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Posted by: Nathan Keiser

3 Tab vs Architectural Shingles (4 Pros & Cons)

Calender 03/13/2024
Clock 6 min READ

Choosing the right roofing material for your home is a crucial decision that can affect its appearance, durability, and value. Among the most popular options are 3 tab and architectural shingles, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Ready to install a new roof on your home?

But not sure which type of shingles is right for you?

In this guide, we’ll explore the differences between these two types of shingles to help you make an informed decision for your home.

Inside this blog:

  • 4 pros + cons of 3 tab shingles
  • 4 pros + cons of architectural shingles

Keep reading to learn all about 3 tab vs architectural shingles and figure out which roofing option will suit your home the best!

Pros & Cons of 3 Tab Shingles


Below we cover 4 pros and cons of 3 tab shingles for you to consider.

✅ Pros

1. Affordability

One of the primary advantages of 3 tab asphalt shingles is their affordability. These shingles are often less expensive to purchase and install compared to architectural shingles, making them an attractive option for homeowners on a budget.

2. Simple Installation

3 tab shingles are lightweight and easy to install, making them a favorite among roofing contractors. Their straightforward design and installation process can help reduce labor costs and shorten the duration of the roofing project.

3. Traditional Look

For homeowners seeking a classic, traditional look for their roofs, 3 tab shingles are an excellent choice. Their uniform appearance and clean lines give roofs a timeless aesthetic that complements a wide range of architectural styles.

4. Decent Lifespan

While not as durable as architectural shingles, 3 tab shingles still offer a decent lifespan of 15 to 30 years when properly maintained. With regular inspections and maintenance, homeowners can expect their 3 tab shingle roofs to provide reliable protection for years to come.


1. Limited Design Options

Compared to architectural shingles, 3 tab shingles offer fewer design options and color choices. Homeowners with specific aesthetic preferences may find their options somewhat limited when selecting 3 tab shingles for their roofs.

2. Less Dimensional Appearance

3 tab shingles have a flat, uniform appearance that lacks the dimensional depth and texture of architectural shingles. While some homeowners prefer this minimalist look, others may find it lacking in visual interest.

3. Vulnerability to Wind Damage

Due to their lightweight construction and flat profile, 3 tab shingles are more susceptible to wind damage compared to architectural shingles. In areas prone to strong winds or severe weather conditions, homeowners may need to take extra precautions to protect their 3 tab shingle roofs.

4. Shorter Lifespan

While 3 tab shingles offer decent longevity, they typically have a shorter lifespan compared to architectural shingles. This means homeowners may need to replace their roofs sooner, resulting in additional costs in the long run.

Pros & Cons of Architectural Shingles


Let’s go over architectural shingles’ benefits and drawbacks.

✅ Pros

1. Enhanced Durability

Architectural shingles are known for their superior durability and resistance to weather damage. With their thicker construction and multiple layers of material, these shingles provide enhanced protection against wind, rain, and hail, making them ideal for homes in harsh climates. Their robust design ensures that they can withstand the elements for many years without deteriorating or needing frequent repairs.

2. Versatile Design Options

One of the biggest advantages of architectural shingles is their versatility in design. Available in a wide range of colors, textures, and profiles, these shingles offer homeowners endless possibilities for customizing their roofs to match their unique style and preferences.

Whether you prefer the rustic charm of cedar shakes or the sleek sophistication of slate, there’s an architectural shingle to suit every architectural style and aesthetic taste.

3. Dimensional Appearance

Unlike 3 tab shingles, architectural shingles have a dimensional appearance that mimics the look of natural slate or wood shakes. This added depth and texture can significantly enhance the curb appeal of a home, giving it a more upscale and luxurious appearance. With their striking visual impact, architectural shingles can elevate the overall look of your home and make it stand out in the neighborhood.

4. Longer Lifespan

Architectural shingles typically have a longer lifespan than 3 tab shingles, lasting anywhere from 30 to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. This extended longevity can provide homeowners with peace of mind knowing their roofs are built to last.

With regular inspections and basic upkeep, architectural shingles can continue to protect your home and enhance its beauty for decades to come, offering excellent value for your investment.


1. Higher Cost

One of the main drawbacks of architectural shingles is their higher cost compared to 3 tab shingles. The premium materials and intricate design features of architectural shingles can result in a higher upfront investment for homeowners.

2. Complex Installation

Due to their heavier weight and dimensional profile, architectural shingles require a more complex installation process compared to 3 tab shingles. This can result in higher labor costs and longer project timelines, especially for homes with steep or intricate roof designs.

3. Potential for Algae Growth

Some types of architectural shingles may be more prone to algae growth and discoloration over time, particularly in humid or shaded areas. While algae-resistant coatings are available, homeowners may need to take proactive measures to prevent unsightly stains on their roofs.

4. Limited Availability

Depending on your location and roofing supplier, certain types of architectural shingles may be less readily available compared to 3 tab shingles. Homeowners in remote or rural areas may need to special order architectural shingles, which could result in longer lead times and higher shipping costs.

3 Tab vs Architectural Shingles: Which Will You Choose?

When it comes to choosing between 3 tab and architectural shingles, it ultimately boils down to your budget, aesthetic preferences, and long-term goals for your home. While 3 tab shingles offer affordability and simplicity, architectural shingles provide enhanced durability and design versatility. By weighing the pros and cons of each option and consulting with a reputable roofing contractor, you can make an informed decision that meets your needs and enhances the beauty and functionality of your home’s roof.

Get in touch with our roofing experts at Kraft Roofing and experience top quality workmanship and unbeatable customer service.

We can’t wait to hear your questions about the roof that hangs over your home’s head. Let’s get the ball rolling on your next roofing project today!

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