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3 - Tab Shingle VS Architectural Shingle: Which is better?

The two most common shingles offered in residential roofing are 3-Tab shingles and Architectural or Dimensional shingles. Most homes that are older than 10 years old are roofed with the traditional 3-Tab shingle, however, Architectural shingles are quickly rising in popularity and are not the number one shingle-style used on most homes.

3 Tab Shingle

Roofers refer to shingle as 3-Tab because it is made up of three individual tabs that are 12” wide. 3-Tab shingles come in either 20yr, 25yr, or 30 yr warranties.

Like Architectural shingles, 3-Tab roofing shingles are asphalt-based products that work by shedding water to the shingle below.

Architectural or Dimensional Shingles

Architectural shingles come with a minimum 30 yr warranty from the manufacturer, but most architectural shingles now come with a lifetime warranty. Architectural shingles are actually two asphalt shingle strips that have been laminated together to form a shingle that originally tried to mimic wood shake roofs. The tabs on these roofing shingles are of varying widths and have slightly different shades of color to give a more dimensional appearance.

Advantages to Architectural Shingles

  • Better curb appeal

  • Longer manufacture warranty

  • Higher wind resistance

  • Better resistance to hail impacts

  • Includes protection against black algae stains

Which Shingle is Right for Your Roofing Project

3-Tab Shingles (25 Year) Architectural Shingles

Life Expectancy 12yr or 15yr 25yr or Lifetime (50 yrs)

Wind Warranty 60mph 130mph With Proper Installation

Architectural shingles are by far a superior product to older 3-Tab shingles. However, these new singles cost more and might not always be needed on a tight budget. Architectural shingles cost about $16.00-$25.00 per sq. More than a 25yr 3-Tab shingle. On a typical 30sq house, this cost can add between $480.00-$750.00 to the cost of materials. This price often varies, so make sure you get a specific quote from your roofer. Contact us today at APD Roofing, your top-rated quality service roofing company and we’ll assist you with which shingle is right for you.


Lead Claims Consultant, IICRC Certified

APD Roofing Houston


Office Manager

APD Roofing


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