Three-Tab vs. Architectural Shingles

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Here at Patriot Roofing, we love shingles and we love to talk about the different kind of shingles. We can totally nerd out about shingles. Just ask our salespeople their favorite style and color and you might be in for a two-hour debate. We realize not everyone shares our enthusiasm for shingles, so we thought it might be a good idea to blog about two very common asphalt shingle types: three-tab and architectural. The most common type of shingle you will see in North and South Carolina are asphalt shingles.

Asphalt shingles are, as the name implies, made from asphalt. They are the most popular type of shingle because they are durable, affordable, and, at least in our humble opinion, really good looking. There are hundreds of different types of asphalt shingles and they come in every color you can imagine. They even make organic and Energy Star shingles. Cool, right?

Often our customers are switching from three-tab shingles to architectural shingles so we thought this blog would be the perfect place to discuss how they're different.

Three-Tab vs Architectural

The Look:


Three-tab shingles have a flatter more utilitarian look. The shingles line up next to each other similar to bricks. They are called three-tab because each shingle has three of the "bricks" you see above and the tab that lies underneath the three squares above.
Architectural Architectural shingles have a more dimensional shape and add texture to the look of the roof. Generally, people prefer The curb appeal of an architectural roof is substantially more interesting than the look of a three-tab.the look of architectural shingles.

Sizes and Shapes:

Three-tab shingles are all the same size and shape.

Architectural shingles come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes and are thicker than three-tab.


Because three-tab shingles are thinner they generally have a shorter life span.

Most architectural shingles have at least a twenty-year manufacturer's warranty because they are thicker and can withstand higher wind speeds.

Home Value:

Three-tab shingles are sometimes preferred by landlords for their lower cost but generally, homeowners are much better off investing in an architectural shingle.

Architectural shingles almost always increase a home's value because buyers prefer the look and longer life expectancy.

Three-tab shingles were almost universally used in the '70s and '80s due to its low cost and easy installation. Architectural shingles have gained in popularity in the last 20 years and are now the preferred choice of most homeowners and buyers because they are stronger, last longer, and look better. Which do you prefer?

If you have any questions or would like to request a Free No-Obligation Estimate visit our website at or call us today! We are headquartered in Wilmington but service from Raleigh to Myrtle Beach!

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