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The Complete Guide to Dimensional Shingles

The Complete Guide to Dimensional Shingles

Everything You Need to Know About Dimensional Shingles


The most popular form of roofing materials used in construction today is asphalt shingles. Asphalt roof shingles are incredibly affordable, come in a wide variety of styles, and are easily accessible for roofing companies in the Lafayette, LA, area.


The most considerable criticism of roofing shingles like these is that they are kind of boring and repetitive in appearance. When the majority of homeowners go with an in-expensive asphalt roof shingle, every house in the neighborhood essentially looks the same. That’s where dimensional roof shingles come into play.


What Are Dimensional Shingles?

Dimensional shingles are asphalt shingles with a bit of a twist. While there are various benefits to using dimensional shingles on your roof, roofing manufacturers first created these asphalt shingles to offer a more exciting appearance. Luxury homeowners in the 1970s wanted to stand apart from other homes with a roof shingle that looked like a cedar shingle but performed like one made from asphalt.


To understand why dimensional shingles stand out, you must first understand the alternative options. Before these updated roof shingles came on the scene, most houses went with regular, 3-tab shingles. Standard shingles have three equally-spaced tabs that create an extremely repetitive pattern. Traditional shingles look flat and have no depth, so roofers would layer them in such a way to add at least some dimension to their appearance.


Dimensional shingles are akin to traditional roof shingles made from asphalt. Instead of being flat and dull, they have varying depths and thicknesses that, when layered properly, make them look like wood shakes or slate titles. Thanks to the two layers of asphalt bonded together, these shingles have dimension.


Are Dimensional Shingles the Same as Architectural Shingles?

Dimensional shingles go by many names, and you will also hear them called architectural shingles, high-definition, premium, laminated shingles, or three-dimensional shingles. There are even dimensional shingles that are known as “designer shingles.” These stylish options take the concept of the dimensional shingle and extend it to create more dramatic styles.

Designer shingles are simply fancier dimensional shingles, and they use additional layers of asphalt and are cut and colored to have a more ornate appearance. Shingle manufacturers create these shingles to look like more expensive roofing types.


Some might argue that there are differences between dimensional and architectural shingles. They suggest that a basic dimensional roof shingle is a bit more uniform in its pattern, which means the design repeats itself more often. While this repetition is nowhere close to what you find with traditional shingles, it does exist.


Architectural shingles, on the other hand, are known for including more random shapes and less repetition. The reality is that this distinction is semantic. While there may be numerous kinds of shingles with designs and dimensions, they all fall under the dimensional shingle umbrella.


What Are The Benefits of Using Dimensional Shingles?

Even though dimensional and designer shingles cost more than generic options, the extra price is absolutely worth it. They offer both an upscaled appearance and upgraded performance. While lower-quality and less appealing shingles might do the trick, you deserve the absolute best for your home.


Aesthetic Benefits

You can find dimensional roof shingles that mimic various high-end materials like cedar shakes, clay tiles, and natural slate. There are so many options that you can choose something that matches your home’s architectural style, from classic Victorian to modern dramatic and everything in between.


Not only are designer architectural shingles available in a variety of styles, but you can also find them in almost any color you can imagine. Thanks to the enhanced depth and shading, you can even enjoy extremely subtle color variations that provide even more depth to your roof’s appearance.


Whether you want to update your home’s appearance to better match your taste and style, or you simply want to make the neighbors think you have more money than you actually do, dimensional shingles add an aesthetic that is hard to beat.


Performance Benefits

Since dimensional shingles are made from a double-bonded layer of asphalt, they actually perform better than generic three-tab options. Of course, there are different grades, lifespans, and warranties depending on the level of shingle you choose.


Regardless of your installed level, your roof will be better equipped to withstand wind and hail. In fact, the heaviest grades of these durable shingles can handle up to 130 mph winds.


Here are some other general perks of adorning your home with gorgeous designer shingles:


● Longer lifespan. Most grades start with 25-30-year warranties, while the higher levels can be under contract for up to 50 years.

● They perfectly hide any structural imperfections in the roof’s construction.

● They can be used on almost every kind of roof, regardless of its pitch

● Less likely to warp over time.

● Readily available in all kinds of shapes, styles, and colors.

● It can be made with built-in algae/mildew protection.


Are There Any Disadvantages of Dimensional Roof Shingles?

It is hard to say there are any negatives to using designer shingles in your home. Something to consider, however, is that these asphalt shingles will have a slightly higher cost than mundane three-tab options.


Due to the added benefits of using dimensional shingles, the extra cost is well worth it. It also makes sense that a shingle that uses a double layer would cost more than a shingle with only one layer. It's essential that you discuss your options with a reliable roofing company to ensure you understand the cost and benefits of the various shingles available to you.


Since asphalt roofing shingles are made from organic material, there is a small chance that these shingles will attract mold and mildew, which will create unsightly black streaks on your roof. Fortunately, modern dimensional shingles can be made with the appropriate protections to avoid this problem. Talk to your roofing company to learn more about if this kind of enhanced shingle is right for you.

How Much Do Dimensional Shingles Cost?

There are quite a few things to consider when replacing your roof. The two most impactful factors are the size of your roof and the type of material you choose. Other factors include the shape of the old roof, environmental conditions during the project, and the overall labor, which provides for removing the old or damaged roof.


Unfortunately, many aspects of a roof replacement are outside of your control, like the condition of the old roof or the average local labor cost. The plus side is that you can control the cost of the materials you choose. Despite the "designer" nickname, dimensional shingles don't have to break the bank even better.


While you might expect a double layer of asphalt to double the price of a traditional shingle, you'll actually only pay about 20% more for base-level options. Dimensional shingles typically cost, on average, around $3-$5 per square foot installed. Higher-level shingles often cost between $4 and $6 per square foot installed.


These prices may vary depending on your exact location, the desired design's availability, and the installation company's labor rates. These prices do not include the removal of existing shingles or any necessary roof repairs.


The average roof size in Lafayette, LA, is roughly 1,069 square feet. You might pay $2.50 per square foot at the low end for three-tab shingles, making the average roof cost $2,672.50. An entry-level dimensional shingle would make this project's materials cost $3,207. Of course, a higher-end shingle could cost as much as $6,414 on the average-sized roof.


Can I Install Dimensional Shingles Myself?

No. While a trained roofer makes installing dimensional shingles look like a piece of cake, this kind of project is not for the weekend DIYer. Most weekend warriors don’t have the necessary tools or safety equipment to complete this kind of job, let alone the expertise to do it correctly. When it comes to home projects, the roof is not a great option to do incorrectly.


Some big box stores might try to make it sound like this is a straightforward project; there’s actually a ton of work involved. When you’re ready to replace your existing roof, take the time to talk to a professional roofing company.


If you’re in the Lafayette, LA, area, don’t hesitate to contact Hibbard Roofing for all of your roofing needs. We can not only help you choose the best shingles for your roof, but we offer flexible financing that removes the hassle from your roofing project. Don’t get stuck with the same old boring roof as your neighbors; give us a call to explore durable and aesthetically pleasing dimensional shingles today.

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