerations, you’ll also want to make decisions based on how much you want your roof to stand out, what texture suits your home best, and what color materials you want to use. Once you’ve considered some of the more important factors that determine how effective roofing materials are, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on what type of asphalt shingle to use on your roof.

What kind of asphalt shingles are available?

Asphalt shingles are generally made available in three basic types, architectural, three-tab and a high end jigsaw or pumpkin-tooth design, all of which will have different benefits that may or may not suit your specific roofing needs. Architectural asphalt shingles, sometimes called laminate shingles or dimensional shingles, are traditionally thicker and are engineered to be deeper, adding an aesthetic touch to classic asphalt shingles. These laminate shingles are heavier than the traditional 3 tab shingles, and usually feature a longer warranty and a better wind rating. An architectural style roof usually has options for 3 thicknesses and weights with most manufacturers. A heavier shingle generally equals a longer lifespan.


Three tab asphalt shingles are the more traditional style – these shingles are made up of three tabs, are thinner, weigh less, and cost less than architectural shingles. Three tab shingles are available in a wide variety of colour options that will allow an endless amount of customization options for your roof.


The higher end asphalt shingles with a jigsaw, or pumpkin-tooth look that are designed to look more like wood shake. Often, in Colorado, these shingles are a suitable replacement for wood shake shingles in most HOA’s.

Does color matter?

You might be surprised to know that the color of your roof shingles does indeed matter, especially if you’re concerned about the temperature of your home. Generally, lighter-colored asphalt shingles reflect light from the sun, and darker colored shingles will absorb more heat, transferring it into your home below.


If you live in a warmer climate, light colored shingles may be the best option for your roof, as it will ensure that your home is absorbing less heat when the sun is beating down on your asphalt shingles and will result in lower utilities. Darker shingles may be best suited to colder climates, absorbing more heat from the sun and warming your home, saving on heating costs. Also, there are shingles available from different manufacturers that are “cool roofs” and have been certified and EnergyStar rated.


Choosing the right shingles for your roofing project can be a complicated process, but knowing what elements to take into consideration, what asphalt shingles are available to you, and the effects that shingle colors have can help choose one that will suit your needs and make your home stand out.

For more information about how Jack the Roofer can help you choose the right asphalt shingles for your home or business contact us today.