Architectural Shingles vs. 3-Tab Shingles

close up of new rubber roof tiles

Roof replacement is a fairly large home improvement project. But when your roof is aging or damaged it needs to be replaced before it leaks and causes significant damage to your home. If you’re in need of a new roof, you should know that there are different types of shingles to consider. 

The most common types of shingles are architectural and 3-tab shingles. Both are made of asphalt with a fiberglass backing, but that is where the similarities end. There are many differences between the two types of shingles to consider when planning your roof replacement project. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to architectural shingles vs. 3-tab shingles. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing Shingles

When choosing between these two types of shingles, you should consider the following factors in your decision: 

  • Upfront cost. This refers to how much you will pay for the shingles as part of your total roof replacement cost. 
  • Long term cost. How long the shingles will last before needing to be replaced.
  • Wind resistance. Shingles are rated to withstand certain mph winds depending on their type. 
  • Warranty. Different shingles come with different warranties from the manufacturer. 
  • Aesthetics. Consider how the shingles look for style and curb appeal. 

Characteristics of 3-Tab Shingles 

3-tab shingles are typically the economic choice. They are lower in cost per shingle than architectural shingles, providing you with a lower upfront cost for installation. However, as you may imagine, they don’t have as long of a life expectancy as more expensive shingles. This also means they come with a shorter warranty. 3-tab shingles are thinner and lighter than architectural shingles, making them less wind resistant. They are uniform in size and shape and lay flat against the roof.

Characteristics of Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are thicker and heavier than 3-tab shingles because they consist of multiple layers of material. They are also called dimensional shingles because they don’t lay flat. Their shape offers a more stylish appearance. They can even be made to resemble cedar shakes or slate. Architectural shingles cost more up front, but they can last twice as long as 3-tab shingles. Their weight and durability provides a greater wind resistance and they typically come with a longer warranty. 

Which Type of Shingle Should I Choose?

The best type of shingle for your roof replacement project depends on your goals. If you want a quality roof that will stand the test of time, architectural shingles will provide you with the longevity you desire. If you need a new roof but want to save money now, 3-tab shingles may be the better choice. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Am I investing in a home I plan to stay in? If you are in your forever home, or at least a home you plan to spend the next decade in or longer, it may be worthwhile to pay more for architectural shingles. 
  • Am I planning to sell my home in the near future? If you are replacing your roof just to make it sellable or you plan to sell in the next few years, you may want to save money now and purchase 3-tab shingles. 
  • Do I live in an area where high winds are common? If you live in an area that is prone to high winds or severe weather, architectural shingles will hold up better. 
  • Are you fixing up a home for resale? More commonly known as flipping, if you purchase homes with plans to fix them up and resell them, the economic 3-tab shingles are a cost effective choice that will improve your bottom line. 

Weatherguard Roofing Repairs and Replaces Roofs with All Types of Shingles

Whether you need a few shingles repaired or a whole new roof, Weatherguard Roofing provides a variety of shingles to choose from. We can match your current shingles for repairs and offer recommendations on what type of shingles would be best for your roof replacement. In addition to the manufacturer warranty on your shingles, we offer a workmanship warranty on our repairs and installations. 

Contact us today to request a free estimate. We look forward to providing you with quality roof repair or replacement.