The Ultimate Shingle Roofing Guide

ultimate shingle roofing guide

Four out of five homes in the U.S. have asphalt shingled roofs, making it the most popular residential roofing choice in the country.

Asphalt roofing's popularity is no surprise—you can get shingles in virtually any color to match your home or business, and they come in a variety of styles and looks.

Shingle Styles & Types

There are two main types of roofing shingles available today, and they come in many different styles and colors.

  • 3-Tab Shingles — These are the most basic type of shingle on the market. These shingles come from the factory as a single row about 36 inches long and three tabs wide (as the name implies).
  • Architectural Shingles — Also known as laminated strip shingles, these are also a popular choice. This type of shingle features several layers of individual shingles, producing a highly-desirable 3D effect on the roof. These shingles typically cost more than 3-tab shingles.

3 tab vs architectural shingles

Both types of shingles have a factory-applied strip of adhesive that bonds to the layer of shingles above it as the sun heats the roof. The shingles are also attached using nails or another type of fastener.

Asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of styles and in an unlimited color palette. You can get the look of slate, shakes, flat-shingle or a 3D effect. Solar panel and metal shingles are being manufactured today as well.

LEARN MORE: Architectural Shingles vs. 3-Tab Shingles: An In-Depth Comparison

Advantages and Disadvantages to Shingle Roofing


  • Most inexpensive roofing choice
  • Up to lifetime warranty
  • Wide variety of styles, colors, and finishes available
  • Can walk on it without damaging it
  • Composition, metal, wood, solar shingles available
  • Most comp shingles are class “A” fire-rated
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to install/repair


  • 12-17 year average lifespan (asphalt)
  • Hail, wind, and ice can take a toll on lower-quality shingles
  • Not suitable for flat roofing

Find a qualified roofing contractor near you

Cost of Shingle Roofing

An asphalt shingle roof replacement, which includes tearing off an existing single layer of shingles and installing the new asphalt shingle roof, costs $4 - $7 per square foot on average.

Although the average cost of asphalt shingle roofing is $400 - $700 per square (100 sq. ft.), the total cost of installing a new shingle roof can vary significantly due to a number of factors, like the type of shingle you choose, your location, how big or complex your roof is, the contractor you hire, and more.

The prices below can give you a ballpark figure for the cost of tearing off an existing single layer of shingles and installing a new asphalt shingle roof.

Average Cost to Install Asphalt Shingle Roofing
Roof Square Footage Low-End Cost Average Cost High-End Cost
1,000 sq. ft. $4,000 $5,500 $7,000
1,500 sq. ft. $6,000 $8,250 $10,500
2,000 sq. ft. $8,000 $11,000 $14,000
2,500 sq. ft. $10,000 $13,750 $17,500

See what others have paid for their shingle roof replacement.

Roofing maintenance

Shingle Roofing Manufacturers

The biggest manufacturers of shingles in the U.S. include Owens Corning, GAF, CertainTeed, and Tamko. Each produces a wide variety of shingle products ranging from basic 3-tab shingles to lifetime warranty premium shingles.

When choosing a shingle, be sure to consider not only the length of the warranty but also:

  1. its wind rating (130 mph or higher is very good)
  2. algae resistance
  3. impact resistance
  4. efficiency
  5. whether or not it's suitable for the climate you live in

Shingle Roofing Warranty Information

There are two types of warranties to consider when getting a shingle roof replacement or installation. First, the manufacturer’s warranty covers the shingle itself for defects, and this will typically range from 20 years to lifetime.

Second, the workmanship warranty is offered by most roofing contractors. These warranties typically start at one-year and go up from there.

Workmanship warranties cover things like leaks and wind damage incurred during the warranty period. Always ask your roofing contractor about workmanship warranties.

Generally, minor shingle roof repairs, such as leaks or hail damage, are inexpensive and easy for the roofing contractor to remedy. This type of damage may or may not be covered under warranty, so be sure to read the fine print.

Weather-related damage may be covered by your homeowner's insurance; your roofing contractor will often work directly with your insurance company to make the claims process quick and easy.

TIP: Make sure to keep all documentation associated with the roofing work in case you need to exercise the warranty in the future.

LEARN MORE: The DIY Guide: How to Replace a Shingle Roof Yourself

Find the right shingle roofing contractor.

The important things to consider when choosing a shingle roofing contractor for the job are the company’s reputation in the community and its overall experience/knowledge of the roofing system you desire.

At Hometown, we make choosing the right roofing contractor easy by publishing verified customer reviews and project pricing details to provide complete transparency to you as the customer. That way you can make a more informed decision when investing your hard-earned dollars in a roofing contractor.

We only work with reputable, local roofing contractors committed to providing customers with exceptional customer service and affordable pricing. We prescreen each and every roofing company to ensure they meet our high standard of service, including verifying its license and insurance information, Better Business Bureau standing, roofing certifications, experience, and more.

Find a qualified roofing contractor near you