Architectural vs 3 Tab Shingles: Which Should You Choose?

three tab roofing

With so many roofing options available for your home or for your business, it can be difficult to decide which type will work best for you. Even if you’ve already chosen the material you want, there’ll likely be at least a few different options in that category that could work for your needs. Asphalt shingles remain one of the most popular roofing materials around, but did you know there are different kinds of asphalt shingles? There are actually three main types, but we’ll be discussing two of the most common — three tab roofing and architectural roofing shingles — in today’s post.

What are architectural shingles?
Also known as dimensional shingles or laminate shingles, architectural shingles consist of two strips of asphalt shingle laminated together. The widths of these tabs vary, which give them a more unique look that appears similar to wood shake or slate. These shingles are heavier and thicker than three tab roofing.

What is three tab roofing?
Three tab shingles have three equal tabs along their lower edge (hence their name). These shingles have a completely uniform appearance because, unlike architectural shingles, each one is identical in shape and size.

How these roofing types compare in terms of…

  • Appearance: As stated above, architectural shingle roofing looks a bit more natural, while three tab shingles have a much more consistent look. Generally speaking, architectural roofing tends to have a bit more curb appeal, since they can mimic other desirable roofing options and can even mask certain roof imperfections. That said, some business owners and homeowners prefer the look of three tab roofing over architectural roofing.
  • Cost: Architectural shingles do cost more than three tab shingles. If budget is a primary concern for you, three tab may be the better option, especially if you’re replacing a large commercial roof. However, keep in mind that three tab shingles may require repairs and replacement than other options; while you may pay less up front, you should be prepared to pay a bit more over time for maintenance from your roofing company. In addition, architectural shingles provide a better ROI for many homes.
  • Durability: Due to their thickness, architectural shingles are less likely to curl than three tab shingles are. They also have a higher wind resistance, which can be of concern in areas that are prone to major storms. You should also ask your roofing contractor about comparative warranties. Three tab shingles are usually warrantied for 20 to 25 years from the manufacturer (and will likely need replacing before that), while architectural shingles may carry a lifetime warranty. This will depend on the manufacturer, product, and installation method, so it pays to ensure you’re hiring highly qualified residential or commercial roofing services for the job.

When it comes to deciding between three tab vs. architectural shingle roofing, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. If initial cost will determine your decision, three tab shingles might be a good place to start. But if you want to make an investment in your property and want a higher quality roof appearance, architectural shingles may be the best choice. To find out more about the best roofing options for your home or business, contact us today.