Up close view of a grey 3-tab shingled roof.

When homeowners start to discuss getting a roof replacement, then the discussion begins; what type of roofing material to choose from? There are numerous materials on the market. From metal roofs to asphalt roofing, slate, and more, there is a serious amount of noise to cut through to determine what might be the best roofing material. That doesn’t even start the process of finding the best roofing contractor either! 

Kearns Brothers have been installing 3-tab shingles and architectural shingles for nearly 40 years. Shingles offer versatility, quick installation, and a cost-effective option to help keep your roof and home safe and dry. Below, the experts at Kearns Brothers will give you a breakdown of what architectural shingles are and how they differ from 3-tab shingles.  

What are GAF Architectural Shingles? 

Architectural roof shingles are a type of asphalt shingle that can replicate other desirable roofing materials like wood shake, slate, and cedar shake. They are a high-quality roofing material that may increase the curb appeal of homes.  

What are GAF 3-Tab Shingles? 

There is a reason that 3-tab shingles were the most popular variety of shingles on the market, they are easy to install and relatively inexpensive compared to other roof materials on the market. They offer different shingle colors so homeowners can easily match what they used to have on their homes and find a complementary color to go with their siding choices.  

How does Three-Tab Differ from Architectural Shingles?  

Roofing shingles are all the same right? Not entirely and there are identifiable differences between each type of shingle. Kearns Brothers will walk you through some of the more important differentiations between each product and what it might mean for your home.  


The most startling difference in composition is in the weight of the shingles. Architectural shingles are heavier shingles that are thicker than the 3-tab. Additionally, you will find that architectural shingles have smaller granules that are packed in more tightly than the 3-tab.  

Lifespan Length 

The function of shingles is to protect your roof from the elements. That means your roof shingles slow the damage from hail, wind, rain, UV rays, and more. Your roof takes a beating throughout the year. And over time, it will need to be replaced. 

The length of the life of your roof is directly proportional to the composition of your roof shingles. The beefier composition makes the architectural shingle a more desirable roof material if you need something sturdy. You can expect a lifespan of roughly 30 years out of architectural shingles. 

On the other hand, 3-tab shingles are quick and easy installation. They just don’t last as long as their counterpart. You can expect 3-tabs to last around 20 years.  

An important thing to remember is that while an architectural shingle may be more expensive to install, it does have a longer lifespan.  

Difference in Warranty  

The composition differences between each shingle variety mean that there are different warranties for each material. Kearns Brothers use GAF shingles, and you can read more about the roof warranty that they provide.  

Cost Difference 

There is a price difference between architectural and 3-tab. Because architectural shingle is a bigger and heavier shingles, it takes a little longer to install them. Additionally, architectural shingles are composed of more material, which adds to the heft and to the cost.  

Kearns Brothers provide financing options to help provide homeowners with the roof their home deserves. If a high-end architectural shingle is what you want, you can easily finance your new roof today!  

Wind Resistance Variance 

The composition of your shingle determines what level of wind resistance you can expect from your new roof. The heavier architectural shingle can withstand wind speeds up to 120 miles per hour. The 3-tab shingle can handle up to 80 mph.  

Regular Maintenance Requirements 

Each shingle requires regular levels of maintenance. As a homeowner, you should have a regular roof inspection from a trusted local roofer with regularity. Additionally, you should keep your roof free from debris and leaves. Other than that, you can kick back and focus on other home projects around your home.  

Kearns Brothers are Local Roofing Experts 

Determining what roof shingle is best for your home depends on a multitude of factors and many of them are personal decisions that you’ll need to determine what you want to achieve with your total roof replacement. Our team will gladly walk you through your roofing options. Contact us today to get the process started!