Amenity Roofing & Siding

Architectural Shingles 101: A Guide for Oswego, IL Homeowners

Asphalt shingles have been around for over a century, taking their place as the most popular roofing material since the early 1900s. The asphalt shingle itself has evolved to include the 3-tab shingle that the majority of residents now choose when looking for affordable roofing materials. 

While 3-tab shingles work well to keep the rain out of your home, you do not have to settle for the same old shingle that every other home has. You have more choices than the 3-tab shingle thanks to shingle engineering experts with creative minds that push the barriers of roofing design. 

Architectural shingles provide long-lasting roof coverage as well as a design that makes your roof stand out among the others. 

If you want your home to be the crown jewel of your neighborhood, you should look into architectural shingles. Keep reading to learn more about architectural shingles and why they should be on top of your house. 

What Are Architectural Shingles?

Architectural shingles are a more luxurious type of asphalt shingle than the average 3-tab shingle. 

To understand architectural shingles, you need to understand asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles consist of a fiberglass layer tucked between asphalt and ceramic-covered granules. As a result, the granules will resist water and deflect sunlight. 

Asphalt shingles as a whole all work the same because manufacturers make them from basically the same material with the same design. 

The three-tab shingle is the most popular of the types of asphalt shingles on the market. Three-tab shingles get their name from the three tabs they have on them. They consist of one layer of three tabs, each tab a foot apart. 

Aesthetically, the three-tab shingle looks like a flat shingle. It lies flat on the roof, giving it little to no dimension. 

Architectural shingles, in contrast, create more dimension for your roof. They consist of a fiberglass mat base coated with ceramic minerals, much like the 3-tab shingle. They will shed water and deflect UV rays as well. 

Architectural shingles differ from 3-tab shingles in their dimension. They can consist of several layers of material, all in one shingle. As a result, they give rooves a unique beauty and high-quality dimension.  

3 Tab Shingles vs. Architectural Shingles

Architectural roof shingles vary from 3-tab shingles in more than their construction. Installing architectural shingles will take about the same amount of time and cost as having 3-tab shingles installed. But the architectural shingles themselves look different and come in at a higher cost initially than 3-tab shingles. 

Here’s a basic breakdown of the differences between 3-tab shingles vs. architectural shingles.  


Architectural shingles cost more per bundle than 3-tab shingles. On average, you can expect to pay $35 to $45 per bundle of architectural shingles. Three-tab shingles, on the other hand, run around $25 to $30 a bundle for the same coverage. 

So initially, architectural shingles look like they cost more, coming in 40 to 50 percent more than 3-tab shingles. However, when you look at the investment of architectural shingles, you will see a greater return for your money. Three-tab shingles will wear out more quickly, usually having half the life expectancy of an architectural shingle. 


You want a roof that keeps the rain out and deflects heat. Both architectural and 3-tab shingles do this job well. You also want something beautiful as well as functional. 

Architectural shingles give your home a personal touch. They come with a diverse range of options that 3-tab shingles lack. When you’re ordering 3-tab shingles, you have one shape, one size, and a flat dimension. 

Architectural shingles give your roof a layered look. They come in different sizes and shapes, allowing your home to stand out from the others in the neighborhood. You also have a variety of textures and colors to pick from. 

Roofing manufacturers and engineers have come up with unique designs in architectural shingles using synthetic slate. As a result, the asphalt roof will look like real slate but weigh less and not require the same amount of support.

You can also purchase contemporary architectural shingles that look like cedar wood shingles. Best of all, the asphalt shingles that look like cedar are fire retardant, unlike typical cedar shingles. 

Thicker shingles with different color variations will use light and shadows to add a three-dimensional look to your roof as well. As a whole, architectural shingles just look nicer than the typical asphalt shingle. 


When you hire an expert roofer to climb your home and install shingles, you want to know they won’t have to do this every ten years. You want a shingle that will last you decades. Furthermore, you need something that will withstand the extremes that the typical Oswego roof endures. 

Oswego temperatures range from the mid-teens in the depths of winter up to the low 90s in the heart of the summer. You need a shingle that can handle freezing temperatures as well as the shingle-curling heat of July. 

Generally speaking, architectural shingles last longer than 3-ta shingles. They handle the heat, ice, snow, rain, and even strong winds better.

On average, architectural shingles will last 18 to 20 years, but under optimal conditions, they can last up to 30 years. In comparison, 3-tab shingles need replacing every 7 to 10 years on average. In areas with mild climates, they can last up to 15 years.    

Beautiful Roof, Beautiful Home

Basic architectural shingles look nicer, last longer, and provide a better roof overall for your home. When you select these unique shingles, you end up with a more beautiful home that stands out in the neighborhood. 

Do you need a new roof? Schedule an estimate with us today.

We specialize in roof repair, roof replacement, siding replacement, and gutter replacement. Our experts can bring your home back to life with an entire facelift. If you have questions, contact us.

We can help you find the roofing solution that’s best for your home. 


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