Architectural Shingles Or 3-Tab Shingles, Which Should You Choose?

roofing shingles

Because of their reduced cost and simple installation Asphalt shingles are a roof covering staple in North America. Currently they outpace all other roof covering materials by a considerable margin. Asphalt shingles are manufactured in 2 different kinds: three-tab and architectural.

Three-tab and Architectural Shingles Differences

Three-tab shingles are distinguished by cutouts– tabs– made along their long lower edge. This creates the illusion that “each tile looks like three separate items when installed, yet it’s just one.” Three-tab tiles have been around a long period of time and are still one of the most economical and popular tiles today, given their ease of setup and large range of colors.  However, during the 1980s, technical developments as well as changing consumer tastes took asphalt roof tiles to an entire brand-new degree, leading to building laminated shingles. The term “laminated” means that the tile’s construction consists of 2 or even more fundamental tiles laminated or bonded with each other.

Both laminated roof shingles as well as conventional 3-tab shingles offer efficient defense against wind. They likewise, defend against damaging water infiltration from wind-driven rainfall, offering you improved defense against the elements. In the roof market, laminated shingles tiles are more often described as being “architectural” because they’re specifically engineered to offer dimension to the roof covering by way of each individual roof shingles’ shape, cut and thickness. Therefore, the movement towards 3-tabs to architectural laminated tiles was basically for aesthetic purposes.

Architectural asphalt roof shingles can be made to mimic the remarkable, popular look of authentic cedar or all-natural slate ceramic tiles without the setup, weight, maintenance and flammability fears. In addition, some suppliers’ lines of architectural laminated tiles are readily available in a range of colors. Nonetheless, those lines that are developed to simulate the look of authentic timber shakes or natural slate ceramic tiles will always be limited to the very same color blends as those located in nature; e.g., natural or reddish browns, light as well as dark variants of grey to black.

Architectural laminated shingles are frequently called “high-definition” because of the depth and contour of each shingle. Some manufacturers utilize angled cuts while others make use of a straight cut which boosts the perception of depth as well as the appearance of a shake or tile roof covering. Although the difference between three-tab and architectural shingles seems superficial, roofers consider the latter a much more premium roof covering product because of price difference. Architectural shingles can set you back 20% to 40% percent more than three-tab roof shingles– a difference that can add up to $1500 more for larger roof coverings.

So are architectural roof shingles truly worth the added price? Some roofers say yes and here’s why:

Aesthetic Appeal

Architectural shingles can be made to resemble premium roof covering materials like cedar and also slate and are much better able to conceal flaws on the roof covering surface area.


Architectural shingles are almost two times as thick as three-tab roof shingles and therefore extra sturdy and less susceptible to crinkling.

Weight and wind resistance

Three-tab tiles normally rate at 240 lbs per square and are ranked for wind acceleration to 60 miles per hour; architectural tiles rate at 340-440 lbs per square but are ranked for wind durability 80-120 mph.

Producer’s service warranties

25 years for three-tab, 40 to 50 years for architectural.

So is more affordable better? The response will certainly depend upon how you look at it. Three-tab roof shingles are cheaper upfront, but over the course of your roofing’s lifetime, Architectural roof shingles can cost less.

When choosing a roof always keep in mind that the main purpose of any roof covering is to shield your household, your home and its valuable materials from any types of weather conditions. Your decision, therefore, should be based on the environment you live in as well as the architectural style of your home. How much time you reside in your house and what the neighboring houses look like should also be considered and last but not least, your budget.

The Pros and Cons of Two Popular Roofing Choices: Metal And Asphalt Shingles

guy working on metal roof

If it’s time to install a new roof, the variety of options available can overwhelm you. Asphalt shingles have long been known for their reliability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of maintenance, making them the most popular roofing material on the market today. But now there’s a variety of options that deserve consideration—especially metal, the second most popular roofing material thanks to its durability, longevity, and a wide selection of styles.

Though both materials are great options for residential roofing, one may be better suited to your needs. So we stacked them up against each other—metal roofs vs. shingles in asphalt—comparing everything from aesthetics to eco-friendliness to help you make the right decision for your roof.

Metal Roofs vs Shingles: Which Roofing Is Best for You?

Both materials have finish options for every housing style. While shingle roofs have a traditional look of their own, nowadays they’re being manufactured to mimic the look of slate, wood shakes, and tile. You can find them with scalloped edges perfect for Victorian homes or with a terra cotta look appropriate for a Mediterranean home. The color palette is wide-ranging and there’s a host of different finishes as well, from slightly weathered (to complement older homes) to subtly multicolored.

