3-Tab vs Architectural Roof Shingles: Which is Best for Your Home?

When it comes to choosing roof shingles for your home, you have two main options: 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles.

Both types of shingles have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and the best choice for your home will depend on your specific needs and budget. Are you wondering, which ones are better – 3 tab shingles or architectural ones? Keep reading to find out.

3-Tab Shingles

3-tab shingles are the most basic and affordable type of asphalt shingles. They are thin and flat, with a uniform appearance and three tabs that give the shingles their name. 3-tab shingles are typically made of asphalt and coated with ceramic granules to protect against UV damage.


  • Affordable – 3-tab shingles are the most economical option, making them a good choice for budget-conscious homeowners.
  • Lightweight: 3-tab shingles are thin and lightweight, making them easier to install and less likely to put stress on your roof structure.


  • Shorter lifespan – 3-tab shingles have a shorter lifespan than architectural shingles, typically lasting around 15-20 years.
  • Less durable – 3-tab shingles are more prone to wind and hail damage than architectural shingles, and may not be suitable for areas with extreme weather conditions.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles, also known as laminated or dimensional shingles, are a more advanced and durable type of asphalt shingle. They are thicker and more textured than 3-tab shingles and have a more varied and realistic appearance.

Architectural shingles are made of multiple layers of asphalt, with the top layer coated in ceramic granules.


  • Longer lifespan – Architectural shingles have a longer lifespan than 3-tab shingles, typically lasting around 25-30 years.
  • More durable – Architectural shingles are more resistant to wind and hail damage than 3-tab shingles, making them a good choice for areas with extreme weather conditions.
  • Greater curb appeal – Architectural shingles have a more attractive and varied appearance, which can add value and curb appeal to your home.


  • More expensive – Architectural shingles are more expensive than 3-tab shingles, which may not be suitable for homeowners on a tight budget.
  • Heavier – Architectural shingles are thicker and heavier than 3-tab shingles, which may put more stress on your roof structure and require additional support.

Are Architectural Shingles Worth the Money?

Architectural shingles are pricier than their 3-tab counterparts. But are they worth the extra cost? We think they do.

Architectural shingles are quite popular in the property market and can increase your home’s resale value because homebuyers prefer them. Aint that a return on your investment? That’s not all.

With an experienced roofer, you can make your architectural shingles appear like slate or wood roofing materials. The latter materials are more expensive than architectural shingles, and they offer a sophisticated appearance to your home.

Also, it’s important to note that architectural shingles are the standard roofing choice for most high-end homes. Using 3-tab shingles might very well tank the value of your high-end home.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Roof Shingles

If you’re having trouble choosing the right roof shingles for your home, we recommend checking against the list below:

  • Durability: Look for shingles that are rated for a long lifespan and are resistant to damage from wind, hail, and other weather conditions.
  • Color and appearance: Choose shingles that complement the exterior of your home and match your personal style.
  • Climate: Consider the climate in which you live when choosing shingles. Some shingles are better suited for hot, dry climates, while others are more resistant to moisture and ice.
  • Cost: Compare the cost of different shingles and determine which option fits your budget.
  • Warranty: Look for shingles that come with a manufacturer’s warranty to protect your investment.
  • Energy efficiency: Some shingles are designed to reflect sunlight and help reduce heat transfer, which can help lower your energy bills.
  • Installation: Consider the difficulty of installing the shingles and whether you will need to hire a professional or if you can do it yourself.
  • Local building codes: Make sure the shingles you choose meet any local building codes and regulations.

The best type of roof shingle for your home will depend on your specific needs and budget. 3-tab shingles are the most affordable option, but have a shorter lifespan and are less durable than architectural shingles.

Architectural shingles are more expensive, but have a longer lifespan, are more durable, and have a greater curb appeal. Consider your budget, the weather conditions in your area, and the desired appearance and lifespan of your roof when making your decision.