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3-Tab Shingles vs. Architectural Shingles

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The two most common shingles offered in residential roofing are 3-Tab shingles and Architectural or Dimensional shingles.  Most homes in the Atlanta area that are older than 10 years old are roofed with the traditional 3-Tab shingle, however Architectural shingles are quickly rising in popularity and are not the number one shingle style used on most Atlanta homes.


3-Tab Shingles

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Roofers refer to a shingle as 3-Tab because it is made up of three individual tabs that are a 12” wide.  3-Tab shingles come in either 20yr, 25yr, or 30 yr warranties.  Like Architectural shingles, 3-Tab roofing shingles are asphalt-based products that work by shedding water to the shingle below.

Architectural or Dimensional Shingles

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Architectural shingles come with a minimum 30yr warranty from the manufacture, but most architectural shingles now come with a lifetime warranty.  Architectural shingles are actually two asphalt shingle strips that have been laminated together to form a shingle that originally tried to mimic wood shake roofs.  The tabs on these roofing shingles are of varying widths and have slightly different shades of color to give a more dimensional appearance.

Advantages to Architectural Shingles

  • Better curb appeal
  • Longer manufacture warranty
  • Higher wind resistance
  • Better resistance to hail impacts
  • Includes protection against black algae stains


Which Shingle is Right for Your Roofing Project

  3-Tab Shingles (25 Year Shingles) Architectural Shingles
Life Expectancy 12yr or 15yr 25yr or Lifetime (50 yrs)
Wind Warranty 60mph 130mph With Proper Installation
Price $ $$-$$$

Architectural shingles are by far a superior product to older 3-Tab shingles.  However, these new singles do cost more and might not always be needed on a tight budget.  Architectural shingles cost about $16.00-$25.00 per sq. more than a 25yr 3-Tab shingle.  On a typical 30sq house, this cost can add between $480.00-$750.00 to the cost of materials.  This price often varies, so make sure you get a specific quote from your roofer.

If you would like a shingle sample so that you can actually see the difference, give me a call at 770-744-5992 and I would be happy to come out and show you the difference between 3-Tab and Architectural shingles.  If you live in a subdivision, you will most likely have real examples of both roofs nearby that we can point out to help compare and contrast the difference. Get your FREE no obligation quote by clicking here

Be sure to check out our article on How Much Does A New Roof Cost here.

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