What Are Architectural Shingles?

What Are Architectural Shingles?

If you’re planning to install a new roof, “architectural shingles” is a term you’re going to see a lot during your research. Not sure what that means? We can help. 

Below we provide a description of what architectural shingles are, as well as some unique benefits they can provide for your home. 

What Are Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles are asphalt-based shingles with elevated design features. They often come in different shapes, colors, and textures to mimic a dimensional appearance. For this reason, they’re also commonly referred to as dimensional shingles. 

Architectural shingles also feature a unique, layered composition. They usually consist of two or more basic shingles that are bonded together. This helps them achieve that contoured look mentioned above.  

How Do Architectural Shingles Differ From 3-Tab Shingles?

Traditional 3-tab shingles were the only option for asphalt roofing materials until the 1980s. During the 1980s, the roofing industry made technological breakthroughs in response to recognized shifts in consumer style. These changes were reflected in the production of architectural shingles. 

Therefore, architectural shingles differ from 3-tab shingles in the sense that they: 

  • Are layered and laminated together, instead of lying flat on your roof
  • Are composed of a more substantial amount of material
  • Offer a unique touch to any home’s exterior design
  • Are generally more expensive 

What Special Benefits Do Architectural Shingles Offer? 

Although they often cost more than traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles, architectural shingles can offer a surplus of benefits to any home. The most prominent benefits include: 

  • Enhanced Curb Appeal — Architectural shingles can bring a modern, contoured touch to your home’s exterior. They can even be designed and installed to resemble wood shakes or slate tiles (without adding the extra weight of slate!). 
  • Longer Life Spans — Due to their thicker composition, architectural shingles offer better durability against the elements — and therefore longer life spans. Their average lifespan is between 18-20 years, compared to 12-15 years with traditional shingles. 
  • Better Wind Ratings — Architectural shingles are usually rated to withstand strong winds between 80-120 MPH. This beats the wind rating of traditional shingles, which is about 60 MPH. 
  • Longer Warranties — In many cases, roofing manufacturers provide more comprehensive, longer-lasting warranties for their architectural shingle lines. This is to help better protect your investment. 

With each of these benefits, it’s easy to see why architectural shingles are becoming a more popular choice for homeowners in Michigan and beyond. Could they be the right choice for your home, too? 

GAF Architectural Shingles

Here at Werner roofing, we’re proud to offer various lines of GAF roofing shingles, including Timberline®, Slateline®, and Camelot® II. These are three gorgeous varieties of architectural shingles made by one of the best brands in the industry. They offer all the benefits of a luxury, architectural roofing option — including enhanced layering, durability, protection, and style. 

You can find more information on these GAF architectural shingles series by following the links below: 

Better yet, GAF offers one of the most comprehensive roofing warranties in the industry: the GAF Golden Pledge. You can read more about what’s covered in it here

Interested in Architectural Shingles for Your New Roof? We Can Help. 

At Werner Roofing, we’re proud to provide our customers with the very best quality roofing materials on the market. As a GAF-Certified Master Elite Contractor, we’re able to offer GAF’s top-of-the-line Timberline® architectural shingles, among others. If you’re looking for a great roofing contractor in West Michigan, look no further than Werner. Give us a call at (616) 844-5382 or contact us online

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Asphalt Shingles: Organic or Fiberglass?

Asphalt Shingles: Organic or Fiberglass?

As one of your house’s most important structural components, your roof is built to protect your home and keep those who live within it safe and comfortable. However, its effectiveness is heavily affected by which type of material you use to build it. 

This is why many homeowners turn to asphalt shingles. Asphalt is a durable, long-lasting roofing material — and with multiple styles, textures, and color options, it’s attractive as well. 

However, choosing a roofing material isn’t just as simple as choosing asphalt shingles. What many homeowners don’t realize is that there are a few subcategories within the broad category of asphalt shingles: organic and fiberglass asphalt shingles.

The biggest difference between these two? Their backing materials. But let’s take a closer look at organic asphalt shingles vs. fiberglass asphalt shingles below, so you can make a more informed decision on which is best for your home. 

What Are Organic Asphalt Shingles?

When most people think “organic,” they think of an environmentally friendly, all-natural material. And while it isn’t usually a term that’s first associated with roofing, those two qualities stand to be true here.

Organic asphalt shingles are made from non-synthetic materials, including asphalt and cellulose from recycled paper as the backing material. 

