Are Architectural Shingles Worth the Extra Cost? (Find Out Now!)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

Whether you are in need of a new roof on your current home or coming to a decision about a roof for a new build, there are different varieties for everyone. Traditionally speaking, 3-tab shingles are the preferable route. They are much more cost-effective, and that is oftentimes what drives these projects.

Architectural shingles are very much worth the cost because they add resale value as well as overall durability to the home. They come in a wide range of sizes, colors, and shapes, giving you plenty to choose from. So you get the benefits, as well as the aesthetic that you want.

In this article, we will talk more about architectural shingles and why the cost is worth it. As well as some of the benefits of these shingles.

Do You Need Roofing Installation or Replacement?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Are Architectural Shingles Worth the Extra Cost?

There are two answers to this. Ignoring budget, the easy answer is a resounding “yes.” But budgets are a very real thing. As much as many of us would love to have architectural shingles comprise our roof, it typically doesn’t fit into a budget.

Budget aside, architectural shingles are more than worth the costs. There are so many reasons why they are worth the costs, too. Even if you just focused on the warranty and improved durability, architectural shingles would be the better play.

Wide Range Of Choices

But adding in their diversity and aesthetic appeal, the wider array of choices for color and shape, and the high-end look, it becomes clearer. That’s not even talking about the potential added resale value to your home should it come time to sell.

If you are considering a new build, an architectural shingle roof will make for a great choice. For those with roof replacement needs, consider going the architectural route. Yes, the costs are way higher, but the benefits are there.

Do Most Roofs Have 3-Tab Shingles?

Like it or not, most residential roofs come down to one thing, and that is the price. Roofs are not cheap by any means, easily running in the tens of thousands of dollars. When costs get that high, it is common for customers to look for ways to help their budget a bit and keep costs at bay.

For that reason, 3-tab shingles have become the standard. They are basically asphalt shingles, and they come at a much lower cost than architectural shingles. As a matter of fact, 66% of the homes in the United States make use of asphalt or 3-tab shingles.

That said, customers are sacrificing when they go with 3-tab shingles. For one, they have more limited warranties and a lower overall lifespan than their architectural counterparts. Moreover, you don’t really get much of a choice with asphalt. They look the same no matter where you find them.

What Are The Cost Differences: 3-Tab vs. Architectural?

Before we discuss whether or not architectural shingles are worth the extra cost, it helps to know the prices for both roofs. The difference between the two is not inconsequential, which is why customers tend to side with asphalt shingles so frequently.

The average cost of an asphalt shingle roof replacement runs between $4,286 and $6,429 for a home that is 1,800 square feet. The price can vary depending on the size, pitch, and slope of the roof. It can also depend on the quality of the asphalt shingle. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot.

The price difference is quite stark when it comes to architectural shingle roofs. On average, for that same 1,800 square foot roof, the costs range from $13,500 to $21,500.

That equates to about $100 to $150 for each square (100 square feet) installed on a single-story home. The 50-year roofing shingles can cost $500 to $785 for that same space.

What Are The Benefits Of Architectural Shingles?

There are several benefits that architectural shingles hold over their 3-tab counterparts. For one, they feature a more dimensional look that can improve your home’s curb appeal versus the traditional 3-tab look.

A covering is one of the 20 parts of a roof, and architectural shingles are among the best. But what are some of the other benefits of architectural roofing? Here are just a few.

Wider Range of Options

Of the many limiting factors to asphalt shingle roofs is the limited selection. You are going to get the classic look whether you like it or not. That is how asphalt shingle roofing works. But with architectural shingles, the choices are much more robust.

Architectural shingles come in a much broader spectrum of colors, for starters. They also come in various shapes and sizes, making it possible for your roof to stand out from the rest of the homes on the block. Even better, it is possible to match the roof’s aesthetic to that of the rest of the home.

Longer Warranty

Traditional asphalt shingle roofs have very limited warranties, depending on who does the work. That could leave you holding the bag, in the long run, should the roof require repairs or a replacement. As you have read from the costs outlined above, those are not insignificant costs.

Architectural shingles come with a much more extended warranty in comparison. The longer warranties can range anywhere from 30 to 50 years, depending on what you choose. That time frame protects against defects with the roof. The asphalt shingle roofs out there are typically on 25-year warranties or less.

Improved Durability

One of the most crucial factors to a roof is its ability to stand the test of time. Asphalt shingles are fine from a durability aspect but nowhere near the level of architectural shingles. It is not uncommon for asphalt shingles to peel back or come off entirely, particularly in inclement weather.

Architectural shingles are quite a bit heavier than their asphalt counterpart. Because of that heavier weight, they can stand up to high winds and inclement weather better. And when the shingles don’t get pulled up, bent, or ripped off altogether, it means more excellent overall durability for your roof.

In some cases, architectural shingles can weigh over a ton. Just make sure that the roof’s supporting structures can handle the additional weight. Asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 20-30 years as a result. Meanwhile, architectural shingle roofs can last more than 30 years, up to 50 years in some cases.

More Versatile Design

Some people don’t give much thought to the aesthetic of their roofs. After all, it is just there to do its job, right? In that case, asphalt shingles work just fine—besides, there isn’t much of a choice to be had there anyway.

But architectural shingles can be made to look like more expensive materials like slate or wood. Architectural shingles also work as one of 30 beautiful porch roof ideas.

High-End Look

There is nothing wrong with the look of asphalt shingle roofs. Given how many of them there are, they have become quite familiar. But they don’t have that high-end look that some of the pricier homes out there may have.

Architectural shingles have been added to the” “high-end” roofing category. As a matter of fact, when roofers are tasked with finding ” “high-end” material, they typically start with architectural shingles first, instead of slate or wood.

When it comes time to sell your home, curb appeal can play a major role. Having a home – and a roof – that stands out from the rest can make all the difference in the world when it comes to getting top dollar for your home.

Added Resale Value

Speaking of trying to sell your home, being able to give your home as much value as possible is ideal when it comes time to list. Having asphalt shingles won’t devalue your home, but they won’t add to it much, either.

Architectural shingles can add value to your home. Homebuyers tend to prefer architectural shingles for many obvious reasons, even if they may not be willing to spend the money to install one themselves.

That means a potentially higher sale price when it comes time to sell your home than you would garner with an asphalt shingle roof. Being able to command top dollar for your home is important, and having the right roof can play a pivotal role in that result. You can paint roof shingles to your liking.

Are Architectural Shingles Better For New Builds?

That’s not to say that replacing your current roof with an architectural shingle roof is a bad idea. There are too many benefits to go over again, but you get the idea. So, why would they make a better addition to a new build instead of an existing home?

For one, buyers can factor that into the cost of the home purchase. When they are going through the financing process, they know to factor the roof in. This way, if the budget is higher than expected, they can trim things elsewhere to get the roof that they desire.

Replacing the roof on your current home is an expensive enough endeavor. But when it gets to that $15,000 threshold, it can be far too much for most homeowners. Going with the cheaper alternative seems like the smart play. Remember that budgets are in place for a reason. Compare rolled roofing to shingles.

Do You Need Roofing Installation or Replacement?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

More by Ryan Womeldorf