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Composition Roof 101 – What Nebraskan’s need to know

September 23, 2022
Composition Roof 101 in Omaha

Here at McKinnis, we want you to have the opportunity to make an educated decision in making one of the most impactful purchases for your home. A commonly asked question is: “What is a composition roof?”. Simply put, a composition roof is another term for asphalt shingles. Composition is the professional lingo often used by contractors, insurance agents, real estate agents, etc. The reason why it is called a composition roof is it is composed of different materials to create the product. These materials are fiberglass, tar, matting, and granules. Now that we know what a composition roof is, let’s look at the different types of composition roofs.

Composition Roof 101 – What Nebraskans need to know

3 Tab Shingle

3 tab shingles are your basic, run-of-the-mill shingles. Their namesake is how they’re designed; three tabs at each edge so the shingles tab together when installed. 3 Tab shingles are a single, flat layer. The roof appears smooth when it is installed which provides a clean finish. 3 Tabs are one of the thinnest shingle options, also making it the most budget-friendly composition roofing option.

Most 3-tab shingles come with a 10–20-year product warranty and the lifespan is also shorter; averaging 10-15 years (although Nebraska weather can always expedite the aging process) and wind gust resistance of about 60 mph.


3-tab shingle

3 Tab Example

Architectural Shingles

One of the highest quality roofing materials available in the market today, architectural shingles take composition a level up by introducing a ceramic coating of granules, making them much more durable and thicker than their 3-tab cousins. Not only are architectural shingles durable, but they are also stylish. When installed, architectural shingles create design and add texture.

Architectural shingles are low maintenance and highly resilient, yielding a 40-year product warranty and a 50-year life expectancy. These shingles have a higher wind rating; capable of resisting wind gusts of 120 mph.

Being a higher quality product, architectural shingles are a more expensive type of roofing material for your home (but also less worrisome). Apart from just roofing, architectural shingles can offer aesthetics, high performance, resale value, and savings on maintenance.

Architectural shingles

Architectural Example

Luxury Shingles

Finally, we have the crème de la crème of asphalt shingle options. As one would guess, luxury shingles are top-of-the-line for your roofing needs. Luxury shingles mimic the look of shake or slate shingles. They are bigger and thicker; making them more durable than 3 Tab and architectural shingles.

As for warranties, you have an automatic 30-year product warranty. However, if you install all manufacturer roofing components (underlayment, flashing, etc.), you qualify for a 50-year enhanced warranty (this ensures the manufacturer covers your entire roof for the life of the roofing materials).

Rated up to 150 mph wind gusts, luxury shingles are the most expensive option of asphalt shingles however they do increase the value… value in curb appeal, value in resale, and value in protection.

Luxury Shingle

Luxury Shingle Example

Composition Roof: What to know

Composition shingles are the most common type of shingles on roofs nationwide. Factors such as design, environmental conditions, and element exposure should always be taken into consideration when looking at installing or replacing a roof. The material and its composition play a big factor in roof longevity.

All these roofing systems offer a myriad of styles and colors to choose from. Design and originality can be found more in the architectural and luxury options, which offer different patterns and blends of multiple colors.

Regardless of the type of roofing system you choose, homeowners that choose composition shingles are making a sound investment for the present and future; allotting an average of 66% ROI on your home improvement project. Not only that, The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) released a remodeling impact report (2019) which found new roofs provide a 109% return. This means you could make a profit on your new roof!

McKinnis Roofing & Sheet Metal Omaha

Family-owned for 41 years, McKinnis can offer you quality products, superior installation standards, and the peace of mind that we aren’t going anywhere. McKinnis sales professionals regularly attend seminars held by manufacturers so we can continuously provide you with the most up-to-date product information on all asphalt shingles. If you’re not sure which asphalt system you want, the Omaha roofing experts at McKinnis can provide comparative estimates that allow you to weigh your options and make an educated decision.

Even after installation, McKinnis stands proudly behind our work by offering a 5-year workmanship warranty and assistance in obtaining the manufacturer warranty. McKinnis also offers inspection services, and our maintenance department can assist in caring for your roof; making sure it remains in top-notch condition. Big or small, McKinnis can help with all your Omaha roofing needs.


If you are in need of roofing, windows, siding, or gutter work, give us a call today at 402-426-2644, visit our website at or fill out our contact form. Our roofing and exterior experts are highly trained and always ready to help!