Difference Between Dimensional & Architectural Roof Shingles

It is a common belief that dimensional roof shingles and architectural roof shingles are one and the same. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but the truth is that there is a slight difference between them.

dimensional shingle

According to NACHI.org, dimensional shingles were first created in the 1970’s. “They are generally made from fiberglass or organic materials, with some added asphalt. Other minerals are sometimes added to make them more durable and able to withstand the elements.” Before dimensional shingles were introduced to the market, 3-tab shingles and T-lock shingles were the most widely used by Colorado Springs roofing contractors. Leaders in the roofing material industry thought that they looked too flat and wanted to add a layer of depth to them. They put additional layers of shingles in wood shake-like shapes on top of the first layer to give it some “dimension” – thus the dimensional shingle was born.

Dimensional roof shingles have evolved into many different designs, shapes, colors, and sizes. The term “dimensional” is merely the over-arching category that architectural shingles fall into. Put another way, an architectural shingle is fancier designed dimensional shingle.

Most people at first glance on two houses side by side would not be able to tell the difference between a basic dimensional and architectural style shingle – even putting the two shingles side by side you would still struggle to see the differences.

A basic dimensional shingle is slightly more uniform in its pattern of dimensional shapes between the different bundles. In other words, the pattern repeats itself much more often than it does with a fancier architectural shingle.

Architectural shingles because of their more random shape and custom installation are therefore, slightly more expensive.

So the next time someone tries to use these two terms interchangeably, you can be the annoying know-it-all who corrects them and tells them the difference between dimensional and architectural roof shingles.

You’re welcome. 🙂 – your local Colorado Springs Roofing Contractor

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