Asphalt Shingles: Cost, Installation Tips and Materials

What do humans prefer these days? Of course, easy and cheap things; ones which require less effort and money. If you are also one of them then asphalt shingles are just for you, and this might be the reason for asphalt shingles popularity among many people. It is not only cheaper in comparison to other options, but it also has longevity and durability. You can even determine it by examining the shingle’s thickness and quality.

Asphalt shingles are composed of fiberglass mat, asphalt, mineral granules and sealant strips. Fiberglass mat is chosen for its light weight and resistance against tearing. Hot asphalt is used to coat glass fibers. Asphalt is preferred for its weight and toughness to resist wind’s impact. Mineral granules are used to coat the materials. These are available in a wide range of colors. The last layer of asphalt shingles are sealant strips, it bonds the shingles once they are heated in sun.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

 Asphalt shingles are not just famous for its affordability and durability, but they provide you with some great choices to choose from. There are a variety of styles and colors which can probably go with any exterior and design. Don’t get confused, here you can find the types, pros and cons of asphalt shingles. The three types of asphalt shingle are:

  1. Three-tab shingles or 3-tab shingles
  2. Dimensional shingles or architectural/laminate shingles
  3. Luxury shingles or premium shingles

Though all these three kinds are composed of the same materials, however, they are very different.

  1. Three-tab shingles

 Every cloud has a silver lining and so does three-tab shingles. Yes, it affordable and can be your support for decades but only if you take care of it and keep it in good condition. However, it does have some problems as well. For instance, it has very few aesthetic options, comparatively a little lifespan and blow-off problems.

Still, if you compare its rate and function then it is not a bad option. Three-tab asphalt shingles are one of the best economic examples in the market. Its composition is durable fiberglass base mat coated with mineral granules. Moreover, color tones of mineral granules give it a better look as well. Not to forget that three-tab shingles are very much lighter in weight and durability exceed to almost 20 years. They are very clean and horizontal in appearance.

Only aesthetic qualities of dimensional and luxury shingles are missing in three-tab. However, its exposed layer is notched in three tabs to give it a nice and decorative appearance. If you are planning to stay on your budget and choose three-tab asphalt shingle, then make sure that it is properly installed. Otherwise, it may create a threat of blow-off in rough weather conditions.

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  1. Dimensional asphalt shingles

One of the strongest babies is dimensional asphalt shingles. They can last to almost 3 decades. Moreover, they have multi-dimensional texture and appearance to give it an aesthetic look. However, there is just one thing which can cause a problem and that’s your budget. You, of course, must pay a more upfront cost for dimensional shingles in comparison to three-tab shingles.

It is reported by Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association that dimensional asphalt shingles are the most popular ones today.

Dimensional shingle’s composition contains two or more layers of shingles. This specific feature leads to be more durable than other shingles. Durability also depends on the installation techniques and specific shingles chosen at the time of installation.

Aesthetically, it is the best choice to go with dimensional shingles if you want your home to stand out. You can spot it easily while driving by a neighborhood. Furthermore, it provides you with a wide range of colors.

Though you must pay more like an upfront cost while going for dimensional shingles, but you can do better math. It gives you more warranty and gives you the privilege to avoid actual wood shakes. The choice is yours! Either go for upfront cost or opt the later disastrous costs.


  1. Luxury Asphalt Shingles

 Well, you have so much about to love for luxury shingles. For instance, its multi-dimensional appearance, maximum durability, affordable prices, etc. These shingles are specifically designed to copy the natural slate and cedar shake roofs at such a lower price. Moreover, it’s extremely easier to install luxury shingles in comparison with shakes and slate. Slate roofs are ten times expensive than luxury shingles. Well, you can notice the price difference and choose the worth spending money on. Luxury asphalt shingles are the best alternatives with period-style homes which look good with slate or shake style roofs as luxury shingles create shadows and depths giving your roof a best aesthetic look.

It is also worth noting that luxury shingles weigh twice more than three-tab shingles and yet it may not be best suited for every home. However, it also has an advantage for this extra weight. It provides strength and protection against tears and impact. It is an immense help in times of tornado, hurricane or hail prone region.

When Should I Replace the Roof

Your shingle is looking good? Well, then you probably don’t need a replacement as there are no visible signs of damage and no leaking as well. Just relax, however, we are here providing you with some warning signs about asphalt shingle failure.

