Putting the right roofing material on a house or business is vital to keeping that property protected from wind, heat, snow and other natural hazards. Architectural shingles are a popular choice because of their durability and long lifespan, which averages 30 years.

Architectural shingles are a premium grade asphalt shingle. This style and the standard three-tab shingle are both made from a mat base that is saturated in asphalt and coated in colored mineral granules. The higher grade variety has a weightier mat base and multiple layers. Architectural shingles weigh about 50 percent more than standard shingles. Another difference that makes the premium grade material stand out is its look. Shingle tabs of the architectural style have different sizes and shapes, which gives it a textured appearance. That’s why architectural shingles are also known as dimensional or laminate shingles.

Deciding which roofing material to go with usually comes down picking the material the homeowner can afford. However, homeowners should know that a less expensive style may not be the best option in the long run. While architectural shingles cost more than 3-tab, they are also more durable, last longer and have longer warranties. They also withstand stronger winds, which means less damage during harsh, windy weather. A good way to find the best roof for any home is to discuss the pros and cons of various materials with an experienced roofing professional.