Traditionally, metal roofs were made of corrugated tin panels (called standing-seam metal) that evoke images of barns or sheds. But metal roofing—in zinc, aluminum, galvanized metals and even copper in addition to tin—has come a long way from the farm. You’ll see metal roofing that suits less rustic, more refined structures, from West Coast contemporaries to East Coast Victorians, in a variety of different colors and finishes, and in styles that replicate slate, shingles and shakes.

Because you can likely get the look you want from either metal or asphalt shingle, don’t let appearance be the deciding factor; instead, choose the material that will perform best for you.

Metal roofs tend to be more durable.

Metal roofs can stand up to nearly anything Mother Nature throws at them, so you’ll find that they come with 30- to 50-year warranties, and often outlast that with lifespans of 40 to 70 years. Metal roofs are not without weaknesses, however: Extreme hail or falling branches could dent a metal roof, as could walking on it improperly. Discuss vulnerability concerns with the manufacturer. You’ll learn, for example, that steel is hardier than copper.

Shingles have a shorter lifespan due to their own unique set of weaknesses. Pooling water and chronically damp conditions can lead to algae and fungus growth, ice dams can create cracks, and temperature spikes between day and night can reduce the life of your shingle roof. Shingle roofs come with 15- to 30-year warranties, depending largely on the region, environment, and climate.

Shingle roofs are cheaper up front.

Though you’ll get more life out of a metal roof, you’ll pay the price at the time of installation. Metal roofs generally can run from $120 to $900 per 100 square feet (one 10-foot by 10-foot area, or a “square” of material), while asphalt shingles will be between $100 and $200 per 100 square feet. Its installation will also run you more for metal since it’s a more specialized job.

You may recoup some of the costs of a metal roof down the road, because you likely won’t ever have to replace it. Additionally, insurance companies may offer discounts to homes with metal roofs. You may even qualify for tax credits by installing a metal roof on your primary home. Finally, metal roofs are so energy efficient they can save you money in monthly heating and cooling costs.

Metal roofs are more eco-friendly.

Because they’re largely made of recycled material and can be recycled again and again, metal roofs are considered a more sustainable choice than asphalt shingles. Metal roofs are also more energy-efficient thanks to their reflective qualities, which can block heat transmission to the home’s interior. Specialized paint coatings can further reduce your cooling bills. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, need to be replaced more frequently than metal roofs; it’s estimated that U.S. landfills receive nearly 20 billion pounds of old asphalt shingles annually. Also, asphalt shingles are a petroleum-based product, which increases dependency on fossil fuels.

Asphalt shingle roofs generally are easier to install and repair.

For pros, the work requires little specialized knowledge and basic tools. Shingles can be installed in a day or two in some cases, sometimes right over the existing layer. Metal roofing installation typically requires a more skilled and specialized tradesman. The job is more precise, with less room for error, so it won’t move as quickly as a shingle installation. However, some lightweight metal products may be able to be installed right over an existing roof in good condition, simplifying installation overall and eliminating the cost of ripping the original roof out.

Likewise, repairs are also easier for shingles than metal roofing. Though roofing manufacturers don’t recommend do-it-yourself jobs—you could likely void the warranty—asphalt sheets are easier to work with than metal ones, since they can be cut down to size and retrofitted to the roof with little difficulty. Metal roofs are harder to replace individually, due to the way the metal panels are joined together, and typically require a retrofit of an entire panel.

Whatever the choice metal or shingle, there will be pros and cons. In the end what is aesthetically pleasing to the homeowner will be the right choice.



What You Should Know About Roof Repairs Before Buying A Previously Owned Home

Whether a person is buying a home for the first or fifth time, the process is very exciting. It’s easy to be distracted by the excitement, overlooking certain issues (such as roof repair) that can be costly in the long term. Below are four things all homeowners should know about residential roof repair before they purchase a home.

Inspection Reports are Critical

Roof InspectorThe importance of a home inspection should not be underestimated. It’s a must-do that can help homeowners save money now and in the future. However, many buyers are so blinded by the excitement of buying a home that they gloss over problem areas. If there are issues with a home, regardless of its size, the buyer should hire a roofer for a complete examination and estimate for roof repair

More On Inspections

Inspectors are very good at inspecting the entire home. While they can spot some issues from the ground, their opinions on roofing issues should be re-evaluated. If there are no pressing issues in an initial inspection, the buyer should make an appointment with a roofer within the next six months. A roofer will climb onto the roof to offer a thorough inspection that a general inspector cannot match. Roofers are trained to spot problem areas, and homeowners should avoid trying to do the job alone.

