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Architectural vs. 3-Tab Shingles: Is There a Difference?

What is the difference between architectural shingles and 3-tab asphalt shinglesIf you’re in the market for a new roof, you’ve likely heard that there are two types of asphalt shingles: architectural and 3-tab. You’ve also probably heard that architectural shingles are one of the most popular roofing solutions in America due to being durable, economical, and beautiful, and that 3-tab shingles are being used less and less. 

Before hiring a roofing service to install asphalt shingles at your home in Columbia, MD, and other Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey communities, you should understand why architectural shingles are the preferred asphalt shingle style today. This will enable you to make an informed financial decision and ensure you get a functional and eye-catching roof that you’ll be happy with for many years to come.

In previous articles, we listed the most commonly used roofing materials and discussed the most important things homeowners should consider when replacing their roofs. Now we’ll take a look at the crucial advantages architectural shingles have over 3-tab shingles. Read on.

What is the difference between architectural shingles and 3-tab asphalt shingles?

All asphalt shingles are made by layering fiberglass between asphalt and ceramic-covered granules. In addition to being sturdy, asphalt shingles are one of the most affordable roofing materials in the United States, which makes them the go-to option for most homeowners.

Key differences between 3-tab and architectural shingles include:

Architectural shingles

  • Their layers are bonded with asphalt sealant. This makes them sturdier and more waterproof than standard shingles.
  • They can withstand wind speeds of 110-130mph, whereas regular asphalt shingles are rated for wind speeds of 60mph.
  • They last 50 years or more in optimal climate conditions, provided that they’re installed and maintained properly. They tend to come with lifetime warranties.
  • They offer better value. Due to being highly resilient and providing superior waterproofing, architectural shingles ensure long-term savings.
  • They can boost the value of your property. Architectural shingles are more resilient and visually attractive, which makes them more appealing to property buyers.
  • They come in many different shapes and sizes. This makes them the ideal option for unusually-shaped roofs or homeowners who want to give their roofs a more unique look.

3-tab shingles

  • They last 15-20 years when the climate is right and they’ve been installed correctly. The warranty for 3-tab shingles usually ranges between 20 and 30 years.
  • They have a flat and uniform look, so they don’t offer nearly as much flexibility and opportunity for customization as architectural shingles do.
  • They’re getting phased out. Due to being outdated and of lower quality, most reputable roofing contractors will only install 3-tab shingles when that’s the only way to match other shingles or when Homeowners’ Associations specifically require them.

Are architectural shingles better than 3-tab asphalt shingles?

Absolutely. Architectural shingles contain no cutouts, their lower portions are laminated with an additional layer of asphalt, and they come in many different sizes and shapes. All of this makes them more durable and versatile than regular 3-tab shingles, and gives them a more premium look.

If your budget allows it, you should always opt for architectural shingles. The increased durability, property value, and functionality architectural shingles bring is more than enough to justify the higher upfront cost.

Are architectural shingles better than 3-tab asphalt shinglesWhere can I find a dependable roofing service in Columbia, MD & across Mid-Atlantic?

Just as you wouldn’t hire an inexperienced contractor to remodel your home or build your swimming pool, you also shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to hiring roofers to install your asphalt shingle roof.

With over 18 years of industry experience, Nu Look Home Design is the premier provider of roofing services in Columbia and other communities across the Mid-Atlantic. Call us and schedule our efficient, hassle-free service today!


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