Three-Tab Vs. Architectural Roof Shingles


While homeowners have countless roofing materials to choose from, four out of five homes in the United States are topped with asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles remain so popular and widely used due to their relatively low cost and solid long-term performance. If you're considering asphalt shingles for your home, you may be surprised to learn that these shingles come in two basic varieties: traditional three-tab and a newer architectural variety. Understanding the difference between these two options can help you make a more effective choice when shopping for your new roof, and allow you to find a material that truly works best for your home.

Material Overview

Three-tab shingles get their name from the fact that they consist of one piece of material with two slots cut along the bottom edge. These slots make the material look like three separate shingles when the top edge is nailed in place, but it's really just one piece of material. All of the shingles are installed in line with one another, giving a neat, clean and consistent appearance. 

Architectural shingles are made of the same basic material, but do not have the cutouts found on three-tab shingles. Instead, the asphalt is layered onto the backing paper to make it look like three separate shingles, but it really just consists of one piece of material. The layering alone provides the illusion of multiple shingles. This layering gives architectural shingles a much more textured look than three-tab versions, adding a great deal of depth to the roof.


Both of these materials can be used on almost any roof, but each is better suited to certain applications. Three-tab shingles work best when you're dealing with a tight budget, and are also an ideal choice if you prefer for your roof to fade into the background instead of standing out. Architectural shingles are better for those who want the roof to stand out, or even to serve as a focal point when you look at the home's exterior. 


Architectural shingles cost between $16 and $25 more per square (a square is equal to 100 feet of roof area) than three-tab shingles. On a standard 30 square roof, this could be an extra $480 to $750 for materials.


Adding more layers of material to a roof generally makes it more durable, waterproof and wind-resistant. The built-up layers on architectural shingles typically mean a longer warranty, with average warranties of 30 to 35 years, compared to 20 to 25 years for three-tab shingles.

For more information about your options, visit RSG Home Improvements LLC.


12 August 2015

Home Repair Tips for the Novice

When I bought my first home, I was terribly inexperienced when it came to maintaining it. It seemed as if something was always broken. After spending a weekend battling with my oven, I decided that I enough was enough. I started reading everything I could about things related to the home. By the end of my research, I still could not fix my plumbing, but I could look knowledgeable as the plumber explained what was wrong. In an effort to help others avoid the tedious task of reading book after book about plumbing and appliance repairs, I started this blog. Hopefully, this information will save someone from a weekend spent wrestling with their own appliances.