Dimensional Shingles vs 3 Tab Shingles

Dimensional Shingles vs 3 Tab Shingles

Dimensional vs 3 Tab Shingles Explained

Asphalt shingles come in two varieties, 3-tab and dimensional, also called laminated or architectural. Since this is the most common roofing material, when it’s time for a new roof, most homeowners choose between these options. You’ll want to weigh all the factors before making a decision. Here’s what you need to know.

Things you need to consider

Before you buy a new roof,there are several things you should think about. If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner’s association, there may be rules to follow regarding roof style and color. Here are other things to think about:

  • Long and short term cost
  • Lifespan of the roof
  • Level of protection
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Home value

Cost and value

Even though dimensional shingles cost a great deal more than 3-tab shingles, dimensional shingles may be the better deal. Over the lifetime of a home, you’ll replace the roof several times. Dimensional shingles last much longer than 3-tab shingles, so you will replace an dimensional shingle roof twice and a 3-tab shingle three times in the same time period (about 50 years).

If you plan to sell your home in a few years, dimensional shingles are a better investment. They are more attractive, so they add curb appeal, making the house easier to sell. And because they are better quality, they add actual value to the home. Either way, the 3-tab bargain shingle is no bargain.

Dimensional shingles cost more because they offer better protection for your home. They are thicker and more layered to keep out moisture. This may also make them a better value for your investment.

Roof lifespan

Dimensional shingles have a warranty for 30 or 50 years, and some have a lifetime warranty, but constant exposure to weather conditions shortens the lifespan of any roof. On average, a dimensional shingle roof will last about 24-30 years.

The 3-tab shingles come with a 25 year warranty. On average, this type of roof will last 15-18 years. Sun, high wind, rain, hail, snow, and extreme temperatures all impact the life and appearance of the roof.

Aesthetic appeal

A roof covered in 3-tab shingles is perfectly flat. The shingles sometimes have shading to simulate a shadowed effect and add visual appeal, but anyone can see it’s an inexpensive roof. Architectural shingles are layered and have a complex, dimensional look that most people prefer.

Color is another consideration. There are plenty of colors to choose from in either type of shingle. Color choices change with trends to match popular home colors. It may be better to choose a neutral color as opposed to a trend, depending on your personal style and whether you ever intend to sell. As a general rule of thumb, dark colors absorb more sunlight, which shortens the lifespan of the roof.

More than anything else, your choice will depend on your personal taste, what you can afford, and the rules, if any, of your neighborhood. Choose your roofing wisely. It’s a big investment that protects your home and impacts its value.

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