Asphalt Roofing Shingles: Costs, Pros & Cons – The Ultimate Guide

Asphalt shingles still dominate the US roofing industry, accounting for more than 70% of all residential, sloped roofs including new construction and replacements. That’s probably why you’re here – asphalt shingles are on the short list of materials you’re considering for your home, garage, or business.

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GAF Timberline HD Birchwood Architectural Asphalt Shingles on a Cross-Cable Roof with two dormers
Source: GAF

However, not all asphalt shingle roofing products are created equal. This guide will help you:

  • Understand the main types of asphalt shingles
  • Compare top products and brands from most popular manufacturers
  • Ultimately choose the best asphalt shingle type and style for your home

What are Asphalt Shingles?

There are many reasons for the popularity of asphalt shingles, and we’ll cover them in the pros and cons section, but the main reasons are low cost and ease of installation – the combination of low cost and fairly decent durability and longevity aka the value for the money.

Note: If you come across a discussion of organic shingles in your research, the information is likely quite old or encyclopedic. Organic shingles didn’t perform up to the expectations of quality and performance, so most manufacturers stopped making them in 2008.

Did you know? The longevity of any asphalt shingle product is determined by the shingle thickness and quality of construction. More on that below:

Composition of a modern asphalt shingle:

  1. Fiberglass mat: The core of today’s durable asphalt shingles is fiberglass mat. This material is chosen because it is lightweight, resists tearing, and holds asphalt very well.
  2. Asphalt: The fiberglass mat is run through a saturator tank where the glass fibers are thoroughly coated with hot asphalt, a petroleum-based material used for its strong resistance to moisture. The weight and toughness of the asphalt is useful for wind and hail impact resistance.
  3. Mineral granules: The part of the asphalt shingle that will be exposed to the elements is coated with mineral granules that are available in a wide range of colors.
    — Shingles can be given a single color to produce a solid-color shingle or a blend of colored granules for a more nuanced look.
    — The ceramic-coated granules also reflect the UV rays of the sun – the single worst threat to shingles.
  4. Sealant strips: Continuous or intermittent lines of raw asphalt are applied to the top part of each shingle that will be covered by the next layer installed. The sealant strip bonds the shingles together once they heat up in sun and warmth.

Did you know? The sunnier a climate is, the shorter the lifespan of the average shingle will be. One of the ways to extend the lifespan of an asphalt roof in a sunny climate such as Florida, Arizona, Texas, is to opt for a solar-reflective, light colored shingles designed to reflect solar radiant heat and UV radiation.

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

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Marvin vs. Milgard Windows Cost 2021: Styles, Pros & Cons

Marvin operates in the premium end of the window market, making each product to order, one at a time, customizing windows to the exact specifications of the customer.

Marvin Casement Windows

Milgard primarily focuses on the mid-range window marketplace with its vinyl windows available in four different series.

Milgard Ultra Series single hung windows with colonial grids

The company has spent much less time competing in the high-end slice of the new construction and window replacement markets. Milgard currently offers two high-end lines, the fiberglass Ultra Series and the wood-clad fiberglass Essence Series.

Milgard Windows Cost

Milgard’s bottom-of-the line Style Line series standard 48-inch x 60-inch double pane, double hung vinyl windows run between $300 and $450 per unit (not including the cost of installation), depending on the window-specific options.

Milgard single hung aluminum window will cost between $200 and $350 per unit.

Moving up in class, additional series of Milgard vinyl windows are offered in the $500 to $650 price range.

The Essence Series is Milgard’s entry into the premium window market. It is constructed with Douglas fir, pine or primed pine on the interior and fiberglass, with 15 colors, on the exterior. Quotes typically run between $40 and $50 per square foot, or between $800 and $1,100 for a standard double hung window, not including the cost of installation.


Marvin Windows Cost

Marvin’s go-to double hung wood clad window is its contemproary Ultimate G2 Windows series. Prices range from $850 to $1,650 per window installed. This window is available with IZ3 coastal/hurricane certification for hurricane prone areas.

For Marvin’s top-of-the-line Infinity Series classic double hung window in Standard, Cottage or Oriel style, you can expect to pay between $1,250 and $1,850 per window installed, depending on your location.

Marvin Infinity Ultrex fiberglass windows feature color matched and neutral dark components with bronze and ebony interior finishes. An easy tilt finish makes cleaning a breeze.

Note that window pricing can vary considerably as manufacturers often run discounts and incentives on their lines.

Did you know? Final cost can also vary depending on the design options like premium materials, locks and hardware, opening control devices, and the like.

Installation costs depend on whether replacement windows can be installed directly into the existing frames or whether new carpentry is required.

It is not unusual for a new window with options and installation to add many hundreds of dollars to the unit price.


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Major Exterior Remodeling Upgrades for Fall, Plus Costs & ROI

Fall home exterior remodeling projects make sense for two reasons:

  • The weather is ideal for several outdoor home renovations
  • Getting your home’s exterior ready for winter is a mark of wise home-ownership

Here are the top autumn remodeling upgrades for the outside of your home, their cost range and the potential return on investment they bring:

  1. Replace the Entry Doors and Garage Door

via Eco View

Replacing any door, whether garage or entry, that faces the street, will boost your home’s curb appeal while also increasing the value and salability of your property. Even if you’re not planning on selling your house any time soon, giving your home’s exterior a practical face lift will help increase the enjoyment of your home for the whole family. The benefits of new exterior doors include:

  • Better aesthetics: New, good-looking doors make a great impression on guests, neighbors and potential buyers, if you list your home.
  • Improved energy efficiency: Replacing old doors that have settled and no longer fit well with new, insulated doors lowers heat transfer out of the house in winter and into the house in summer. When the doors are being replaced, the installer should also check for and replace any loose caulk around window and door frames.
  • A safer home and family: Home security relies on strong, secure doors as a first defense. A reliable garage door keeps potential thieves out. It can also prevent one of the thousands of injuries to children, adults and pets caused every year by old, faulty garage doors falling unexpectedly or failing to reverse motion if an object is in the way.

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