3 Tab Shingles For Your Home

Looking for a new roof for your home? You may be overwhelmed looking at all the choices when it comes to asphalt shingles. From three-tab shingles to architectural shingles, which one is right for you? Here we’ll take a look at the benefits of 3 tab shingles for your home and why they may be a good choice.

GAF 3 Tab Shingles

What They Are

As opposed to architectural shingles (aka dimensional, laminate or composite) that feature multiple layers for a 3D look, 3 tab shingles lay flat with no dimensional thickness. Three tab shingles are a type of asphalt shingle – the most popular option in the country thanks to easy installation, easy production, cost effectiveness and long life span, according to Bob Vila. Many manufacturers, such as GAF, Owens Corning and CertainTeed, make 3 tab shingles for residential and commercial use.

Three tab shingles feature cutouts, or tabs, along their lower edge, resulting in a shingle that looks like three separate pieces when installed which is actually only one. This type of shingle has been around the longest and for good reason – they’re the most affordable option for people looking to cut costs on roofing systems. Architectural shingles, on the other hand, have no cutouts but feature lower portions laminated with an additional asphalt layer. The result is a contoured, dimensional look that works for many roofing types except low-sloping roofs which can get hammered by wind and rain. The layers are bonded with asphalt sealant for a waterproofing effect.


Standard three tab shingles can withstand 60 mph winds, as opposed to architectural shingles rated for between 80 mph and 120 mph. However, you’ll pay more for architectural shingles which cost about 20 percent more.


The popularity of 3 tab shingles is decreasing, as more and more homeowners prefer the layered look of architectural shingles. This latter type became popular in the 1970s as people demanded shingles that mimicked the appearance of cedar shingles yet with a more durable construction. Architectural shingles also have the benefit of hiding imperfections in the roofing system itself. Three tab shingles have no layering, so any gaps or imperfections tend to show up more readily.


Many manufacturers make 3 tab shingles as their most economical roofing option. GAF, for instance, offers two types. Marquis WeatherMax roofing shingles provide superior performance, classic detailing, and a traditional appearance. Royal Sovereign 3 tab shingles feature timeless beauty coupled with GAF’s Advanced Protection technology, resulting in this company’s most popular choice for roofing.


Three tab shingles, like other types of asphalt shingles, have a lifespan of between 15 and 30 years. This lifespan is affected by climate, weather, environment, roof pitch, and algae and fungus growth.

Give Paramount Builders a call if you’d like to learn more about 3 tab shingles and how they can benefit your home. We would be happy to give you a free estimate at 888-340-9002.