3/12 pitch residential wants shingle or arch. look

I have a contractor adding on to my house, and wish to do have the entire roof redone. As noted, I have a low pitch. When I moved into this 1963 ranch-style 15 years ago, there was a very old black tar roof on it with leaks. After patching leaks for five years, I was ready to invest in a new roof. Aside from the leaks, I did not like the appearance of the black tar in general. All roofers that submitted bids back then (ten years ago) said I could “just get away with a comp roof…just barely.” Great. Arch. tabs went on.

Well, leaks have occurred, within three years after installation, and neither the installer nor the comp. company would take responsibility. (Pursuing legal action was not worth it to me.) I am a good do-it-yourselfer, and I simply fixed the leaks quite nicely, thankyou.

Obviously the arch comp was a mistake in general. Water does not run off enough; too much sits on the roof for too long. Reroofing with comp every ten years is not in the cards for me. Uuuugh.

SO, what roof do I have installed on this 3/12?
Keep in mind these other details or restrictions:
I do not like the black tar look. I like the look of shingles and such.
I live at the edge of a very big green belt with VERY tall maple and alder trees, so the roof gets loaded with leaves. I must walk on my roof twice a month in the fall and blow off the hundreds of leaves before there are thousands of leaves up there. Walking on the roof is a must. Finally, I live in the Puget Sound area of the state of Washington: Yep a lot of rain.

Low pitch, long life (obviously), no tar-look or other goopy stuff for me, shingle “look,” will be walked on.

I’ve been reading about IB Roofing with the shingle look, but don’t know.
Some installers suggested the newer aluminum roofing, while others said not with the low pitch. Some said metal, but others said wouldn’t last 20 years. So, hmmm.

Thanks for any input!************

Do it yourselfer on a 3/12? Peel and stick all the way. Check out either Certainteed ‘Flintastic’ or GAFs ‘Liberty’ systems. DO a 3-ply.

i woulddn,t recommend arch shingles on this roof.but if you want to use shingles ,half lap your felt on every course,and when installing the 3 tab shingles go with 4 inch exposer and you should be fine good luck

The problem is the pitch, arch shingles are not designed to hold water. There is another post about this that was yesterday. I would suggest a low slope application like tar said. There is a product out there that is a low slope that does look like arch shingles but is VERY expensive. To be honest what i tell customers that want this look and if they are going to stay in the house for the rest of there lives to well raise the pitch of the roof or go low slope. There is no way around it. They do not make homes like that anymore for a reason. My question is with the distance you have to walk to really see the roof why are you dead set on arch shingles? Many contractors will put on those shingles because the salesperson is just that a sales pro, they dont understand the reasons they just want a sale.

GTP covered a lot of the correct answers.

You can have a low slope roof with the proper products OR you can modify your pitch a bit with taper boards, hip jacks & new decking so you have enough pitch for a shingled (3 Tab @ a minimum if you can get a 4:12 out of it, not architectural which IMO should be a 4½:12 or better) roof.

Tar is also on the money for a ‘well qualified’ do it yourselfer. I prefer the FlintLastic CertainTeed system, however if the GAF Liberty is priced right then there’s not much product difference IMO. Definitely you should go 3 Ply for the ‘average’ DIY because if you do have a potential for leakage due to installer error, it’s less likely to occur with a mid ply layer.

Everything you need to know about installation is on the box, both the Cap, Mid Ply & Base (the base can be either Self Adhering OR Nail Adhering depending on how you prepare the roof deck).

look into certainteed “new horizon” shingles. arch look without the laminate.


You could use this system, very similar to Sarnafil.

a good 3tab shingle would work,
but hearin about the amount off debri accumulation
leans me twards a torchdown or granulate peal n stick.
a solid roof.


I have put I/W down and used roof cement to glue the dimensional shingles down (in the right place)…two very high nails to keep in all in place till it sets up. 3 tabs just don’t last in a high wind area.

Sounds like a perfect candidate for a landmark roof with matching granulated torchdown (flintlastic).
I run into this a lot, the homeowner wants something that looks like shingles on their “flat” roof…
You need a flat roof material like the others said, not shingles.
Flintlastic will match the color of your shingle roof very nicely but it won’t have the matching texture.
If you want a low slope roof to match your shingles this is your best option (or similar GAF systems).
shingles just ain’t gonna work for long enough in this situation.
If you really just have to have shingles on your low slope you could use a high quality Ice & water shield (perhaps 2 layers…)and use stainless or copper nails to nail the shingles.
Like GTP said “they don’t make them like that anymore for a reason”.

