What Is A 3 Tab Shingle? Discover About Its Characteristics, Cost, and Lifespan Here

There are reasons why asphalt shingles are popular in modern houses and buildings. Aside from offering diversified designs, they are also relatively affordable. There are different types of asphalt shingles, and one of them is the 3-tab shingles.

If you aren’t familiar with roofing projects, you may ask: what is a 3-tab shingle? Discover the answer below, along with its benefits and drawbacks and other relevant information.

What Is A 3 Tab Shingle

In the past, 3-tab shingles were very popular within the market of the roofing industry. As mentioned previously, it is one of the asphalt shingles types—other popular options are architectural shingles and fiberglass asphalt shingles.

what is a 3 tab shingle

3-tab shingles and architectural ones are made out of firm, mineral-grain-covered fiberglass tissue. Despite its name, which was given because these shingles appear to consist of three separate parts, 3-tabs only have one. It is available in various styles, colors, and textures. It also possesses lightweight characteristics and can resist 60-70 mph winds.

Read also: What is the Minimum Pitch for Shingles

Now, if you are interested in this type of roofing, you may wonder: are 3-tab shingles good? It does have advantages and disadvantages of its own, such as the others. Here are some pros and cons of this shingles type:


  • Lightweight and easy to install.
  • Extremely durable and weather-resistant.
  • Relatively affordable compared to other types of roofing.
  • Minimalist in appearance, both in terms of colors and design, without making the roof look dull.


  • Thin frames make it prone to be uplifted by the wind, affecting its wind resistance.

Even though there is only one mentioned drawback of 3 tabs, it could be significant. The thin frames make it prone to be uplifted by wind, which may result in a loose and damaged roof if it isn’t maintained correctly.

As mentioned above, these shingles can endure only 60-70 mph winds. The figure might be higher in areas with intense wind, so do consider your location if you are interested in using this roofing system type.

If you notice any displacement or damage, it is crucial to request of inspection from a roofing professional to prevent further damage. Moved, damaged, or missing shingles aren’t able to protect the roof structure and may cause costly damage to occur.

How Much Are 3 Tab Shingles

In general, a typical project of 100 sq ft 3 tabs shingles installation costs around $90 – $200/ sq ft with an average of $150/ sq ft. A 3-tab composition shingles installation cost generally starts at 0.9 cents/ sq ft.

3-Tab Roof Shingles Life Expectancy

Commercially manufactured 3-tab shingle roofs are averaging 25 years of life expectancy. It is slightly shorter than dimensional shingles that are estimated to be able to last up to 30 years. However, note that around 80% of asphalt shingles’ lifespan is determined by external factors.

That being said, as long as the shingles are installed properly and the ventilation system on your attic is great, then it is likely to reach the lifespan expectation above.

Similar to any project, the success of 3-tab shingles installation and maintenance depends a lot on the early stages of planning and preparation. Doing at least quick research to learn more about what is a 3-tab shingle and also consulting with a professional roofing contractor can enhance the chance of making a more informed and sound decision.

This will help to avoid costly repairs and frustration in the future while also making sure of optimizing its lifespan and achieving a return on investment (ROI).

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair