Choosing between GAF and Certainteed


I live in MD and I am choosing between two quotes for a roof replacement job. Both companies have good referrals. The main differences are as follows:

Roofer A: Master Elite Contractor (GAF)
GAF Royal Sovereign Shingles
GAF Snow Country Ridge Vent
DCI Smartvent (along front edge of top mansard roof line)
30lb Felt
Does not use subcontractors
Price: $4,000

Roofer B: ShingleMaster Company (Certainteed)
Certainteed XT25
Certainteed ShingleVent II
No Smartvent(concerned with appearance if used on mansard roof line)
Certainteed Roofers Select Felt
Uses subcontractors (but company has used same subs for 8-14 years)

I would welcome any opinions on whether GAF products (shingles,ridge vent,felt) warrant extra cost and if Smartvent would be appropriate for mansard roof. Thank you.


Roofer A.


Roofer A, but choose a better shingle than just a 25 year 3-tab.

He is addressing the entire ventilation scenario by adding in the Smart Vent for improving the Intake Ventilation.

Now a question for you…

Is this a Gambrel style home, shaped like a barn?

Don’t forget the Ice and Water Shield at the top roofs eave edges.



A for sure but why not Timberlines 3-tabs are ghetto.
Its a huge benifit to have a company that does not use subs.


[Its a huge benifit to have a company that does not use subs.[/quote]

Whats the huge benefit of not using subs vs having employees?


After all’s been said and done, ultimately the result of the work is what matters most…what do you want “on” your roof for the next 25+ years?

If it were my home…


Response to Ed the Roofer: This is not a Gambrel home. I live in an interior unit townhome and the front side of the home has a mansard style on the top half.

Response to Roofer J: Selection of 3 tabs is to comply with HOA requirements.



I would suggest certainTeed for a 3 tab althought i do like the GAF Algea resistant Archs a whole lot!

I’d choose contractor #1 for your job. Because he will probably be watching the job a little bit better, due to the fact he doesnt sub. The quality could be better that way as well…


I would choose the Certainteed XT-30 versus any other 3-Tab shingle.

Appearances are the same, but it is a beefier shingle.

That one should still conform to your HOA covenants.



Hmmm lets see,Hiring a company that then in turn goes out and hires another company to actually do the work. Gee whats wrong with that picture ? Not to mention that fact that getting paid by the square is only an incentive to go faster and cut corners, and not take the time to install quality. Not the way I will ever operate. caring is the key.


With all due respect, I believe you are generalizing. I’ve been using the same sub for 8 years now & I personally oversee and inspect every bit of work they do and if they have low/high nails or whatever, they fix it. They know what to expect of me. Using subs is more cost efficient for me. And yes I do care and take great pride in our work.

I guess you don’t buy any type of american or foreign car either, because the last time I checked, there is a lot of outsourcing that goes into manufacturing of automobiles ,the same vehicle that you drive. As a matter of fact, I bet 75% of the things you buy on a daily basis was outsourced one way or another.

All I’m saying is just because that’s how you do it doesn’t mean that’s how everyone should do it. Using subs is very beneficial in many ways and that’s how I personally like it. Quality is key and my job is to insure that.


if you have a simple roof then save the 1000 and use
if you have a complicated roof then you may want hourly guys.



Ok, but do you tell your customers that it is not really YOUR work that you are taking pride in, and that they are really another contractor ? I know a lot of people do it this way for insurance reasons and such and they have a large price advantage over someone who hires seasoned roofers and carpenters. But the tables can be turned when educating the customer about these practices.


Does nike take pride in the work that their subcontarctors perform? Why should’t I.
Is the car/truck your driving actually made by ford/dodge/chevy really their product made 100% employee? Is that house you live in done by a company who used all employees? Is the roofing gun or tools you used today built by the employees of hitachi/bostich or was alot of the production outsourced? Are the clothes you are wearing right now made by employees or subs? Does oscar meyer actually farm the meat that they sell? NO!Tell me what does it matter as long as I do a good job and yes if they ask I tell them I am a general contractor that uses subcontractors. I just don’t understad what the big deal is with using subs as if they do inferior work. Some do , I’m sure, but there are just as many bad employee ran companies also
And the people you know who uses subs, are they scabs of some kind for subbing.

I’ve tried the employee thing before. I got sick & tired of the milkers, excuses for not showing up, the probation, borrowing money, thieves stealing your tools ,bla,bla, blah!! Some people can manage these types of people on daily basis. I don’t want to mess with it when I can hire a group of guys(who usually don’t have the business skills to effectively run a business) but can do damn good work on a timely basis. My job is to sell, coordinate, manage,quality control,counterflash, collect money, warranty the work. I am a contractor/coordinator. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Is all that work you do actually your work or employee work? Do you take credit for all of your employees work? I take pride in giving customers a good service & a good finished product.
What exactly is it that burns you up so much about using subs as it is hypocrital of you if you are to use anything unless it is 100% employee made.(which is near impossible to find)


i sub from two differfent contractors. neither knows more than me about roofing. both will tell you that.


Will they tell the home owner that though?

It is not as important, technique wise to know more than the sub or employed crew, but it certainly matters when specifications and details are created to be utilized on the project.



I think the question everyone is wondering is if the people you sell the roof to know that who they bought the roof from isnt doing it. I dont care if people use subs or not but right before the contract do you say “Oh by the way, another crew of guys with a different name will come to actually do the roof and all the work but my name will be in the front yard and I will be by to check there work. I will also be the one to pick up the check and fix their mistakes if they happen to have any.”

I think there is a reason why those guys dont run a business but are a whole crew and its usually because of the sort of work they do, not poor business skills. For example a crew of guys who ran their own business recently went out of business because of all the poor work performed. Some 20 plus complaints to the BBB that were never resolved. Last I heard those same 6 guys are now all doing sub work.

How can you perform any kind of quality control if you are not there? Do the subs really care as long as they get there check because once they do its YOUR problem, not theres. Ive had a bad experience or two when trying them out. One said hes been roofing 20 years and couldnt run felt straight. When asked why he doesnt run the felt straight, he said because we go back and chalk lines. We asked him why they put lines on the felt then and he had no answer. Basically that guy got the roof torn off and two rows of felt on before being fired.

Personally I think subs are used when you just want to make an easy quick dollar and dont want to have to pay your own employees. Thats just my opinion. No Offense.


I agree 100% with bambam. the only incentive of a piece work sub is to slap it up quick. There are some cases where a sub would be merited though like a gutter guy for example. But there are far to many paper work only white collar contractors.


Let me ask you something again. Does it bother you that nike doesn’t manufacture a shoe themselves. Is the quality inferior or not? I monitor my job just as you or they would. No, I don’t just sell the job and say I’ll be by later to pick up the check. What difference does it make if it is a sub or employee crew? And yes, if they want to know if I use subs or not I let them know. 99% of people don’t care as long as they get a good finished product. I think both of you have had bad experiences with subs for some reason as I have with employees… Is Empie less of a roofer for subbing his work? You are both generalizing. There are alot of crappy subs, but yes there are some really good ones too. RooferJ you are still contradicting yourself by saying a gutter guy can be subbed and that’s Ok. He gets paid by the foot, so what exactly makes it ok to sub him. What makes him special. Oh, 1 last question for the both of you. Do you buy only employee manufactured items? If not, you are both hypocrites.