What are architectural shingles and ar they better than 3-tab shingles?

Last Updated on: 1st July 2023, 05:16 pm

Hello there, dears. So, you have been contemplating about the most suitable shingle type for your roof? Now, that’s quite conundrum, isn’t it? Especially since there are gazillion options out there, and each one seems to have its pros and cons. Today, we’ll talk more about archtiectural asphalt shingles. No, they aren’t just your regular, run-of-the-mill type of asphalt shingles. They are a whole different kind. But don’t worry, we’ll break it all down for you, just like we always do.

For starters, architectural shingles are also known as dimensional, laminate, or premium shingles. Quite mouthful, I know. But don’t let the fancy names fool you. They’re just regular shingles on steroids. With thier multi-dimensional appearance and heavier weight, they give the homethat extra something, enhancing its curb appeal. But it’s not just about their looks; there’s more to these shingles than meets the eye. Let’s have a closer look at them!

How do architectural asphalt shingles differ from other types of shingles?

Now, you might be asking, “What’s the difference between these architectural shingles and, say, traditional 3-tab shingles or other types of shingles, Viliam?” Great question! I saw its coming. Architcetural asphalt shingles have a few tricks up their sleeve that set them apart. First, they’re made from a heavier mat base than regular shingles, making them thicker and more strong. Think of them like the burly cousin of the shingle family.

Plus, these shingles aren’ t just flat; they have a dimensional look. This is thanks to their layered, laminated structure. This creates a three-dimensional effect. It’s like going from a flat drawing to a 3D model – a enormous step up in design. But it’s not just the looks. This structrue also means architectural shingles are more resistant to wind and weather damage. Handy, right?

As usual, if you’re pressed for time, no worries! I’ve got you covered with this handy table right here. Here’s easy cmoparison of traditional 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles.

AspectTraditional 3-Tab ShinglesArchitectural Shingles
AppearanceFlat, uniform appearanceDimensional, layered appearance
DurabilityTypically last 10-20 yearsTypically last 25-30 years
Wind ResistanceUsually rated up to 60-70 mphUsually rated up to 110-130 mph
CostLess expensiveMore expensive
InstallationEasier, quicker installationMore complex, longer installation
Energy EfficiencyStandard energy efficiencyHigher energy efficiency with some models
MaintenanceMore repeated maintenance requiredLess care due to increased durability

Just please keep in mind that these are general comparisons and actual specifications can vary based on the manufatcurer and specific product line.

-tab shingles vs. architectural shingles

What are the pros of using architectural asphalt shingles?

Now let’s talk about the great stuff – the benefits, or pros, of architectural shingles. You’ve already got basics – they’re thicker, more robust. And also have a pleasing 3D appearance. But there’s more. First off, they have longer lifespan than other types of asphalt shingles. With otpimal conditions and good maintenance, these shingles can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years. How’s that for longevity?

Another great advantage is the variety of colors and styles available. Whether you prefer classic look of weathered wood or contemporary appeal of slate, there’s an architectural shingle out there for you. Plus, these shingles are generally more resistant to winds and severe weather conditions. Many have a wind rating of up to 130 mph. This means they’re less likely to be torn off in storm compared to their thinner, lighter counterparts.

What are cons of using architectural asphalt shingles?

Alright, now that we’ve talked up the pros, it’s only fair we address cons. So, what’s downside to these super-shingles? For one, they can be a bit more costly than traditional 3-tab shingles, both in terms of material and labor costs. While intiial investment might be higher, remember, these shingles do offer longer lifespan, which could translate to cost savings in long run.

Another potential drawback to consider is the weight of architectural shingles. Because they’re thicker and heavier, your roof’s structural integrity needs to be up to par to suppotr them. This means you may need to factor in additional reinforcement costs, especially for older homes. Of course, a reputable roofing contractor can provide guidance on this.

Comparing architectural asphalt shingles with other options?

architectural shingles detail
architectural shingles detail

Now, let’s stack up architectural shingles against other roofing options. Compared to metal roofs, architectural ashpalt shingles are generally more affordable and offer better soundproofing. They also don’t dent from hail or other impacts, unlike metal roofs. However, metal roofs can last even longer and are more energy efficient, so it’s a bit of a trade-off.

What about wood shingles? Well, while wood shingles may offer a unique aesthetic appeal, they generally require more upkeep and don’t have same fire resistance as asphalt shingles. Also, they can be more exepnsive and not as durable in harsh weather conditions. Well, while wood shingles might give your dear home a rustic charm, they might also give you a bit more work and cost.

What should I consider before installing architectural asphalt shingles?

Before diving in headfirst and getting architectural shingles installed, it’s great to consider a few things. First off, evaluate the structuarl integrity of your precious roof. Can its support the extra weight of architectural shingles? It’s best to consult with roofing contractor to assess your beloved roof’s condition.

Next, think about your local weather conditions. Architectural shingles are great for wind resistance, but if you live in an area prone to extreme heat, asphalt might not be the best choice. Asphalt tends to absorb heat. This can increase your home’s coolnig costs in the summer. On the other hand, if you live in a region with cooler temperatures, asphalt shingles could be an great choice due to their heat-absorption properties.

What is installation process for architectural asphalt shingles?

How to install architectural shingles properly

Installing architectural shingles is not DIY task; it requires professional roofing conrtactors due to the weight and complexity of shingles. The process typically starts with the removal of the existing roof material, followed by an inspection of the roof deck for any necessary repairs.

