IKO Cambridge AR - Should I worry?


** Sorry for the long post! ** We bought our first home last July, and knew going in that the roof had about 2 years left before it needed to be replaced (house was built in 1989, still has the original shingles). Existing shingles are cracked, have no flexibility left in them, and we have some algea growth. We decided to just get it done this year, along with having the two existing skylights we have replaced. So I got a couple quotes and signed a contract with a roofer who convinced me to go with IKO Cambridge AR shingles (manufactured in Canada), based primarily on them being heavier than other shingles on the market. We’re also having 2 Velux skylights installed. The shingles were delivered yesterday (Friday) to my complete surprise (would have been nice for the roofer to call me…), and the roof will be installed Monday (again to my surprise, as I had to contact the roofer to find that out). I picked this roofer because he was about $1700 less than the next closest estimate, offers a 7-yr workmanship warranty, and seemed to be knowledgable, with great reviews everywhere I looked. The two other roofers that I did not sign with quoted Certainteed shingles (guy who was $1700 more) and GAF Timberline (these guys were about $3k more).

So I was just looking up IKO, and aside from the company website, just about every other mention of IKO out there is negative. Most of the issues seem to have come up with roofs installed in the mid to late 90’s, and a lot of problems seem to be with the “organic” shingles (Cambridge AR’s are fiberglass, which makes me feel a little better), and the shingles manafuctured in Canada seemed to have more issues. Has IKO’s reputation improved as of late? Did I just make a big mistake agreeing to have these shingles installed? Can someone reassure me? The job is $10,000, so I’d kinda like to not feel like I’m just wasting our money.

Another question - the singles that were delivered were on two pallets. One has nothing but Cambridge AR shingles, but the other pallet has Cambridge AR’s and about 5 packs of Marathon Ultra AR shingles. The Marathon’s have a lower wind resistance warranty (60 mph versus 110 mph for the Cambridge), and a lower “Iron Clad” protection warranty (5 years versus 15 yrs for the Cambridge), so all signs point to them being an inferior product. I’m a civil engineer and have no problem rejecting the use of an inferior product by the contractor when I paid for a better one - just wondering if this is a common practice? I’m already not happy with the lack of communication from my roofer - if they are trying to slip in a cheaper product hoping I won’t notice, I’ll be really angry.

Thanks for your help - hopefully I didn’t make a really, really bad decision.



The Marathons are cap & starter shingles.
IKO Cambridges aren’t horrible shingles, if they are installed correctly they will serve their purpose.
IMO they are on par with Timberlines.

Cambridges have been improved in the last 5 yrs, but us roofers have memories like an elephant…

The biggest issue I have seen with the newer Cambridges is that they still don’t know how to make one pallets color match the next, even from the same lot#.

So don’t be surprised if when your roof is completed you can see color mismatching, it’s not your roofers fault nor is there anything that he can do about it.

Velux are IMO the best skylights on the market.

You can always ask the IKO roofer to use Certainteed Landmarks instead.
He won’t be too happy about having to unload and reload to roof though.
He should be paid for this if you choose this route and I’m sure that Landmarks cost more than Cambridges but certainly not $1,700 more.
Unless it is an obscenely large home.



Honestly, at this point I think I would just let it go. If you chose a good roofer you should be fine. A bad roofer could turn the best materiels in the world into a crap job. Yes the shingles that had the major problems were organics and if you look up certanteed new horizon you will find in that time frame they had the exact same problem. I rarely use iko but did I think 3 jobs with them last year and the shingles seemed much improved (although I am in Pennsylvania and shingle quality varies in different regions). I didn’t have any problems with colors not matching, my biggest issue was with how gritty and hard to walk on they were, had to get a leaf blower up there on a 7/12 pitch to blow them off so I felt safe walking on them. Yes the marathons are for the caps and nothing to be alarmed about. Normally I always use the regular cap shingles that break into pieces that are designed for that purpose but for whatever reason iko doesn’t make a cap shingle that does that. Yes your roofer should be doing a better job comunicating with you but he probanly has many other jobs like yours going on at the same time and he is just spreading himself a bit thin (common problem for us). Tell him you would like more communication for the rest of the job.



Thanks for the responses - I’m feeling a bit better about using the IKO’s now. Glad you were able to clear up my confusion on the two different shingles as well. I still don’t know what the cap & starter shingles are used for, but I’m not a roofer!

One of my roofers selling points was that he has one crew, and they do one job at a time, so he wouldn’t be spreading his crews thin and stacking them on more profitable jobs… so I assumed that’d make it pretty easy for him to communicate to me when they’d be here. I guess communication hasn’t been that bad, I’m just picky.

Crew just showed up (it’s amazing how many people can fit in a van…). I live in NY (north of Albany) and their van has Massachussets plates… my roofer is based in NY about 30 min from me, so it’s odd that his “one crew” comes in from Mass… Red flag, or normal industry practice?



Sounds like a “sub” crew, I’d call the guy and find out whats what.



Fire him, it will save you both a lot of stress.



This is the exact reason I stay away from residential. People think Google gives the answers. 1 in 100 happy customers write a good review. 1 in 5 unhappy customers write bad reviews. Subletting work is standard practice in the industry. In roofing and other fields. A lot of good companies go out of business because of disputes over someone researching a part of construction and thinking their 3 hours of reading equates to 10 years experience. I am a contractor in business since 1981 and I installed these on my own home.