Advantages of Organic Asphalt Shingles

The cellulose backing material in organic asphalt shingles allows them to soak up more asphalt during the manufacturing process, increasing the regular benefits of asphalt. As a result, they usually have the following advantages over their fiberglass counterparts: 

  • Improved durability – The added asphalt allows organic asphalt shingles to last up to 20 years. 
  • Improved performance in cold climates – The added asphalt is especially useful in cold climates, allowing for more resistance against cracking and splitting. 

Disadvantages of Organic Asphalt Shingles

However, organic asphalt shingles also come with some drawbacks, including:

  • Added weight – Organic asphalt shingles are heavier than fiberglass ones, which generally makes them more difficult to install — and, thus, more expensive. 
  • Prone to warping – The cellulose backing material is capable of absorbing more water than fiberglass, so these shingles are more likely to warp over time. While this isn’t usually an urgent problem, the shingles will need replacing every 20 years or so. 

What Are Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles?

Fiberglass asphalt shingles use a backing material of, well, fiberglass. This reinforced, composite material is used in a number of household applications, and it can be a great choice for roofing as well. 

Advantages of Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles

Fiberglass is an easy material to work with, which makes fiberglass asphalt shingles a great choice for many homeowners. Compared to their organic counterparts, fiberglass shingles present the following advantages: 

  • Lightweight – Fiberglass asphalt shingles are thinner and lighter in weight, so they’re easier to transport and install. This makes professional installation costs a bit lower. 
  • Fire-resistant – Fiberglass shingles have a burn rating of nearly two hours, which is significantly longer than that of organic asphalt shingles. If you live in a wildfire hazard area, this is definitely something that could save you from devastating loss. 

Disadvantages of Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles

But, as you may have guessed, fiberglass asphalt shingles aren’t problem-free. They also come with a few disadvantages like: 

  • Reduced durability – Since they aren’t as heavy and rugged as organic shingles, fiberglass shingles don’t usually last as long. They’ll need to be replaced more frequently.
  • Reduced performance in cold climates –  If you live in a cold climate that experiences harsh winter weather, fiberglass shingles definitely won’t last as long. They’re prone to cracking, chipping, and splitting, which could lead to costly holes and leaks. 

Get Help Choosing the Right Roofing Material for Your Home at Werner Roofing

Still unsure which type of asphalt shingle is best for your home? Contact the roofing experts at Werner Roofing. We’re happy to listen to your needs, take a look at your home, and provide roofing material recommendations based on the information we receive. To get started, give us a call or contact us online

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Popular Shingle Styles to Level Up Your Home’s Design

Popular Shingle Styles to Level Up Your Home’s Design

Thinking of updating your home’s exterior? Your roof is a great place to start!

Over the years, many roofs experience normal wear and tear that can make them look outdated. Therefore, installing a new one is a great way to boost your home’s curb appeal and resale value. 

Recent home exterior styling trends have put an emphasis on unique designs that help your home stand out. So when you choose a shingle style for your new roof, the decision shouldn’t be made lightly. Let’s take a look at four of the popular shingle styles, so you can decide which option is best for you based on design, performance, and value. 

1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular residential shingle style. There are two types of asphalt shingles: organic and fiberglass. They operate and look similar, but the materials within them differ. While organic shingles are made of an asphalt exterior and organic material (wood, paper) backside, fiberglass shingles are made of an asphalt exterior and fiberglass composite backside. 

Design

Since asphalt is a popular shingle style, it offers a traditional look. However, you can make an asphalt roof stand out with the variety in colors, textures, and shapes available. Choosing the right style combination can even give your roof an ultra-dimensional appearance. 

Performance

Asphalt shingles usually last between 12-20 years — sometimes longer if properly installed and maintained. Throughout those years, they’re relatively low maintenance, but the replacement process is fairly simple and quick in the case there is an issue. A bonus perk of asphalt shingles is that they’re great noise cancellers. 

Value

In most cases, asphalt is the most affordable shingle style. The shingles and installation services are both reasonably priced. For 12-20 years of durability, asphalt shingles have great value. 

2. Wood Shakes

Wood shakes are similar to wood shingles, but they have split thin rectangles and they’re thicker. They’re a great shingle-style if you want your home exterior to have an especially textured appearance. 

Design

Wood shakes are thick and textured, giving them beautiful depth and dimension. They vary in grain patterns, grooves, and colors, so you’re able to pick which unique style fits your home’s aesthetic best. 

Performance

Wood shakes usually last around 30 years. However, they’re bound to require quite a bit of maintenance. They’ll need regular inspection and care to prevent any warping, rotting, mold, and insect infestations. 

