Shingles – Comparison of 3 Tab Shingles v shingles

Shingles – Comparison of 3 Tab Shingles v shingles


March 06, 2009 03:49 PM

This year, I replaced several roofs that were damaged by several hail storms that went through North Carolina. One of the questions that I get asked by my customer is "what type of roof shingles should I use?.". The following will help you make that decision:

These days, people are using state-of-the-art roofing shingles and the skills of roofing contractors to protect their biggest investments, which are their homes. People would prefer to spend a little more money on more advanced roofing shingles to get a better product; and this is a win-win situation for them and for the roofing contractors who do the work. At one time, the only real choice in shingles was merely what is known as the three-tab shingle. Bland, it lacked all character.

But with today’s "architectural" shingle, you have something more exciting, more creative, and with more character. And, if you go to sell your home, this will certainly bring you more money. Yet, quite often people don’t realize that they have all these choices nowadays. Roofing contractors can distinguish themselves by pro-actively showing them the array of choices they have in shingles for their homes’ roofs today, and this is great for the homeowner and great for the contractor’s business.

What are the price differences? Architectural shingles are priced anywhere from 20% to 40% higher than the 3-tab shingles. Since this kind of work is usually done on the roofs of larger homes, this could mean spending $1000 to $1500 more for the architectural shingles than if you just went with the 3-tabs.

What is the advantage of the architectural shingles over the 3-tab shingles? There are plenty of them. These shingles, which are also known as dimensional or laminated shingles, give the roof a flatter, more even appearance, and as mentioned above they give a roof much more in the way of creativity and character. They can appear shimmering and multi-colored, might take on the appearance of slate or wood grains or ceramic, and definitely make a home more beautiful. You have more choices than you do with 3-tab shingles, meaning you can give your home more of a customized look that fits your personality and distinguishes the house. They have a heavier, sturdier construction, so that they don’t need any additional support under the roof—which means that, ultimately, they are lighter than the tabbed shingles. This heavier construction also makes them more able to withstand extreme weather conditions, as they are resistant even to things like hail storms that can cause serious roof damage, and certain ones are designed to withstand winds of up to 120 mph. A mat base made from fiberglass or organic materials plus some asphalt and a specialized coating, and a granulated covering on the top side, are what make these shingles so strong as well as more pleasing to the eye.

Some of the top brands in architectural shingles include. GAF; CertainTeed; Tamko; Elk; and Owens Corning.

What are the warranties? The warranties on these shingles vary, depending on the type and the heaviness of construction, as some are a little heavier than others. Generally speaking, these shingles are designed to last for 40 years, and warranties will range anywhere from 20 to even 50 years. However, some roofing contractors warn that these warranties might be more of a marketing technique than a realistic reflection of just how much wind and weathering even these top quality shingles can really take if put to some extreme tests, and there have been homeowners who have complained that it’s too difficult to qualify for warranty protection. Sometimes these warranties are offered to give a stronger impression that the shingles comply with stricter, more modern building codes, too. But, there are manufacturers who have their shingles tested by the independent Underwriters Laboratory and base their warranties on the lab’s seal of approval. Shingles that are labeled as complying with ASTM D-3462 or ASTM D-225 are the ones you should get.

So, whether you’re a roofing contractor or a homeowner, I hope you’re now more knowledgeable about the shingles available for your roofing jobs.

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