Collect Documentation of Prior Replacement

Collecting proof of prior roofing installation is important, especially in decades-old homes. Ask the previous owner for the date of replacement, a list of materials used, and the available warranty. Find out which roofing contractor in that area worked on the project, which will make it easier to create a roof health file. These documents can be very helpful when planning and budgeting for roof replacement.

A New Roof Needn’t Be a Deal-Breaker

When a person is searching for a new home, they may overlook roof quality in favor of more superficial aspects. Buyers should know that roof repair does not mean they’ll have to give up their dream home. In fact, it can be a great bargaining tool. Depending on the style and size of the roof, a replacement can cost up to $30,000. If the home’s roof is nearing 20 years of age, the buyer should ask themselves if they can afford a replacement within the next few years.

Bottom Line: having the roof inspected by a professional roofer before you purchase the home can save you time and money in the long haul. If you want to learn more about roof repair, watch Bob Vila’s 4 Tips for Repairing A Leaky Roof.


Warning Signs That Indicate You May Need A New Roof


Is it time to repair or replace your old roofing? Look out for these warning signals so that you know when it’s time to call a roofing contractor.

Many property owners figure they require a brand-new roofing system after they find even a small leak in their ceiling. This leakage could be as a result of various roof covering problems. But what factors truly identify whether roof repair work will resolve the trouble, or your house needs a roof replacement?

It’s important to remember to get quotes from at least 3 pros! You should always look for a roofer who has good reviews and some manufacturers certifications like this company in Lancaster Pa.  You can see their GAF Certification right on their website like this lancaster pa roofing company:

Below are some suggestions to help you figure out if you need a new roof.

  1. Roofing age

Just how old is your existing asphalt shingle roof? Many specialists agree that a normal roof will certainly last between 20-25 years. You must also take into consideration on whether the old roofing system was eliminated and you only have one layer of shingles, and if it is properly aerated. If the roofing was installed over one layer or a number of layers and it is older than twenty years, chances are you require a brand-new roof covering.

  1. Shingles curling and/or visibly distorting

Roof shingles that are curled or buckling are another sign that you may need a new roof. Check out the sides of your residence that get straight sunlight and look to see if the roof shingles are crinkling or losing granules as well. It could indicate that the shingles are past their life span. It could also mean that the roof covering is defective.  In this case, contact a certified professional roofer to see if you could be eligible for reimbursement.

  1. Contours (valleys and peaks) in your roof

If your roofing tiles are falling apart or missing in areas, it’s a certain sign you require a brand-new roofing system. Valley locations of your roofing system can cause rain and snow to circulate through valleys and into rain gutters. If the valley is endangered, you could be prone to roofing system leakages.

  1. Missing shinglesmissing shingles on roof

These are an additional indicator your roof covering could be failing. Examine to see if all of the roof shingles “tabs” are intact.

  1. Chimney flashing issues

This is an additional area to be worried about. If your chimney has an undercoat of tar or concrete as the seal between the roof and the brick or stone and morter, it may have to be replaced replaced with a long-term, water-tight metal flashing system.

  1. Shingle granules in the gutters.

Look in your seamless gutters to see whether they are loaded up with shingle granules. Roofs often tend to lose more granules toward completion of their life process. Variation in color on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have actually deteriorated.

  1. Daylight showing through the roofing.

If you notice a squishy feeling or trampoline bounce when walking on the roofing system, this may imply the underlying outdoor decking is compromised from wetness. Inspect your attic room to see if there is any type of daylight coming through the roofing system boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.

Tips For Making Your Roof More Environmentally Friendly

environmentally freindly roofs
Decrease The Environmental Impact of Your home Roof System by Making Your Roofing System A Lot More Green

environmentally freindly roofsMany home owners desire to have a more environmentally friendly roofing system in order to reduce its impact on the environment. In addition to fundamental changes, such as mounting power effective devices and low-flow shower heads, it is additionally feasible to minimize a residence’s ecological effect by making changes to the roofing. Below are some typical roof methods a Lansdale roofer  told us about that can make your house eco-friendly, which can also help lower energy usage as well as energy costs every month.

Water barrels:

An easy and reasonably cheap method of decreasing a property owner’s impact on the atmosphere is to put a water barrel at the downspouts of your eaves trough. The water runoff from the roofing can be accumulated and used for outdoor water functions such as watering the yard, or cleaning outdoor patios and walkways. Water barrel collection benefits the owner by displacing the water on a regular basis from water hoses with the added advantage of water usage and prices.

