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Types of Asphalt Shingles: Pros & Cons – Which To Choose?

Types of Asphalt Shingles GAF Alterphaseroofing Alter Phase Roofing Inc.

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in North America. They’re affordable, versatile, and easy to install, making them a top choice for homeowners across the continent. Whether you’re building a new home or replacing an old roof, asphalt shingles offer a wide range of options to suit your needs and budget.

In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of asphalt shingles available, helping you understand their unique features and benefits. By the end, you’ll be equipped to make an informed decision about the best type of shingle for your home.

Contact us today at (929) 370-1552 for a free consultation and let our experienced professionals guide you through the process of choosing and installing the perfect asphalt shingle roof for your home.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

Three-Tab Shingles: The Budget-Friendly Choice

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Three-tab shingles are the most basic and affordable type of asphalt shingle. They get their name from the three tabs or cutouts that create a uniform appearance. These shingles are a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners and builders, as they offer a cost-effective way to protect a roof.


  • Affordable: Three-tab shingles are the least expensive type of asphalt shingle, making them an attractive option for those on a tight budget.
  • Easy to Install: Their simple design and lightweight nature make them relatively easy and quick to install, saving on labor costs.


  • Less Durable: Compared to other types of asphalt shingles, three-tab shingles are less durable and have a shorter lifespan. They are more susceptible to wind damage and may not hold up as well in harsh weather conditions.
  • Less Aesthetically Appealing: While three-tab shingles come in various colors, their flat appearance lacks the depth and dimension of other shingle types. This can make them a less desirable choice for homeowners who prioritize curb appeal.

Architectural Shingles: The Stylish and Durable Upgrade

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Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional or laminate shingles, are a step up from three-tab shingles in terms of both durability and aesthetics. They are made from multiple layers of asphalt, creating a thicker and more dimensional look that mimics the appearance of wood shakes or slate tiles.


  • More Durable: Architectural shingles are more resistant to wind and impact damage than three-tab shingles, thanks to their multi-layered construction. They also have a longer lifespan, often lasting 20-30 years or more.
  • Enhanced Aesthetics: The added dimension and texture of architectural shingles create a more visually appealing roof that can significantly enhance a home’s curb appeal.


  • Slightly More Expensive: While architectural shingles are more expensive than three-tab shingles, their added durability and aesthetic appeal often make them a worthwhile investment.

Luxury Shingles: The Premium Choice for Ultimate Protection and Style

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Luxury shingles, also called premium or designer shingles, are the top-of-the-line option in the asphalt shingle market. They are crafted from high-quality materials and feature intricate designs that mimic the look of natural materials like slate or cedar.


  • Longest Lifespan: Luxury shingles boast the longest lifespan of all asphalt shingle types, often lasting 30-50 years or more. They are built to withstand even the harshest weather conditions and offer superior protection for your home.
  • Best Wind Resistance: These shingles are designed to resist high winds and offer exceptional protection against wind uplift, making them an excellent choice for areas prone to storms.
  • Most Aesthetically Pleasing: Luxury shingles are the most visually appealing option, with a wide range of colors, styles, and textures to choose from. They can significantly enhance the curb appeal and value of your home.


  • Most Expensive: Luxury shingles are the most expensive type of asphalt shingle, but their superior performance, longevity, and aesthetic appeal often justify the higher cost.

Choosing the Right Asphalt Shingles: Your Roof, Your Way

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Selecting the ideal asphalt shingle for your home involves more than just a quick glance at a color swatch. Several factors come into play, each influencing the longevity, performance, and aesthetic impact of your roof.

Factors to Consider:

  • Budget: Your budget is a crucial starting point. Three-tab shingles are the most budget-friendly, while luxury shingles sit at the premium end of the spectrum. Architectural shingles offer a middle-ground solution, balancing cost with enhanced durability and aesthetics.
  • Climate: Your local climate plays a significant role in shingle selection. If you live in an area prone to high winds or hailstorms, consider impact-resistant shingles that can withstand these harsh conditions. For regions with intense sunlight, cool roof shingles that reflect heat can help reduce cooling costs.
  • Aesthetics: Your roof is a major visual element of your home, so choosing shingles that complement your home’s architectural style and color scheme is important. Consider the overall look you want to achieve and select shingles that enhance your home’s curb appeal.
  • Lifespan and Warranty: Different types of asphalt shingles come with varying lifespans and warranty options. Three-tab shingles typically last 15-20 years, while architectural and luxury shingles can last 20-50 years or more. Be sure to inquire about the warranty offered by the manufacturer and installer to ensure your investment is protected.

Questions to Ask Your Roofer:

When consulting with potential roofers, don’t hesitate to ask questions to ensure you’re making the right choice for your home. Here are a few key questions to consider:

  • How much experience do you have installing asphalt shingles?
  • Are you certified by any shingle manufacturers?
  • What type of warranty do you offer on your workmanship?
  • Can you provide references from previous customers?
  • What is the estimated cost of the project, including materials and labor?

By taking these factors into account and asking the right questions, you can confidently choose the perfect asphalt shingle to protect and beautify your home for years to come.

Contact us today at (929) 370-1552 for a free consultation and let our experienced professionals guide you through the process of choosing and installing the perfect asphalt shingle roof for your home.

Additional Considerations

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While the fundamental types of asphalt shingles cover a broad spectrum of needs, there’s more to consider when making your final decision. These additional factors can enhance your roof’s performance, longevity, and overall impact:

Shingle Colors and Styles:

Asphalt shingles offer a kaleidoscope of colors and styles to suit any architectural vision. From classic blacks and grays to vibrant reds and blues, the possibilities are endless. You can even opt for shingles that mimic the look of wood shakes, slate tiles, or other premium roofing materials. Take the time to explore the various options and choose a color and style that complements your home’s unique personality.

Impact-Resistant Shingles:

If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, impact-resistant shingles are a must-have. These shingles are engineered to withstand the impact of hailstones, preventing costly damage and leaks. Look for shingles with a Class 4 impact rating, the highest level of protection available.

Energy-Efficient Shingles:

Cool roof shingles are a smart choice for homeowners looking to reduce their energy bills and environmental impact. These shingles are designed to reflect sunlight and absorb less heat, keeping your home cooler in the summer and reducing the strain on your air conditioning system.

By considering these additional factors alongside the basic types of asphalt shingles, you can create a roof that not only protects your home but also enhances its beauty, value, and energy efficiency.

Making the Right Choice: Your Roof, Your Investment OpenGraph

Choosing the right asphalt shingle is a decision that will impact your home for years to come. By understanding the different types of shingles available and considering factors like your budget, climate, and aesthetic preferences, you can confidently select a shingle that will protect your home, enhance its curb appeal, and provide lasting value.

Remember, your roof isn’t just a functional necessity; it’s an investment in your home’s longevity and overall aesthetic. At Alter Phase Roofing, we’re dedicated to helping you make the best choice for your specific needs and budget.

Contact us today at (929) 370-1552 for a free consultation and let our experienced professionals guide you through the process of choosing and installing the perfect asphalt shingle roof for your home.

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