I'm getting estimates to reroof my house which has asphalt shingles. I had
tentatively decided to put on 3-tab shingles (Certain Teed or Owens Corning)
as a best bet for the money. One estimator insists that 3-tabs are a poor
way to go and that I should put on "dimensional" shingles. Is he correct or
just trying to sell me the most expensive option?
He's trying to sell shingles.
It's mostly looks. Nobody sees wood shingles any more.
Wood shakes were in vogue about 25 years ago, and are now
being replaced with asphalt and metal and are outlawed in
some wooded areas. Around here dimensional shingles started
to be in vogue about 20-15 years ago. But, three tab
shingles have been and are still predominant, with
dimensional shingles generally found on more expensive
houses. And, there are different patterns of dimensional
shingles. Will you pick a pattern that is still in vogue
when you sell it?
As for lasting, dimensional should last longer, but here
I've seen dimensionals being replaced, and they aren't 20
years old, while some three tabs last much longer. It's
kind of hard to compare in the last 10 years though, because
many of the three tabs that should have lasted were
manufactured with a shortage of asphalt (in the late 70's
and maybe early 80's), and failed for that reason. Another
10-15 years and a better comparison may be possible. And
then, shingles fail because the roof wasn't constructed
correctly with good air flow.
So in the end, you need to look at what satisfies you
esthetically and how long you plan to stay in the house.
Dimensionals will probably increase the selling price
(especially if you are in an area with a lot of
dimensionals). If your area has lots of three tabs and you
plan to stay a long time, certainly the three tabs are the
best economic choice. So, it is not quite as simple as the
By dimensional shingles, are you referring to what my roofer called
"architectural" shingles? He showed me the difference by pointing out two
different houses across the street from mine (I'm putting on a whole new
roof) and I thought they were much better looking and worth the few hundred
Yes, different people call them different names. Not sure
what each brand calls them (but just using the terminology
of the original poster). Yes, it is mostly esthetics.
Longevity is going to be dependent on the brand, the style,
the roof (underlayment), climate, ventilation, etc. Sure if
you think they look a lot better and you don't mind the
extra money, then go for it. Be sure to look at several
displays of different products to be sure you really get
what you want. You likely will get increased longevity over
the three tab type. I didn't mean to discourage anyone, but
just answer the question of what was the biggest bang for
the buck which depends on a lot many factors.
k conover wrote:
Plus, if you are hiring out the roof job, you're already paying for
all that labor, so why not pay a couple hundred dollars more for the
assurance of a longer-lasting product? That's how I justified buying
dimensional shingles for my roof this year: the labor was expensive
enough that I want to put off doing another roof for as long as I can.
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