Homeowners are usually shocked when they find out just how many options they have when it comes to roofing materials. If you need a re-roofing done, you may be tempted to go with the least expensive option. However, jumping into a decision without getting all the information first. For example, do you know the differences between architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles?
Of course, most people look at a roof and see the roof. It takes a bit of experience and knowledge to be able to tell apart one type of shingle from another, so don’t worry if you are unaware of the differences.
Now that you’re here, why not see the pros and cons of architectural shingles versus three-tab shingles? You’ll get a better understanding of which roofing material is right for your home.
Also known as traditional shingles, these are the ones that people most often visualize when thinking about asphalt shingles. Three-tabs come in a rectangular shape and are available in several color options, depending on the manufacturer. Yet, these color options are not as flexible as other roofing material options. For instance, GAF’s popular Royal Sovereign line only has 8 color options. IKO Marathon 3-tab has 4 choices.
- Because of the single layer design, 3-tab shingles weigh less than architectural shingles
- Less materials used means a lower price tag
- Affordable for new homeowners and those who need to do immediate repairs on a budget
- Sleek look with neat lines
- Less durability and lifespan than other roofing materials, including architectural shingles. Depending on weather conditions and maintenance, 3-tab shingles will last between 10-15 years.
- The flat appearance is less dimensional than other types of shingles
- Low wind resilience
The main reason people choose to go with three-tab shingles over architectural ones is the cost. There are some occasions where you use three-tab shingles because you plan on moving soon and simply need to repair the roofing for the next person. Compared to architectural shingles, traditional three-tabs are at least 20% cheaper.
Also referred to as laminate shingles or dimensional shingles, this type is about 50% thicker than traditional shingles and twice as durable. In appearance, architectural shingles are less flat looking on a roof (hence “dimensional”) and come in a greater array of colors, sizes, and shapes. Architectural shingles are considered higher quality asphalt shingles for this reason, and many brands have introduced designer architectural shingles to broaden their product offerings. This means you have more choices between dimensional shingles than you would with 3-tab shingles.
While both shingles types use the same materials for construction—fiberglass mat, asphalt, adhesives, and granules—architectural shingles have a double layer, whereas three-tab shingles only have one. Additionally, architectural shingles have more of everything. More of a mat, higher quality adhesives and asphalt, and even more surface granules for higher reflectivity against the sun.
Architectural shingles are popular among homeowners and contractors alike for their resilience, ease of installation, and cost-effectiveness.
- Typically come with lifetimes warranties that last for up to 50 years, depending on the brand and type
- Thicker and far more durable than 3-tab shingles
- Rated higher in impact and wind resistance than 3-tab shingles
- When properly installed and maintained, architectural shingles have an average lifespan of 25-30 years but may last up to 50 years
- Heavier than 3-tab shingles, which may pose a threat to homes that are not as structurally sound or have older construction
- Cost more than traditional three-tab varieties
Architectural Shingles vs. Three-Tab Shingles: The Verdict
Should you spend more money on architectural shingles? It depends. There are plenty of reasons why a homeowner would choose three-tab shingles over other options and vice versa. Yet, one of the factors that should not be overlooked is curb appeal. The roof on your home is usually 50-60% of the whole structure, meaning that it is something everyone will see. If you are planning on selling your current residence, then you need to factor that in.
Roofing that does nothing for the visual appeal of the roof could damage your efforts to sell. Prospective buyers are looking to get the most out of their purchase, so they are not going to choose a property that has a roof that looks to be poor quality.
Dimensional shingles do a wonderful job of hiding any imperfections that a roof may have, while
the flat look of 3-tab shingles could make any blemishes more pronounced. While the structure itself may not be in any danger, such design flaws could dissuade potential buyers.
Also, let’s not overlook the fact that architectural shingles will increase the overall value of your home. Three-tab shingles, on the other hand, have no such effect.
In short, choosing one type of shingle over the other is based on circumstances. Three-tab shingles are best when you used them before and had no issues. You could be in a lower income neighborhood or trying to move from your current address and need to quickly patch up some issues. Architectural shingles are a better option when you have the finances to do a better re-roofing job and plan on remaining in your home for many years.
Still have questions about 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles? Don’t know which one to choose? Chat with our friendly team. RGB Construction has been helping homeowners like you for many years, and we’re more than happy to give advice. Contact us by filling out the form or pick up the phone.