Asphalt shingles vs. wood shingles

Whether you are putting a new roof on an existing structure or planning roofing materials for a new house, you will eventually run up against the choice of which type of shingle to use. For many people, the choice comes down to asphalt shingles or wood shingles. Wood shingles provide a more traditional look, while asphalt shingles are less expensive. In the end, the choice often comes down to the individual building aesthetic and your budget.
Wood shingles have been used for centuries and are often associated with historic buildings. If you are restoring an older structure, wood shingles might provide the look you want. Although the roofing costs tend to be higher for wood shingles, the end result can increase property values.
Disadvantages of wood shingles:

  • Higher roofing costs
  • Higher fire risk if not treated
  • May increase homeowner’s insurance
  • More prone to insect damage than asphalt shingles

Because they are assembled as individual pieces, wood shingles are considered easy-install roofing. The shingles do not interlock, so they are simple to fix or replace in case of damage. If you live in an area with high winds, this easy replacement can lead to savings over time. In addition, they are lightweight and gain a pleasing weathered look over the years.

Advantages of wood shingles:

  • Unique appearance
  • Blend in with natural surroundings
  • Extra insulation for your roof
  • May lead to lower heating and cooling costs

Advantages of asphalt shingles:

  • Longer warranties
  • Lower costs
  • Easy installation (for architectural asphalt shingles)
  • Numerous options for colors and finishes

 Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular roofing options for modern builders. Roofing estimates for asphalt shinglesare usually lower because the materials cost less. Most new buildings use asphalt shingles, which results in a homogenous look. If you are planning for a more distinctive design, you may need to pay more for the more expensive architectural shingles.

There are two main types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab and architectural. Architectural shingles are more expensive but offer a longer service life and a more aesthetic appearance. Asphalt 3-tab shingles are single pieces made to look like three separate shingles. With either type, you can enjoy benefits in terms of extended lifetime and durability.

Disadvantages of asphalt shingles:

  • Installation must be precise for three-tab asphalt shingles
  • Provides a standardized look
  • Wide range of lifetime expectancies
  • More prone to wind damage

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