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GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingle Review: Quality and Performance Unveiled

October , 2023 | 9 min. read

By Mitch Owens

two-story cottage-style home with porch and dormers with a 3-tab roof

Finding out you need a new roof can be a tough pill to swallow, especially when you're not prepared for the expense that comes with it. After all, we all have a list of things we'd rather spend our hard-earned money on than a roof, right?

Every homeowner knows that a reliable roof is critical, especially in stormy summers. The last thing you want is a leaky roof when the skies open up and the rain comes pouring down. And if you're like many homeowners, you're probably looking for a cost-effective solution. One that won't break the bank and will still provide the protection your home needs.

We get it.

RoofCrafters has assisted many homeowners in finding the ideal roofing solution. With 30 years of experience, we know shingles. And now, we want to share our shingle knowledge with you. That's where the GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingle comes in. Is it a good choice, considering its low price, or is its quality and performance lacking?

In this article, we'll take a close look at the GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingle. We'll break down its durability and cost. We'll also discuss its installation process. And hopefully, by the end, you can decide for yourself if it's the right choice for your home.

Let's dive in!

Unpacking the Durability of GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles


up close image of a 3-tab shingle

When it comes to shingles, durability is a key factor that can make or break your decision. You want something that’s going to stand the test of time, right? Let's dive into the lifespan and warranty details of the GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingle.

Material Warranty: GAF provides a warranty for Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles. It covers any defects for 5 years. It's 100% coverage for 5 years. The shingle warranty is pro-rated after the 5 years.

Wind Warranty: GAF also provides a wind warranty, which covers wind damage up to 60 mph for 5 years. This is a great feature, especially for homeowners where strong winds can be a concern.

Algae Warranty: GAF provides a 10-year StainGuard algae warranty. This helps keep your roof looking clean and new for longer.

Expected Lifespan: The GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingle has an expected lifespan of around 15-18 years. This is fairly standard for 3-tab shingles, but it's worth noting that other types of shingles, like architectural shingles, can last 25-30 years. Yet, they also come with a higher price tag.

White home with weather wood GAf Royal Sovereign 3-tab shingles

By considering the durability of your shingles, you’re making an educated investment in your home. It’s not only about finding the cheapest option; it’s about finding the best value for your money.

Analyzing the Costs: GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingle


When faced with the choice of shingle for your roof replacement, cost is often a deciding factor. Let's break down the costs to install the GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles on an average 1500 square foot home. Then we'll compare it with the next level up, the GAF Timberline HDZ.

Average Price for a 1500 Square Foot Home:

Single story house with 3 tab shinglesThe cost to install GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles on a 1500-square-foot home is approximately $6,825 to $9,840. This includes both materials and labor.

Comparison with Average Price for GAF Timberline HDZ:

Architectural roof on a easy roof slopeRegarding the cost of installing GAF Timberline HDZ shingles on the same-sized home, you're looking at a price range of $7,800 to $12,000. That's a significant difference.


Value for Money Assessment 


While the GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles are less expensive, they also provide less protection. The 3-tab shingles are thinner and have a shorter lifespan. However, they are still a reliable and cost-effective solution for homeowners on a budget.

3-tab roofing on a brick home

In the end, the decision comes down to your specific needs and budget. Do you want to pay more for durable protection or choose a cheaper option that still works well?

Unpacking the Ideal Buyer: Is Royal Sovereign the Right Fit for You?


GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles are a versatile roofing solution that can be a good fit for various roof types, climates, and homeowners. Let's explore who might benefit the most from this roofing option.

Ideal Roof Types and Climates:

Royal Sovereign shingles can be installed on a wide range of roof types, from steep-sloped to more flat designs. They're well-suited for regions that experience moderate weather conditions. These shingles have a good resistance to algae growth, making them an excellent option for humid climates.

Ideal Homeowner Profile:

  1. On a Tight Budget: If you need an affordable roofing option, consider Royal Sovereign shingles. They are among the most affordable shingles on the market, providing good protection without breaking the bank.

  2. Home Flippers/Investors: If you flip homes or invest in real estate, you'll love the value of Royal Sovereign shingles. The low cost and attractive look of these can increase a property's value without spending much.

  3. Builders: Many new home builders install these on their new construction homes. It's a reliable and cost-effective roofing solution for home builders. Their ease of installation and cost can help keep construction projects within budget and stay on schedule.

  4. In a Pinch: Homeowners needing a quick solution to a leaking or damaged roof can turn to Royal Sovereign shingles for a practical and speedy fix.

  5. Commodity Buyers: These homeowners view a roof as a functional necessity rather than an aesthetic upgrade. They believe the primary function of a roof is to protect the home from the elements. As such, they seek roofing options that are straightforward, cost-effective, and do the job of keeping their home dry. Royal Sovereign shingles are perfect for them. They meet all the basic roofing needs without any extra costs for unnecessary fancy features.

GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles are perfect for people with a tight budget. They are also ideal for real estate investors, builders, and homeowners who need a fast and dependable roofing option. With their affordability, ease of installation, and good performance, they offer a balance of quality and value that is hard to beat.

Looking for something that'll provide a little more protection? Checkout the Timberline HDZ's:

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Navigating the Installation: Challenges and Solutions


The installation of a roofing system is a process that requires precision and expertise. GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles are easy to install, but they can have common problems. We feel you should know before making your final decision. 

GAF 3-tab roof cut-out diagram1. Leak barrier

2. Roof underlayment

3. Starter strips

4. 3-Tab shingles

5. Attic ventilation

6. 3-Tab ridge caps


Ease of Installation

4 man shingle crew installing a new roof

The design of the Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingles makes for a straightforward installation process. Their lightweight nature means they are easy to handle. The 3-tab design helps to ensure each shingle lines up, providing a clean, uniform look.


Common Problems Encountered During Installation

Despite their ease of installation, there are still some common problems that can occur. Common problems include:

  1. Improper Nail Placement: Nails should be placed at specific points on the shingle to ensure they are securely attached. If nails are placed too high or too low, it can result in shingles being blown off in high winds.
  2. Inadequate Overhang: The shingles should extend beyond the edge of the roof to ensure water is directed away from the roof structure. If the overhang is not enough, it can lead to water damage.
  3. Misalignment of Shingles: While the 3-tab design helps to ensure the shingles line up, it is still possible for them to be installed crookedly if not done with care.

These common problems can be avoided with proper training and attention to detail. There are benefits to hiring a GAF Master Elite roofing contractor. They're experienced in installing GAF Shingles and you'll get a better warranty from GAF.

In Summary: Making the Informed Choice with RoofCrafters


To sum up, the GAF Royal Sovereign 3-Tab Shingle is a good choice for homeowners who want an affordable and dependable option. These shingles provide decent protection for your home and come with warranties that provide peace of mind.

Remember, your roof is your home's first line of defense against the elements. Investing in the right roofing solution will not only protect your home but also enhance its value and curb appeal.

Our family at RoofCrafters has been installing shingles for over 30 years. We love helping our clients by educating them so they can make informed choices for themselves. Decisions that fit their needs and budget. We are here to help you find the right roofing options and feel confident in your investment.

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Mitch Owens

My name is Mitch, and I have over 10 years of roofing experience. I enjoy my career in the service industry because I love helping others take care of their homes and businesses. With over 10 years in the roofing industry, my success comes from my honesty and integrity during my roof inspections. I do my best to listen to the needs of my clients and strive to provide an awesome client experience.