3 tab vs Architectural shingles
Asphalt shingles were first manufactured in the early 1900’s. By the 1950’s they had evolved into single layer strips of rolled asphalt with 3 tabs cut into them. This is what you see in the picture on the left. This is the standard 3 tab shingle. These were once the most common asphalt shingles in the marketplace.
As time went on and technology advanced, companies started to layer multiple strips of asphalt together and cutting the tabs in the top layer to give the roof a more dimensional look. This made the shingles much more attractive, and also resistant to things like age and weather. The thicker, more durable shingle was rated for much higher wind speeds, and also faired better with hail.
These days most companies in Colorado use architectural shingles across the board. If a roofing contractor is ever even offering 3 tab shingles, I would think twice about the quality of work that company does. Because they are so thin and blow off so easily, a lot of cities such as Longmont and Erie have banned them all together. One thing is for sure: if you are getting asphalt shingles, make sure the company that is installing them are not installing 3 tab shingles.