Value

Wood shakes and their installation fees are relatively high. The price of necessary regular maintenance will add up too. However, the unmatched textured appearance is sure to make your home stand out, so the high price may be worth it. 

3. Metal Panels

Although they’re not necessarily shingle-based, standing seam metal roofs are a popular roofing choice. They consist of long metal panels that run from the top of your roof down to your gutters. They’re attached with fasteners and concealed by seams raised a couple inches above the panel level, which provides great protection against leaks. 

Design

The majority of people in your neighborhood will probably choose an asphalt shingle style, so choosing metal panels can definitely bring a unique style to your home. With metal panels, you’re able to choose any shade you’d like, and you don’t need to worry about the normal wear and tear many asphalt roofs experience. 

Performance

Metal roofs are extremely durable, lasting between 40-70 years with minimal repairs. They can withstand all weather conditions, from hail to falling trees. The material also allows for less friction, so ice and snow can slide right off instead of piling up and causing ice dams

Value

Although the upfront cost of a metal roof is often higher than other roofing options, the long-term cost is usually less due to minimal maintenance requirements. Also, metal reflects solar heat, so homeowners have saved up to 25% on their energy bill after choosing this style. 

4. Tiles

Roofing tiles were traditionally made from slate, fired clay, or terra cotta. Nowadays, they’re mostly made from molded, tinted concrete. Tiles roofs are popular in warmer states, like Florida and California, but can add a unique look to any home, anywhere.

Design

Tiles come in many different shapes, from flat to curved to fluted. You can also find them in just about any color you’d like. While most of them have a smooth surface, there are also textured options that mimic the look of traditional shingles and wood shakes. 

Performance

Tiles have the longest durability of all these options: up to 100 years of life. They’re low maintenance and can withstand rain, hail, winds, and even fire. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all roofs are well-suited for tiles — they work best on sharp slopes. 

Value

Depending on which type and texture of tile you choose, this can be the most expensive option. You’ll also need to hire skilled installers in order to ensure your roof’s durability. However, for over 100 years of durability, it’s worth the cost. 

Ready for an upgrade for your home’s exterior design? At Werner Roofing, we can help you choose the best shingle style for your home that will not only make it look great, but provide years and years of high quality protection for your home. Talk to our roofing experts to get started.

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Top Shingle Brands to Consider for Your Roofing Project

Top Shingle Brands to Consider for Your Roofing Project

Top Shingle Brands to Consider for Your Roofing Project

Let’s face it, your roof is only as good as the materials it’s made of, and since it’s kind of important that your roof is pretty darn good, your choice of shingles matters. That’s why it’s good to know what the top shingle brands are, so you can make a choice that’s sure to protect your home, and last for decades to come.

Top Reasons to Pick Top Shingle Brands

There are good reasons for making good shingle selections. No matter where you live or the elements your roof needs to withstand, the right shingles can provide not only protection, but also peace of mind. They can even save you money!  

The quality and longevity of the shingles you choose, along with aspects like warranties, and protection abilities (such as wind, fire, and impact resistance), can help homeowners secure discounts on their home insurance rates. That’s not just good, it’s great!

Of course, the biggest reason you should choose your shingles wisely is to ensure your roof provides the best protection possible for your home and family. Knowing the top shingle brands and what they offer can help ensure you find the shingles that best fit your roofing project’s budget and needs. After all, your roof is what protects not only your home, but everyone in it! 

Top Shingle Brands for a Top-Notch Roof

Of all the brands of shingles available on the market, there are some that seem to pop up on everyone’s lists of favorites. That said, it’s always good to do a little research to make sure the shingles you choose will work for you. 

Tamko, for instance, is commonly considered a leading brand that offers affordable, quality products, but their shingles are also known for having a shorter lifespan. Good if you plan on a short stay at your house, not-so-good for a forever home. 

Here’s a closer look at several other brands on top of the leader board and what you can expect from each:

IKO

This brand offers options with a price range that reflects the various levels of protection the shingles provide. From budget-friendly, basic asphalt shingles; to dimensional varieties with high wind ratings, algae resistance, and UV protection; to designer options that mimic tile or slate, IKO is a well-known brand that’s got you covered no matter your price point or the environment of your location. All-in-all, IKO is a respectable choice, however it’s often rated lower than other leading brands and warranties are limited.

CertainTeed

A top-selling brand in the U.S., CertainTeed roofing materials are known to be high-quality and long-lasting. They have historically been considered high-end, however, a more budget-friendly product line has recently been released. As with any roofing project, proper installation is of the utmost importance, but especially when choosing this particular brand.  