  • Cupped or curled shingle edges
  • Cracks where shingles have become brittle
  • Recurring leaks
  • The appearance has become dull through loss of granules

And of course, if you just don’t like your shingle then it can be a good reason for some change.

Estimate Cost of Asphalt Shingles

The below-mentioned list can help you to itemize costs if you want. Please note that roofing materials are usually costed in a square. However, while shopping, you might find materials priced in bundles. Don’t go for it as the term “bundles” can be misleading. For example, three-tab shingles are three-tab bundles per square. Dimensional and luxury shingles are heavier in comparison usually packaged in four or five bundles per square.


  • Three-tab shingles: $55-$95 per square
  • Standard dimensional shingles: $80-$125 per square
  • Luxury dimensional shingles: $120-$180 per square


  • Roofing paper: $25-$33 per square (25-33 cents per square foot)
  • Starter strip/shingles: $0.35-$0.75 (35 to 75 cents) per linear foot
  • Drip edge: $0.40-$0.65 (40-65 cents) per linear foot
  • Ridge vent: $3.25-$5.00 per linear foot
  • Moisture barrier rolls $1.50-$2.75 per linear foot
  • Ridge/hip cap shingles: $2.85-$6.50 per linear foot
  • Roofing nails: $2.50-$4.50 per square

Asphalt Shingle Roof Installation Costs and Cost Factors

Expect asphalt shingle roof installation estimates in these ranges:

  • $40-$100 per square for tearing off and disposing of old roofing
  • $150-$200 per square for installation of new shingles and accessories

There are some factors which might become a cause for cost range fluctuation. For instance, as the levels of roof increases, the cost will also get higher. Moreover, labor cost for high-end asphalt can also be more as it is heavy to get to the roof and work on. Furthermore, multi-story homes have a bit higher cost as well. Don’t forget about the weather, as it is difficult to work in wintry weather. Yes, it also depends that how far your contractor crew is coming from. In addition, if you are remodeling your home from spring to early fall time then probably you would have to pay more.

Sample Asphalt Roofing Installation Estimates

Here are a few samples we put together using our roofing calculator. The ranges reflect the cost factors just listed, from easy to hard projects.

Ranch, 1,500sq.ft., four corners 4/12 roof:

  • Three-tab shingles: $4,100-$9,300
  • Dimensional shingles: $5,700-$11,700
  • Premium shingles: $7,300-$13,800

2-story, 2,500sq. ft., 6+ corners, 8/12 roof:

  • Three-tab shingles: $7,800-$11,800
  • Dimensional shingles: $11,200-$23,700
  • Premium shingles: $16,700-$32,000

Fiberglass v/s asphalt

Asphalt shingles comprise two types: fiberglass and organic. Though both have an asphalt exterior the core difference between them lies in the base of the shingles. Fiberglass have a fiberglass mat; however, organic shingles have a mate produced from a wood product. Besides all the differences, both types are present in three-tab, dimensional and luxury shingles. No matter what, these shingles are very popular among the public because of their affordability, color choices and designs. They are very easier in instalment and usually have long warranties to offer to the customers. Among many pros, the son is the weather sensitivity for asphalt shingles. Blowing-off in cold and fading in warm season are some of their dark sides.

Fiberglass Roof Shingles Pros

Fiberglass shingles are of very lightweight. It is very easier for them to install, thus reducing the labor cost. Moreover, they provide customers with better fire protection in comparison to organic-mat shingles. Last, having a low quantity of asphalt makes fiberglass environment-friendly.

Fiberglass Roof Shingles Cons

Fiberglass has one bad side and it is its less durability. They get rugged very easily because of low asphalt quantity. Moreover, they are very friendly with freezing weather.

Asphalt Roof Shingles Pros

 One of the biggest benefits of having asphalt roof is its high durability. The reason is, of course, the high quantity of asphalt. They are rugged and are likely to stay healthy even during very harsh weather. Furthermore, asphalt shingles are quite a friend with a cold climate because of organic-mat.

Asphalt Roof Shingles Cons

Beside all its benefits, asphalt shingles are prone to warping as they can absorb more water. Moreover, they are quite heavier to carry and install. Furthermore, they are very friendly with fire and thus are not good protector against fire.

Call for Your Free Estimate

Looking for experts in roofing in Southeast Michigan and Metro Detroit homes? Call Tittle Brothers Construction (734) 225-2525 today for a free in-home estimate.


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