Which Shingles Are Better: Architectural Shingles or 3-Tab?

Are you in the market for a roof upgrade or replacement? When it comes to getting a new roof, homeowners have a variety of materials to choose from. They can either go for the more durable yet expensive metal roofing or stick to the reliable shingles. Most homeowners in the US choose asphalt shingles for their durability, versatility, and price. However, while most people can agree that asphalt shingles are a great choice, there is still an ongoing debate about which is better. The two main choices are 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles. Here, Braxco Roofing and Contracting takes a look at both materials and figures out which one is more suitable for you and your home.

3-Tab Shingles

A 3-tab shingle is distinguished by three uniform cutouts, or ‘tabs’, made along the lower edge of the shingles. These shingles are typically lightweight and relatively easy to install. These thinner shingles give off a two-dimensional look after being installed. In most cases, 3-tab shingles will not last as long as architectural shingles. With that being said though, there are benefits of investing in 3-tab shingles. Those benefits include:

  • Life Expectancy – 3-tab shingle roofs can last up to 30+ years.
  • Low Maintenance – These shingles are quick to install and really don’t require much maintenance.
  • Looks – 3-tab roofs have a flat and uniform look which makes them attractive to many owners.
  • Affordable – 3-tab shingles are one of the least expensive shingle options on the market.

While there are many pros to 3-tab shingles, there are also cons. Because they are lightweight, they’re not as durable. Another thing is that some homeowners want a more complex or three-dimensional look to their roof. At the end of the day, it all depends on the owner’s style and needs. So when shopping for a new roof, it is always smart to compare 3-tab shingle roofs with architectural shingles in terms of what will be most cost-effective for you and your budget.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles are three-dimensional shingles that are heavier than 3-tab shingles. They are created by laminating two shingle strips together to form a single, dimensional shingle. The tabs on these shingles come in various shapes and sizes and are very durable. They typically can be purchased in numerous designs depending on your local retailer. These kinds of shingles are usually considered to be a higher-end roofing product. They’re not as common as three-tab shingle roofs, but there are many pros to architectural shingles. Such benefits include:

  • Life Expectancy – Architectural shingles can potentially last up to 50+ years.
  • Durable – Architectural shingles can stand winds up to 120 mph and are more resistant to things like winter storms.
  • Added Value – While architectural shingles do cost more, they also add more value to your home.
  • Waterproofing – Because of their design, they are more likely to remain waterproofed for longer.

Architectural shingles are more durable and last longer than 3-tab shingles, but they also are more expensive. Many homeowners will choose between 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles on the basis of both budget and appearance.

How Do I Choose?

There are several things to consider when deciding on a new roof. How long do you intend to be there? If you’re going to be in your home for the next 20-30 years, consider architectural shingles. Another thing to consider is your budget. Because architectural shingles are more expensive, 3-tab shingles may be a more realistic option, especially if you have a larger roof. It’s often best to compare architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles to determine which style is best suited to your home. The last thing to consider is prior damage to the roof. Consider talking to your property insurance agent. In some cases, depending on hail or storm damage, some roofs may be covered under insurance. If you have any questions, give us a call today and we can give you a free consultation.

Call Braxco Roofing Today

BRAXCO Roofing and Contracting is a family-owned business that prides itself in providing residential and commercial customers with the highest quality workmanship and the best products in the roofing industry. We proudly service the greater Rome area, including Alpharetta, Milton, Calhoun, Norcross, and more. Give us a call today to schedule your FREE estimate!