Appropriate insulation as well as air flow:

Correct insulation and ventilation of a roof covering system can help the atmosphere and lower the cooling and heating prices of a residence. The reduction in power and fossil fuels used in the heating and also cooling down procedures will assist in making a much more ecologically efficient household.


Solar reflective tubes are a wonderful means to bring natural daytime into virtually any area of a residence. Daylighting can provide natural light during daytime hours, which will certainly benefit the environment by reducing power, and offering healthy and balanced natural light to the home.

Cut excess growth around the roofing location:

Maintaining plant life growth from encroaching on a roof covering area will certainly assist in air flow as well as decrease deterioration of your roof system. Poor air circulation around a roof can create locations on a roofing system that can create increased aging. Extending the life of the roof covering system lowers the product use with time, saves cash, as well as lowers the environmental impact.

Roof Maintenance:

Correct roofing maintenance consisting of keeping the seamless gutters, downspouts, and roofing system location free of particles will assist in prolonging the life of a roof system. By utilizing the full lifetime of a roof system home owners can delay roof replacement which in turn results in cost savings as well as less product waste.  If you are considering upgrading your roof consider contacting our friends and article contributors.

Shingle Warranties – Are They Worth It?

shingle warranties

Most companies that make roofing shingles will offer warranties that range from about 20 years up to 50 years. They utilize impressive-sounding long-term warranties to persuade buyers that their roof shingles are the best available and also that they will last the longest. They will talk about the shingles algae resistance, wind tolerance, and also whether the guarantee can be transferred when you sell your home to a new person. This last item can add value to the home when you go to sell it. These guarantees are usually one of shingle producers’ main selling points.

You shouldn’t allow yourself to be swayed by a warranty that sounds way too good to be real. Also asphalt roof shingle manufacturing companies that offer decades-long warranties or lifetime guarantees don’t anticipate your roofing to last longer than about twenty years. According to many roofers, service warranties “aren’t worth a nickle” if the company that offers it isn’t around 10 years later when you need them.

When Your Roof Leaks

The majority of roofing systems that stop working throughout the service warranty period do so due to the fact that they were installed incorrectly. Roof shingle manufacturers like Certainteed and GAF often get phone calls from homeowners whose roof coverings (usually asphalt shingles) stopped working due to the fact that the installation was done with nails rather than the method advised by the manufacturer like using screws in a high-wind area. Given that the contractor is most likely to cause an issue rather than the shingle actually being the issue, you should make sure your roof is put on by a reputable local contractor who has been around long enough to establish a good reputation. .

Product Manufacturer Issues vs. Roofing Contractor Errors

Shingle manufacturers will only pay the homeowner when the roof shingles are found to have a defect that can be traced back to actual shingle issues as opposed to roof installation errors. Most roofers will never see a product defect that will require the manufacturer to pay out a warranty claim. Most products that are used today are of good quality and the chance of a defect that will cause the roofing system to fail is extremely rare. Shingle companies must compete against each other  and that drives them to produce top-quality products that help ensure no warranty claims will ever need to be addressed. Even if you are among the rare home owners whose roofing system stops working due to malfunctioning shingles, obtaining reimbursement for the actual product won’t alleviate the cost of labor to repair your roofing system. The roof shingles are not the most expensive part of any type of roofing system or roof covering. Labor is by far the biggest cost of roofing and therefore it is more important that you choose a good roofing contractor. The actual shingles will only make up about fifteen to twenty percent of the cost of a repair. There are other materials such as nails, screws, underlayment, sheathing and possibly membrane materials, plumbing boots and flashing that will make up some of the costs. A warranty that covers replacement shingles, yet not labor, may represent only a few hundred dollars of the thousands required to repair or completely replace your roofing system.

Some Hurdles You May Have To Overcome

Although your shingles might be covered by a 30 or 40-year service warranty, the majority of these lasting service warranties are prorated after the first couple of years. They may cover one hundred percent of the replacement expense of malfunctioning shingles for 5 or 10 years. But afterwards, several warranties cover only a diminishing percentage of the cost. We have listened to numerous roofing contractors state that the warranty will cover less and less as the roof ages. This is something you should be aware of. They will not cover the full cost of repair or replacement in year 10!

