If you ask me which kind of roofing shingles to install on a tight budget, my vote goes to Lamarite, the standard strip composition asphalt Tamko shingles. This could be the best kind of shingle. You have a wide range of colors to choose from and there is bound to one that suits your personal taste. In addition, you have a choice of pre blended colors to get that look of real slate.
Lamarite Tamko shingles are 18 by 12 inches, 18 by 7 inches and 18 by 5 inches in size and have 7, 7 ½ and 8 inch exposure marks that help in creating the desired exposure length. Tamko shingles are easy to install as they come with a well defined nailing zone for nailing and spacer tabs for correct placement of shingles. Use a pneumatic nail gun or fix two corrosion resistant roofing nails per shingle by hand. You may choose between Diamond, suitable for exposure of 6 inches and Scallop, suitable for 7, 7 ½ inch exposure. If you are in high wind area/zone, it is better that you read installation instructions applicable to such areas.
There is an issue with the color as it is basically supposed to imitate real slate. Since these are made to give a realistic random appearance after installation, it is necessary to give a shade variation during the coloring process. As such, it is imperative that installation starts only after the entire lot of ordered shingles reaches the site. It is imperative that shingles form different pallets and bundles are mixed so that randomness is assured. The right way would be to check work in progress from the ground lest a color pattern emerges and give the roof an artificial look.
In case Tamko shingles have been stored under 45oF, they should be restored to a temperature above 45oF before installation. Moreover, take care that the shingles are properly spaced to avoid buckling as heat and cold will cause the shingles to expand and contract. To help in installation, Tamko shingles have spacer tabs on both sides to ensure proper spacing.
It is necessary that the roof deck is at least ¾ inch thick so that it can receive and retain nails that penetrate ¾ inches into the deck. Anything less than that would mean that nails will protrude through the roof. Only corrosion resistant nails with a 3/8 inch head and 1-1½ inch in length should be used; two nails per shingle.
These are basic precautions that you need to take before installation. Although easy to install, it is better to hire a contractor to install Tamko shingles because of issues related to underlayment and different types of roof decks. Improper installation may lead to leaks. It is necessary to apply Tamko moisture guard for protection of shingles from damages. It is made from adhesive bitumen, which seals the shingles and prevents from snow and wind damage. Tamko shingles come with a 50-year limited warranty and a less expensive option for replacement of an original slate roof.