Asphalt Roofing Profiles: Know the Facts!

3 tab vs. Architectural

Once you’ve decided on a new asphalt fiberglass roof, there is still more to consider.  What type of roofing profile do you want and/or need?  Your final decision will reflect your budget, desired style, durability and the structural integrity of your home.

The asphalt 3-tab strip shingle (top picture) is the first and least expensive of the profiles available.  You’ll find this a common type today.  3-tab strip shingles were used on numerous homes built in the 1990’s.  One of the reasons they are the least expensive is because the shingles are a single layer of material.  The asphalt 3-tab is rectangular and the most common size is 12” wide by 36”long.  These will have 3 tabs exposed along the length of the shingle for visual effect.  The profile is flatter than the next one discussed and comes with roughly a 20 year warranty.

The next profile (below) comes under a few different names: Architectural, Dimensional or Laminate asphalt shingles.  No matter the name, it has a raised look instead of flat. This visual is a result of each shingle being the result of TWO or MORE asphalt shingles bonded together.   The result is a more modern and expensive look upon your home.  Architectural shingles come in a wide variety of colors and styles from which to choose from, plus provide significantly more fire resistance than the 3-tab asphalt.  You can expect a warranty ranging from 25-40 years depending on the particular product chosen.

Not so fast, though!! Even with Architectural shingles there are issues to consider.  For one, they are heavier than the 3-tab asphalt.  They are approximately 50% heavier.  So, before your final decision, be sure to get an inspection of your home’s structural integrity. You don’t want your beautiful roof to crush your home!  Finally, because of the extra material in each shingle and the installation being more difficult, it is a more expensive roof than the 3-tab.

A lot of factors go into your choice of a roofing profile that is best for your home.  Take the information presented here to help generate any other questions that might apply more precisely to your individual home and ask them.  Never hesitate to direct your questions to your contractor or the supplier of your roofing materials.  This is your home, and you deserve to know all the facts!  Good luck with all of your future roofing needs!