Size and Shape
Three-tab asphalt shingles have one shingle tab size and shape that consists of three separate tabs that are 12 inches wide. They are coated with asphalt to shed water. Architectural shingles are characterized as dimensional or laminate and come in varying sizes and shapes. They are thicker and present a more multi-sided appearance, which is often compared to a shake- type look.
Three-tab asphalt shingles weigh less than architectural shingles. Architectural shingles are at least 50 percent heavier than asphalt 3-tab shingles.
With the obvious thickness and dimensional features of architectural shingles, they are usually guaranteed for longer periods (30-year to lifetime guarantee) and are rated higher than a 3-tab shingle, so they require fewer intervals of repair or replacement. On the other hand, 3-tab shingles are not guaranteed over the same length of time because of their thinner composition. They require repair and replacement much sooner than their architectural counterpart. Additionally, architectural shingles, because of their features and resistance to wind speeds, hail, and fungal growths, are less likely to need replacement over the life of a house. The wind factor is a definite detractor from 3-tab shingles, as they easily lift and tear in strong winds.
Architectural shingles cost considerably more than 3-tab shingles because of their overall material composition and durability. Three-tab shingles are more affordable, and many homes have 3-tab shingle roofs. When repairs or replacements are needed, the same type of lower cost 3-tab shingles can be readily used and save homeowners considerable expense.
The use of architectural shingles raises the value of a home. With high-level architectural shingle materials and proper installation, a home can easily retain or increase its value with the use of these types of shingles.
The use of architectural shingles has become more popular. The aesthetics of dimensional shingle roofing has encouraged homeowners to improve the look of their homes from the top down. Choosing architectural or dimensional shingles as opposed to 3-tab shingles is a matter of product quality, effectiveness, overall appeal, increased value, and cost. Homeowners who are in the market to increase the value and curb appeal of their homes want the quality and performance that architectural shingles provide, and they are willing to absorb the costs of this shingle type for the added value.