Best Pitched Roofing Materials for Longevity and Value

Purchasing a new roof is a big investment. If you are like many homeowners, you avoid it as long as possible until you notice brown spots from the inside of your house or you have more granules in your gutters then you do on your roof.

 Asphalt roofing didn’t have many options in the past. Shingles were made in a three-tab style, which is a flat style.  Today, the vast majority are architectural shingles, which are dimensional shingles. Some shingles may cost less, but do they have the overall value as far as durability?

 Three-tab and Architectural shingles are two types of asphalt shingles that are common throughout the U.S. and Canada. Three-tab shingles are the least expensive shingle. Architectural shingles are thicker and sturdier and are considered a high-quality, designer roofing product.

 When it comes down to choosing the best roofing material, you basically get what you pay for. The three-tab shingles are cheaper upfront, but over the course of your roofs lifetime, architectural shingles can cost less. Three- tab shingles are also decreasing in popularity.


Difference Between 3-Tab Shingles and Architectural Shingles


First, we will start off with the 3 tab shingles, the three-tab shingles are distinguished by cutouts/tabs made along their long lower edge, they have only one shingle tab size and shape. They are flat, made up of less material, so they weigh less than the architectural shingles. Because of this, the three-tab shingle roofs need to be replaced sooner, due to problems with the wind blowing them off, costing you $300 or more for each repair.



In addition to the three-tab shingles there is a type of higher end shingle called Architectural shingles; this shingle is also known as dimensional or laminate style shingles. Architectural shingles have a rich looking appearance compared to a row pattern that the 3-tab’s represent. Architectural shingles have a cedar shake texture appearance that give a more dramatic look to a home and can hide some imperfections in the roof deck or structure due to their textured look made with a thicker layer of a more refined type of asphalt. Many homeowners and builders prefer to use them today due to this benefit alone.  Architectural shingles are nearly twice as thick as the three-tab shingles.   Since there are no tabs, they are less likely to be lifted up by the wind.

What are the Benefits?

One advantage the three-tab shingles have over the Architectural shingles is they have a lightweight design. The three-tab shingles can withstand winds up to 60 mph and have a warranty of 15-25 years. They are just slightly cheaper upfront than the Architectural Shingles. We at Brady Roofing don’t actually install the three-tab shingles unless you are trying to match an existing roof.  The reason for this is simply because the savings with 3-tabs on an average size house is only about $100 to $200.  But the maintenance when a shingle blows off is a considerable expense.  When time to shell out money for repairs, the initial savings is not even remotely a consolation!

Architectural shingles are easier to install and can withstand winds up to 130 mph. They have a lifetime warranty through Certainteed (the manufacturer).  When you consider purchasing the architectural shingles,  you are extending the life of your roof for a very long time (with proper maintenance) and adding more bang for your buck. You can easily almost double your roof lifespan with the architectural shingle.

 Popular shingles expected life and warranty


There are, of course, even thicker style asphalt shingles.  These are the Designer Shingles which vary greatly in size, style and thickness.  The price also increases due to the cost of material as well as the time it takes to install. There is more information about these asphalt designer shingles at


For more information on the individual shingles we carry, select a shingle below:



Landmark 30

CertainTeed Landmark Solaris

duration premium series

Landmark Pro


Duration Premium Cool

Landmark Premium


Landmark TL

duration designer colors


 Overall architectural shingles are a better product that performs better and is more aesthetically appealing.

 The main reasons why 3-tab shingles are still available for purchase is because they cost less, and there are many roofs that already have 3 tab shingles on them that require repairs with the same type of shingle.

All in all, it doesn’t matter how good the shingles are if they aren’t installed properly. The last thing you want is to spend money for something that will blow off because of poor installation. With our experts at Brady Roofing we will make sure the work is done right the first time. Our guys are paid by the hour, not piece rate so they will spend the extra time as needed on your roof.  This coupled with the fact they have been trained well and are certified by the manufacturer gives us the ability to provide you, the customer, with a beautiful long lasting roof.

Are you looking for a stand-out product, that lasts longer than the average architectural shingle?  Check out our post covering all roofing shingles:  Comprehensive Guide to Shingle Quality and Selection.

 If you have any other questions please contact us at or call 801-487-5151


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