Signature Exteriors

Shingle roof replacement Charlotte

What Types of Shingle Should You Buy?

There are a variety of different types of shingles available in the market. From composition shingles to synthetic slate shingles, homeowners have plenty of shingle options to choose from when looking to install a new roof. But what type of shingle is best? Which shingle is the best value for the best price? What shingle type lasts the longest? We’ve got the answers!

Our team has collected expert advice from our experienced team of roofing contractors in Charlotte to provide you with a complete guide on the pros and cons of different shingle types that you can buy. Use this guide to help you choose the right shingle for your roof replacement or new construction.

Composition Shingles

Composition shingles, most frequently referred to as asphalt shingles, are the most common type of shingle used during new construction or a roof replacement. They are called composition shingles or composite shingles because they consist of fiberglass, asphalt, and mineral granules. Composite shingle types differ from wood shake shingles or clay tiles because they are a single material.

There are two main types of composite shingles available, three-tab shingles and architectural shingles.

Architectural shingles are probably the type of shingle you’ll first think of when you’re considering a new roof. Architectural shingles, also called dimensional shingles, are manufactured with two layers of asphalt fused to offer a thicker, multi-dimensional appearance. Their multi-layered design offers additional roof protection, which increases the roof’s lifespan by 10-15 years compared to 3 tab shingles.

Developers often use three-tab shingles due to being the least expensive product available. They are made with a single layer of asphalt and have a flat appearance on your roof. With only one layer of material, they weigh less and cost less than other asphalt shingles. Three-tab shingles are typically the shingle type you would buy if you’re looking for cost-effective options to replace your roof.

3 Tab Shingles 

3 Tab Shingles



  • Lower cost to install (up to $1.20 per square foot)
  • Easy to repair
  • Large option of colors and styles available
  • Lighter and consists of less material
  • Easy and relatively quick installation
  • Energy-efficient options are available
  • Fire resistant


  • More vulnerable to harsh weather
  • Unable to withstand high winds (can handle winds up to 60 mph)
  • Flat in appearance
  • Shorter lifespan than other shingle types
  • Will not increase the value of a home
  • Not the most environmentally friendly
  • At least a 2/12 roof pitch is required for installation
  • Excess friction can knock the granules loose

Three-tab shingles are a great choice if you’re looking for a cost-effective shingle choice for your roof replacement or home construction, offering your roof a lifespan of up to 25 years.

Owens Corning 3 tab shingles are some of our favorites! You can check out their array of options on their website.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural Roof Shingles


  • Easy and quick installation
  • Ability to withstand high winds (can handle winds up to 130 mph)
  • Wider variety of color, shading, and shape options
  • Energy-efficient options are available
  • Provides dimension to your home, visually appealing
  • Less likely to curl than 3-tab shingles
  • Fire Resistant
  • Often offered with a lifetime warranty (50+ years)


  • Higher installation cost (up to $3.00 per square foot)
  • Not the most environmentally friendly
  • Lesser grades of architectural shingles can have a shorter life span
  • At least a 2/12 roof pitch is required for installation
  • Can be damaged by heavy hail
  • Excess friction can knock the granules loose

Architectural shingles have a typical 30-50 years lifespan, giving homeowners more time in-between roof replacements and roof repairs. Although this shingle type costs more than its counterpart three-tab shingles, most homeowners find it worthwhile to pay a little more for more durability and an extended warranty.

Roof Shake or Wooden Shingles

Shake shingles and wooden shingles are becoming increasingly popular in North Carolina, especially in Charlotte. The difference between shake and wood shingles lies within the manufacturing process. Wood shake is crafted by splitting thin rectangles of material from a wooden log, and wood shingles are machine-cut from a block of wood.

Although manufactured differently, shake shingles and wooden shingles offer significant benefits to a home.

Roof Shake Wooden Shingles


  • A unique look that will boost the curb appeal of your home
  • Extremely wind resistant (can handle winds anywhere from 173 mph to 245 mph depending on cut and size)
  • Impact resistance
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light-resistant
  • Energy efficient
  • Eco-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • It has a longer average lifespan than three-tab shingles
  • Boosts the value of your home
  • Fire-resistant if the wood is appropriately treated before installation


  • More expensive than asphalt shingles (up to $5.50 per square foot)
  • Attract insects such as wasps and other wood loving insects
  • Requires more routine maintenance than an asphalt shingle to prevent moss, mold, and mildew growth
  • Absorbs moisture which can lead to the wood rotting and warping if not installed correctly
  • Untreated wood has a very poor fire rating and is even prohibited by the fire codes in some areas

Roof shake and wood shingles boast an impressive lifespan of 30-50 years if well-maintained.

Slate Shingles

Slate Roof Shingles

Slate shingles, or slate tiles, are likely the most expensive type of shingle on our list. That said, buying this type of shingle gives you enough benefits to, well, last a lifetime! Slate roofing is one of the most durable types of roofing on the market, fireproof and low maintenance!


  • Presents a classic, clean, and modern look
  • Highly durable in high winds, high temperatures, and hail events
  • Fireproof
  • Longevity & warranties (most slate tile manufacturers will offer up to a 100-year warranty)
  • Slate is not susceptible to damaging effect that causes wear and tear on asphalt shingles and absorbs very little water due to the slate’s lack of porosity
  • It will significantly increase your resale home value due to the permanence, durability, and aesthetic appeal. These qualities will make your home more attractive to potential buyers should you ever decide to sell.
  • Environmentally friendly


  • Much more costly than other roofing options (up to $20.00 per square foot)
  • Weight (slate roofs weigh up to 4x as much as an asphalt roof)
  • Be sure to hire a roofing company contractor with expertise in slate roofing. Improper installation of slate can lead to considerable problems with your roof
  • Poor durability when walking on the roof unless you know what you’re doing
  • Repairs are complicated as it is nearly impossible to find a perfect match for replacement tiles

Roofers will often tell you that you’ll buy slate roofing not only for you but your children too! Slate shingles have a typical lifespan of up to 200 years which means, if you can afford the initial cost of shingle installation, you won’t have to worry about your roof for many years to come!

Click here to view slate shingle options.

Bonus: Synthetic Slate Shingles

A newly developed product in the roofing industry is the synthetic slate shingle. If slate shingles have caught your eye, but you are leaning towards another shingle type due to the cost, look at our blog posting regarding the comparison of synthetic slate shingles vs. asphalt shingles. While synthetic slate is still more costly than asphalt shingles, it is not as pricey as bonafide slate shingles.

What Shingles to Buy? 

You’ve reached the end of our guide to help you choose the best shingle type to buy for your home. Whether you’re looking for cost-effective three-tab shingle options or shake, we recommend you reach out to your trusted roofing contractor to discuss the cost of these shingle types in your market.

If you’re in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, reach out to Signature Exteriors today! Our team would love to assist you with which shingle type you should buy and help with its installation! We specialize in all shingle types and can help you make the right choice on the best shingle for your home. Give us a call at (704) 729-4898 or email us at, and one of our friendly and professional office team members will reach out to you as soon as possible.


Signature Exteriors Charlotte Roofing Contractor