Shingles Roof Is A Good Choice For A Small House


Readily Available & A Great Value

In additional to offering a variety of style choices, asphalt shingles are also widely available throughout the U.S. and Canada, and are easy to install, making them an attractive option for professional roofing contractors to offer to their customers. And while getting a new roof is by no means an inexpensive project, asphalt shingles are among the most affordable options available.  In fact, if an existing roof deck (the structural surface beneath the roofing system) is in good condition, new asphalt shingles can even be installed over older shingles, reducing the need (and cost) of a tear off of the old roofing. Check with your contractor to see if this is a viable money-saving option for your roofing project.

Different Types of Roof Shingles

There are three major categories of asphalt roofing shingle products available today – strip shingles, dimensional shingles, and luxury shingles. It is important to understand the differences between each type of roofing shingle in order to pick the right product for your home.

*A note on terminology: Asphalt shingles are also known as and composition shingles (or composite shingles). These are general terms for the same thing. The term “composition” is used because the shingles are a composite product made from either a fiberglass or cellulose mat, asphalt, and mineral granules. This differs from wood shake shingles or clay tiles which are made from a single material.


Also known as 3-tab shingles (due to the cut of the shingle) or simply strips, strip shingles are the original and most basic asphalt shingles. They are made from a single layer of asphalt and have a very flat appearance that typically offers a slate look. Since they are made from a single layer, they generally weigh and cost less than other asphalt shingles. Prior to designer shingles being introduced in the 1980s, strip shingles were the predominant roofing shingle in the market. Today, strip shingles are used most often used by home builders that manufacture inexpensive homes, or by homeowners who are replacing roofing shingles on residences that already have strip shingles on the roof. CertainTeed strip shingles include products such as  CT™ 20 and XT™ 30.


Also known as architectural or laminate shingles, dimensional shingles are the most prevalent asphalt shingles. These products are manufactured with two or more layers of asphalt that are fused together for a thicker and richer multi-dimensional appearance, and are engineered to replicate the wood shake and natural slate roofing aesthetics. Dimensional shingles are typically heavier than strip shingles, and have improved warranty protection. CertainTeed’s Landmark® shingles are a prototypical design for a dimensional roofing shingle.


Luxury shingles are the highest-quality laminated shingles available, offering a differentiated appearance or functionality that outclasses that of dimensional shingles. Apart from being shingle ‘heavyweights’ that offer premium protection for weathering, luxury shingles are stunning to look upon, presenting the highest quality, coloration, and dimensionality. These products offer the most realistic representation of the old-world wood shake and quarried slate roofing. CertainTeed’s Grand Manor® and Carriage House® products are prime examples of Luxury roofing shingles.

Asphalt Shingle Roof

Asphalt shingles are a very popular roof material for American homes. First used in 1901, asphalt shingles are durable, affordable and come in a variety of textures and colors.

Organic base shingles are made of roofing felt or paper saturated with asphalt, making them waterproof. Fiberglass base shingles have glass and fiber with asphalt on top to make them waterproof as well. They are then covered in mineral granules for a wear surface. Organic shingles are the most durable but can be prone to fire. They are less environmentally “friendly” since more asphalt goes into them during manufacturing. If you’re concerned about fire, consider installing fiberglass shingles.

Styles of asphalt shingles come in two varieties, the “strip” shingle and the “dimensional laminated” shingle. The strip shingle is a strip of shingle material (usually three times the length to height in proportion) with cutouts or tabs. The most common strip shingle is the three-tab strip shingle. The dimensional laminated shingle has multiple layers of tabs to create texture and dimension to the shingle.

Maintenance required:

Initially asphalt shingles will not require much maintenance. However, over time roof maintenance will be required as the shingles can curl, crack and be subject to granule erosion. They may also be subject to environmental damage from mold, algae, and fungus if in a shady or wooded location.

Life expectancy:

The range of lifespan for asphalt shingles varies considerably depending on the quality of the shingle, but properly installed, asphalt shingles can last 15 to 40+ years.

How to Shop for a Roof

The first step to take when you’re thinking of having a new roof installed is to figure out the type of roofing you want. Asphalt shingles remain far and away the most popular choice because they’re inexpensive, easy to install, and come in dozens of colors. But slate, tile, and metal are all good options, too, provided you plan on being in the same house for a long time. All three cost more than asphalt shingles, but last significantly longer, in some cases, as long as 100 years.