Next comes the installation of waterproof underlayment, a layer of asphalt-saturated felt, or a synthetic material for added protection against leaks. Once underlayment is in place, the actual installation of shingles begins. The shingles are nailed in overlapping rows, starting from bottom of roof and working up to ridge. The complexity of shingle pattern depends on the style of architecutral shingles chosen.

How do I maintain an architectural asphalt shingle roof?

Maintaining an architectural asphalt shingle roof is relatively straightforward. Regular inspections, especially after severe weather events, can help identify and address any potential issues early. Keep an eye out for loose or missing shingles, and arrange for repairs promptly to prevent water damage or other problems. Clearing your beloved roof of debris and ensuring your gutters are clean will also aid maintain the health of your dear roof.

The longevity of your shingle roof also depends on proper attic ventilation and insulation. A well-ventilated and adequately insulated attic helps maintain optimal conditions for your roof, preventing ice dams in winter and reducing heat build-up in summer. Regularly checking your attic for signs of moisture or insulaiton issues can help extend lifespan of your dear architectural shingle roof.

How do architectural asphalt shingles affect home value?

If you’re thinking about selling your beloved home someday, you might be wondering if architectural shingles will add to your beloved home’s resale value. The short answer? Yes, they can. A new roof, especially one with high-quality architectural shingles, can significantly improve your home’s curb appeal. Prsopective buyers will likely appreciate not only the aesthetic appeal of architectural shingles but also the longevity and durability they offer.

Moreover, because architectural shingles are considered a premium roofing material, they can make your home more attractive to potential buyers who are willing to pay a little extra for quality. However, the inrcease in home value will also depend on other factors like the overall condition of your home, the housing market in your area, plus preferences of potential buyers.

architectural laminate design shingles
architectural laminate design shingles

What about environmental impact of architectural asphalt shingles?

If you’re eco-conscious, you’re probably wondering about the environmental footprint of architectural shingles. Like any other type of asphalt shingles, architectural shingles are not the most environmentally friendly roofing option. Manufacturing asphalt shinglse requires the use of petroleum products, and old shingles regularly end up in landfills due to limited recycling options.

However, advancements in shingle recycling technologies are helping to reduce environmental impact. Some manufacturers now take back oldie shingles to grind them up and use them in pavement or other products. While not perfect, it’s a step in the right direction. If you want a more sustaniable option, you might want to consider metal or solar roofs. But remember, these alternatives come with their own pros and cons.


What is the lifespan of architectural asphalt shingles?

Architectural asphalt shingles typically last longer than traditional 3-tab shingles. On average, you can expect them to last about 25 to 30 years, or even longer with proper maintenance. However, keep in mind that the lifespan of your roof can also be influenced by factors such as the quality of installation, local weather conditions, and the color of the shingles (darker shingles tend to absorb more heat, which can shortne their lifespan).

Can I install architectural shingles over my existing roof?

While it is technically feasible to install architectural shingles over an existing layer of shingles, it’s not always the best idea. Adding another layer can put more weight on your roof structure and make its more challenging to idnetify any underlying issues. It’s generally recommended to remove old shingles before installing the brand new ones to ensure a better quality installation and longer lifespan for your dear roof.

Are architectural shingles more expensive than 3-tab shingles?

Yes, architectural shingles tend to be more expensive than traditional 3-tab shingles. They are thicker and more durable. This contributes to their higher cost. However, when you consider their longer lifespan and the added aesthetic appeal they can bring to your dear home, many homeowners find the additional expense to be a worhtwhile investment.

Can architectural shingles withstand severe weather conditions?

Architectural asphalt shingles are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions. They are more durable and resistant to wind and hail damage compared to traditional 3-tab shingles. Most architectural shingles come with a wind rating of up to 110-130 mph. However, no shingles are completely impervious to severe weather. Also, damage can still occur in extreem conditions.

How are architectural shingles made?

Architectural shingles are made by taking a heavy fiberglass mat base and adding a layer of waterproof asphalt. The top layer consists of ceramic-coated mineral granules that aid protect the shingle from the sun’s damaigng UV rays. The back of the shingle is coated with a special adhesive that helps each shingle adhere to the one below its when installed, which adds to the shingle’s wind resistance.

Can I install architectural asphalt shingles myself?

While it’s technically possible to install architectural asphalt shingles yourself, it’s generally not recommended unless you have experience with roofing. Roofing can be a dangerous job, and it’s easy to make mistkaes if you’re not a expert. Improper installation can also void manufacturer’s warranty on the shingles. It’s usually best to leave this job to professionals.

Are architectural shingles energy efficient?

Yes, architectural shingles can be energy efficient, especially those with reflective granules that help deflect sun’s rays and reduce heat absorption. Some architectural shingles are also available with particular cooling technologies that can aid lower your home’s cooling costs in summer. However, overall energy efficiency also depensd on other factors like proper attic insulation and ventilation.

Final thoughts: Are architectural asphalt shingles right for you?

So, we’ve come to the end of our exploration of architectural asphalt shingles, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve watched the good, the bad. And the environmentally questionable. Now it’s up to you to decide: Are architectural shingles the right choice for your home? They offer a great balacne of beauty, durability, and versatility, but they also come with higher price tag and a heavier environmental impact compared to some other options.

When making your decision, remember to consider your home’s structure, your local climate, your budget, plus of course your personal preferences. Whichever roofing material you choose, ensure that it’s installed by a reputable contractor and properly maintained to get most out of your dear investment.


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