Your Guide to Finding a Trustworthy Roofing Contractor

Join the Rose family.

Choosing Between 3-Tab and Architectural Shingles

One of the most significant considerations when homeowners replace a roof is the cost. The pricing can vary widely depending on what type of shingle you select. Asphalt shingles are a great option to keep the cost within reason. There are different types of asphalt shingles to choose from, so understanding the difference is essential.
Architectural and 3-tab shingles are both asphalt shingles but are quite different. Let’s look at what they are and the pros and cons of each.

What Are 3-Tab Shingles?

The 3-tab shingle is designed with three notches at the bottom, which is how they got their name. The shingle may appear to be three separate pieces, but it is just one. They are made up of lightweight material. The 3-tab shingle comes in various tones so you can choose the best shade to contrast with your home’s paint color.


Many people choose 3-tab shingles because they are one of the most inexpensive options to install. You can get a very clean look for a fraction of the price of other shingle types.

Due to the lightweight nature of 3-tab shingles, they are easy to install for a professional who has the tools and product knowledge to do it safely and correctly. It won’t take long to have a new, beautiful roof.


Since 3-tab shingles are lighter weight, they are more vulnerable to high winds or bad weather. You might need to replace sections affected by weather more often.

On average, you will get about 10-20 years out of 3-tab shingles. This is a shorter lifespan than other types of shingles.
What Are Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles can offer a premium look at a lower cost. They mimic more expensive shingles such as slate or cedar shake. The name refers to how the shingle is constructed, bonding two basic shingles together.


Due to the increased thickness, architectural shingles can withstand high winds and bad weather. Their lifespan can be anywhere from 15-30 years. For this reason, they often come with a more extended warranty.

Curb Appeal
Architectural shingles have gained popularity in the last several decades for the appearance they provide. Homeowners get the look of a pricey shingle without the high cost.


Architectural shingles can be 40-50% more expensive than 3-tab shingles. You’ll spend more upfront. Keep in mind they do have a longer lifespan, so money is saved on maintenance and replacement over the years.

Compared to 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles can weigh nearly double. You will need to have one of our professionals inspect your roof to ensure it can handle the added weight.

If you are in the market to replace asphalt shingles, both 3-tab and architectural shingles are solid options. One of our experts can inspect your roof and discuss which choice might be best for your needs. If you need to file an insurance claim, we can walk you through that process as well.

Deciding on what shingle is best for your home and family can involve many factors. Contact us today and we’ll help you make a decision that will improve the look of your home and protect you for years.


Architectural Shingles vs. 3-Tab Shingles