top of page

Architectural vs. 3-Tab Shingles

Updated: Feb 12

Many homeowners might not realize how important it is to keep their roof in great condition. It's what protects you and your home from major weather events. And when you work with ARI, asphalt shingles are our specialty. There are two types of asphalt shingles, three-tab and architectural. Which is better? In this article, we’ll discuss the key differences and direct you towards making the right choice for your home.

3-Tab Roofing Shingles
Image One: 3-Tab Roofing Shingles

Three-Tab Shingles

What are 3-tab shingles? The “tab” in 3-tab, refers to the three uniform cutouts along the lower edge of the shingles. It might look like three separate pieces during a roof installation, but it’s actually one shingle with the appearance of three. As shown in Image One, these shingles also have a flatter look rather than having any dimensional thickness. This causes them to be lighter, with an average weight of 240 lbs per square. When it comes to wind resistance ratings, they are rated for wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. And depending on the shingle manufacturer as well as the weather conditions in your area, 3-tab shingles can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.

Architectural Roofing Shingles
Image Two: Architectural Roofing Shingles

Architectural Shingles

Unlike the 3-tab, architectural shingles do not have cutouts. Instead, they have an additional layer of asphalt on the lower section. As shown in Image Two, you can see these features give the architectural shingle more of a dimensional look. This is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also increases its durability. These shingles weigh about twice as much as 3-tab shingles, with an average weight of 440 lbs per square. A heavier weight also means they have higher wind ratings, facing wind speeds anywhere from 80 to 120 miles per hour. They also have a longer lifespan, ranging from 15 to 25 years, but this all depends on the shingle manufacturer as well as the weather conditions in your area.

So, which is better?

Based on the previous information, architectural shingles are clearly the winner! If you currently have older, 3-tab shingles on your home, you might be due for a roof replacement. And we offer a FREE upgrade to architectural shingles when you qualify under our program.

Call us at 208.350.1008 to get started!


bottom of page