Architectural shingles are heavier as they are layered with a cutout layer. IMO it is 99.9% about looks and with three tabs done properly they have a glue strip of tar across the back that is covered in a cellophane strip you rip off and the sun will set the tar and when done it is all stuck together. IMO just as solid as any other asphalt shingle in resisting wind.
Some homes that really showcase the roof and others you really can’t see the roof. Sometimes with a shallow pitch you look up at the roof at a slight angle and to me the architectural shingle look strange. I agree they hide more flaws in the roof.
Is the quotes you are getting for a tear off and new base layer and repair to any sheathing that is damaged or just a second layer.
I agree if someone is giving you a song and dance about products then they will about everything else. They need to be insured and bonded and willing to provide references. Ask around of your neighbors. I guarantee some old timer will tell you here is the guy you want.
I agree with a lot of what you say. The quotes I am getting so far are for tear off and total new roof. When I started this project, I didn't realize the bids would be so high. Now that I see how they are coming in, repair is starting to be more in line with what I can do at this time. I also would be interested in doing another layer of shingles over the existing ones, but haven't asked about that yet. I'm sure they will scream and holler and totally refuse to do it. My dad, back in the 1990's, had two roofs re-done, and both times it was NOT a re-roof job but a layering over of an existing roof. I think the building codes wouldn't alllow three layers, but two were fine. I'm sure he saved a lot of money doing that, and in fact, that was quite a standard thing to do vs. tearing off the whole roof and re-doing it. True, you can't see what's underneath, but as long as it's no longer leaking, and the building is protected, that would seem to be the priority, not ripping off everything everytime the shingles are at the end of their life.
These guys want to do these total tear off jobs for the bigger bucks, and that's the main thing. They naturally won't say that, but everyone knows that is why. This lack of common sense and forcing homeowners to do UNnecessary things to pad someone else's wallet is what's wrong with the nation today. It's wasteful, and creates more pollution and other problems down the line.
Up until just starting this project, I had never heard the term "achitectural shingles", so either it's a new thing or it's become the thing to do these days. And frankly, unless a roof is done with some very expensive or noticeable stuff, I have never noticed what the shingles looked like. All this talk about "dimensionality" with architectural shingles...no one really notices that stuff most of the time. They are looking at the house itself, not the roof coloring or shading, unless it's very noticeable. If roofers can't shingle in a straight line with 3 tab, that's not my problem, that's their issue with their crews lack of ability.
Also, as far as wind goes, yes, Vegas has high winds at times, but the homes in Southern California that my dad had re-done were also in high wind areas, and those were ordinary flat shingles like the usual that were used for decades out there, and they lasted many many years. As you describe, they get stuck down very good. He never experienced shingles blowing off from using regular flat shingles. So, I think it's a bunch of hype to justify the higher costs. People say the higher cost is hardly noticeable, but it's my money, and if anything is higher, without serious justification, I don't want to pay it unnecessarily. This is precisely how and why people end up overpaying for things as homeowners, and all this stuff adds up in the end.
Vegas is a difficult place to find reputable roofers. The guys I have gotten estimates from get good reviews on Yelp, but who knows if it's the truth.