Architectural Shingles

Although there are a number of choices available when it comes to the materials for a new roof these days most people end up choosing asphalt shingles due to cost, durability, ease of installation and the protection they provide. If you have already narrowed your roofing material choice down to asphalt shingles then the next step is to decide which type of asphalt shingle will work best for you. Currently there are actually two types of asphalt shingles on the market; architectural or dimensional and three tab.

Three tab shingles are the cheapest choice of the two but if you are looking for the best balance of cost, durability and aesthetics then architectural or dimensional shingles are what you are looking for.

Architectural or dimensional shingles are constructed using multiple layers of material adhered to a heavier base matt then the standard three tab shingle giving them a dimensional look more like a shake. Because architectural or dimensional shingles are both thicker and heavier than three tab shingles they offer several advantages:


Architectural or dimensional shingles are as much as 50% heavier than standard three tab shingles which makes them tend to last much longer without warping or curling. Also because of weight and the way they are made architectural or dimensional shingles are more resistant to wind and weather. In fact, architectural or dimensional shingles are usually rated for wind of up to 120 to 130 MPH where three tab shingles are rated for 50 to 60 MPH.


Architectural or dimensional shingles also carry a longer warranty then traditional three tab shingles. Because of their construction and weight architectural or dimensional shingles usually have a lifetime warranty attached to them.


Architectural shingles often enhance the character and uniqueness of a property, especially if there are design considerations that make a shake or slate style an attractive choice.

Although architectural or dimensional shingles are an excellent choice for your roofing needs they do actually have a couple of disadvantages over standard three tab shingles.


Architectural or dimensional shingles can cost a bit more then three tab shingles. The reason for the higher cost is that they do have additional construction material requirements. Before giving up on them however it pays to get a quote as sometimes the additional cost is only a 20 to 30% increase.


Weight is also a consideration for architectural shingles. Because of their multi layer construction, architectural shingles can weigh as much as 50% more than traditional three tab shingles which makes them great for protection but, if you are roofing over one or more layers and don’t want to tear off, you need to make sure your structure can handle the additional weight.

Need more help deciding if architectural or dimensional asphalt shingles are the right choice for your home? Give us call and we will be glad to help.