Owens Corning

Known for their large selection and excellent customer service, Owens Corning has also built a reputation for limited warranties that are tiered and can cover everything from wind and algae to the lifetime of the shingles, depending on the product you choose. They also boast a high fire resistance rating, offer an Energy Star option, and provide entire roofing systems complete with underlayment, water barrier, shingles, and ventilation. 

In addition, Owens offers an installer certification so you know the job’s done right, and you can take advantage of upgraded warranties if you choose to have the total roofing system installed.

GAF

GAF is consistently one of the most popular roofing brands in the country and it’s easy to see why. Not only are they known for their premium products and materials, but also their exceptional warranties, including the GAF Gold Pledge warranty which covers the entire roof — the materials, installation, and even labor! 

One reason GAF is able to provide such high-level warranties is the fact that they offer an excellent training program for contractors and a prestigious Master Elite Certification which ensures high-quality performance from your roof as well as those who install it!

Similar to Owens Corning, GAF provides a comprehensive total protection roofing system as well, so you not only get top quality shingles, but also every roofing layer there is! No wonder GAF products are a nationwide favorite of customers and contractors alike. 

Why GAF is Werner Roofing’s Shingle Brand of Choice 

Werner Roofing is a GAF Master Elite, factory-certified roofing installer, which means we have exclusive installation access to all of GAF’s best product lines. It also means we are experts at installing GAF shingles and total protection systems to ensure the best quality roof for your home, guaranteed by the Golden Pledge warranty. In short, GAF makes our customers happy, which makes us happy, too! 

To learn more about GAF products and get started on your project, contact us today. 

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

GAF Vs. Owens Corning Shingles: What’s the Difference?

GAF Vs. Owens Corning Shingles: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to your roof, you want to make sure you receive the best possible finished product for your investment, as well as a comprehensive warranty in case something goes wrong. As two of the most popular trusted shingle brands in the industry, GAF and Owens Corning are known for their long lasting shingles, contractor training programs, and amazing warranties. 

While you really can’t go wrong with either of these companies, one may be better suited for you based on your specific needs. Let’s break down the GAF vs. Owens Corning matchup to see how they compare where it matters most: product quality, contractor certifications, investment levels, and warranty coverage. 

GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles — Product Quality

When you take the plunge and invest a bunch of money into a new roof, ensuring the project is completed with high-quality shingles is a key proactive step you can take to protect it. 

You want to choose shingles that will last for years, so you don’t have to stress about repairs or replacements. Luckily, GAF and Owens Corning shingles are both made with quality, tested materials. 

GAF’s Shingles Quality

GAF sets the industry standard for reliable and long lasting shingles and roofing products. GAF shingles are made with fiberglass-mesh reinforced asphalt, offering three to five layers of protection, depending on the specific product line you choose. 

And with superior wind- and impact-resistance, GAF’s ArmorShield shingles are UL 2218 Class 4 rated, with further capabilities when supported by their lifetime roofing system. 

GAF’s lifetime roofing system is just one of the many reasons many roofers prefer GAF. It includes multiple amenities that ensure high product quality, including: 

  • Timberline shingles with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Attic ventilation
  • Roof deck paper
  • Starter strip shingles for eaves
  • A leak barrier for valleys
  • Ridge cap shingles for vents and ridges

Owens Corning’s Shingles Quality

Owens Corning also offers a total protection roofing system, with tiered products based on investment and protection level. It includes the following features:

  • A seal of felt or synthetic underlayment
  • An ice and water barrier
  • Starter shingles and hip/ridge shingles (in roll or strip form)
  • Additional roofing products for ventilation

Owens Corning also offers Class 4 rated shingles in their Duration Storm series. 

GAF’s vs. Owens Corning’s Shingles Quality — The Verdict

In terms of product quality, GAF and Owens Corning both carry excellent shingles — but GAF shingles offer more protection for wind and hail. And, especially in Michigan weather, that’s a necessity!

GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles — Contractor Certifications

While choosing the right residential roofing contractor for your project, you’ll want to vet their level of expertise. One of the best ways to do that is by asking about their certifications. These certifications are a great way to measure contractors’ reputations and experience in the industry. 

GAF’s Contractor Certifications

GAF provides contractors with excellent training in proper shingle installation, ensuring the very best performance for your roof. Their highest certification level is the Master Elite certification. Any contractors with GAF’s Master Elite certification meet the following requirements: 

  • Licensing and insurance
  • Great, customer-reviewed reputation for high-quality workmanship
  • Commitment to ongoing training with GAF for new products and best practices

GAF certified installers are also able to provide homeowners with enhanced warranties, including System Plus or Golden Pledge. 

