If you’re interested in asphalt shingles, you should know that there are different types available. There are three-tab shingles, architectural shingles, and even premium shingles. Among asphalt shingles, three-tab and architectural shingles are among the most common. Three-tab shingles are evenly sized and evenly spaced, while architectural shingles come in a variety of three-dimensional sizes and spacings.
But apart from the look and feel, what’s the real difference between tab shingles and architectural shingles? Here’s what you need to know.
3-Tab Shingles: Lightweight, Affordable
Three-tab shingles are lightweight and easy to install. They’re thinner and look more two dimensional than three dimensional after installation. Usually, three-tab shingles will not last as long, but they are cheaper than architectural shingles. The benefits of three-tab shingles are as follows:
- They’re durable. Three-tab shingle roofs can last up to 30 years, which is more than enough for many homeowners.
- They don’t require much maintenance. These shingles are quick to install and really don’t require much maintenance at all besides inspection and cleaning.
- They’re attractive. Their flat, uniform look makes them attractive to many home and business owners.
- They’re affordable. Three-tab shingles are one of the least expensive shingle options.
But that doesn’t always mean that three-tab shingles are always the best choice. While there are some benefits to three-tab shingles, there are also some downsides. Because they are lightweight, they’re not as durable. And some may want something that looks a little more dramatic.
As with most decisions about a home, it depends on the homeowner’s style and needs. But it’s worth it to compare three-tab shingle roofs with architectural shingles in terms of what will be most cost-effective both short term and long term.
Architectural Shingles: Long Lasting, Durable
Architectural shingles are long-lasting, three-dimensional shingles that are a little heavier than three-tab shingles and can be purchased in numerous styles and designs. This is usually considered to be a more premium, higher end roofing product. They’re not as common as three-tab shingle roofs, but there are a few major advantages:
- They can last a long time. Architectural shingles can potentially last up to 50 years, which means they’re an excellent investment for those thinking long term.
- They can resist the elements. Architectural shingles can resist winds up to 120 miles per hour and are more resistant to things like hail.
- They improve property value. While architectural shingles do cost more than asphalt shingles, they also add value to the property.
- They have greater levels of waterproofing. Because of the design of architectural shingles, they are more likely to remain waterproofed for longer.
Architectural shingles are more durable and last longer than three-tab shingles, but they also do cost more. Many homeowners will choose between three-tab shingles and architectural shingles on the basis of both budget and appearance.
Choosing Between 3-Tab and Architectural Shingles
While there are many factors to consider, the primary one is whether you are going to be in the property for a long time to come. If you’re only going to be in a property for the next five to 10 years, the type of roof you get may not matter as much. If you’re going to be in a property for the next 20 or 30 years, it’s more likely that architectural shingles will be best.
Second, there’s the issue of budget. Because architectural shingles are more expensive than three-tab shingles, three-tab shingles may be a more realistic option for some homeowners. Both of them are excellent choices, as both three-tab shingles and architectural shingles are going to be durable and affordable. Three-tab shingles are also lighter weight and easier to install, if speed of installation matters.
It’s often best to compare architectural shingles and three-tab shingles to determine which style is best suited to your home. You can get a look at different types of shingles in a showroom to determine which would be the best type.
While architectural shingles are going to cost more up front, they have a lower lifetime value. Consider that a roof of three-tab shingles could potentially need to be replaced twice (at 20 and 40 years) before an architectural shingle roof needs to be replaced once (at 50 years). In addition to three-tab shingles and architectural shingles, there are also premium shingles. Depending on what look and feel you want for your home, one type of shingle might be better for your home than others. It may be time to take a look at samples before you make a decision. Contact Bert Roofing today to find out more.