The claims process itself can be another obstacle to a successful shingle guarantee claim. Each shingle manufacturing firm has a different system for assessing and handling warranty claims. Some companies, such as GAF will send a firm representative out to evaluate your roofing system. Even if the roofing system stopped working because of an installation error and also not because of a production defect, they will certainly help property owners work with their installers to deal with the scenario because they want the roofers who install their products to have some responsibility. If the roofing contractor is no longer in business, some manufacturers will be willing to share a portion of the cost to repair the roof with the homeowner.

Although some companies are very good about helping homeowners to resolve the issues with their roof, others may be less accommodating. One of the major manufacturers who is not a US based company, is not as customer-friendly. The homeowner can call the firm or file an insurance claim and hope that the insurance company will do battle with the shingle manufacturer. The insurance claims person may contact the manufacturer with a list of product complaints, including pictures of the faulty shingles, survey notes and possibly a physical sample of the damaged shingles.

How To Determine If Your Roof Shingles Are Actually Defective

roofer cutting flashing So, since you’re now doubtful when it comes to roof shingle warranties, how do you figure out whether the issue of a leaking roof is brought on by faulty shingles? A lot of the most common production defects can be identified by an untrained eye. Despite typical wear-and-tear, your roofing system will not look like new for very long. This doesn’t mean you have actually been duped or that you’ve been sold an inferior shingle. Often you can identify issues that are abvious such as shingles that are blistering, splitting or fracturing. This may mean that they are defective but the issue could also be how they were installed. Small amounts of curling at the edges is often present even in regular, correctly made shingles. However considerable curling may be an indicator of trouble. Bald spots, where the granules outside of the shingle are exfoliating and exposing the asphalt is another tell-tale sign of a failing shingle. Discoloration might be triggered by algae development which will often occur on the north side of a roof where is doesn’t receive much sunlight. Not all roof shingles are ensured against algae growth damage so you should thoroughly read the fine print to find out if your shingles are supposed to be warranted against algae growth.

Different Shingles Carry Different Warranties

Also within one company, warranties can vary from one shingle to the next. For example, CertainTeed makes thirty-seven various roof shingles, each with a various guarantee. Some cover materials as well as labor, while a few of their limited warranties do not even cover substitute shingles. Unless the shingle service warranty covers labor as well as products, the cash you receive from the business might not also cover the cost of paying a person to climb up on your roofing to take images and also collect examples of your faulty roof shingles. CertainTeed supplies claimants $50 to defray the expense of submitting an insurance claim, whether the case is successful or not. But other companies do not reimburse homeowners for these costs.

Transferring the Guarantee to a New Owner When You Sell Your Home

If you were the homeowner who had a new shingled roof installed, check the details of the warranty. Many roofers will not allow the warranty to transfer to a new homeowner. Unless you have something in writing that guarantees and allows for a transfer of the warranty, you might be out of luck. Roof shingle guarantees are generally more likely to be transferable than contractor labor assurances. It is a rare roofer who will allow a labor warranty to transfer when you sell your home to a new buyer.

If you acquire a home after the roof installation took place you should inquire prior to closing require to identify whether the original warranty is transferable. Some manufactures of shingle and other roofing products such as Decra, will allow you to move the warranties to the buyers of your home. Companies like CertainTeed have “limited transfer-ability,” which implies it depends on which line of shingles were installed on your roof. Their expanded guarantees are not transferable.

At the minimum, when getting a home with a newer roofing system, you need to ask the seller for the name of the roofer who did the installment, the type of shingles utilized, as well as the date of installation. This is very important information to have and most home buyers fail to ask for this. But even if the previous owner is long gone, you may still be able to figure out what type of shingles you have. You can take an example shingle to a distributor of asphalt shingles who should be able to tell you what the actual shingle is including the name of the manufacturer. Most shingles likewise have codes on the back that tell individuals who work in the market which firm made the shingle, which plant the shingles came from, as well as the year of manufacture.

If you can not locate a supplier or wise roofer to aid you in finding the codes, some manufacturers will be able to help even if the shingle is not theirs. Certainteed has a service department who will certainly help identify a shingle. Their lab technicians make use of the codes to tell whether the roof shingles were made by them or another shingle manufacturer.

In Closing

Hopefully the information in this article will help you to understand roofing system warranties and what you should look for when assessing them. You be far better off knowing what may be worth paying extra for and what may be just a bunch of fluff to get you to pay more for the shingle and total roofing system. It may be worth paying more for a roofing professional who provides a good, long-term warranty including labor warranty that will cover any issues that may arise during the next 10 to 20 years. Having a roof warranty that is transferable may make your house extra eye-catching and more appealing to possible buyer making it easier to sell your home.