Owens Corning’s Contractor Certifications

Owens Corning also has installer certifications that allow contractors access to enhanced product warranties. However, these higher-level warranties can be added for an additional percentage of the project cost and require customers to install Owens Corning’s total protection roofing system. 

GAF’s vs. Owens Corning’s Contractor Certifications — The Verdict

In the GAF vs. Owens Corning shingles debate regarding contractor certifications, the win goes to GAF, as their programs are a bit more comprehensive. Higher-level certifications are available to an exclusive group of contractors who show complete mastery of the GAF product line, commit to ongoing professional training, and demonstrate customer-reviewed workmanship. 

In fact, the GAF Master Elite certification is held by only 3% of roofers in the United States, so if you can find a GAF Master Elite certified installer you trust, you’re in good hands. 

GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles — Cost

Of course, cost is a huge consideration when it comes to roofing projects. You don’t want to spend too much and break the bank, but you also don’t want to spend too little and suffer the negative consequences of poor material or installation quality. The key is finding a happy medium that’s worth your investment. Since they’re both key players in the roofing industry, GAF and Owens Corning shingles are priced similarly. 

GAF’s Shingle Costs

GAF shingles are available in a range of affordable options, from budget-friendly 3-tab styles to more durable, architectural shingles with superior resistance to impact, stains, and UV rays. Their popular dimensional Timberline shingles start around $120 and are available in a variety of color and style options. 

Owens Corning’s Shingle Cost

Owens Corning shingles are comparable in cost to other leading shingle brands, including GAF. Their mid-range Definition Duration shingles start at $110. Although they’re a slightly lower price per roofing square, you might be able to upgrade to the OC Duration Designer series for a similar value to GAF. 

GAF’s vs. Owens Corning’s Investment Levels — The Verdict

Generally speaking, you’ll be able to find Owens Corning shingles at a lower upfront cost than GAF shingles, but you’ll likely pay the same price (if not more!) overall when you factor in installation and ongoing maintenance costs associated with them. 

GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles — Warranty Coverage

Another huge part of protecting your new roof investment is ensuring you have a comprehensive warranty attached to it. The weather and other outdoor elements are often unpredictable, so it’s critical that you’re protected in case anything goes wrong. 

GAF’s Warranties

GAF is considered to have some of the best warranties in the industry, which makes them a trusted brand for roofers everywhere. If something goes wrong with your shingles, contractors and roofers are usually the first ones to blame, so they prefer to work with suppliers that offer better materials and warranties to make their job easier. 

GAF roofers who have the prestigious Master Elite certification can issue a Golden Pledge warranty. Not only does this warranty cover materials, but it also covers labor and installation. When you have the protection of the Golden Pledge warranty, a GAF representative will inspect your roof once it’s complete to make sure it’s up to their brand standards.

Another bonus of GAF’s warranties? They’re transferable if the ownership of your home changes, which is an uncommon amenity in most brand warranties. 

Owens Corning’s Warranties

Owens Corning also offers comprehensive warranties for their shingles. Their warranties are tiered, based on the types of products installed, the number of products installed, and the certifications of the installer. 

  • Their Standard Roofing System warranty is available for work done by any contractor and covers structural defects in the shingles only. 
  • Their Preferred Protection System and Platinum Protection System warranties are only available for work done by an Owens Corning certified contractor, come at extra costs, and require the installation of a total protection system. 

GAF’s vs. Owens Corning’s Warranties — The Verdict

Warranty claims with shingles companies can be tricky for some customers, no matter which brand they choose. This is because most claims on warranties result from improper installation, not product failure, and are not covered by the warranty — unless you work with GAF and get their Golden Pledge warranty. 

There’s something to be said about having a great shingle product and a lifetime warranty, but those two are useless if the roof is not properly installed. Having a knowledgeable GAF certified installer will help you get the most out of your investment, and if there’s any problem, you can trust that you’re covered by the Golden Pledge. So, again, in the debate between GAF vs. Owens Corning warranties, GAF wins. 

Get Expert GAF Shingle Installation at Werner Roofing

At Werner Roofing, we believe that GAF and Owens Corning shingles are both great choices. However, in the debate between the two, we’ll always choose GAF. 

If GAF shingles sound like the right option for you, get in touch with the Werner Roofing team. We’re proud to be a Master Elite certified installer GAF shingles installer. We can install GAF’s full line of shingles and have been recognized with their President’s Award for four consecutive years. To learn more about our products, services, and warranties, give us a call at (616) 844-5382 or reach out to us online.