Choosing The Right Roofing For Your Minnesota Home

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

If you were to look at the majority of homes in the United States, it is estimated that 4 out of 5 homeowners have some type of asphalt roofing shingles. The two basic types are composition and fiberglass-base shingles. Composition shingles have a core of organic “felt” made from wood and paper fibers. Fiberglass-base shingles have a core of man made fiberglass matting.

Both composition and fiberglass-base shingles are soaked in asphalt, but the fiberglass base shingles are more fire-resistant than the organic ones. Asphalt shingles have mineral granules embedded in their surfaces to offer protection against wear and the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.  When you find these granules washing away it’s a sign that you need to repair or replace your shingles.

Four types of asphalt shingles are manufactured:

1) strip shingles

2) laminated shingles

3) interlocking shingles

4) large individual shingles

Strip shingles are the conventional type. They’re made in both standard and metric sizes. Those made for the American market are 12 inches wide by 36 inches long. Of these, “three tab” shingles are the most common. With these, a cutout distinguishes each tab, making it appear like an individual 12-inch-wide shingle. Depending on how you align these tabs, you can create a variety of patterns of shadow and light on the roof.

Laminated shingles, also known as architectural or three-dimensional shingles, vary in the size, number, spacing, and thickness of the tabs. They have more character and visual depth than standard strip shingles.

Interlocking shingles, excellent for heavy-wind areas, are designed to fasten to one another.

Large individual shingles are generally used in specialty situations. Their shapes tend to be either hexagonal or rectangular and they don’t have tabs.

The portion of a shingle that shows is called “exposure,” and the lower edge is referred to as the “butt.”  Shingles come in a variety of weights. Generally speaking, the heavier the shingles, the longer they last.

Choosing from the large assortment of available colors, textures, patterns, and weights can be overwhelming . Many homeowners prefer premium-weight shingles, which may weigh 430 pounds per square (a 10-by-10-foot roof area), compared with standard shingles at about 230 pounds per square. Because premium-weight shingles are more three-dimensional, they do a better job of mimicking the texture of real wood shingles.

Choosing A New Roof In Minnesota Is A Big Decision

Which One Is Best For You?

Whether it’s outstanding colors and beautiful styles you’re looking for, or unparalleled durability and performance, the bottom line is you simply won’t find all these features in a single material… unless it’s asphalt. See the list of asphalt roofing benefits below:


  • Wide array of rich, gorgeous colors
  • Large selection of textures
  • Huge choice of shingle styles
  • Look like wood, cedar, or slate


  • Very affordable
  • Many pricing options
  • Cost-effective
  • Superb value


  • 100-year proven track record in North America
  • Long life-expectancy
  • Ideal weight; not too heavy or too light
  • Few leak problems
  • Durable
  • Excellent uplift resistance
  • Excellent fire resistance


  • Ease of installation
  • Ease of repair
  • Low maintenance
  • No additional structure required to carry weight
  • No need for ice stops
  • Wide availability of products
  • Wide availability of qualified installers

Choosing a new roof is a big decision. It can be one of the biggest expenses encountered by homeowners. It is also one of the most crucial decisions to make as well. Your roof keeps the weather out of your house and away from your family and possessions. It truly is one of the most important parts of your home.

Contact your local roofing contractor to help you choose the right roofing material for your home. Traditional asphalt shingles have been around a long time, but it certainly doesn’t mean yours has to look outdated. In fact, if designed the right way, your shingled roof can be sensational and especially unique just for your home.  Ask your roofing contractor to show you a good, better and best selection of products to determine the choices in warranty periods offered.

About the author

Sherry Fields Sherry Fields has been working in real estate since 2002. Working with the development team for the Hilton Garden Inn gave her strategic information on the commercial real estate market in Missoula. Broadening her scope she moved into the residential market and earned the designation SFR in short sales and foreclosures. Currently affiliated with Prudential Montana Real Estate, she works with both buyers and sellers "building relationships so you can buy & sell with confidence". Sherry Fields has recently earned the CREN designation - Certified Real Estate Negotiator. While price is a large part of negotiation - it is also about timing everything from the closing date to inspections, appraisals, home insurance - and it is about negotiating items that can show up in home inspections to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome.

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