The ritzy side of roofing: Are Luxury and Designer Shingles right for you?
The Benefits of Luxury and Designer Shingles
Having a home that’s safe, functional, and good-looking is the goal for many homeowners. That’s where luxury and designer shingles come in to play.
High-quality architectural shingles (also referred to as laminate or dimensional shingles) are a great way to boost the performance of your roof while adding aesthetics, curb appeal, and value to your home. Architectural shingles come in more colors and styles than any other type of shingle and look great on every type of home; that’s why they’re some of the most popular shingles on the market today.
For some homeowners, architectural shingles don’t quite give their home the look they prefer. Luxury shingles can usually fit the bill when standard double-laminate architectural shingles seem to fall short.
Two advantages of luxury shingles:
1.) They replicate the look of real wooden shingles/shakes or natural slate
2.) They’re stronger than double-laminate architectural shingles
Let’s take a closer look at the different types of architectural shingles.
Architectural Shingle Options
Whether you already have a cedar shake or natural slate roof that needs to be replaced, or you just prefer the look, there is no denying that many shingles can’t pass for the real deal. Cedar shakes and slate lend aesthetics that often look very high-end. They can add character to a home and often emulate a particular period in architectural history.
For example, cedar shakes are considered to be part of the traditional “Cape Cod Style.” These can be seen on historic upscale homes in areas like Martha’s Vineyard and on colonial-style homes in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Slate is often seen on Gothic, Tudor, Chateau, and other styles of homes that Andrew Jackson Downing referred to as, “Country houses of the first class,” in The Architecture of Country Houses (1850).
While these luxury shingles can give your home a classy, polished look, they do have their downsides.
Remember, wood burns! Cedar shakes and shingles have to be specially treated and installed for maximum fire resistance.
The Cedar Shake & Shingles Bureau estimates that the average lifespan of cedar shakes and shingles is 30-40 years, depending on a number of factors. Note that this is actually shorter than the lifespan of many of today’s asphalt shingles.
The cost, according to home improvement guru, Bob Vila, ranges from about $400 to $900 per square installed. This is as much as 6 times the cost of an asphalt alternative.
Natural slate is inarguably a statement of luxury. Even in 1850, Downing recognized the high costs and unbeatable aesthetics of natural slate.
Slate, which is stone, is completely fire resistant. Depending on the type of slate and mining location, it can last anywhere from 60-200 years. All sounds good so far, right?
Slate becomes brittle and less impact resistant as it ages, making it prone to hail damage.
“Slipping” is another problem often seen with newly installed slate. This is where tiles either slip out of place, or fall out completely. Lesser quality manufacturing techniques, “over-nailing,” and walking on slates during installation are the most common causes for slipping.
Finally, slate is undeniably the most expensive roofing material on the market, and has been for a very long time. Slate can cost as much as $2000 a square to install—more than ten times the cost of asphalt shingles!
Luxury and Designer Shingles are a winning alternative
Specially designed to give the high-end aesthetics of cedar shakes or slate, luxury and designer shingles bring a lot more to the table because of improved technology.
Benefits of luxury and designer shingles include:
- The triple-laminate design of luxury and designer shingles makes them look as thick and luxurious as real shakes or slate.
- Made of durable asphalt and fiberglass, double and triple-laminate luxury shingles consist of two or three layers laminated together to give unmatched strength and durability compared to traditional 3-tab shingles. In fact, many luxury asphalt shingle options are even rated for regions prone to hurricanes and other severe storms because of their tear, impact, and wind-driven rain resistance (see product UL and ASTM ratings).
- Luxury and designer shingles offer a wider variety of colors and styles than cedar shakes or slate while maintaining the same quality.
- Your shake-style roof can look as light and new as the day it was installed instead of weathering and turning gray like real shakes. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the manufacturing process or mining location when choosing the perfect shade of slate for your home. With luxury asphalt options, you can choose a slate-like shingle in the color you prefer without sacrificing strength.
- Another benefit of luxury shingles is the option to “Go Green.” Many types of luxury shingles have been manufactured using solar reflective granules that meet Energy Star requirements to keep your home cooler and reduce your home energy costs.
Luxury and Designer Shingles with Long Roofing
When you break it down, you really do get more from luxury asphalt shingles than architectural alternatives. If you still aren’t convinced, consider this: luxury asphalt shingles from Long Roofing are warranted from 50 years to lifetime, so you could theoretically replace your asphalt roof five times before you’ve spent as much as you would on a slate or shake roof.
Long Roofing can show you how a luxury asphalt shingle roof can give you the look of luxury with lifetime durability at a fraction of the cost so you don’t have to sacrifice the old-world charm of your luxury roof.