Shingle Roofing: Wood or Asphalt?

When it comes to shingles, you have a major decision on your hands. Should you use wood or asphalt shingles on your roof?

First and foremost, let’s talk life expectancies. Wood shingles have an average life expectancy of up to 20 years. Asphalt shingles are a more complicated matter in that they are available in a wide range of prices with differing life expectancies.

Basic asphalt shingles are often called three tab shingles. These shingles can last up to 20 years on a roof.

In commercial structures with additional shingle lamination for aesthetic appeal or style, three tab shingle life can be increased up to 30 years.

From there, we move on to asphalt composition shingles. Many of these shingle types are made with a life expectancy of 30 years, with some extending up to 50 years. However, roofing experts agree that on average, asphalt composition shingles should last for roughly 30 years, taking into account wear and tear.

Now to count the cost. Industry professionals estimate the following figures for asphalt composition shingle and wood shingle prices:

Asphalt Composition Shingle Cost

  • DIY: $700-$4000
  • Professional: $1500-$9000

Wood Shingle Cost

  • DIY: $2000-$6000
  • Professional: $7000-$15,000

From there, it’s essential to assess the longevity and durability of the two roofing materials. Basic asphalt has average ratings for both storm and fire-proofing; wood shingles have been rated poorly for their resistance to fire and harsh weather conditions.

Standard asphalt shingles are rated Class B for weathering.

In comparison, wood shingles are rated poorly when it comes to wear and tear from weathering. Both materials are subpar compared to other roofing materials for residential and commercial energy efficiency.

You can make a wise decision in choosing one shingle type over another based on the critical factors compared above.

Many property owners prefer asphalt composition shingles due to the wide selection available, as well as their longevity. For an even more attractive final product in a roof, wood shingles may be favored because of the rustic quality they provide with an average lifespan. If you have a shingles project, check out this article to learn when it is best to replace them.