Roof Shingle Options for Florida Homes

Is it time for a new roof for your Florida home? If so, you might be wondering what your options are. What type of roof does your home have now? If your home has a metal roof, that’s always a solid option. Clay tiles, often used on Mediterranean-style homes, are a beautiful and classic roofing material. If they’re damaged by a storm, though, you could be facing a substantial repair bill and be considering other options. So let’s look into roof shingle options for Florida homes.

Roof Shingle Options

You’ll find a huge variety of roof shingles available in several different materials. The most common is the standard asphalt shingle, which covers the roofs of about 70% of homes in the United States. When you’re considering asphalt shingles, you’ll have three basic options to look into:

  • Three-tab shingles
  • Architectural shingles
  • Designer or premium shingles

Let’s have a look at what all those terms mean.

Asphalt Shingle Options

Asphalt shingles are made of three basic components, listed from the bottom to top of the shingle:

  • a fiberglass mat that provides the structure for the shingle
  • an asphalt concoction that provides most of the water-shedding qualities
  • and ceramic granules on the top, which provide ultraviolet protection for the lower two layers.

Three-tab shingles

Three-tab asphalt shingles are the most basic and economical option. These shingles use one layer of fiberglass mat and builders tend to choose these for their basic, budget homes. There’s nothing wrong with these shingles, and they are made from the same materials as higher-quality architectural shingles.

The main difference is the number of layers. With just one layer of fiberglass matting, a three-tab shingle will be approximately a 10–15 year shingle in normal conditions. Aesthetically, these shingles appear rather plain and flat when you compare them with most other roofing options. For some people, that’s really not an issue, as they never look at their roof after it’s installed. Fair enough!

roof shingle options
Architectural shingles use multiples layers of matting for greater durability and attractive shadow lines.

Architectural shingles

In contrast, architectural shingles use another layer of matting to build up the profile of the shingle and create shadow lines that sort of mimic the look of traditional materials like cedar shakes and slate tiles. These shingles are much thicker and heavier than three-tab shingles, and so you can expect them to last somewhere around 20 years in normal conditions. This type of shingle is the most popular product in North America. A few different brands sell the majority of these shingles, including CertainTeed, GAF, and Owens Corning. When you buy any of those name-brand products you can be confident that you’re buying a high-quality product.

Designer shingles

Premium shingles, also called designer shingles, take it a bit farther once again. The manufacturer may add more layers of matting and then cut some or all of the upper layers to create different shadow lines. The intent is to make the shingles resemble slate tiles and cedar shakes, and they do a pretty good job! Of course, these asphalt shingles cost just a fraction of a real slate tile roof, for example, but they’re much lighter in weight and don’t require the specialized expertise that slate does.

Just so you know, these shingles might have a lifespan of 30–35 years or so, which is quite good for asphalt shingles. A real slate roof can last for more than 100 years. But a real slate roof is incredibly heavy, so your contractor will probably have to reinforce your home’s framing if you’re upgrading from a different roofing material. Slate is stone, after all, and stone is heavy! Premium shingles offer a pretty good compromise, and they definitely give you good value, when you consider all those factors.

Metal Roof Shingle Options

Metal is an outstanding and versatile material for roofing. It may, in fact, be the most durable and versatile material you can get for your roof. You’ll see metal available in several different formats, such as in extra-large sheets or panels, as well as in shingles. Barns and industrial buildings often use steel sheets with ridges formed into them for more strength, so some people associate steel roofing with industrial and agricultural buildings.

roof shingle options
Metal shingles can look similar to clay tiles.

Metal is incredibly versatile, though, so manufacturers can form it into nearly any shape and size they want. And they can also give you the appearance of several other different, traditional materials such as wood shakes, clay tiles, and slate tiles. Metal does not have to look agricultural or industrial.

Asphalt Shingles vs Metal Shingles

Let’s compare metal shingles with architectural shingles. Manufacturers make both with the look of cedar shakes and slate tiles, so you have great options there. They also make metal shingles with the look of clay tiles

While you’ll find asphalt shingles to typically be sized at 12″ x 36″, metal shingles might be sized at 17″ x 44.25″ as one popular example. So an asphalt shingle in this example is just 57% of a metal shingle, requiring more time than a smaller shingle to cover the entire roof. Therefore, your contractor team will get those metal shingles installed really quickly. That helps to minimize the labor cost you pay, and of course everyone is happy with that.

You’ll pay more for a metal roof, though. High-quality asphalt shingles will cost you from $320–340 per square installed, typically. So that could be up to $6800 on a 2000 square foot roof. High-quality steel shingles will cost you from $700–900 per square, installed. That could be up $18,000 on a 2000 square foot roof. That price is just for the the shingles and accessories, but not roof decking repairs, gutters, and so on.

For that price, though, you can expect your new roof of steel shingles to last twice as long as an asphalt shingle roof. If you’re planning to stay in your home for many years, and you can afford the cost, a metal roof is actually more economical, as you won’t have to re-roof again for many years. And maybe never will.

Let’s Talk About Roof Shingle Options

If you’d like to talk about your roof shingle options, give us a call at 813-373-9088. Our team has more than 40 years of experience in roofing. You can also use this form and ask us, “What are my roof shingle options?” and we will contact you.

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