Florence-Driven Roof Replacement


#1

Hi, All…

I am a homeowner, have very little roofing experience – I once helped replace a roof on a friend’s starter home with 3-tab shingles (back in the 80’s), so I apologize in advance for my ignorance…

So I am a Florence casualty and my insurance guy told me to get a new roof. So far:

  1. Roofing folks from all over the country are converging here to try and get an ‘assignment’ - whereby the contractor ‘represents your interests’ with the insurance company.
  2. Some companies are rapidly getting local cell numbers and opening local offices, advertising they are now ‘local’.
  3. Most of them are hawking their ‘best’ shingle, which happens to be the one they have…

… and then there’s the shingle research out there…

I am a reader and researcher - I wanna know I am getting the best value, most durable product I can. But the resources on the internet are not only conflicting, but also seem to swing wildly toward one or another company – which makes me believe many ‘rating’ sites are being compensated for their ‘honest reviews’.

Also, shingle manufacturers want the roofers to be 'Preferred Master Certified Pro whatever, etc, in order to honor any warranty. So the roofers are sort of forced to pay for certification programs for each company (which motivates them to push for a particular brand), and the consumers are pretty much forced to choose only ‘pro-certified-preferred’ roofers under penalty of warranty cancellation. I get that the the companies want to make sure the roofers know what they are doing, but boy does it muddy up the decision-making for the consumer - expecially whan I meet with a roofer who castegorically says the certificaiton programs are a gimmick (yes, that happened).

Anyway, it seems to be down to a decision between OC Duration, Gaf Timberline, maybe Atlas Pinnacle, and (maybe) IKO… They each have good products, all of them have wonderfully happy customers and also some unhappy customers/lawsuits/etc, and they all are pretty much in the same pricing ballpark. I live in SE North Carolina, we get some wind and an occasional Cat 1/2/3 storm, very little hail, and a fair amount of rain.

So… I guess I need to know, since you guys are the experts, and I’m just trying to get information. What is the best-value, overall, shingle for my area? Does a fabric stripe make that much difference (some roofers say it’s all marketing)? Is tying 3-4 ancillary products into a roof purchase worth it to retain warranty? And speaking of warranties, I hear they are almost impossible to collect on due to teh various variables in installation. So if that’s the case, what value is this mythical ‘Pro-Certified-Preferred-Master’ thing anyway?

AS you can tell by now, as an educated consumer, the more reading I do the more confusing this effort is.

Any help out there?

Thanks!


#2

Pro master certified smoke shifter elite is all a bunch of bs. Have fixed many of their roofs. What counts is a well established company that stands behind their work and doesn’t just sub it out to the cheapest avalible crew. Many company’s are master elite certified but their sub crews that actually do the install have no clue what you are even talking about.

Personal recommendation would be certainteed, atlas, oc in that order. I stay away from gaf and iko is bottom barrel compared to the others.


#3

Agree 100% with MPA. Master Certification or Pro Contractor means little more than you, as a Contractor, buy a lot from that Manufacturer. We have the Pro Contractor Cert from Atlas, Tamko, OC and GAF (I think GAF if it didn’t lapse which I could care less). Last I heard, we were one of two Elite Contractors for Atlas in Alabama. By default, the Raleigh, NC Rep extended the same rating to us for Raleigh.

The only thing I can think of that benefits the Homeowner is that we will purchase all the components parts so the Manufacturer Extends their warranty past normal. This proves to be of value with about 1 in 300 roofs. Otherwise, it is rather worthless. And with most of the Manufacturers, unless the defect is blatantly obvious, you have to fight like the Dickens to get them to stand behind it. We nor any of our crews have ever received any additional training from any Manufacturer for their product.

What you should conclude is don’t choose a product based upon a perceived warranty or a Pro Contractor Certification from the Manufacturer. Choose the product you like best and have the best crew you can find to install it. The latter if FAR more important to the long term reliability of the roof than is the Manufacturer.

Of what you listed, my choice would be Atlas Pinnacle or OC Duration. 9 years ago, I wouldn’t have put an Atlas shingle on my dog house. They have made HUGE strides in improving their product. I wouldn’t hesitate to put the Atlas Pinnacle product on my house at this point and in fact, were I going to install a 30 year laminated shingle, it would probably be my choice. OC Duration would be second and Tamko or Certaineed would be third. As I stated though, I’d spend more effort making sure the best roofers I had were installing the shingles. Great shingles combined with a bad crew will result in a horrible roof. Good or average shingles installed by a great crew will provide you years and years of a no leak trouble free roof.


#4

Folks, thanks (!) for the great responses - and I suspect the same thing - the the certs are sometimes a little superfluous, and the installation crew is far more important. Thgat having been said, thanks again to both of you for your candid assessments of shingles. I know Atlas has had its problems, but the more recent material out ther suggests their quality is at a very high level these days. Also, of course, the OC Duration is pretty popular around here, with its cloth strip, etc.

There are a few companies her who have been around many years and have stellar reputations, permanent crews, etc. I will look into that aspect more than I have been, adn I will let you know what I come up with! . thanks!!