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Pros and Cons of Shingle Roofs

Do you want to cedar shake it up, or is it time to mingle with asphalt shingle? See what’s best for you by comparing the ins and outs of shingle roofs.

Along with asphalt and cedar, manufacturers make shingles from other materials: metal, composite (including plastic), slate, concrete tile, and solar.

Pros and cons range through cost, longevity, maintenance, durability, and energy-efficiency. Your priorities will help determine which has the strongest advantages for your roof.

Asphalt shingle roofs are most popular, and we’ll talk about the good reasons why.

Contact Paramount Exteriors today for a free inspection. We’re happy to help you assess the pros and cons to see what roof best suits you and your home!

Many Appealing Kinds of Shingles

Different textures and colors of roof shingles

No matter the material, individual shingles overlap to form a waterproof shield of protection for your home. They range in price and lifespan by kinds.

Asphalt shingles strike a good balance between affordability and durability. They are the least expensive and work well in our climate.

Wood shingles like cedar cost more but bring an aesthetic that some people enjoy.

Metal roofs are often panel, but shingles can be made from metal too. These shingles last longer and weigh less, but do cost more and are noisier in storms.

Composite shingles are the mockingbirds of roofing as they can imitate other kinds. They come at a higher price.

Slate shingles last the longest but cost the most. (Almost – solar shingles are more.) Both slate and concrete shingles are suited for construction that can handle their heavyweight.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

an aerial view of a neighborhood

It’s useful to look around your neighborhood when choosing a new roof. What kind of roof will help the curb appeal of your house?

In the Southwest, concrete/clay tile shingles suit the hot environment. While more commonly used there, they might not blend in or make as much sense in our towns.

Most South Dakotans favor asphalt shingle roofs. Their wide range of available colors and styles makes it possible for them to both fit in and stand out. This gives your home a lovely look and creates a pleasant appeal for a future buyer.

Getting to Know Asphalt Shingle Roofs

asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingle roofs are popular due to their many other advantages too.

Asphalt shingles are the most economical material at between $90-150 per square. (Roofing materials are priced “per square” with a roofing square meaning 100 square feet.)

Asphalt shingles come in versatile styles like more traditional 3-tab and up-and-coming laminated (aka architectural).

3-tab get their name because of how they go on your roof with one above and two below.

Laminated cost more but are more durable than 3-tab. They’re often selected for their pleasing appearance too. Better at withstanding weather and wind, they’ve grown in popularity.

Asphalt shingle roofs last about 15 to 30 years (average is ~20). The lifespan depends on the specific shingle type and the weather it endures.

The typical duration is beyond the average length of homeownership. This means it can provide shelter for you and still have years to offer when it’s time to sell.

One con is that asphalt shingle roofs can be vulnerable to high winds, 3-tab even more so than laminated. Sometimes repairs of individual shingles can be made.

Cedar Shingles

Two windows in dormers on a wood shingle roof

Cedar shingles can handle high winds better. They’re also desired for their classic rustic appearance.

Another bonus: bugs don’t like cedar. Chemical treatment expands their lifespan and makes them more fire-resistant too.

They last about as long as asphalt shingles but often cost twice as much or more per square. This can be worth it for that traditional beauty they bring to a home.

Cedar shingles can require more maintenance than other roof types. The material is reclaimable for other uses, and some like this more eco-friendly attribute.

Metal, Concrete, and Slate Shingles

Close up of metal roof tile

Metal also scores well for the eco-conscious for its reusability. Not only this, but it’s more energy-efficient because it reflects sunshine the best.

Metal is not heavy and can endure strong winds. If you plan to own your home for many decades, a metal roof may abide with you for 50 or more years.

Hail can damage metal shingle roofs and rain can be noisy on them. Their other con is a more substantial cost. They can be twice or up to five times the price per square above asphalt.

Concrete and composite also cost twice as much or more than asphalt. Composite could be enticing to get, for example, a slate look for less cost than slate itself. Their higher cost can still be a deterrent.

Concrete’s strength is its durability! It’s also more energy-efficient and is fireproof.  But it’s too heavy for some structures and may require sealing maintenance.

As with concrete, slate’s hefty weight is a strike against it. Slate outprices almost all other shingles at $1000-2000 per square. Slate also outlasts any other shingle at 100 or more years.

Solar shingles are about twice slate’s price without its long lifespan. Where they shine is turning sunshine into power for the home they protect!

Choosing What Suits Your Priorities

various roof shingles

How important are the different aspects of shingle roofs to your priorities? There’s a wide range of considerations by cost, longevity, maintenance, durability, and energy-efficiency.

The upfront investment for a slate shingle roof looks cost-effective in the long run over a century of use. But it’s customary to change homes before then or even change styles and colors over the decades. This makes it a rarer choice.

Most homes in our country and area are protected by asphalt shingle roofs, with metal and cedar next in prevalence.

Asphalt shingle roofs are affordable and easily maintained. They complement most homes and neighborhoods and last past typical homeownership. With all these pros, it’s easy to see why about 80% of homeowners choose them.

We understand the pros and cons of shingle roofs, and we’re happy to provide advice for your home’s roof. Contact us at Paramount Exteriors for your free, no-obligation inspection!

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