The large majority of homeowners opt for three-tab asphalt shingles when roofing or re-roofing their homes. But there is no question about the fact that architectural asphalt shingles are a better product. Architectural shingles give you better performance, greater longevity, and a big boost in curb appeal.
If your home already has three-tab shingles and needs a repair, you have to go with three-tab of course. And three-tabs are also used as a starter row underneath architectural shingles on the roof's eaves. But the main reason for the popularity of three-tab over architectural is clear - the cost savings and more than adequate functionality for most situations.
How Do Architectural Shingles Compare To The Three-Tab Alternative?
Architectural shingles are also called "dimensional" or "laminate" shingles. They also have tabs, but the shape and size of the tabs varies from shingle to shingle, which results in a more unique and three-dimensional (rather than three-tab) look to the roofing once on the housetop. This actually makes your roof look a bit more like it has shakes on it.
The second major difference of note is that architectural shingles weigh about 50% more than three-tabs. They are multi-layered and more contoured as compared to the flatter three-tab shingles. More material and weight means a higher price tag, but it also improves aesthetics, increases durability, and boosts wind resistance.
Architectural roofing shingles will come with a longer warranty than three-tab shingles. Normally, you get 20 to 25 years on the latter but 30 or more years on the former. This longer warranty reflects a longer roofing lifespan and a decreased likelihood of needing frequent/major repairs.
You add more to the value of your home when you have architectural shingles installed, and you gain a big selling point. You may also save more on your taxes. Rental properties and homes with lower overall market values normally stick with three-tab shingles, while higher-value homes and businesses go with architectural - but that's not a hard and fast rule.
When Do Architectural Roofing Shingles Make Sense?
If you analyze your roofing layer by layer, boosting the appeal and toughness of the top layer (the shingles) is easily of greatest importance. It adds both protection and curb appeal to your whole home like nothing else will.
There's nothing wrong with going with three-tab shingles for your new roofing, of course, but there are certainly situations where architectural shingles make sense. Here are the top reasons to "go architectural":
We can give you a free quote for each type of roofing material you may be interested in so you can compare costs and weigh them against potential benefits to make an overall decision based on the full facts.