Roofing is generally straight forward in regards to product selection. Granted, there are a number of options available, but for the most part people seem to choose the new stand-by: The architectural asphalt shingle. Here are some tips on roofing:
1- PERFORMANCE VS. APPEARANCE. Recently, Consumer Reports rated shingles and to everyone's surprise a relatively inexpensive three-tab (rectangular-shaped) shingle performed 2nd overall! The Certainteed XT25 out-performed nearly all of its overpriced competition. The old stand-by of shingles, the three-tab shingle is becoming a distant memory with the advent of the architectural shingle that simulates the look of wood shakes. The appearance is modern and slick. It can instantly transform your older home into a newer, updated, and refreshing look. So, do you go with the old solid stand-by or the newer fresher look? This is not to say that the architectural shingles perform poorly, but rather the XT25 three-tab shingle performs outstanding, even when being outweighed by 30 lbs or so per square (10 foot x 10 foot section) by most architecturals.
2- NEW CHANGES. A few years ago, shingle manufacturers began adding copper in the granules, thus reducing or eliminating the streaking that often occurs on the North side of a roof. Other changes that occur in the shingling industry are simple on paper. Back in 2002 or 2003 Elk decided to grant a 30 year warranty on what was previously a 25 year shingle. Very soon thereafter most of the other shingle manufacturers followed suit.
Then, the manufacturers decided to call their shingles "lifetime," but with the caveat of proration. So, yes you have a lifetime shingle, but after 10 or 15 years the amount paid out to that warranty will be reduced.
3- DO I REALLY NEED A SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT SPECIALTY SHINGLE? Not necessarily. Will they outperform a standard architectural? Yes. Will they look good at 28 years? Hmmm... something to think about. Are they worth the extra money? Well, a typical specialty shingle can add 20-30% to the overall price, depending on the brand, but always analyze the cost-benefit ratio. A noticeable difference as you increase in shingle weight are the shadow lines.
4- HOW MUCH IMPORTANCE SHOULD I GIVE TO INSTALLATION? At least 90%! If shingles are incorrectly installed, not only do you run the risk of water infiltration (the roof's arch-enemy), but warranty nullification. Nothing is more disheartening than finding out that your warranty is null and void simply because the installers nailed the shingles improperly (not enough, or the wrong location...). Beware during storm season of out-of-state contractors and crews. As I said on the siding page, I am the first to admit that I enjoy a good hail storm with the rest of contractors, but understand that when a storm hits, the country knows about it. There are contractors and crews from all over the U.S. flocking in to get their piece of the Minnesota insurance pie. Fortunately, we happen to live in a state that guards the homeowner by requiring stringent licensing guidelines. In other words, it is NOT easy to get a Minnesota general contractor's license. So do your homework and ask for a copy of a contractor's Minnesota license as well as insurance. One more thing; almost anyone can apply for a single-trade license and get one (in Minnesota). If you were to choose a contractor with a single-trade license (just roofing or just siding), know that this person did NOT take the Minnesota general contractor's licensing exam.
We are a licensed Minnesota general contractor serving the Twin Cities metro area. We specialize in siding, roofing, gutters, and window replacement.
Work with a trusted SIDING CONTRACTOR. Remember, your roofing job (& roofing warranty) is only as good as the installation! Experience matters.