Regular shingles are asphalt shingles, which are the most commonly used residential roofing materials in the United States and Canada. They are easy to use and repair, inexpensive and durable.
Architectural shingles are also asphalt shingles, but they are designed to be stronger and last longer. They are also called dimensional, laminate or composite shingles.
Architectural shingles are made of asphalt, fiberglass or organic materials, and minerals. They contain more asphalt and weigh 50 percent more than regular shingles.
Regular shingles are also made of asphalt, minerals, and fiberglass or organic materials such as cellulose fibers. Those made of organic material contain more asphalt.
Regular shingles are flat and give roofs a smooth look. Architectural shingles have the textured look of cedar, which helps hide imperfections in a roof’s appearance.
Regular shingles are built to withstand winds up to 60 miles per hour. Architectural shingles are constructed to be sturdier and can stand up against 120 mile per hour winds.
Regular shingles and architectural shingles are vulnerable to sunlight and extreme temperatures, which can cause shingles to crack, split or curl. Water damage allows algae and fungus to grow.
Regular shingles cost less than a dollar per square foot. Architectural shingles can cost twice as much as regular shingles, but they will last longer.