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Mason, Liberty Township, Springboro, Dayton, West Chester, and other Southern Ohio towns are subject to a wide variety of weather. Many of the storms that impact this region make their force known upon roof tops, power lines, and trees. As a concerned Cincinnati area roofing contractor, Roofing Annex wants residents to know the differences in the main two types of shingles used in the area. Choosing the right option to replace a roof is essential to weather the winds, rains, and hailstorms more effectively. Hence, this post will pit Three-Tab vs Architectural shingles to illuminate the core differences that make one the champion.

Roofing Annex is easily the most trusted storm damage restoration expert in the Midwest. Our expertise starts at the inspection level. Our Haag Engineering trained and certified inspectors understand storm damage in forensic detail and insight. The detailed reports show just how different shingles handle weather phenomena as well as age and defect issues. Our pros are well-versed on shingle life.

Let’s digress and start off by talking about these shingles.

What is a Three-Tab Shingle?

Three-Tab Shingles on Springboro Roof

Three-Tab Shingles Cincinnati

Three equal cutouts or tabs made along the shingle’s bottom edge characterize a three-tab shingle. Three-Tabs are only available in one size and shape with a uniform look. Three-Tab shingles are simpler and lighter because they consist of fewer materials. These shingles usually cost less than architectural shingles, which is why some homeowners prefer them. Three-tab shingles are a cost effective choice if you have a low budget.


What is an Architectural Shingle?

Architectural Shingles Ohio

Three-Tab vs Architectural Shingles in Loveland, Ohio

Architectural shingles come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes which allows them to give off a dimensional look. These shingles are thicker , heavier, and weigh double to triple the weight of a three-tab shingle. Due to their thickness and excellent composition, these shingles come with longer lasting warranties. The cost is higher because the weight doubles for transports and production is twice the material. Designer shingles can be made to mimic tile, cedar shake, stone, and other roofing types and tend to weigh the most. Architectural shingles are moderately priced for standard base lines like America’s number one seller, Timberline by GAF. Designer shingles can be priced almost as high as a mid-grade cedar shake or better.


The Showdown: Three-Tab vs Architectural Shingles

Let’s see how three-tab and architectural shingles stack up in most scenarios. We stacked up our own data along with industry data to showcase 10 direct comparisons.

Head to Head Three -Tab Architectural
Life Expectancy 20-25 years 40-60 years
Average Warranty Coverage 20 years 50 years
Ability to Shed Water Below Average Above Average
New Roof Curb Appeal Boost Little High
Return on Investment 44% 83%
Adds Value to Home NO YES
Handles High Winds Effectively NO YES
Handles Large Hail Effectively NO YES
Has Loads of Color Options NO YES
Overall Good Investment NO YES


In the war of Three-Tab vs Architectural Shingles, there can only be one that is superior.  Architectural shingles flat out win because they were built to last and are more attractive. It’s no wonder they’re the status quo now and for decades to come.

Looking to get a new roof?

Cincinnati residents can count on Roofing Annex for the best experience roofing has to offer.  We offer thorough inspections with consultations from friendly professionals.  Our renowned installs come with 50 years warranties on all architectural GAF shingles.

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