Are you looking to remodel or spruce up the exterior of your home sometime soon? You might have heard someone talk about architectural shingles. If you’ve seen of heard of these but aren’t really sure what they are, then you’re in the right place.
The main aim of architectural shingles is to give the look of heavy-duty roofing materials like slate or cedar, but at a fraction of the cost. They’re also much cheaper and can be easier to install. In this article, we’re going to look at a few issues surrounding architectural shingles, along with whether they’re right for you and a few other issues if you’re looking to get the job done. Keep reading for all the info you need on architectural shingles, including how to install them yourself if you want to give that a go.
What are architectural shingles?
Architectural shingles are primarily decoration for your home, and can give it a much more expensive look or attractive finish (but without costing as much as you might think). However, that’s not all they’re good for. Architectural shingles can also be quite heavy-duty and provide an extra layer of protection to your home with the increased durability they bring.
If you’ve got an old home and want to upgrade the appearance of your exterior, especially the roof itself, then architectural singles can be a great option. They’re also good for adding an extra layer of protection.
Architectural shingles are slightly similar to regular asphalt shingles in that they do have an asphalt base. However, they differ in that they’re much thicker and are coated in fiberglass and laminated. They will generally overlap regular shingles when placed on top.
These shingles are reasonably heavy, and can weight twice as much as regular asphalt shingles (or sometimes even more). That brings their weight in at around 100 lbs per shingle. That’s why you’ll need to be sure your roof can support the additional weight. Re-inforcing your roofing joints might be necessary. While you can install architectural shingles yourself, you should be careful especially if your roof isn’t strong enough to support them. It might be a good idea to consult an expert or hire a roofing contractor at least to check your existing roof.
What are the main features and benefits of architectural roof shingles?
Architectural shingles are much more durable than regular shingles and will increase the lifespan of your roof considerably. While they can be a bit more expensive to buy and install, you won’t have to think about replacing them for years and they will provide a fair bit of protection to your roof.
Architectural shingles can also increase the value of your home, so this could offset some of the cost. They’re also considered more energy efficient than many roofing alternatives.
Overlaying vs tearing-off
Many homes will have standard 3-tab shingles. These shingles are lighter and cheaper, and look like 3 separate pieces but are really only one. They won’t last as long and aren’t as long-lasting as architectural shingles.
If you’ve already got 3-tab shingles, you might be able to overlay with architectural ones while leaving them in place. This will cost less, as you won’t have to tear off and start again. However, if there are any issues with the 3-tab layer, repairs could be much more expensive and the duration of the roof could be shortened. You can also only overlay once. That’s why tearing off and laying a new original layer is recommended by many roofers.
How to install architectural shingles
If you aren’t sure how to do this yourself, either consult an expert for advice or hire an external roofing company to do the job for you. Never take on something you aren’t sure how to do. Always work safely and use the right safety equipment. Roof work can be dangerous, so you need to be careful. If you’re sure you want to install the shingles yourself, then here’s how:
Start by nailing down a row of start shingles on the bottom edge of the roof. Lay more shingles on the sides of the roof, so that they overlap the start shingles. The first row of shingles should overhang the drip edge of the roof. Around an inch should do. each shingle will require around 4 nails (underneath the tar line and about half an inch under where the next shingle will overlap).
Do both sides first and then install ridge cap shingles over the top. Work from left to right, or in a methodical way. Overlap each shingle so it covers the nail underneath and then nail it down on top. Do this all the way across your roof. Nails should be sealed with roofing tar to make it water-resistant.
How much do architectural shingles cost?
To buy architectural shingles you might be looking at around $25 per square foot. This is clearly more expensive than standard shingles, but you get what you pay for. They should last much longer and even save on energy costs by providing better insulation. When you also consider how much they could increase the value of your home, they might be much more affordable than you might think.
How to find the right contractor to install architectural shingles
While you can do a good job when installing architectural shingles yourself if you’ve got the right skills and equipment, it’s not the job for everyone. If you’d rather let an expert take care of things, then here are a few tips to help you find the right one for you.
You can start your search online, but a good place check is by asking neighbors who did their roofs. They might be able to recommend or steer you away from someone. Ask for competitive quotes from different roofers and check examples of their work.
Hopefully this article has helped if you’ve been looking to get architectural shingles installed. Now you know a bit more about their benefits and the process so you can make a more informed decision.
Feature image via: roofpedia