Asphalt Shingles: Comparing Shingle Types and Finding the Best Shingle for Your Home

Oct 7, 2023 | Asphalt Shingle Comparison, Blog, How To Choose a Shingle, Northern Virginia

When undergoing a new roof installation, it’s important that you pick a type of roofing that will last for many years. Northern Virginia experiences harsh weather that ranges from hail storms and strong winds to hurricanes and tornadoes. Your chosen roofing material should meet your personal aesthetic and budget needs and be able to protect your home and endure the Northern Virginia climate.  

Asphalt shingle roofing is the most common type of roofing material in the Northern Virginia area. These types of shingles come in a variety of styles, are affordable, and each has its own benefits. 

So, how do you choose an asphalt shingle in Northern Virginia? In this article, we will compare 4 common asphalt shingle types and help you find the best shingle for your Northern Virginia home. 

asphalt shingle comparison in Northern Virginia

Three-Tab Shingles: Cost-Effective & Practical

Three-tab shingles are a great, affordable choice for budget homes and rental properties. 

Style & Composition

Three-tab shingles are made from asphalt and designed with a flat, uniform look and three tabs. These shingles are constructed with granules and adhesives for the outermost layer and fiberglass for the backing. 

Sturdiness & Longevity

Three-tab shingles are still durable against the weather, but they do tend to need to be replaced more often than other types of asphalt shingles. If they are well-maintained and properly installed, three-tab shingles can last up to 20 years in the Northern Virginia area. Three-tab shingles are the most common type of asphalt shingles and they are the easiest to maintain. These ratings may range, but three-tab asphalt shingles are often rated for winds of up to 60 miles per hour.


Three-tab shingles are the most cost-effective asphalt shingle option. The overall price will vary, but you can expect to pay the low to mid-range for an asphalt roof installation, which is $5,000 to $9,000.

Architectural Shingles: Overall Durability & Visual Appeal

Architectural shingles are a great option for homeowners who value long-lasting weather resistance and overall aesthetic. 

Style & Composition

Architectural shingles have a visually striking and dimensional look and are made with multiple layers. These types of shingles are made from asphalt and have fiberglass for the backing and granules and adhesives for the outermost layer. Architectural shingles are made with stronger adhesives and with higher-quality asphalt and are a lot more textured and durable than three-tab shingles. These shingles can be designed to resemble cedar shake or slate roofing. 

In addition, architectural shingles are a great choice for an energy-efficient roofing material and offer superior light deflection and cooling.

Sturdiness & Longevity 

Due to their high-quality design and durability, architectural shingles will not need to be replaced quite as often as three-tab shingles. Northern Virginia experiences a range of harsh weather such as hail storms, strong winds, and intense heat and architectural shingles will have long-lasting resistance against these weather conditions and can withstand heavy winds of up to 120 miles per hour. 

If properly maintained and installed correctly, an architectural asphalt roof can last roughly 20 to 30 years in the Northern Virginia area.


Architectural shingles tend to cost more than three-tab shingles, but they are still an affordable roofing material. The final cost of asphalt shingle roofing depends on the size and shape of your home and the style of your roofing. That being said, an asphalt shingle roof in Northern Virginia will typically cost around $5,000 to $15,000. You can expect to pay $465 to $785 per square. 

Premium Shingles: High Quality & Luxurious 

Premium shingles are perfect for the homeowner who values both cost and style.

Style & Composition

Also known as luxury shingles, premium shingles come in a variety of colors and styles and you can also find ones that are designed to emulate slate or high-end cedar roofing at only 1/10 the cost.

Sturdiness & Longevity 

Premium shingles offer superior protection against harsh weather and are known for their long-lasting sturdiness. These shingles can provide protection against fire and quality insulation for your house. Premium shingles typically last around 25 to 40 years in the Northern Virginia area. In addition, these shingles provide exceptional UV resistance and can help lower your monthly electricity bills. 


Premium shingles have a higher cost than your other shingle types. For a new roof installation, you can expect to pay closer to the mid and high-end range of $9,000 to $15,000. 

how to choose a shingle in Northern Virginia

Impact-Resistant Shingles: Top-Level Weather Resistance 

Impact-resistant shingles are a great option if you want peace of mind about the weather and the least amount of roof maintenance. 

Style & Composition

Typically, impact-resistant shingles are designed with a layer of asphalt that is embedded with polymer components or fiberglass. Together, these materials create an incredibly sturdy and thick shingle that is similar in appearance to three-tab shingles. These shingles are perfect for a homeowner who is looking for asphalt shingles that offer extremely durable weather protection and curb appeal.

Sturdiness & Longevity 

These shingles are engineered with extreme weather in mind. Impact-resistant shingles have long-lasting resistance against the harshest of natural elements, such as high winds, hail storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. In addition, impact-resistant shingles require less maintenance than your other asphalt shingle types and have greater resistance against denting, splitting, tearing, and cracking. In the Northern Virginia area, impact-resistant shingles can last around 30 to 40 years.


Impact-resistant shingles do cost more than your average asphalt shingles, but you’ll save time and money in the long term with lower maintenance and repairs. For a new roof installation, you can expect to pay closer to the mid and high-end range of $9,000 to $15,000. 

General Information on Asphalt Shingles


Simple installation and repair 


A variety of colors and styles

Durability against harsh weather 

Enhances the curb appeal of your home

Can help reduce electric bills


Asphalt roofing isn’t recyclable

Asphalt roofing won’t last quite as long as materials like metal roofing 

Maintenance Tips:

It’s a good idea to stay up to date on the condition of your asphalt shingles by checking for and repairing damage as soon as it happens. Asphalt roofing is very durable, but it can still have issues over time with curling, peeling, and cracking. If you notice shingle damage or leaks, you can call a roofing professional to come and inspect the condition of your roof and make sure that everything is working the way it should be.

Gutter Ethics LLC: Serving Northern Virginia

When choosing a roofing company to install your new roof, it’s important that you hire one that you can trust. 

Gutter Ethics LLC has been serving the Northern Virginia community for over 15 years and is committed to offering exceptional craftsmanship and personalized customer service. At Gutter Ethics LLC, our goal is to build long-term relationships with our clients and provide them with a quality roof at a great value.

In addition to asphalt roofing, we also provide a variety of other services that include:

24/7 emergency services 

Roof repairs

Metal roofing

Slate roofing

Cedar roofing 

Siding installation services 

Gutters/gutter guards 

New window installation

Call us today to learn more about our services or to request a free inspection in 48 hours!

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