Architectural Roof Shingles

What Are Architectural Roof Shingles?

When the time comes to replace your roof, you’ll find an intimidating number of material and style options. If you’ve narrowed your choices to the popular, cost-effective, and durable asphalt roofing material, you still have another decision to make: Do you want to go with architectural roof shingles, three-tab, or luxury asphalt roofing, and what do these options even mean?

The different types of asphalt shingles provide varying advantages, depending on the style you’re shooting for and your budget. Below, our expert roofing contractors from Elite Remodeling Services will discuss everything you need to know about architectural asphalt roofing and how it compares to its counterparts. When you’re ready to replace your roof, call Elite Remodeling Services in Farmington, MN, at (952) 646-2480 to schedule your free estimate.

Architectural Roof Shingles Explained

Architectural Roof Shingles Explained

Architectural roof shingles are a type of asphalt roofing that simulates visually appealing patterns, often similar to wood shake or slate tile roofs. The specially engineered design features multiple shingles bonded together with the right contour and dimensional thickness to add depth to your roof. Essentially, the shingles do not lay flat side by side but come in raised sheets your roofer will install to create unique architectural patterns.

Architectural asphalt shingles are the most popular of the three main types of asphalt roofing configurations because they rank in the middle for price and style.

Three-Tab Asphalt Shingles vs. Architectural Shingles

Three Tab Shingles

Three-tab asphalt shingles are the original asphalt roofing solution, featuring sheets of three shingles laminated on a flat strip. Three-tab shingles provide lower curb appeal, higher maintenance requirements, reduced durability, and minimal stylistic freedom than architectural shingles. Architectural shingles may come at a slightly higher price point than the three-tab variety but provide an elevated style and will typically cost less in maintenance and repairs over time.

Luxury Asphalt Shingles vs. Architectural Shingles

Luxury asphalt shingles are another step up from architectural shingles designed to mimic the appearance of cedar shakes. The premium option costs more but can provide added durability and a longer lifespan. With that being said, you will still need to perform annual maintenance on luxury shingles, so we recommend weighing these two options based on visual appeal.

What Is the Estimated Lifespan of Architectural Roof Shingles?

The estimated lifespan of architectural roof shingles is around 30 years, though this number depends heavily on how you maintain your roof. You will not reach the 30-year mark without rigorous maintenance, good attic ventilation, and proper installation from roofing experts.

In many cases, the longevity of your roof stems from sheer luck, as unforeseen events such as hail storms or falling trees could cause severe damage. Because of this, you should expect to get closer to around 20 years out of your roof.

Luckily, all architectural roof shingles come with a 30-year warranty that will become prorated after 10 years. Many factors can void your warranty, so you must choose a trustworthy company for your installation and maintenance jobs.

Architectural Roof Pros and Cons

So, is an architectural roof right for you? Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages below to help you decide.


The primary advantages of architectural roof shingles include the following:

  • Cost-effective: Asphalt shingles are one of the most cost-effective options on the market, especially when considering the lifespan and warranty.
  • Stylish: Architectural shingles offer elevated dimensional appeal and come in many colors.
  • Easy to repair: Because the material is so widely available, you won’t have issues scheduling repairs or replacing broken shingles.
  • Relatively durable: Asphalt shingles can withstand strong winds, temperature fluctuations, storms, and more.


Architectural roof shingles also come with a few disadvantages that you should consider, such as the following:

  • They require regular maintenance.
  • The lifespan could be longer.
  • They’re prone to hail and water damage.

Choose the Roofing Experts for Your Architectural Roof

Are you interested in architectural roof shingles? Contact Elite Remodeling Services in Farmington, MN, today at (952) 646-2480 for a free estimate.


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