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  • Jake Townsend

3-Tab or Dimensional Shingles?

When the time comes that you need to replace your asphalt shingle roof, you must decide on what kind of roof you would like to have on your home for the next 20-100 years. Asphalt shingle roofs typically last between 15 and 30 years depending on weather conditions, installation quality, or even how well a roof is ventilated. Some heavier duty shingles can provide even longer lifespans but they are more expensive than the standard shingles. Jacobs Architectural Sheet Metal installs all types of asphalt shingles but the two most common styles are 3-tab and dimensional shingles. Each have their pros and cons which are listed below:


Figure 1: 3-Tab Shingle


3-Tab Shingles - PROS

- Slightly less expensive material costs than dimensional shingles

- Can have a second layer installed over top of them

- Easy to replace shingles during repairs


3-Tab Shingles - CONS

- Thinner and less durable than dimensional shingles

- Less coverage per shingle results in more shingles being installed per square foot

- Less wind resistance than dimensional shingles




Figure 2: Dimensional Shingle


Dimensional Shingles - PROS

- Nicer appearance

- Longer life

- Higher wind resistance than 3-tab shingles

- Thicker and more durable than 3-tab shingles

- Approximately 20% more coverage per shingle results in less shingles being installed per square foot compared to 3-tab

- Easy to replace shingles during repairs


Dimensional Shingles - CONS

- Cannot have a second layer installed over them due to the uneven exposed surface of dimensional shingles; nails would not be properly supported and would blow through the shingle material leaving a hole behind.

- Slightly more expensive material costs than 3-tab shingles


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