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Tips for Choosing Your Asphalt Shingles

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Having a roof replacement done on your house is not the most fun process in the world. It can get expensive, can be disruptive to your daily life, and it’s not really like buying a new car. In fact, there aren’t really many personal choices you can make throughout the process, other than the company that you choose to install the roof.

Obviously, that’s a VERY important choice, and one you have the most control over. But as a roofing company, the homeowners that we work with at On Tops always want to know about where they’ll be able to have their input into what exactly is going on their roof.

The main place where they’ll be able to have that input, is in the type, and color, of shingles that go on their roof. We always try to make sure that our customers feel like they had the opportunity to determine what goes on the roof. After all, they are the ones paying for it.

Whether its going up a level for increased durability, or choosing a color that matches your home, there are still several ways that homeowners can pick the right asphalt shingle for their roof.

In this blog, we’re going to go over:

Alright, let's get started!

The Types of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles come in a variety of types and styles, each with its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the different types of shingles will help you make an informed decision about which type is best for your roof. 

Three-tab Shingle Roof_WebP


Three-Tab Shingles: Three-tab shingles are the most basic type of asphalt shingle. They have a flat, uniform appearance and are typically the least expensive option. Three-tab shingles are a solid choice for mild climates, lasting around 15 years, but they may not hold up as well in areas with extreme weather conditions.




architectural shingle roof_WebP-1Architectural shingles have a more dimensional look and come in a wider range of colors and styles. They are made by layering multiple shingle tabs together to create a thicker, more durable shingle. Architectural shingles are a good choice for homeowners who want a more attractive roof or who live in areas with more weather, and should last for 25 years in normal conditions.


luxury shingle roof 1_WebPLuxury shingles are the highest-quality type of asphalt shingle. They are designed to look like natural materials such as cedar, slate, or tile. These premium shingles are more expensive than other types of shingles, but they offer a slightly longer lifespan of around 30 years, and a more attractive appearance. They are a good choice for homeowners who want a premium look for their roof and who are willing to invest in a higher-end product.

When choosing the type of asphalt shingle for your roof, it's important to consider your budget, the style of your home, and the weather conditions in your area. A professional roofing contractor can help you make the right decision for your specific needs, but since you’re here for it, we’ll give you some general tips to help you decide!

Tips for choosing your asphalt shingles

Choosing the right type of shingle can be a complex decision, but by considering a few key factors, you can make the best choice for your home. In this section, we'll explore the important factors to consider when choosing asphalt shingles, including durability, appearance, and prices.

Durabilitycold weather frosted roof_WebP

The durability of asphalt shingles is a critical factor to consider when choosing the right type of shingle for your roof. Different types of shingles offer different levels of durability, so it's important to understand the factors that impact the lifespan of your shingles.

If you have a three-tab shingle roof, they will likely have a lifespan of 15-20 years in more mild conditions, but will likely not hold up as well in areas that receive more extreme weather, like high winds or hail. Three-tabs are typically rated for winds of up to 60-65 miles per hour. Architectural shingles, since they are thicker and stronger than three-tabs, have a lifespan of up to 25 to 30 years in good conditions, and can stand up to stronger winds and hail than their less expensive counterparts. Luxury shingles can usually last around 30 years or more in standard conditions, and as a result of their heavier weight, can withstand stronger winds, even up to 110 miles per hour.


Asphalt shingles come in a variety of styles, colors, and patterns, and choosing the right type of shingle can have a big impact on the overall look of your home. Three of the most common types of asphalt shingles are three-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and luxury shingles.

Three-tab shingles are the most basic and economical option, and they typically have a flat, uniform appearance. They are usually a single layer of asphalt with a granulated surface and are typically available in a limited range of colors.

Architectural shingles, on the other hand, are designed to give your roof a more dimensional look. They are made from two or more layers of asphalt, which are laminated together, and they come in a much wider range of colors and patterns. Architectural shingles can mimic the look of natural materials like wood shake or slate, and they are a great option if you want to add some visual interest to your roof.

grand manor luxury shingles_WebP



Luxury shingles are the top of the line when it comes to asphalt shingles. They offer a more elaborate and sophisticated look and can include features like multiple layers, textured surfaces, and intricate color blends. Some luxury shingles are even designed to look like metal roofing, and they are a great option if you want to make a bold statement with your roof.


When you’re picking the color for your shingles, you’ll usually want to pick something that matches the colors on and around your home. For example, a red brick house may match much better with a brown shingle than a gray stone house, and may look odd if you used a shingle with more color to it, like red, blue, or green. That gray house though, could look great with some more color on the roof.

Ultimately, the appearance of your roof is a personal choice, and you'll want to consider the style of your home, your personal preferences, and your budget when making your decision. You may also want to consider getting samples of each type of shingle and seeing how they look on your roof, or talking to a roofing expert to get their recommendations.


Though talking about the color options is of course nice, what most homeowners that we work with want to discuss is the cost of these kinds of shingles. Understandably so! A roof replacement is an expensive project, and it can become even more costly the higher up the shingle range you go.

Three-Tab Shingles_WebP-2Three-tab shingles are typically the most economical option, and they usually range in price from $75 to $100 per square (100 square feet). This makes them a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners.

Architectural shingles are typically more expensive than three-tab shingles, and they usually range in price from $100 to $125 per square. The added cost of architectural shingles is due to their more complex design, higher quality construction, and wider range of colors and patterns.

Luxury shingles are the most expensive option, and they typically cost from $150 to $250 or more per square. The extra cost is due to the added features and materials that go into making luxury shingles, including multiple layers, textured surfaces, and intricate color blends.

When it comes to choosing the right type of shingle for your roof, it's important to keep in mind that the cheapest option isn't always the best choice. While three-tab shingles may be the most affordable, they may not be the most durable or the best fit for your home's style. Similarly, while luxury shingles may look the best, they may not be necessary if your budget is tight.

It's also important to remember that while the upfront cost of the shingles is important, the long-term value is just as important. A high-quality, durable roof will last longer, protect your home better, and save you money in the long run. When considering the cost of the shingles, it's important to look at the bigger picture and choose the best option for your home and budget, not just the most affordable one.

Choosing the right type of asphalt shingles for your roof is a big decision, and cost is just one of many factors to consider. It's important to weigh the upfront cost of the shingles against their durability, appearance, and long-term value to make the best choice for your home and budget.

Here at On Tops Roofing, we’ve been helping North Carolina homeowners work through the process of choosing their asphalt shingles for over 30 years. We’ve seen people who’ve chosen every kind of shingle, and we know how they look and hold up on all kinds of homes.

If you want to learn more about asphalt roof replacements, check out our blog on the Materials Needed for an Asphalt Roof Replacement!

On Tops Roofing has been replacing and repairing roofs in the Raleigh area since 1991. Whatever your roofing project requires, we’ve got the experience to handle it!

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