Managing a Virginia Beach roof replacement project can seem intimidating, but our customers can rest easy knowing their roof is in the hands of a professional roofing contractor (we’re Class A Certified Contractors). One thing we do lean on our customers for is shingle selection (to an extent).

Take a few minutes to learn more about two common styles of shingles, the pros and cons of each, and how to select the best shingles for your Virginia Beach roof replacement project.

Call 757-210-6580 to schedule a free roofing inspection! Learn more about our Virginia Beach & Hampton Roads residential roofing services.

Architectural Shingles

While architectural shingles are made up of the same materials as 3 tab asphalt shingles, architectural shingles stand apart because of their quality. A thicker base makes architectural shingles heartier and better insulators, and more substantial layers of asphalt (or alternative materials) and UV protectant ensure long-lasting durability when compared to 3 tab asphalt shingles.

Architectural shingles have depth and varied dimensions. Shingle depth and dimensions improve wind resistance, increase durability, and offer substantially longer shingle lifespans (perfect for a roof in Virginia Beach!).


Architectural shingles are a high-quality option, with better materials and a sturdier design, some architectural shingle warranties last significantly longer than 3 tab asphalt shingle warranties. As new technologies hit the market, some shingle manufacturers make innovative design improvements and utilize more recycled materials. It’s often easy to find architectural materials that mimic natural materials like wood and stone.


The cons associated with architectural shingles are limited, as they are far superior when compared to 3 tab asphalt shingles. Architectural shingle colors and shapes are available in a wide variety of options (depending on the manufacturer), with most shingle manufacturers offering a variety of designs and colors. Some roofers will say the financial investment is a “con” of architectural shingles, but we disagree. The durability of architectural shingles cannot be understated.

3 Tab Asphalt Shingles

Let’s start by explaining that technically architectural shingles are often made of asphalt, too.

What we’re referring to is a thin variety of shingles. These shingles are felt or fiberglass at the base, then a layer of asphalt. The shingles are then topped off with a surfacing material that offers UV protection and has a mineral texture. Unlike terra cotta roofing tiles and architectural shingles, these asphalt shingles are flat.


3 tab asphalt shingles are lower cost upfront and come in various colors and styles. These thinner shingles do well in mild climates, and warranties can last up to 20 years. Asphalt shingles can often be recycled into new shingles, asphalt for roads, and interlocking bricks.


3 tab asphalt shingles are easy to damage and can cost more in repairs, especially in hot, windy, and extreme climates like we have in Virginia Beach and the greater Hampton Roads area. These shingles can last for as little as eight years and rarely last longer than 25 years.

The Best Shingles for Your Roof?

It’s easy for home improvement blogs to give you a straightforward answer: “Buy this, do that, and your problems will be solved!” The truth is that whether 3 tab asphalt shingles or architectural shingles are the best choices for your roof replacement is more straightforward.

If you live in a neighborhood where the homeowner’s association has strict guidelines for shingle style and quality, you might be required to have 3 tab asphalt shingles installed. But if you live in a non-HOA bearing neighborhood, strongly consider having architectural shingles installed over basic 3 tab asphalt shingles, as architectural shingles are far superior.

Final Thoughts On Shingles for Virginia Beach Roofs

When it comes to selecting the right shingle for your roof, this decision can seem intimidating. It is important to work with a Virginia Beach roofing company that has a solid understanding of what is essential for correctly installing a roof replacement on your home.

While basic 3 tab asphalt shingles are lower cost and come in various colors and shapes, they tend to have a shorter lifespan when compared to architectural shingles. Architectural shingles are durable and weather resistant, but have a higher cost when compared to basic 3 tab asphalt shingles.

When completing a roof replacement, we will always recommend customers install architectural shingles due to durability. 

Contact Seaboard Construction today. Call 757-210-6580 to schedule a free roof replacement quote!