A Comprehensive Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Roofing Shingles for Your Home

March 15, 2024by Nick

Whether you can’t make any more repairs or it’s just time to replace your home’s roof, choosing the right roofing shingles is a crucial decision. Not only do they protect your home from the elements, but they also contribute significantly to its overall aesthetic appeal. With the plethora of options available in the market today, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice. However, by considering key factors such as material, style, durability, and budget, you can ensure that you select the perfect roofing shingles for your needs.

  1. Understand Your Options:

Before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the different types of roofing shingles available. The most common materials include asphalt, wood, metal, slate, and tile. Each material has its unique characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks. Asphalt shingles, for example, are cost-effective and easy to install, while slate shingles offer unparalleled durability and a timeless appearance.

  1. Consider Your Climate:

Your geographical location plays a significant role in determining the most suitable roofing material for your home. If you reside in an area prone to extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes or heavy snowfall, you’ll need shingles that can withstand these challenges. For instance, metal roofing is highly resistant to wind and fire damage, making it ideal for hurricane-prone regions.

In a climate like Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland, which experiences a mix of hot summers and cold winters, as well as varying levels of precipitation throughout the year, choosing the right roofing shingles is crucial. Here are some recommendations for the types of shingles that would be suitable for these areas:

  • Asphalt Shingles: Asphalt shingles are a popular choice for roofs in our area due to their affordability, versatility, and ability to withstand a range of weather conditions. They come in various styles, including traditional 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles, providing options to suit different aesthetic preferences. Additionally, asphalt shingles are durable and offer good protection against UV rays, making them well-suited for the sunny summers in Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland.
  • Architectural Shingles: Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional or laminate shingles, are thicker and more durable than traditional 3-tab shingles. They have a multi-dimensional appearance that adds depth and texture to the roof, enhancing its visual appeal. Architectural shingles are also better at withstanding wind and impact damage, making them suitable for areas prone to storms and strong winds, which can occur in our area.
  • Metal Roofing: Metal roofing is another excellent option for local residents, offering durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. Metal roofs can withstand heavy snow loads and are resistant to ice dams, which can be common during cold winters. They also reflect sunlight, helping to keep the home cooler in the summer months. While metal roofing may have a higher upfront cost than asphalt shingles, it can provide long-term savings due to its durability and energy-saving properties.
  • Slate or Synthetic Slate Shingles: Slate shingles are known for their timeless elegance and durability, making them a suitable choice for homes locally. While natural slate can be expensive and heavy, synthetic slate shingles offer a more affordable alternative that replicates the look of real slate while being lighter and easier to install. Slate shingles are highly resistant to fire, mold, and rot, making them ideal for areas with fluctuating weather conditions like ours.
  • Cedar Shake Shingles: Cedar shake shingles are a traditional and attractive option for some homeowners. While they require more maintenance than other types of shingles, cedar shakes offer natural insulation properties and can withstand temperature extremes. They add rustic charm to homes and blend well with the natural surroundings, making them a popular choice for homeowners seeking a classic look.
  • Luxury Shingles: Also known as designer shingles, luxury shingles are the highest-quality laminated shingles available, offering a differentiated appearance of colors, patterns, and functionality that outclasses any other asphalt shingle type. Luxury shingles are designed to replicate the look of a natural slate of cedar shake roof at a fraction of the cost.

Luxury shingles are an excellent roofing alternative for period-style, historic homes that typically look best with a slate of cedar shake roof style. The multi-dimensional texture of luxury shingles creates shadows, angles, and depths that offer that natural feel. These products offer the most realistic representation of the old-world wood shake and quarried slate roofing.

When choosing shingles for a home in Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland, it’s essential to consider factors such as durability, weather resistance, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal.

  1. Choosing the Color – Assess Aesthetic Appeal:

Selecting the right color for your roofing shingles is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the overall appearance and curb appeal of your home. With countless options available, it’s essential to choose a color that not only complements the style of your house but also enhances its architectural features. By considering factors such as the color of your siding, trim, and landscape, you can ensure that your shingles harmonize seamlessly with the rest of your home’s exterior.

  1. Assess Your Home’s Color Palette & Aim for Coordination:

The first step in choosing the perfect shingle color is to evaluate the existing color scheme of your home’s exterior. Take note of the primary color of your siding, whether it’s neutral tones like beige or gray, or more vibrant hues like blue or red. Additionally, consider the color of your trim, doors, and any other prominent features that contribute to the overall aesthetic.

