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Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

Architectural Shingles vs. 3-Tab Shingles

Published by Pickard Roofing at

When it comes to selecting the ideal roofing material for your home, the decision often boils down to two popular options: architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles. Each type of shingle comes with its unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the differences between them is essential for making an informed choice. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks of architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles to assist you in determining which is the best fit for your roofing project.

Architectural Shingles


Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional or laminated shingles, are constructed with multiple layers of asphalt. This layering creates a textured, 3D appearance that mimics the look of natural materials like wood or slate.


Enhanced Aesthetics and Curb Appeal

One of the standout features of architectural shingles is their enhanced aesthetic appeal. The textured, multi-dimensional look adds depth and character to your roof, boosting the overall curb appeal of your home. These shingles are often chosen for their ability to make a striking architectural statement.

Durability Against Wind and Hail

Architectural shingles are known for their exceptional durability. Their multilayer construction makes them more resistant to strong winds and hail damage, providing added protection for your home.

Longer Lifespan

Architectural shingles typically have a longer lifespan compared to 3-tab shingles. They can last anywhere from 30 to 50 years or more, making them a long-term investment.

Variety of Styles and Colors

These shingles offer a wide range of styles and color options, allowing homeowners to choose a look that complements their architectural style and personal preferences.

Extended Warranties Available

Many manufacturers offer extended warranties for architectural shingles, providing peace of mind for homeowners.


Higher Upfront Cost

Architectural shingles come with a higher initial cost compared to 3-tab shingles. However, their long lifespan and enhanced features can justify the investment over time.

Professional Installation Recommended

Given their complexity, professionals are best to install architectural shingles to ensure proper placement and maximize their longevity.

3-Tab Shingles


3-tab shingles, also known as strip or flat shingles, are single-layer asphalt shingles with a flat and uniform appearance.



3-tab shingles are known for their cost-effectiveness. They offer a budget-friendly roofing option, making them appealing to homeowners with budget constraints.

Simpler Installation

3-tab shingles are easier and quicker to install than architectural shingles, potentially saving labor costs.

Decent Lifespan

While less long-lasting than architectural shingles, 3-tab shingles can still provide a serviceable lifespan of 20 to 30 years.

Some Warranties Offered

Some manufacturers offer limited warranties for 3-tab shingles, providing a level of protection for homeowners.


Limited Aesthetic Appeal

3-tab shingles lack the textured, 3D appearance of architectural shingles, resulting in a more basic and less visually appealing roof.

Lower Durability in Severe Weather

These shingles are less durable in severe weather conditions, making them more susceptible to wind and hail damage.

Shorter Lifespan

While they have a decent lifespan, 3-tab shingles typically do not last as long as architectural shingles

Fewer Design Options

3-tab shingles offer fewer design options in terms of style and color, limiting your customization choices.

Choosing the Right Shingle

When it comes to choosing the right shingle for your roofing project, several crucial factors should be taken into account. 

  • First and foremost, it's essential to establish your budget and carefully evaluate the upfront costs associated with each type of shingle, be it architectural or 3-tab. 
  • Additionally, consider the aesthetics and curb appeal you desire for your home's overall appearance; your roof plays a significant role in this. If you reside in an area prone to harsh weather conditions, such as severe storms or hail, prioritize shingles known for their durability and ability to withstand such climates. 
  • Furthermore, contemplate your long-term plans for your residence and whether the investment in architectural shingles aligns with your future goals and potential resale value. 
  • Lastly, don't overlook the cost of professional installation, as it ensures proper placement and maximizes the performance of your selected shingle. Taking these factors into consideration will lead you to the right choice for your roofing project.


The choice between architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles ultimately depends on your specific needs, budget, and aesthetic preferences

To make an informed decision, consult with Pickard Roofing, they can assess your unique situation and provide expert guidance tailored to your needs. Whether you choose the striking appearance of architectural shingles or the budget-friendly option of 3-tab shingles, the right choice will help protect your home and enhance its overall look and value.

For expert roofing advice and installation services in Raleigh, North Carolina, contact Pickard Roofing today. Our experienced team can help you choose the perfect shingle for your home and ensure a quality installation that stands the test of time. Don't hesitate to reach out for a free consultation and estimate for your roofing project. Your roof deserves the best, and we're here to deliver it.

At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.