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How To Choose The Best Shingle For Your Home

You know you need a new roof and you have already settled on America’s most popular residential roofing material, the shingle. How can you update the look of your Birmingham-area home, choose the right shingle and color, and get it installed without worry? Here are five tips to determine what roof shingles are best. 


Your home’s architectural style influences your choice of long-lasting, fiberglass-asphalt shingle. You can use strong colors and distinctive styles of shingles to highlight your home like a regal crown. You can use more subdued colors and a simpler shingle style to blend in with your home and surroundings. 

Shingles can mimic just about any look you desire: shakes, tiles, even slate. Deeply cut shingles can enhance ornate homes like Mansard and Victorian architecture, or you could opt for the sleek streamlining of a three-tab shingle on a ranch or contemporary home. 

Several aspects of shingle design play into your decision, guided by your home’s architectural heritage:

  • Color
  • Shadow line
  • Tab cut depth
  • Tab shape

The best way to get up to speed on the impact a shingle design will have on your home is to discuss options with your local, reliable roofer


Good roofers partner with superior companies like GAF and Owens Corning. These manufacturing titans offer shingles in various styles to fit any budget and taste. The style of a shingle can go from simple to complex:

  • Three-tab — A straightforward, economical shingle which lies flat and blends into its surroundings
  • Architectural — The most dramatic, visibly stunning shingle; a dimensional shingle with strong shadow lines, interesting tab shapes, and a reputation for durability and performance

Within each style line, you can find shingles with other qualities to enhance your roof, such as resistance to high winds, long life, or energy efficiency. 


Thanks to innovative and 21st century engineering, granules for fiberglass-asphalt roofs now come in a near rainbow of colors. Always popular are the earth tones: warm, hearty, comforting browns, greens, and grays. 

Other unexpected colors to consider include:

  • Arctic White from GAF
  • Reds from Owens Corning such as Terracotta, Merlot, or Spanish Red
  • Blues from GAF, like Biscayne Blue or Antique Slate
  • Antique Silver and Shasta White from Owens Corning
  • Reds from GAF, like Patriot Red
  • Blues from Owens Corning such as Pacific Wave and Harbor Blue

Color is a very personal matter for most homeowners. The color you choose for your home’s new shingle roof says a lot about your personal taste and identity. Generally, you can select a roof color to do one of two things:

  1. Blend in — Your home is part of the landscape, with earthy shingle colors and a relaxed style
  2. Stand out — You welcome attention; a dramatic roof in color and style is right for you

Each choice gives you more options. To blend in, your roof color could pick up the accent colors of an entranceway. Or, you could choose to nearly match your trim colors so your house feels compact and homey. 

If you want to stand out, your roof can be a brightly colored crown jewel which is a dramatic contrast to your home’s siding and trim colors. Or, you could select a complement to molding colors. 


Just about the last consideration should be the cost of the shingles themselves. The cost difference, over 20 or 25 years of useful life, between the most humble three-tab shingle and the most expensive architectural shingle is really very small. 

Select the highest quality (and this often means more expensive) fiberglass-asphalt shingle your budget will allow. You will not be disappointed. On the other hand, selecting a lower grade shingle to save a few dollars often leads to heartache. And water leaks!


After all that work (and it is a lot of work — don’t let a storm-chaser roofing salesman rush you through the steps!), you are only about halfway through the equation.


Because any residential roofing shingles comparison must include the contractor, the roofer installing your selected shingles. The best shingles for your Birmingham home, plus the best local, dependable residential roofer, equals the perfect roof. 

In the roofing trade, many a roofer knows a high-quality, hard-working roofer can install an inexpensive, ordinary three-tab shingle which will provide excellent service. But a man-in-a-van storm chaser can quickly ruin the most expensive, beautiful architectural shingle. 

Pick your shingle. Pick your contractor. Make sure you select the best of both for your home. Your home, and your family, deserve it. 

To help you select the ideal shingle for your Birmingham-area home, please contact us at Yellowhammer Roofing. We look forward to working with you to make your home the showplace you want it to be. And, as always, we hope you will let our family protect what is most important to you: your family. 

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