Asphalt Roof Shingles vs Other Roofing Types

Designer Chad Esslinger answers homeowner questions about roofs and home exterior design. Chad highlights a few reasons why asphalt shingles are a great choice for beauty, performance, and budget.

Asphalt Shingles vs Non-Asphalt Shingles: What’s Better for Design?

Homeowner Question: Do you think asphalt shingles are a good roofing design choice as compared to other roofing options on the market?

Chad’s Answer: In my opinion, asphalt roof shingles – especially architectural shingles – are a great design choice for the budget. When installed correctly by a trusted roofing professional, an asphalt shingle roof is reliable and high-performing and can also be beautiful, colorful, and distinctive, adding character and style to a roof at a fraction of the cost of other roofing materials. 

TruDefinition® Duration FLEX® Shingles in the color Summer Harvest

Roof Material Trends

While there are always “trends” in roofing materials, asphalt shingles continue to make up a very large portion of the types of roofs installed every year, which is a testament to their long-term popularity.

Asphalt shingles can also replicate the look of slate or wood without the expense or structural adjustments. Metal and shake roofing materials can be trendy but they are very distinctive design commitments. 

Asphalt Shingle Roof vs Metal Roof

Standing seam metal, a style you’d typically see on a farmhouse or barn, has been popping up in urban settings. 

Depending on the architecture and location of your house, a standing seam metal roof may not work well with your home’s exterior design – and could also look out of place in a residential neighborhood. Standing seam metal roof colors tend to be very saturated and bright.

A 1920s Bungalow house with red metal roof
A 1920s Bungalow house with a red metal roof

Installing asphalt shingles on the majority of your roof and using metal or copper as accents, say on an overhang or dormer, is an alternative and cost-effective option for using non-asphalt coverings as a design element while leaving most of your roof’s aesthetic and protection to asphalt shingles.

Copper accents complement this TruDefinition® Duration Designer roof in the color Black Sable

Asphalt Shingle Roof vs Slate Roof

Real slate roofing is beautiful but typically out of the price range for most people.  Plus, there might be structural considerations due to the weight of real slate.

Owens Corning Berkshire® slate-style asphalt shingles in the color Colonial Slate

A more budget-friendly option is an asphalt shingle in the shape and color of slate, like Owens Corning’s Berkshire® Shingle.  

Asphalt Shingle Roof vs Wood Shake Roof

Wood shake roofing, if it’s even allowable because of fire codes, can look great when it first gets installed but can start to look gnarly as it ages. It splits and curls. 

Wood shake roofs may split and curl as they age

The great thing about asphalt shingles is that they can give the look of wood but maintain their appearance.  In areas where wood shake is popular, Owens Corning has their line of Woodmoor® and Woodcrest® shingles that have a thicker appearance than standard shingles and have an installed shape of staggered wood shake.

Woodmoor® and Woodcrest® asphalt shingles have an installed shape of staggered wood shake

In the end, asphalt shingles have a softer, more versatile look, in a wide range of styles and colors.  There is sure to be an option that will work for your exterior design plan and budget.

Architectural asphalt roof shingles are available in variety of colors and styles to complement your home’s exterior design

More from Chad Esslinger

Chad answers homeowners’ questions about their roofs and home exterior design.

Roof Color Q&A with Chad Esslinger, Designer
Preview of Chad's Aged Copper Style Board
Chad shares his thoughts and style board for our 2021 Shingle Color of the Year, Aged Copper

Design Inspiration from Owens Corning

Looking for design inspiration? Explore the many tools and content Owens Corning has to offer:

2021 Shingle Color of the Year - Aged Copper
Learn more about our 2021 Shingle Color of the Year, Aged Copper
Not sure what color shingle will work with your roof? Explore our Style Boards
Upload a picture of your home and “try on” shingles with Design EyeQ®
Explore the many shingle color options from Owens Corning with Pick Your Shingles

About Chad Esslinger Design

Chad Esslinger
Chad Esslinger Design logo

Chad Esslinger Design is a full-service design company focusing on residential interior design, decorating and remodeling. Chad loves partnering with homeowners to create beautiful and functional living spaces.

Chad Esslinger Design is committed to beautiful and creative design as well as unparalleled service. Chad believes that great design is contemporary but timeless, simple but elegant. The goal of any project is to create breathtaking beauty, innovative functionality, and a truly enjoyable design process. Learn more about Chad.