With so many types of roofing shingles on the market, deciding on the product that’s going to give the best return on your investment, as well as look amazing, can be difficult. To help, we’ve put together a straightforward guide to choosing the right roof shingles. Discover why architectural shingles are frequently preferred over metal roofs, the difference between asphalt 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles, and what to consider when choosing shingles for your property.

How to Pick the Right Roof Shingles

Shingle Materials

Roof shingles may be made from various materials, including concrete, clay, slate, asphalt, aluminum, steel, or copper. For the majority of homes, asphalt 3-tab shingles or architectural shingles made from laminated asphalt composite are the common choices.


If you want a roof that’s weather-tight and also attractive, it may be worth considering a cedar shake option. Shakes are similar to shingles but made of split-off timber, rather than sawn shapes. Installing a cedar roof isn’t cheap, but the subsequent increase in your property value, as well as improved visual appeal, excellent insulation, and high durability, make this an attractive choice as a long-term investment.


Metal roofs, including metal shingles, are enormously hard-wearing, weather resistant, and sustainable. For many homeowners, the high initial installation price, coupled with reservations about the aesthetic appeal of metal, results in metal shingles being rejected in favor of a more economical, aesthetically pleasing product.

Slate or Clay

Slate and clay shingles are niche choices for similar reasons – they are relatively labor-intensive to install and require a high initial outlay. Slate or Clay shingles need comparatively frequent maintenance. That said, a slate or clay shingle roof looks fantastic and lasts for decades.


Concrete shingles are extremely weather-resistant and a great choice where high winds and low temperatures are common. As a roofing company in the Northern, VA area, we don’t usually recommend concrete shingles, as we rarely have the severe weather to justify their installation.

Asphalt 3-tab Shingles

These are standard asphalt shingles and in the past one of the most popular choices. They are not nearly as durable as most other options and might seem to be an economical choice, due to their lower price, however they will not hold up over time in storms and wind, and will end up costing you more headaches and damage in the long run. Our recommended alternative, and solid upgrade, is a good architectural shingle.

Why Opt for Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles are a type of roof shingles made of several layers. They have a heavy base and multiple layers of fiberglass. The top, laminated layer can give the shingle the appearance of slate, clay, or even cedar. If you’re looking for an option where there is a good range of colors and textures, we recommend architectural shingles.

These have all the functional benefits of a good roofing option, as they are long-lasting, weatherproof, low-maintenance, and suitable for almost any type of roof. They’re also a winner aesthetically, as homeowners can choose from such a wide selection of designs, shades, and finishes.

Ask Loudoun Valley Roofing for Recommendations

Choosing the right roof shingle is an important decision. If you’re considering a fresh roof and want a FREE, expert assessment of your property, along with a professional recommendation to best suit your needs, get in touch with our team at Loudoun Valley Roofing.