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Choosing the Right Shingle

Friday, March 4th, 2016 by Seawright Roofing

3-Tab vs. Architectural Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material in the US. They are easy to install and a less expensive option, making them an easy choice for many Americans. There are two types of asphalt shingles on the market: the traditional 3-tab shingle and the more high-end architectural shingle.

3-Tab Shingles


  • 3 tabs are cut on the lower edge of the shingle, making it look like each is an individual shingle when installed.


  • Lighter weight so more vulnerable to curling and damage. Recommended for low sloping roofs that are at risk of wind driven rains.

Weight / Wind Resistance

  • 240 lbs/square
  • wind speeds up to 60 mph


  • About 25 years


  • Easy Install
  • Less Expensive

Architectural Shingles


  • Can be made to look like premium roofing materials like slate or cedar. Hide more imperfections.


  • Nearly double the thickness of 3-tab—less vulnerable to damage and curling because they are laminated with an additional asphalt layer.

Weight / Wind Resistance

  • 340 – 440 lbs/square
  • 80-120 mph


  • 40 – 50 years


  • More color and style options
  • Resistance to hail
  • Higher resistance to fire
  • Can withstand extreme temperatures

Our analysis of the options

Architectural shingles cost 30 – 40% more than 3 tab shingles because they are considered a more high-end roofing product. While they are more expensive up front, they often end up being a better choice over time because they are more durable and have longer warranties.

To find out more about your roofing options in the Columbia, SC area, contact Seawright Roofing at 1-803-828-4181.

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Our Locations:

Seawright Roofing
647 Rosewood Dr
Columbia, SC 29201