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:
- 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.
- Some companies are rapidly getting local cell numbers and opening local offices, advertising they are now ‘local’.
- 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?