While it may be tempting to choose shingles that exactly match the color of your siding, opting for a complementary color scheme can create a more visually appealing look. Look for shingle colors that harmonize with the dominant hues of your home’s exterior while adding depth and contrast. For example, if your siding is a warm beige, consider shingles in shades of brown or tan to create a cohesive and inviting look.

  1. Consider the Style and Architecture:

The architectural style of your home can also influence your choice of shingle color. Traditional homes often pair well with classic colors such as charcoal, slate gray, or earthy tones like cedar or terracotta. For modern or contemporary homes, consider sleek and minimalist shingle colors like black, white, or shades of gray. Pay attention to the overall aesthetic and character of your home to select shingles that complement its unique style.

  1. Take Inspiration from Nature:

Nature can be a valuable source of inspiration when choosing shingle colors for your home. Look to the surrounding landscape for cues on color palettes that harmonize with the natural environment. Earthy tones like greens, browns, and blues can evoke a sense of tranquility and blend seamlessly with lush foliage or scenic views. Additionally, consider seasonal changes in foliage and how different shingle colors may complement or contrast with the changing landscape throughout the year.

  1. Samples, Swatches and Design Tools:

Before making a final decision, it’s essential to see how different shingle colors will look against your home’s exterior. Ask St. Joseph’s Roofing about our sample boards and swatches that allow you to visualize how various colors will appear in different lighting conditions. Take advantage of these samples to compare colors side by side and determine which option best complements your home’s overall aesthetic.

You can also consider using virtual design tools as CertainTeed offers. This is intuitive and easy to use, just visit their website and follow the instructions.

  1. Consider the Long-Term Appeal & Impact:

While it’s essential to choose a shingle color that appeals to your personal taste and complements your home’s exterior, it’s also crucial to consider the long-term implications. Keep in mind that trends come and go, so opt for a timeless color that will maintain its appeal and resale value over time. Additionally, consider factors such as climate and sunlight exposure, as certain colors may fade or weather differently depending on environmental conditions.

  1. Determine Budget Constraints:

Setting a realistic budget is essential when choosing roofing shingles. While it’s tempting to opt for the cheapest option available, it’s crucial to consider the long-term costs associated with maintenance and replacement. Keep in mind that higher-quality materials may have a higher upfront cost but can offer better value over time. Additionally, factor in installation expenses, warranty coverage, and any potential savings in energy costs when making your budgetary calculations.

  1. Research Warranties and Maintenance Requirements:

Before making a purchase, carefully review the warranty terms offered by the manufacturer. Warranties vary depending on the type of shingles and can range from 20 years to a lifetime. Pay attention to what is covered under the warranty, including defects in materials and workmanship, as well as any limitations or exclusions. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the recommended maintenance procedures to ensure that your shingles remain in optimal condition throughout their lifespan.

Choosing the right roofing shingles requires careful consideration of various factors, including material, style, durability, and budget. By understanding your options, evaluating your climate, assessing aesthetic appeal, and researching warranties, you can make an informed decision that enhances the beauty, functionality, and value of your home. Whether you opt for asphalt, wood, metal, slate, or tile shingles, investing in quality materials and professional installation will provide long-lasting protection and peace of mind for years to come.

Contact SJ Roof to help you choose the right shingle for your home’s roof replacement.


Superior Craftsmanship. Award-Winning Customer Service. Honest, Transparent Pricing!

The Most Trusted Contractor In Our Area!

St Joseph’s Roofing is the #1 licensed and insured roofer in Northern Virginia’s for all your residential and commercial roofing needs. Our estimates are free and our work is world-class.

603 Carlisle Dr. Herndon, VA 20170
P: (703) 716-7663

10494 Business Center Ct.
Manassas, VA 20110

3305 Sage Rd
Markham, VA 22643

4533 Stanford St
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Contact Us Here


  • Monday – Friday : 9 AM – 5 PM
  • Saturday : CLOSED
  • Sunday : CLOSED

Licensing: VA Contractors License #2705175440 | MD Contractor License #88608
© 2020 St Joseph’s Roofing Inc | Privacy Policy | Trademarks | Site Map