Asphalt Shingle Options

Homeowners who find themselves in the position of having to choose a roofing material, either for a new home roofing job or to replace existing roofing, now have a myriad of options from which to choose. These options can be confusing as each manufacturer touts its line of products as ‘the best.’ So, how does a homeowner know what to choose?


The primary factors on the table for asphalt roofing depend mainly on the budget of the homeowner and the location of the home. Within those parameters, there are other factors which can help determine which type of shingle would be best overall.


Shingle material should be chosen based on the weather demands of the area as requirements vary widely depending on the region. For example, roofing needs in the desert heat of Phoenix are quite different than those in Flagstaff, where snow and rain are frequent. The weight and type of shingle material, algae resistance, wind rating, as well as the length of the warranty, are all factors the homeowner should consider as they determine the particulars which affect suitability. For example, stated life years start at 25 years and work upwards from there to a lifetime or 50-year warranty, but sometimes the 50-year option doesn’t justify the higher cost, for example, if the home is older and in a modest neighborhood.


The shingles should coordinate with the style and age of the house and surrounding neighborhood. Some neighborhoods insist on a specific grade of shingles. Matching the shingle material with ‘what is’ will create an aesthetically pleasing aspect and also add to the value of the home. Appearance is mainly based on the type and style of shingle material, as explained below:

Strip shingles

Also called ‘3-tab shingles’, this type of shingle material is generally used on a roof to replace previously installed strip shingles. It is the most basic shingle and consists of a single layer of asphalt material.

Dimensional shingles

Dimensional shingles are a two-layer construction, which means that the homeowner has a startling array of options when it comes to creating exactly the type of look which they wish to achieve within their budget. For this reason, dimensional shingles hold the lion’s share of the shingle market. While they cost more than strip shingles, they offer considerably more options in terms of style and color. Dimensional shingles are highly attractive, widely available, will cover imperfections on the roof, and work well with the majority of pitches and roof types.

Designer or luxury shingles

Designer shingles take the appearance element of shingles to a whole new level. A designer grade of shingle often mimics other, more expensive roofing materials such as tile, shake, or slate. Available with scallop designs, broad, dark shadow line and cutaway corners, luxury shingles represent chic, sophisticated styles. They are the top of the line, most attractive option of shingle available, but are sometimes beyond the financial reach of the average homeowner.


While strip shingles represent the most economical option, dimensional shingles offer a variety and such an aesthetically superior look that some neighborhoods require them--even though the cost is approximately twenty percent higher. At almost double the price of dimensional shingles, designer or luxury shingles surpasses the others in terms of appearance, style, and cost.

Patterson Construction Company installs and repairs residential roofs of all kinds, skylights, roof ventilation, fascia and underlayment on Phoenix-area homes. Call 602-825-3638 for a free quote today!