As you research shingles, check our comprehensive ratings to see what the best roofing lines are. In CR’s roofing tests, we found that some shingles are more than twice as strong as others that cost more. Others provide a beautifully layered look, or come in huge arrays of colors.

Once you’ve nailed down a few contenders, use the manufacturer’s website to find licensed installers in your area, and request bids from at least three pros. Keep in mind that some shingle manufacturers will only honor a warranty if you use a licensed installer they’ve previously vetted. If you have a specific roofer in mind, make sure to confirm that he’s licensed to install the product you want by checking with the manufacturer. You can also ask your roofer for his shingle recommendations and check them against our ratings.

Roof Shingle Disposal Options 

When deciding what to do with old shingles, consider the amount of roofing debris you have and who will be doing the work. Then, choose the roofing disposal option that best suits your needs.

1. Rent a Dumpster

When it comes to roof shingle disposal, one of the simplest ways to get rid of your debris is to rent a roll off dumpster. A dumpster rental accepts all types of roofing materials, shingles and tiles. You can rent the container for the entire length of your project, so there’s no rush to load up your shingles. You also won’t have to make multiple trips to the local landfill, saving you and your contractor more time and money.


  • Find the right size dumpster to dispose of all your roofing materials.
  • Rent the bin for the length of your roofing project.
  • Each container holds more than four pickup truck loads of debris.
  • Dumpsters are easy for roofing contractors to work with.

Things to Consider

  • Disposal regulations vary based on location. Speak to an expert to find out what type of materials are accepted in your area.

2. Haul Shingles to Landfill for Disposal

You can haul asphalt shingles and other materials to a local landfill for disposal. Simply fill a pickup truck with the debris and unload it at the landfill. You’ll need to pay fees based on the weight and type of debris, which can vary by location and facility. Depending on the size of the project, this may require multiple trips.


  • Low-cost disposal option.
  • Let’s you complete your disposal the DIY way.

Things to Consider

  • You will need to make several trips to the landfill.
  • Truck beds only hold a small amount of debris.
  • Trips to the dump will add time to your project.
  • Not always an option when you are hiring a contractor to complete your roofing project. 

Options for Recycling Roof Shingles

Looking for an environmentally friendly way to get rid of your roofing materials? Depending on the type of shingles you have, you may be able to recycle them.

How to Recycle Asphalt Shingles

If you are pulling up asphalt shingles, you can chose a shingle recycler to help you get rid of them. Asphalt shingles are recycled into asphalt used to make pavement. Most other types of shingles or tiles cannot be recycled in this manner.


Recently replaced old, worn-out shingles on your roof? Or are you perhaps considering investing in a new roof soon? Knowing what to do with your old shingles it vital to promoting sustainability and can make for some major life conveniences. Here are 10 ways that you can reuse and repurpose old roof shingles.

  1. Recycle them.

Many roofing contractors offer cleanup services alongside their re-roofing surfaces and will take your old, worn-out shingles to a shingle recycling facility so that the materials in the shingles can be repurposed and reused. Asphalt shingles, for example, get broken down and given new life in highway construction.

  • Donate them.

It’s also a great option to donate your old shingles to an organization that could use them—Habitat for Humanity or a local theatre set-building company, for example. This is, of course, best done with shingles that still have some life left in them.

  • Absorb oil stains.

Old drips from the undercarriage of a car or motorcycle can leave unsightly oil stains on a garage floor or driveway. Protect the surface your vehicle rests on with a large patch of shingles.

  • Block weeds.

Shingles also make great weed blockers. Use them in your landscaping paths or around plants in your garden to prevent weeds from cropping up. You can even cover the shingles with some soil to help them maintain a low profile in your landscaping.

  • Create a path.

Believe it or not, you can create attractive landscaping with your old shingles. Consider laying them brick-style over an existing mulch path for a sturdier walkway.

  • Provide traction.

Shingles can be used in the place of sand on icy days to provide traction on a snow filled driveway or walkway. You can also set them on the floor of an unfinished attic if the flooring there could use some traction.

  • Create a mat.

On a similar note, you could also try creating a mat for your front door or garage door with your old shingles by gluing them together.

  • Make art.

Don’t forget about the artistic possibilities that asphalt shingles can offer. Consider helping a child cut out shaped pieces for a multi-medium, textured piece of artwork.