8 Types of Shingles (Pros and Cons)

Most people look at shingles as something that decorates the top of the home. It adds to the aesthetic appeal. However, the type of shingles that the builder chooses is highly dependent on what works best for the type of weather. 

The shingles also denote quality in a home. In the following article, we will be exploring eight different types of shingles. We will look at the pros and cons as well so that one can make an informed decision in the event of home building or re-roofing an existing abode.

1. 3 Tab Asphalt Shingles

This is probably the most common shingle that you will see around the block. It is a default for new homes and re-roofing projects alike. The total cost of putting a roof on with these should be from $5000 to $8000. 


  • Standard in the Industry
  • Simple installation process
  • Affordable
  • Usually in Stock at Stores


  • Don’t withstand a lot of wear and tear
  • Not very thick

2. Metal Roof

There are many different types of metal roofs, such as corrugated, sheet, and shingle. Additionally, there are disparate materials such as aluminum, copper, and steel. A metal roof can withstand all types of weather.


  • Long-lasting
  • Not heavy
  • Has interesting aesthetics due to the many different types available


  • They are prone to getting leaks in them as they can tear on a roof
  • The color and shine wear off
  • They can be easily dented 

3. Clay Tiles

When it comes to clay, you often see them in homes in hot climates. This is because they are ideal for this type of weather as they help to keep the cool air in. They are often in lighter colors too, as this helps to keep the house cooler as the light reflects off of them. They give a Spanish or Mediterranean feel to a place.


  • Gives the home an upscale appeal and increases the property value
  • Can last for a long time (upwards of 80 years)
  • Great for hot weather due to the insulation that they provide
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Difficult to install
  • Initially, they are a costly investment
  • Quite heavy
  • They don’t work in cold climates generally
  • If there are cracks or breakage, this will lead to a leaky roof

4. Wood Shingles

Some people really like the wood cabin appeal that can be created with wood shingles. It also has a Germanic style to it. However, not all cities or townships allow wood shingles. They can easily catch fire, so it can be a hazard. For this reason, it is often against the building codes in many areas to get them.


  • It gives a rustic look and feel.
  • It lasts a relatively long time with an average lifespan of 50 years.
  • Good for the environment
  • Insulation improves energy efficiency


  • There is a possibility that they might increase the price of insurance as they are a fire hazard.
  • Hard to install
  • Repairs are not easy to make

5. Architectural Shingles

These have an extra layer of laminate on them, so they will last a long time. The average lifespan for architectural shingles is 30 to 50 years. They give the home a refined look. The price point for installation is a little higher, but this is considered an upgrade from the 3 Tab. 

In fact, the extra price is worth it because the roof will last twice as long. Those who like wood shingles but are not allowed to have them can get these. They have a similar aesthetic to wood.


  • Relatively long life span
  • They have an extra layer of protection as well
  • They have a luxurious look to them
  • There are types available for people to do their projects and then there are ones that generally require professional installation


They are expensive at $1.50 to $5.50 per square foot

6. Slate Shingles

Slate shingles are actually shingles that are made out of stone. There are natural slate tiles but there are also synthetics available as well. They generally work well in residential houses. They give a unique appeal in terms of looks. The lifespan is generally around 40 years.


  • Good for all types of weather, such as snow, rain, and sun
  • Works well for small homes or even in condos
  • They are good for the environment
  • They help a home to get a better resale value
  • The lifespan is reasonable


  • They are heavy as they are made of stone
  • The installation and raw materials are both very costly
  • They generally don’t have a lot of choice for colors other than grey
  • Repairs are complicated and generally not DIY
  • It can be hard to find the same kind when it’s time for a replacement

7. Rubber Roofing

There are two types of rubber roofing, natural and synthetic. Rubber roofing is made from materials such as bitumen, BUR, TPO, and PVC. It is commonly used in both commercial and residential buildings.For example, an industrial complex can have rubber roofing or a laboratory. Also though, it can just as easily be used in a single-family home. 


  • It is a light material
  • It will last an average life of about 40 years
  • Environmentally friendly
  • One does not need to put in a lot of maintenance 


  • Color does not stay on long
  • They can be flimsy
  • These are not DIY projects and need professionals to install them properly
  • Needs a professional for maintenance work 

8. Solar Shingles

These environmentally friendly shingles will help you to get the most bang for your buck over the long term. However, in the short term, the installation costs can be expensive. As there continue to be innovations in the industry, the price will drop as it has started to. They are even better for the environment than a roof with standard shingles and solar panels mounted to it.


  • Over time, the investment begins to pay off with energy savings
  • It has a nice aesthetic akin to slate
  • One of the best roofing options for the environment


  • It costs a lot upfront to install
  • Need professional help to install
  • It is still only clear for very sunny climates like those closer to the equator or in the South of the US


There is a lot to love about the options that shingles provide. A person just needs to do a little research to realize everything that shingles have to offer. Unfortunately, some of the best kinds, such as solar, can only be used in warm climates. 

However, there are many types still available for every climate, such as metal or rubber. A person should review the cons and pros before deciding on a shingle type.

Some of the types, such as metal, can come with regret if a person doesn’t want to hear the rain on the roof. All in all, there is enough on the market for a person to make a definite and informed choice.

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