Architectural Shingles vs 3-Tab: What’s Right for Your Baltimore Home?

Roof Replacement Near Me

If your roof is old and you’ve noticed missing shingles or lots of granules in your gutters, it might be time to start thinking about roof replacement. If you have anything other than a flat roof, an asphalt shingle roof is probably what you’re looking at. They’re a cost-effective solution for Maryland homeowners. Today, we’ll go over some highlights of architectural shingles vs 3-Tab shingles.

Pros and Cons of 3-Tab Shingles

We’ll start with 3-tab shingles, because for many years, they have been the industry standard. If your roof is more than 20 years old, it probably has 3-tab shingles. 3-tab shingles are designed to look like 3 shingles, but it’s all one piece, with notched tags (three) at the bottom. They’re lightweight, and made with asphalt and a fiberglass backing, with colored granules on top. They can withstand winds of 60-70 mph.


3-tab shingles are flat, and give a flat, uniform, minimalist appearance to your roof. They’re available in a variety of colors to coordinate with your home’s exterior color.


A 3-tab shingle roof, if properly installed today, should last 10-25 years, depending on your location, weather trends, and the manufacturer.


3-tab shingles are the most affordable asphalt shingle on the market. If you’re on a tight budget, they may be a viable option. But keep in mind, a 3-tab shingle roof will need roof repairs before a more durable architectural shingle roof will.

Keep reading to learn more about how architectural shingles compare to 3-tab shingles.

Pros and Cons of Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional shingles, or composite shingles, are growing in popularity. They’re an asphalt shingle made of multiple layers of material, asphalt, and granules, instead of standard 3-tab shingles, which have a single layer of material over a fiberglass mat. They are more wind-resistant due to their thickness, weight, and installation methods, with some architectural shingles able to withstand winds of up to 120 mph.


Because of their composition, architectural shingles give a 3-dimensional appearance. They can mimic the look of cedar shakes or slate tile, for a more high-end look. They’re also available in a wider variety of colors, shading, and shapes than 3-tab shingles. They can improve your home’s curb appeal for years to come.


An architectural shingle roof can last more than 50 years, if properly maintained. You will also get a longer manufacturer’s warranty than you will with 3-tab shingles.


Architectural shingles cost 40-50% more than 3-tab shingles. There’s no question about that. But when you combine the facts that they have up to double the lifespan of 3-tab shingles as well as the increased wind resistance and curb appeal, the additional cost may be worth it.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is only you (and your HOA) know which shingles are right for you. Your tastes, budget, how long you plan to live in your home, and other factors will determine the best choice for your home. If you want to see what each type of shingle would look like on your home, use the GAF home remodeler tool.

You can also probably take a walk down your street, and look up. Notice the difference between your roof and the new roof on the neighbor’s house. Chances are good they got architectural shingles. Which style of shingle looks better to you?

Schedule a Roof Replacement Estimate Today

To schedule an estimate for roof replacement for your home in Baltimore, fill out our contact form or call 410-949-6062. We can work u two estimates for you – one with each type of shingle. We serve homeowners within the city limits and 20 miles of Baltimore.

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