“Hey Vern!

My neighbor is having her roof replaced in the spring and keeps talking about how she’s getting ‘architectural shingles’. I know they’re more expensive and look different…but is the only difference between architectural shingles and regular shingles style and price?

Just curious,”

C. Williams,  Lake Wynonah, PA

That’s a great question- a lot of folks ask the same when I’m out on bids!

You’re not the only one thinking “A shingle is just a shingle, right?” The truth is your friend has a reason to be excited about her roofing upgrade. Architectural asphalt shingles are much different from “regular” asphalt shingles.

Architectural shingles first came around in the 1970’s. Manufacturers wanted to design an asphalt shingle with more durability.

Both products have similarities- even down to the way they’re made. The main difference is design. I’m not just talking aesthetics! Architectural shingles have durability literally built into their design.

Here’s how:

Much like regular shingles, architectural shingles are made by placing asphalt on a fiberglass mat base. But architectural shingles have two layers of asphalt laminated together instead of one. This creates that layered style associated with the shingles.

These laminated shingles are, by production, thicker than the standard 3 tab shingles.

Let’s talk about how that creates durability for your roof.

Made to Withstand Every Storm

Orange house with roof

Did you know that during the later stages of a bad storm, winds from downdrafts can be as high as 100 mph?

Standard shingles are designed to withstand winds as high as 60 mph. But you know, living in the rainiest area of the country, that our homes are hit hard season after season…and with some pretty big storm systems.

These shingles can withstand winds as high as 130 mph. We’re talking hurricane level winds! They’re the perfect choice for a Pennsylvanian home-owner that wants to sit back and enjoy rainy days, season after season, instead of waiting for a leak to spring.

Saving Money in the Long and Short Term


You mentioned architectural shingles are more expensive than asphalt shingles.

Yes, architectural shingles can cost more upfront, but when you compare the lifespan of these shingles, you save money in the long term.

Your normal asphalt shingles last 20-30 years on average. Higher end architectural shingles can last many decades longer.

Architectural shingles also give back in the short term when it comes to energy savings. Usually, these shingles are designed with:

  • Greater light deflection
  • Added Insulation

These two components work together to keep your roof cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Your friend will see lower your energy bills year round once her roof is installed!

A Style For Every Home

The durable design of asphalt shingles isn’t the only impressive thing about architectural shingles. They also offer a beautiful new aesthetic for any style of home.

At Martin Roofing and Siding, we use GAF shingles. These American made shingles are durable and offer our clients a wide range of color sections and styles.

GAF Roof

If you’re looking for more information on GAF, read here why we support GAF as the best option for our clients.

So- does your friend have a reason to be giddy over their new architectural shingles? I can understand if roofing isn’t your cup of tea…not many people get excited about replacing their shingles.

But thinking about the decades of savings and worry-free rainstorms ahead? I’d say that’s years of happiness ahead most homeowners would love to look forward to.

Thanks for writing in!

Until next time,

Vern Martin

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