There are many different types of roofing materials, from metal roofing, to green roofing, to thatch roofs, to shingle roofs.   There are two roofing terms that are often mixed up: Shingles and Shakes.  These are two different types of roofing materials and we’ll define them here:

Shingles: There are two commonly used types of shingles – three tab and architectural shingles.

Three tab are the standard asphalt shingles you see on roofs throughout Portland.  They come in many different colors, but they always are cut in “three tabs”, meaning there is one shingle that is cut to look like three separate shingles.  The average life span of three tab shingles is usually 20-25 years.

Architectural shingles are shingles which are made to look like other materials.  They have a distinctive style, and give a home owner more choices than your standard three tab shingle system.  They also are generally more durable – with a lifespan of around 30 years.  They are also more expensive than an asphalt shingle.

Shakes: Shakes are a very specific kind of wooden shingle made of split wood.  This makes shakes look extremely distinctive.  Shakes are normally made of wood which is as insect and weatherproof as possible, like cedar, spruce, or treated pine.  Shakes often last somewhere around 15 years.

As mentioned above, there are even more types of roofing, but these are two common types that are often confused.

Tom Leach Roofing