Dimensional, architectural (newer term) and laminate (older term meaning “layered”) all refer to the same type of shingle. Dimensional shingles feature a thicker base layer of asphalt-saturated fiberglass. Fused to that solid layer is a tabbed layer, usually with more pronounced notches.
The effect is a shingle with a thicker “3D” profile that gives dimensional shingles a slate tile or wood shingle or shake appearance that is more genuine. Dimensional shingles are 32”-34” wide and up to 14” tall.
Pros: Architectural/dimensional shingles cost more than 3-tab shingles, but the appearance is generally favored, especially on upscale homes. Architectural shingles will normally have a longer service lifespan than 3-tab shingles, thanks to their thickness and durability. They also have superior impact resistance thanks to the greater amount of material and wind uplift protection.
Most architectural shingles are rated for up to 110 mph to 130 (with enhanced installation) mph wind uplift, making them a suitable option for high wind and storm prone areas such parts of Texas, Louisiana and Florida.
Cons: A disadvantage is that on low-slope roofs, 3/12 and 4/12 pitch for example, the higher profile makes them more susceptible to wind uplift. This an instance where a metal roof could be a more durable option.
Premium or Luxury Shingles
In recent years, ultra-dimensional shingles have come into vogue. Some manufacturers call them premium shingles, though the term architectural shingles is often used too. These are super-thick and heavy shingles, up to 450 lbs. per square (100 square feet). Most have higher profiles and distinct cuts to closely mimic the appearance of genuine slate and cedar shake roofing.
Cons: The premium good looks of these shingles come with a higher price tag.
3-Tab Shingle Type
Roofers refer to a shingle as 3-Tab because it is made up of three individual tabs that are a 12” wide. 3-Tab shingles come in either 20yr, 25yr, or 30 yr warranties. Like Architectural shingles, 3-Tab roofing shingles are asphalt-based products that work by shedding water to the shingle below.
Your grandparents’ home was probably covered in three-tab asphalt shingles, since for decades that was the only choice. In the 1970s, manufacturers began producing thicker shingles that came to be called laminate, dimensional and architectural shingles. There’s more to the design than just appearance, so let’s start by exploring each type:
Pros: 3-tab shingles are quite flat and lightweight. They’re +/-30” wide and about 12” tall. The exposed portion of the shingle is notched to produce three tabs that appear separate and are designed to look like slate tiles.
The advantages of three-tab shingles are their lower cost and flat profile which makes it difficult for the wind to get underneath the shingles or catch and lift up a shingle.
Cons: On a flip side, if strong wind does get under three-tab shingles, their lightweight design makes them more susceptible to tearing.
Most 3-tab shingles are only rated for 60 to 80 mph wind uplift, making them unsuitable for high-wind and hurricane prone areas.
Another disadvantage is that 3-tab shingles don’t last as long. The oils in any asphalt shingle rise to the top with time and are washed away or dried out by the elements. This makes shingles weak and brittle. The more asphalt there is in the shingle, the longer this process takes. So, roof longevity can be improved for thicker/heavier shingles.
Metal Roofing- Weigh the Pro’s and Con’s
Rain on a tin roof proves so soothing that it can be found on white noise machines and meditation apps alike, but that’s not the only reason (nor one of the top!) for its popularity among today’s homeowners. Growing numbers of people are installing metal roofs in both new construction and roof replacement projects. In fact, McGraw-Hill Construction and Analytics estimates that 750,000 U.S. homeowners chose metal roofing for their residences as of 2015. That number indicates an 11 percent share of the roofing market—second choice only to asphalt shingles.
Curious why this construction material has won over so many homeowners? See the complete list of metal roofing pros and cons below. Weigh them carefully, and you may find that you, too, could benefit from this reliable roofing overhead.
Get free, no-commitment estimates from this professional roofing Company “Pioneer”.
PRO: Metal roofs are durable and long-lasting.
At the top of the list of metal roofing “pros,” the material’s long lifespan is why most homeowners make the switch in either a re-roofing or new construction. Indeed, that recent McGraw-Hill survey found that 26 percent of homeowners cited longevity as their primary reason for investing in metal and another 22 percent said they were swayed by its strength. A properly installed metal roof typically will last as long as the house, with an expected lifespan of 40 to 70 years and, often, a 30- to 50-year manufacturer’s warranty to boot. (By contrast, traditional asphalt roofing typically lasts 12 to 20 years.) Thanks to the material’s unique durability, you can count on it to withstand the elements—including gusts of wind up to 140 miles per hour—and not corrode nor crack thanks to rust-proof coatings.
CON: Metal roofs are expensive.
The many years of service that a metal roof promises come at a high cost. This material can run from $120 to $900 per 100 square feet (or one “square” of material), according to Home Advisor’s Guide to Roofing Costs. Though this range is comparable to the costs of other premium roofing products, higher-end metals run as much as 10 times the cost of asphalt shingles. Then, not only do materials come with high price tags, but the installation labor is also more expensive than what you’d pay for other types of roofing because of the specialized training, knowledge, tools, and equipment it entails. That’s not to say that homeowners won’t recoup money on your initial investment, though. While you might have to pay for replacing a conventional asphalt shingle roof several times over the lifespan of your home, a high-quality metal roof could very likely be the last roof your home will ever need. It’s as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”
PRO: Metal roofs are environmentally friendly.
Traditional asphalt shingles are a petroleum product and, as such, increase dependency on fossil fuels. Plus, they require replacement every 15 to 20 years, which means that nearly 20 billion pounds of old asphalt shingles are sent to U.S. landfills every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Metal roofs, on the other hand, are considered a more sustainable alternative for a number of reasons. For starters, they consist of at least 25 percent recycled materials and are 100 percent recyclable themselves. (Steel roofing can be recycled repeatedly without loss of strength!) Metal roofing also provides an ideal platform for homeowners who want to embark various eco-conscious initiatives, including solar panels and systems for harvesting rainwater. Finally, in some re-roofing projects, a metal roof is so light—roughly one-third the weight of asphalt—that it can be installed directly overtop asphalt shingles without overburdening the roof’s structural support. This strategic move saves the effort and sheer waste of ripping off the old roofing and sending it to a landfill.
CON: Metal roofs can be dented.
Although today’s metal roofs are designed to withstand decades of abuse from extreme weather—including heavy snow and ice, both of which slide right down the slick metal slope rather than linger and cause leakage—some metal can still be dented by large hail or falling branches. Depending on the type of roof, you may not even be able to walk on the metal shingles without damaging them. If these drawbacks sound more like dealbreakers, rest assured that they can be sidestepped altogether if you choose the right shingle (preferably one that comes with a guarantee to never dent!). Some types of metal are just stronger than others. Aluminum and copper, for example, are both softer and therefore more prone to this type of damage than, say, steel.
PRO: Metal roofs are energy-efficient.
Money spent on the installation of a metal roof can be recouped from the savings in monthly cooling and heating costs thanks to this type of roof’s reflective properties. Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat instead of absorbing it, which—year round, but especially during the long days of summer—can reduce cooling costs by as much as 25 percent, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance. Furthermore, some metal roofing comes coated with special reflective pigments to minimize heat gain, keeping occupants comfortable without having to crank up the air conditioner.