Replacing your roof can seem like a complicated, confusing process for homeowners. You have many decisions to make which affect your home’s stability and longevity.
One of the many decisions you must make is what set of shingles to use. This guide will familiarize you with two of the most popular shingle options: dimensional and 3-tab shingles.
What are dimensional shingles?
Most modern shingles are made of asphalt. Dimensional shingles are no different, except they are designed to look like wooden ones. Also referred to as laminated or architectural shingles, dimensional shingles come in various styles.
In addition to protecting you and your loved ones, dimensional shingles appear to have a random pattern that can mimic wooden and slate roofs. These shingles can also withstand over 110 mph winds, hide imperfections and inconsistencies in your roofs, are widely versatile for many types of roof pitches, and your Homeowner’s Association loves them.
Dimensional shingles can also increase your home’s value if you upgrade from damaged or cheaper shingles. While dimensional shingles offer many positives, they also cost and weigh more than other (3-tab) shingles.
If your budget doesn’t account for dimensional shingles, or your roof can’t support the extra weight, dimensional shingles may be out of the question.
Dimensional shingles’ lifespan is approximately 30 years, but once preserved and under ideal conditions, they can last up to 50. If homeowners ventilate their attics, ensure their shingles are correctly installed, and take precautions against harsh weather, you can squeeze many years out of your shingles.
What are 3-Tab Shingles?
3-tab shingles are your average, everyday shingles. Also made of asphalt, 3-tab shingles lay flat on your roof and have three tabs on each shingle strip.
3-tab shingles have been around for decades and are generally easier for roofers to install. 3-tab shingles follow a predictable, repeating pattern that makes for simple and clean designs.
These shingles typically last around 25 years, but so long as homeowners preserve them through preventative roofing practices, customers have gotten several years more out of 3-tab shingles.
Roofers know 3-tab shingles for 60mph wind tolerance, budget-friendliness, and practical use cases with various color options. As some of the most popular shingles on the entire roofing market because of their cost, many roofing companies have no problem working with these shingles.
3-tab shingles wear faster than other types of shingles, and winds, debris, and animals may damage them. 3-tab shingles rotate out of modern homes and roofing contracts because they do not last as long as other shingles.
Dimensional vs. 3-tab shingles
Now that you’re familiar with them, here are the differences between 3-tab and architectural (dimensional) shingles and how they compare against one another:
Style and color
Dimensional shingles offer more stylistic options than 3-tab shingles, paired with their longevity and easier HOA acceptance. Dimensional shingles can mimic other homes in the area, create distinct looks, or copy the styles of wooden or slate shingles.
Your roof is one of the essential parts of your entire home. As one of your most costly financial responsibilities, we recommend investing in and protecting your house. Over the 15-25 year lifespan of your roof, there are minimal cost differences between installing and maintaining 3-tab roof shingles and architectural shingles.
However, we advocate for dimensional shingles over others. Their increased durability, longevity, and wind resistance justify their cost. The argument depends on your needs, how long your house stands, where you live, and more.
It’s best if you consider more factors than merely how much shingles cost at your local Home Depot.
Durability and Warranties
Usually, manufacturers offer a material warranty to cover your asphalt shingles. This warranty protects your investment if you ever have a problem with the roofing shingles.
3-tab shingles usually come with a 25-year warranty, and dimensional typically come with a 30-year prorated warranty. These warranties vary depending on your roofing company, and shingle manufacturer and may even change based on your insurance. We recommend asking your roofing contractor what your warranty options are for available shingles.
Roofing companies can also offer extended warranties and protection plans for every roofing component in addition to the shingles. Note that if your attic is poorly ventilated or someone (including you) installs your roof shingles incorrectly, you may void your warranty.
Proper roof installation, comprehensive warranties, and longevity assurance are just a few of the reasons you should contact professional roofing contractors.
Hopefully, you have enough information to make informed decisions on the differences between 3-tab and architectural shingles. Expect to familiarize yourself with roofing practices and terms to ensure you get the best value and option for your home.