Many properties in Lake in the Hills IL sport an asphalt shingle roof. Does it mean this contractor-approved roofing material is the best? Not necessarily if you compare architectural shingles vs regular ones.

Architectural shingles are the next-level asphalt shingles with their respective character and texture. True enough, they are more expensive. However, will their advantages justify their costs?

This post will answer the following:

  • Characteristics of Architectural Shingles
  • What Makes Regular Asphalt Shingles endearing to Homeowners
  • The Best One to Use for Your Home
  • Roof Material Alternatives If You Need Them

Architectural Shingles Vs Regular Ones: Architectural Variant Characteristics

Durability and Longevity

Architectural shingles are a level higher than regular asphalt shingles. They are thicker if you compare the two materials. In fact, architectural variants are two asphalt shingles bonded together. However, it has a fiberglass base that makes it durable and capable of handling damage from multiple hailstorms.

In addition, its exterior surface has laminate protection that guarantees reduced material erosion. However, this makes the material more expensive if you compare it to regular variants.

The true game-changer in the question of architectural shingles vs regular variants is the lifespan. Architectural shingles have an average of 50-60 years, which makes them excellent property investments. Just make sure you work with a reliable contractor to maximize their lifespan and durability.

Related: Everything you Need to Know About Architectural Shingles

Appearance and Overall Curb Appeal

Aside from its technical characteristics, architectural shingles increase the aesthetic of any property better than asphalt shingles. In fact, any realtor will recommend using architectural shingles to revitalize the value of an ancestral or decades-old property.

beautiful colored architectural shingles alternating patterns

Architectural shingles can also come in different colors and aesthetics.

Unlike asphalt shingles, architectural variants have intentionally varying thicknesses. From the curb, this will appear as a roof with different shingle elevations. However, this is the highly-valued and unique look of architectural shingle roof.

Cost and Value for Money

In the case of architectural shingles vs regular asphalt shingles, you can get a higher value for money with architectural shingles. However, they cost about $8-$10 per square foot, which goes up to $8,000-$10,000 per roof square.

In this light, most homeowners will likely choose asphalt shingles, which is the affordable option. However, asphalt shingles have a lower durability and lifespan if you compare them with architectural shingles.

Regular Asphalt Shingle Variants

Durability and Longevity

Manufacturers create asphalt shingles up to the standards set by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturer’s Association. The organization stipulates that all shingle materials must meet the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) resistance the UL 2218 system specifies.

This guarantees that all first-classification regular shingles can withstand multiple hailstorms with the fourth class being the highest impact capability. In addition, regular asphalt shingles win in the question of architectural shingles vs regular variants because of their adequate lifespan of 20-30 years.

Related: Assessing Roof Hailstorm Damage

Appearance and Overall Curb Appeal

Asphalt shingles are beautiful. In fact, they come in different colors, and some emulate the different roofing textures of wood for a different roof look. Indeed, they show the traditional appearance of a Lake in the Hills IL residential property.

traditional three-tab asphalt shingles

Three-tab shingles are durable and effective, but they only offer average curb appeal.

Unfortunately, everyone in the neighborhood also uses asphalt shingles. Consequently, your asphalt shingle roof, while beautiful, looks like the rest of the properties in the area.

Therefore, asking architectural shingles vs regular shingles gives you architectural shingles as the answer because it adds high real estate value despite its initial costs.

Cost and Value for Money

In the case of cost alone when it comes to architectural shingles vs regular variants, asphalt shingles win.

Architectural shingles cost $8-$10 per square foot. On the other hand, regular asphalt shingles cost about $4-$6. If we consider this, then a square of an asphalt shingle roof costs $400-$600, which is not bad at all.

However, if you consider value for money, then architectural shingles are your better choice. You get a higher lifespan and better aesthetic value with architectural shingles if you compare them with asphalt variants.


In the case of architectural shingles vs regular variants, the winner would be architectural shingles.

While initially expensive, architectural shingles will last for 50-60 years. With this in consideration, it is a better investment than spending half-price for a roof that lasts for just 20-30 years.

In fact, architectural shingles can last further than its estimated lifespan with excellent roofing maintenance. Any Lake in the Hills IL ancestral home will survive for another century with the help of architectural shingles.

Architectural Shingles Vs Regular Ones: Alternatives

Aside from architectural shingles, here are other notable roofing materials that will increase your property value. In fact, they make great investments because of their long-term lifespan, excellent durability and hailstorm resistance, and excellent, endearing curb appeal.

Metal Shingles

Metal shingle manufacturers use aluminum or galvanized or galvalumed steel to produce metal shingles. They are mostly available in a three-tab look. True enough, they are heavier than asphalt or architectural shingles, but their thickness guarantees excellent wind and hailstorm resistance.

In addition, they give a different aesthetic to a property that will increase its estate value. However, homeowners who crave the traditional roof look can find manufacturers that print traditional asphalt or wood textures on their metal shingles. In this way, homeowners enjoy the benefits of metal shingles and the aesthetics of traditional materials.

Wood Shakes

Wood shakes and shingles either come in machine-cut or hand-cut forms. However, most wood shakes come in hand-cut forms to preserve its traditional aesthetics of asymmetrical roofing materials. On the other hand, wood shingles can appear similar to regular asphalt shingles in size and symmetry.

hand-cut wood shakes with varying grainy cut patterns

Wood shakes and shingles can be machine or hand-cut. Shakes are often hand-cut to achieve this traditional asymmetrical-cut look.

While not the most durable of residential roofing materials, wood shakes have their respective, grainy charm. In turn, it makes a property look unique and appealing in any neighborhood.

General Metal Roofing

Corrugated and standing seam metal roofing materials are both excellent residential roofing materials because they can withstand several hailstorms and guarantee a lifespan of 50-70 years.

In addition to their standard durability, aluminum or galvanized or galvalumed steel can have an additional coat of acrylic or elastomeric paint.

Because metal roofs can be noisy when it rains, these paints improve both their UV ray reflective capacity and reduce rain impact noise. In addition, it preserves the core metal roofing material for years.

Therefore, general metal roofing is the best roofing material for any residential property, but they are quite expensive. A square foot of corrugated or standing seam metal roof can cost about $10-$15.

Wrapping Up

In the question of architectural shingles vs regular ones, the answer is clear: architectural shingles win because of great value for money. However, you can always go with asphalt shingles if you are working on a strict budget when installing or thinking of replacing an old roof.

However, to make sure both or any roofing materials live up to their maximum potential, always work with a reliable roofing contractor.