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Austin Roofing: Article About Shingle Shapes

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Since the roof covers about one third of most homes, it has a big impact on curb appeal as well as home value. When people build new homes, remodel or replace their roofs, they can choose from several shingle shapes and styles. However, there are two main types of shingles, three tab shingles and architectural or dimensional shingles. Homeowners should contact an experienced Austin roofing professional for the latest shingle options.

Three tab asphalt shingles get their name because each one has three tabs created by two grooves that are cut into it. They have a flat, smooth look when they're on a roof, and they look like individual shingles sitting next to each other. They're more like interlocking puzzle pieces. Three tab shingles are thin, light and easy to handle. They're also more vulnerable to wind, hail and high temperatures. They usually last for about 20 years, and they can withstand up to 60 mile per hour winds. Because of the flat look, imperfections in the roof line are more obvious. Three tab shingles are also more difficult to install than shingles that don't interlock with each other because they can look sloppy if they don't line up correctly. However, fewer shingles can cover a bigger area.

Dimensional shingles, also called architectural or laminate shingles, come in several sizes and shapes, while three tab shingles have only one size and shape.

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Dimensional shingles have been the most commonly used type in home construction since they were introduced in the 1970s. They have a textured, three-dimensional appearance, and they were originally designed to look like more expensive cedar, shake or slate shingles or tiles. Since they're textured, they hide imperfections in the roof line. They come in a wide variety of colors, and they're thicker and stronger than three tab shingles. Some can withstand winds of up to 120 miles per hour as well as hail. Styles that interlock like three tab shingles are available to increase wind resistance. Some dimensional shingles have warranties that last for 50 years. However, the added texture makes them more susceptible to algae, and they're more expensive. They also weigh about 50 percent more than three tab shingles.

Designer shingles are heavier architectural shingles with more than two layers of asphalt laminated together. They come in more complex, ornate shapes and decorative colors. Homeowners can even choose designer shingles to simulate clay tiles. Some come with a lifetime warranty, and others are rated for wind speeds of up to 130 miles per hour.

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