Architectural shingles are more expensive to buy and install than ordinary asphalt shingles. Homeowners often prefer the look of architectural shingles because they add dimension to a roof; in fact they are also called “dimensional” shingles. Architectural shingles often are required in more affluent and newer neighborhoods with higher property values. It might seem logical that they would add value to a home appraisal, but that's not the case.
Architectural vs. Ordinary Asphalt
At their cores, architectural shingles and ordinary asphalt shingles are very similar. Each is made with either a fiberglass or organic core (cellulose, recycled paper, etc.) that has been surfaced with a specially formulated asphalt. Finally, a layer of weather-resistant mineral is applied to coat the shingle. That is where the similarities end. The average architectural shingle weighs twice as much as an ordinary asphalt shingle. That adds up to longer life, an appearance with more dimension and complexity -- and a higher price for both product and installation.
An Appraiser's Job
If an architectural roof is more expensive and more attractive, it would seem that it would add value to the appraisal? However, that's not the case. An appraiser is looking at the home with an unbiased eye. His main job is to look over the house and compare it to similar houses in the area that have sold recently. As he looks over the house, an appraiser is not looking at the type of roof as much as whether the roof is in good repair. Appraisers are more interested in whether the roof is doing its primary job of keeping the elements out of the house and if there a chance that it will fail in the near future.
Some Exceptions to the Rule
By looking back at the original reasons that the appraisal is being performed, two main exceptions to this rule can be found. First, someone is purchasing the home with the architectural shingles because of the way it looks; such a person has put some value on the roof. Since an architectural roof does have a different look to it, the purchaser of the house has most likely valued the house higher. Also, a house with an ordinary asphalt roof in a neighborhood that has mostly architectural shingles will more likely be devalued by a purchaser because of the roof. So while the appraiser is not adding value because of the style of roofing, the purchaser more than likely has already made the adjustment.
Since architectural shingles do not add value to a home appraisal, what is the correct roofing choice? Three questions can be asked to help in the decision process. What kind of roof does the house have now? Keeping the same style of roof can be the simplest choice. What kind of roof is prevalent in the neighborhood? If there is a specific type that's popular or the neighborhood is moving toward a certain direction in roof choices, that style of roof should be considered. Finally, what is approved for my neighborhood? Increasingly, homeowners associations are regulating the style and even color of the roof installed in a community. Check with the association any major decision is made.
Based in Round Rock, Texas, Steve Crone has been writing a variety of pieces since 2001. His articles have appeared in various blog outlets and longer pieces have been produced for specific agencies. Crone holds a Bachelors of Arts in economics from the University of Texas at Austin.