How to Choose Shingles for your Roof

Fiberglass Shingles

When it’s time to replace or repair your roof, choosing the right shingles is important not only for the quality of your roof, but also the aesthetic of your home.  Depending on your climate and your personal style, there are many different shingles that you can choose from.  So, when it comes to how to choose shingles for your roof, you’ll need to consider three main factors – the type of shingle, the style of shingle, and the colour of shingle.  Read on to learn more.


In all honesty, we could probably write an entire book on the various types of shingles available for roofs today.  Indeed, there are many different materials that are used in roof construction – clay or slate tiles are popular, but not exactly shingles.  Still, even within the “shingles” category or roofing materials, there are wood shingles (usually made from cedar), laminate shingles, asphalt shingles, and more.  You can always start by considering what type of shingle is currently on your roof (especially for roofing repairs), and you can consult with your roofer about what types of shingles are structurally appropriate for your home.  Factors such as weather and budget will also likely come into play when choosing the right type of shingles.

Generally, the most common shingle types for residential construction are asphalt shingles and laminate shingles.  Asphalt shingles usually feature a 3-tab system wherein the tabs are uniform in shape and size.  These shingles are flat, lightweight, and affordable though they are not as durable as laminate shingles.  Laminate shingles are sometimes known as architectural shingles and these are another kind of asphalt shingle.  They feature a sturdier base mat and multiple layers of refined asphalt.  Laminate shingles include tabs of various sizes and shapes to allow for a more textured appearance.


When it comes to style, shingles are more versatile than you might think.  They have different appearances to allow for textured effects, more dimensions, and even shadow effects.  Additionally, there are different levels of algae defense provided by shingles.  If you live in a wet or algae-prone climate, choose a style of shingle that is resistant to discolouration.  Next, always choose a style of shingle with a higher fire rating to ensure the most effective fire protection.  Finally, there are styles of shingles that are made from recycled materials or meet other environmental standards to protect against heat gain or loss.


Once you have chosen the right type and style of shingle, you can also consider colour.  Obviously, if  you are completing more minor repairs, you want your new shingles to match in colour to existing shingles to maintain the aesthetic of your home.  However, if you are completing a roof replacement, you can choose whatever colour you like.  Choose something that matches the general appeal of your home and consider what will look good today and into the future.  Take some time looking at other roofs and see if there is a particular colour that inspires you.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to meets the eye when choosing shingles for your home.  Always work closely with your roofer so you can ensure the long-term durability of your roof while meeting your personal aesthetic needs.