In the past, the only choices in decorative shingles were tile, slate and cedar shakes to complement the style of the house or office right up to the roof. The problems with these types of shingles are that, out of roof shingles prices, they are the most expensive of the roofing material choices. This deterred most people from using them and the main choice left was composite shingles, which only had one, black look, which did not allow for much creativity or imagination.
Today there are many other choices in shingles due to the development of architectural roof shingles, which are shingles that imitate the look of other types of roofing shingles. There are still the basic composition shingles made of asphalt, either organic or fiberglass, and are the least expensive of pitched roofing materials on the market today. There are now variations in these composition roofing materials so that architectural roof shingles can be found through various manufacturers.
The architectural roof shingles made of composition shingle material has patterns to the roofing material so that it mimics the look of other types of materials. These patterns that imitate other materials also help with the installation process so that the composite shingles do not have to be lined up so precisely so that they do not have a wavy pattern that sometimes happens when incorrectly installed. These composite architectural roof shingles can look like cedar shakes, tile and even slate. It can be made of organic material or fiberglass so that the life of the roof can be the length desired, from twenty to thirty years.
Metal roofing material also has architectural roof shingles, imitating many different styles, colors and shapes. Metal roofing material is not as inexpensive as composite shingle material but it lasts up to fifty years, which is about twenty years longer than composite shingles. In addition, it is easy to install because it is lightweight, and requires little to no maintenance over its lifetime. Metal roofing material has progressed in architectural roof shingles so that cedar shakes can be imitated, as well as realistic tile and slate roofing material.
Metal roofing material is also preferred in architectural roof shingles for its weather resistant properties, since it does not absorb any water and also can withstand high winds. It can also come insulated, with the metal sheets filled with liquid insulating foam which has hardened into a solid piece with the sheets to provide uniform insulation across the roof.