roof ridge with architectural shingles against sky

Posted On: February 12, 2024

How to Install Architectural Shingles (Homeowner’s DIY Guide)

When it comes to roofing materials, architectural shingles have become a popular choice for homeowners seeking durability, aesthetics, and longevity. Unlike traditional three-tab asphalt shingles, architectural shingles offer a more dimensional and stylish appearance while providing superior protection for your home.

Looking to learn how to install architectural shingles? In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about architectural shingles, from:

  • What they are
  • How to install them
  • Much more

What Are Architectural Asphalt Shingles?

close up architectural shingles

Architectural asphalt shingles, also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, are a type of roofing material made from multiple layers of asphalt and fiberglass. These shingles are designed to mimic the look of traditional cedar or slate roofing materials while offering the benefits of modern asphalt shingles.

👍 Pros of Architectural Shingles

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Architectural shingles come in various styles and colors, allowing homeowners to choose a look that complements their home’s architecture. The dimensional appearance of these shingles adds depth and character to the roof.
  • Durability: These shingles are thicker and heavier than standard three-tab shingles, making them more resistant to wind, hail, and other weather-related damage. Many manufacturers offer warranties that can extend up to 30 years or more.
  • Longevity: Architectural shingles have a longer lifespan compared to traditional shingles, typically lasting between 25 to 50 years, depending on the quality of the materials and proper installation.
  • Improved Insulation: The multiple layers of architectural shingles provide an extra layer of insulation, helping to regulate temperature and reduce energy costs.
  • Increased Home Value: Installing architectural shingles can enhance the curb appeal of your home, increasing its resale value.

👎 Cons of Architectural Shingles

  • Higher Cost: Architectural shingles are more expensive than traditional three-tab shingles, both in terms of materials and installation.
  • Complex Installation: The installation process for architectural shingles is more complex and time-consuming, requiring skilled labor.
  • Weight: These shingles are heavier than standard shingles, so it’s essential to ensure that your roof’s structure can support the additional weight.

Now that we understand what architectural shingles are and their advantages and disadvantages, let’s dive into the installation process.

How to Install Architectural Shingles in 8 Steps

Installing architectural shingles requires precision and attention to detail. It’s essential to follow these steps carefully to ensure a long-lasting and leak-free roof.

1. Prepare the Roof Deck

Start by preparing the roof deck. This involves removing the old roofing material, repairing any damaged decking, and ensuring the surface is clean and dry. Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent moisture buildup and prolong the lifespan of your shingles.

2. Install Underlayment

Next, install an underlayment, typically made of felt or synthetic material, over the entire roof deck. The underlayment provides an additional layer of protection against moisture infiltration.

3. Apply Starter Shingles

Begin at the eaves and install starter shingles along the edge of the roof. These starter shingles provide a secure foundation for the rest of the shingles and help prevent wind uplift.

4. Install Architectural Shingles

Start laying the architectural shingles from the bottom of the roof, overlapping them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Nails should be placed in the adhesive strip just below the shingle’s sealant strip to prevent water infiltration.

5. Cut Shingles as Needed

To fit the shingles at the edges and valleys of the roof, you may need to cut them to size. Use a utility knife or roofing shears for precise cuts.

6. Install Flashing

Properly install flashing around roof penetrations, such as chimneys, vents, and skylights. Flashing ensures a watertight seal in vulnerable areas.

7. Ridge Vent and Caps

Finish the installation by adding a ridge vent along the roof’s peak and capping the ridges with ridge caps. Ridge vents help with attic ventilation and prevent moisture buildup.

8. Clean Up

Clean up the debris from the installation and inspect the roof for any loose shingles or nails. Make any necessary repairs to ensure the roof is secure.

Why You Should Hire a Professional

While some experienced DIYers may consider tackling architectural shingle installation themselves, it’s generally advisable to hire a professional roofing contractor for several reasons:

  • Experience: Roofing professionals have the experience and expertise to install architectural shingles correctly. They understand the intricacies of the process, ensuring a watertight and durable roof.
  • Safety: Roofing can be hazardous work, especially when working at heights. Professionals have the necessary safety equipment and training to minimize the risk of accidents.
  • Warranty: Many shingle manufacturers offer warranties that may only be valid if the installation is performed by a certified roofing contractor. Hiring a professional ensures your warranty remains intact.
  • Efficiency: Professionals can complete the installation more efficiently, saving you time and potentially costly mistakes.

How Much Do Architectural Shingles Cost?

roof with architectural shingles

The cost of architectural shingles varies depending on factors such as the quality of materials, the size and complexity of your roof, and your location. On average, you can expect to pay between $100 to $400 per square (100 square feet) of architectural shingles, not including installation.

When factoring in installation costs, which can vary widely, you might be looking at a total cost of $2,000 to $10,000 or more for a standard-sized roof. It’s essential to obtain multiple quotes from reputable roofing contractors to get an accurate estimate for your specific project.

Install Roof Shingles With the Best of the Best!

Architectural shingles offer a stylish and durable roofing option for homeowners. While they come with a higher initial cost and require professional installation, their longevity and aesthetic appeal make them a wise investment in the long run. If you’re considering upgrading your roof, consult with a roofing professional to explore the options available and ensure a successful installation that protects your home for years to come.

At Northface Construction, we install asphalt shingles properly, so that you can feel confident in your roofing system. Contact us today to get a free quote for your professional shingle installation!


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