Tips on Roof Shingles

Tips on roof shingles

by Marie King

Tips on using roof shingles

Types of Roof Shingles

There are five main types of roof shingles: asphalt, metal, wood shake, tile, and slate.The type of roof shingles that you and your clients pick out may depend on a variety of factors: price, durability, pitch, weight and aesthetics. Which ever type you pick needs to be aligned with your customer’s choice and your expertise.


The cost of the roof shingles in most cases is the driving force when choosing shingles.That’s because roof shingles are pricey even for what would be consider cheap. Asphalt, which is considered the cheapest of roof shingles,costs $7,500 at a low-end price to put a roof on a small house. Metal, wood shake and tiles fall in the mid-range of cost because their more expensive than asphalt and less expensive than a slate roof. Slate is the most expensive of all.


Durability is the factor that explains the difference in price of the roof shingles. The longer lasting roof shingles are the higher the price: Slate can last over a hundred years.Slate roofs are still functioning from the days of Shakespeare. Spanish tiles rank as the next expensive because they are guaranteed to last 100 years. Like slate shingles, they have more longevity than advertised. The Spanish tiles used in constructing missions in California have lasted hundreds of years.

Metal roof shingles last thirty to fifty years if installed correctly. However, you need to have expertise in metal shingles for it to last 30-50 years if done correctly. If you don’t have that expertise, you may need to get training in it. Wood shake roof shingles have a life span of 25 years, but they need to have a lot of maintenance to last that long. Asphalt has the shortest durability, and may have to be replaced after only 15 years.


Pitch is calculated for roof shingles by comparing the amount of vertical drop to a constant horizontal of 12. It is expressed by using a fraction or colon. For example, if a roof is 6/12; it means that there is a 6 foot drop for every 12 feet. The incline can be as low as 1/4:12. The pitch is important because some shingles fare better on roofs that have a low pitch than a steep pitch Tiles perform better on low sloping roofs while some other shingles are more suitable for roofs with a steep pitch.


According to experts, “weight is another factor when picking out roof shingles.

The roof structure must be able to handle the weight of a tile roof which can weigh 850 pounds per square for clay and 950 pounds per square for concrete tile. An asphalt roof by comparison by comparison weighs around 225 to 325 per square.” If the roof structure doesn’t measure up to the tile load, you will have to install reinforcements.


When selecting roof shingles,aesthetics are a priority with clients. As a roofing contractor, it is your job to find a type of roof shingles that blend all the factors: price, durability, pitch, weight and aesthetics.