How Wood Shingles Stack Up Asphalt Shingles

When considering whether to use wood shingles or asphalt shingles for a roofing project, the most immediate difference between the two is cost.

Asphalt shingles have become the most common roofing material used in the U.S., which is due in large part to the lower cost and the simplicity of installation. Asphalt shingles can be produced in large quantities and more quickly than those made of wood. As a result a typical bundle of asphalt shingles runs in the neighborhood of $25-35 – with a single bundle covering about 30-35 square feet.

While being easier to install than wood shingles, asphalt shingles are typically described as lasting longer as well. The estimated life expectancy for asphalt shingles ranges from a low of 15 years to a high of 25 years – with some also being marketed as lifetime or 30-year shingles. There are many factors that effect the overall durability of shingles, with heat being the most consistently abusive element.

Despite the iconic east-coast, Cape-Cod style and appearance of wood shingles resulting from the prior prevalence of the material’s use in the U.S., wood shingles typically don’t last as long as those of asphalt, and are more costly and time-consuming.

Wood shingles – those made with the use of a saw, as opposed to wood shakes which are split from a larger block of wood – are described as having a life expectancy in the range of 10 to 20 years. Though, depending on water-proofing treatment and maintenance through those years, wood shingles can be more susceptible to damage from the elements – like moisture, and moss or algae growth.

While creating a certainly unique look, wood shingles are more meticulous to install – if for no more reason than wood shingles come in smaller standard sizes. It’s one more factor in the greater average cost of using wood over asphalt shingles.

And, to get a feel for how much more expensive using wood shingles can be, consider that a box – covering about 25 square feet, which is comparable to a bundle of asphalt shingles – costs around $50.

So, while asphalt is the more economical option, there is really no comparison for the style, design possibilities and eventual weathered appearance that can be created with the use of wood shingles.watch full King Arthur: Legend of the Sword film