Are you thinking about putting asphalt shingles on your roof? Did you know there’s more than one type? Of all the varieties of asphalt roofing on the market, three-tab and architectural shingles are the two types homeowners tend to opt for. If you’re unsure which of the two is best for your project, our Paradigm Roofing team is here to help. Read on for a breakdown of the advantages and drawbacks of three-tab and architectural shingles to get an idea of which variety is best for your needs.

What Are 3-Tab Shingles?

As their name indicates, three-tab shingles feature three uniform tabs, also referred to as cutouts, along the bottom edge of each shingle. The top of each shingle is one continuous piece. When installed, the three cutouts appear to be three separate shingles, but in reality, they all comprise a single shingle.

Benefits of 3-Tab Shingles

Of all the roofing materials on the market today, three-tab asphalt shingles are the most popular and have been for several decades. Why? Because they offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Affordability. Asphalt shingles are widely known as the most affordable roofing material, but certain types of asphalt shingles cost more than others. Of all the varieties of asphalt roofing, three-tab shingles are the most budget friendly.
  • Durability. Three-tab shingles have an average lifespan of approximately 15–20 years, provided they’re properly maintained. Under optimal conditions, they can last as long as 25–30 years. They also boast a Class-A fire rating.
  • Design versatility. With three-tab shingles, you can achieve a uniform aesthetic that pairs well with just about any architectural design. They’re also available in a wide variety of colors to complement virtually any exterior aesthetic.
  • Ease of installation. Because three-tab shingles are remarkably lightweight compared to other shingle types, they’re very easy to install, which helps cut down roof installation expenses.
  • Simple to maintain. Aside from periodic inspections and routine roof cleaning, these shingles don’t require much maintenance at all.

Drawbacks of 3-Tab Shingles

Although three-tab asphalt shingles have long been the most popular roofing material on the market, they’re not without a few drawbacks. Potential disadvantages of installing three-tab roofing on your home include:

  • Thin construction. Three-tab shingles are lightweight because they’re thin relative to other types of shingles, which can be a drawback in terms of the material’s longevity. Generally, these shingles tend to have a shorter lifespan than other types of roofing simply because they’re not as thick, which translates to reduced sturdiness.
  • More prone to weather-related deterioration. Given the fact that three-tab shingles aren’t quite as robust as other types of roofing, they’re usually more susceptible to damage during episodes of severe weather. Generally, the more substantial a shingle is, the better its ability to withstand inclement weather without suffering damage.
  • Flat appearance. For homeowners who want a roof with some dimension to it, three-tab shingles aren’t the best choice. Because of the way they’re fabricated, these shingles appear flat, which can be a drawback depending on aesthetic goals.

What Are Architectural Shingles?

Also referred to as dimensional or laminated shingles, architectural shingles consist of a fiberglass base and ceramic-coated granules embedded in water-resistant asphalt. They feature multiple layers of material that are laminated together, which creates a multi-dimensional aesthetic, hence their name.

Advantages of Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles may not be quite as popular as their three-tab counterpart, but that’s not because they’re lacking in the benefits department. These three-dimensional shingles offer homeowners several advantages, including:

  • Long lifespan. On average, architectural shingles last around 25–30 years, and in some cases, they can last 40–50 years with proper maintenance.
  • Robust construction. Architectural shingles are quite thick, which gives them the strength necessary to last a long time and provide high-level protection without extensive long-term maintenance.
  • Improved weather resistance. Given their thickness, architectural shingles can withstand winds of up to 130 mph and will also stand up well under other inclement weather conditions.
  • Attractive appearance. When installed, architectural shingles have a multi-dimensional appearance, which complements a wide range of exterior aesthetics. They’re an affordable option for giving a roof some pizazz without breaking the bank.
  • Improve property value. With their multi-dimensional appearance, robust construction, and lengthy lifespan, architectural shingles tend to increase property value a bit more than other types of asphalt roofing.

Drawbacks of Architectural Shingles

While architectural shingles do offer a number of advantages, their thicker construction and improved aesthetic make them pricier than more basic varieties of asphalt roofing. Aside from price, architectural shingles don’t really have any other drawbacks when compared to their other asphalt roofing counterparts.

3-Tab Shingles vs. Architectural Shingles: Choosing Between the Two

Which type of shingle should you opt for? Ultimately, you’ll have to consider your budget, your design needs, and the length of time you plan to remain in your home. If you’re working with a tight budget, three-tab shingles are probably your best option. That’s especially true if you know you’ll be moving within a few years and aren’t overly concerned with the longevity of your roof.

If you have a little wiggle room with your roof budget, on the other hand, architectural shingles are the way to go. Since they’re thicker, they tend to last quite a bit longer than their three-tab counterparts, and they also deliver a more pleasing aesthetic that’ll contribute more to the overall value of your home.

Get a New Roof Installed by Paradigm Roofing

Ready for a roof replacement? Need a roof installed on a new home? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team expert Dallas roofers at Paradigm Roofing to get an estimate! We specialize in residential roofing for homeowners throughout Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin Counties and have over 30 years of experience in the roofing industry. To get started, feel free to give us a call at 972-542-7774 or contact us for more information.