• Hopkins Roofing

A Beginner's Guide to Shingle Roofing

Are you re-roofing or installing a new roof on your home? Check out our three pro tips written just for you and your residential roofing project! There are a variety of shingles you can buy when looking to purchase one for your home. Here are some examples of different roofing types that contain multifaceted categories in each one, including shingles:


From what we have seen, more than nine out of ten houses have asphalt shingles in the midwest. Within the United States, asphalt shingles cover more houses than any other roofing material. They are the most affordable and very common for homeowners to choose for roof replacements or new roof installations. There are three main types of asphalt shingles: 3-tab asphalt, fiberglass asphalt, and architectural style asphalt shingles. Today we are going to focus on the narrow swath of architectural style asphalt shingles within the shingle roofing business.


Pro Tip #1

When choosing your roofing shingle, choose something that looks good on your house.


Sometimes people need assistance with their choice and we have our Residential Roofing Style Guide to show examples of great color and product choices to help. What you don’t want to do is choose a color that matches your roof and your house. You don’t want a green roof to match your green house and make it look like a Christmas tree. It’s important to find colors and styles that coordinate with your architectural shingle and make it look good on your house. When we are choosing asphalt shingles there are a handful of things that go into it. It’s not just the shingle itself that matters. The shingle is essential because that’s what you see and that’s what covers your roof, but what’s more important is the actual system.


Pro Tip #2

Have your roofing contractor explain the entire shingle system to you.


If you are doing a new roof installation or a roof replacement, your roofing system will consist of synthetic felt, ice and water shields, starter shingles, drip edge, ventilation, and a nailing pattern. The ice and water shield protects you from ice dams and leaks in the valleys and eave along the gutters. Ventilation can either come as a box fence or a hip and ridge fence. However, the most significant part of the system is the nailing pattern. You can have the best shingles in the world and put one nail a piece in and they would not last very long.


You have to think of your roof as an entire system, not just a shingle.


Pro Tip #3

When you choose your contractor, partner with the one you can trust.


You want your contractor to be:

  1. Licensed by the state.

  2. Insured.

  3. Certified by the manufacturer. There are many guys who install shingles. There’s not a lot of contractors who are certified by the shingle manufacturer. What that certification does is give you a warranty. It allows you an opportunity to upgrade your warranty on the shingles. Shingle warranties are notoriously not great unless installed by a certified contractor that puts a warranty on it. Ask your contractor for a warrantied shingle system.

  4. Choose the one you feel the most comfortable with. If you’re talking to a contractor and you feel like they are pressuring you or pushing you one direction or the other, find someone else. If you’re worried that they aren’t going to do a good job, find someone else. If it’s someone you think is going to do a good job but you don’t like them, find someone else. You don’t have to stay with that contractor if you’re not comfortable with them. It’s important to be comfortable with them whether it’s a roofing project, a home remodel, or something else you are working on. You’re going to be interacting back and forth as the project goes on. You will want a contractor you can be comfortable with and trust.


Shingle Roofing 101

Get a contractor that you trust and have them explain the entire shingle system and how it will go together, not just showing you the shingle. Then, at the end of the day, you can be happy that you have a good roof, it looks good with your house (and not a Christmas tree), and it’s going to stand the test of time.


If you have any questions, please call us at (641) 621-0131. We will be happy to answer them about any shingle project color choice, style, or product type that you may have. Feel free to give us a call, we would be glad to work with you.


If you would like the option to listen to this blog post, you can view it online here.

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