What's The Difference Between Architectural And Three-Tab Asphalt Shingles?

Asphalt shingles are an incredibly popular choice with homeowners. They not only are an affordable and durable roofing material, but they have an aesthetic appeal that helps your home look great. If you've decided to get asphalt shingles, you still need to decide if you want three-tab shingles or architectural shingles. Here is what you need to know about the two variations of this popular shingle material.

Appearance and Design

Architectural shingles are also referred to as laminated or dimensional shingles because they have a different look that is textured and layered. The shingles come in various shapes and sizes, which are actually designed to mimic other roofing materials, such as slate or wood. This can provide a multidimensional effect that really improves your home's curb appeal.

Three-tab shingles are not going to have that multidimensional effect, since they lay flat and uniform across the surface of the roof. It still provides a look that is very clean and aesthetically pleasing but won't simulate wood or slate-like architectural shingles.

Lifespan and Durability

You'll find that architectural shingles are known for having an increased lifespan. This is due to the architectural shingles being made with multiple layers of fiberglass and asphalt, which gives them additional protection against impact damage, wind, and the weather.  

The three-tab shingle alternative is still very durable but has a shorter lifespan. The shingles simply are not thick enough to offer the same durability and are made out of a thin layer of fiberglass and asphalt. It works great for most homes, but the material is susceptible to weather damage when conditions are more extreme.

Value and Cost

Since architectural shingles are of higher quality and have improved aesthetics, it makes sense that they are going to be the more costly roofing material. This choice can offer great value to you as a homeowner though, since they will not need to be replaced as soon as three-tab shingles. 

Three-tab shingles can work great for homeowners that are on a budget since they offer great function at an affordable price. If you plan on moving out of your home within a few years, the cheaper three-tab shingle may be a great option for you to save money.

Still not sure which shingle material will work best for your home? Reach out to a roofing contractor in your area for more information and assistance with selecting and installing a new roofing material.