Design IdeasRoofing, Siding & Gutters

Asphalt Shingles: The Wood and Tile Alternative

Years ago, most homes were built with either wood shake, slate or clay roofs. These materials were very durable and handsome when installed. Over time, roofing manufacturers developed less expensive options to these traditional roofing materials. The result was asphalt roofing shingles that sometimes detracted from a home’s character and overall look.

Now manufacturers have improved both the look and performance of asphalt shingles. Following is some information about the available styles and features available:

Improved Materials

Many manufacturers of asphalt shingles have taken great measures to improve the look of shingles, while also increasing the durability and lifespan of their products. Stronger materials and more natural looking materials have made asphalt shingle roofing a good, economical choice. When looking for shingles for your roofing project, you can match the original look of your home, without having to jeopardize your children’s college education savings.


When selecting new roofing shingles, think of the style of your home. If your house originally had wooden shingles, maybe a brown colored asphalt shingle would work best. If you are replacing slate with asphalt shingles, you are in luck. Many manufacturers now make slate look-alike shingles that will not detract from the style of your home. Tile is a bit harder to duplicate, however, many manufacturers make clay or light brown colored shingles that can take the place of a costly tile roof.

Unlike a few years ago, homeowners don’t have to settle for monotone shingle colors. Most manufacturers have designed subtle color variations into these new products, giving the shingles a more natural look. Layering processes also add a dimensional look to the tiles, making them appear like real wood or slate.

Look at Samples

If you are having trouble deciding on the right look for your house, consult with your roofing contractor. He or she will have experience with different roofing materials and shingle styles. They can provide samples of shingles in a variety of colors that you can see next to your home. Save pictures from design magazines of looks you are considering for your home. This can help your contractor visualize the style you have in mind.

Once you have decided on a shingle style and color, prepare to have the exterior of your home looking years younger in just a few days!

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