Problem is if he goes with I&W on the whole roof he more than likely will have a condensation problem. Not a good idea.

“Architectural” shingle look is not a must. I guess I meant the shingle look in general would be good; like the simple three-tab.
The simple three-tab non-arch. is where IB Systems makes an attempt at the “look.” But I cannot find any reviews that are not on sites that sell the IB. So… I don’t know.

As to the do-it-yourselfer angle, I meant that when it comes to REPAIRS I am a do-it-yourselfer. NOT when it comes to putting on a working roof on this house.

And, wow, the replies are a little conflicting, though I really appreciate the attention and input.

So, let me make some more clarifications based on the replies above.

  • The simple black tar look is simply out. Something that is decorative would be nice.
  • Putting some sort of comp back up there would be ok, if I could feel that I would not be where I am now in three to five years.
  • Any ideas as to the metal or aluminum ideas that I’ve read about for this roof?
  • Any responses or experiences with dealing with IB System work? Does it really work ok?
  • Price is not a problem for long-term durability and a good no-leak system for years. However, the above idea of tearing off my old roof and going with new rafters and all to raise the pitch all seems too much of a big deal, though I don’t know what that would cost. (I am willing to spend 18k on my roof, but I know prices differ in various parts of the country, so…)
  • And lets not forget, I have to walk on the roof a lot.

So, anyone want to take another stab at these questions? And really, I want to know about metal and IB from someone other than a salesperson.

Thanks again, all!

I agree 100%

It is really not a roof for shingles in the first place.

you could by code shingle down to a 2/12 pitch but you should ice shield the whole thing. Just make sure there is good ventalation and you will be fine. The product I sited earlier would be quicker and better though but its not for a DIY.

You will like the flintlastic it is exactly the same color as the landmark shingles, it is made for exactly what you are requesting.

And, wow, the replies are a little conflicting, though I really appreciate the attention and input. [/quote]

I don’t see that at all, we all said that you need a flat roofing material not shingles.
We have offered other alternatives but the common theme is that if you want this roof to last you need a flat roofing material.
We have differences in opinion as to which one is best for you but properly applied they will all work well.

A 3 ply modified system (torchdown) is very durable and won’t break the bank…
You need an experienced applicator though.
And it will cost more than shingles.

See above.

Without actually seeing your roof for ourselves it is hard to say what is the perfect fit for you, flashing details have a lot to do with it.

Could you post some pics of this low slope area?

i do about 20 roofs a year that are 3/12 …i use certainteed "new horizon on all of them. never had a problem or call back. 3/12 isnt a pitch that cant be shingled. you can get the good look you desire. i am also in an extreme snow climate…still no problems with ice leaks. 6’ ice & water at eves.

a high standing seam metal roof would work.
debri will slide off easier.
wont have to do it again.

how many sq ft ya got?
is it a simple up and over roof?
were are you at?
close to florida maybe?

if your round the south east u.s. i can give ya
an idea on cost.


Anything from 4/12 down we ice shield the whole thing.
We also full ice &water a lot of jobs in coastal high wind areas,no problems,and we do a lot of volume.

--------->Finally, I live in the Puget Sound area of the state of Washington.

Distance: 3098.1 milesTime: 45 hours 5 mins (approx.)

  1. Starting in TAMPA, FL take ramp onto I-275 N toward I-4 - go 15.9 mi
  2. Exit onto I-75 N - go 356.0 mi
  3. Take LEFT exit onto I-475 N - go 15.4 mi towards Atlanta.
  4. Exit onto I-75 N - go 179.0 mi towards Nashville.
  5. Take CHATTANOOGA/NASHVILLE exit onto I-24 W - go 319.0 mi
  6. Take CHICAGO exit onto I-57 N - go 52.2 mi
  7. Bear LEFT on I-64 W - go 71.5 mi
  8. Take I-70 W toward KANSAS CITY - go 243.0 mi
  9. Take I-435 N - go 17.5 mi
  10. Continue on I-435 W - go 11.0 mi
  11. Continue on I-29 N - go 347.0 mi
  12. Take I-90 W - go 387.0 mi
  13. Take US-85 N 10.8 mi
  14. Turn LEFT on US-212 for 201.0 mi
  15. Take US-87 N/US-212 for 54.2 mi
  16. Take I-90 W - go 811.0 mi
  17. Turn LEFT on SE 43RD PL
  18. Arrive at PUGET SOUND

If you leave now, you might get there in time to see your Bucs lose to the Seahawks.


If you leave now,[/quote]

you might get there in time to see your Bucs lose to the Seahawks.[/quote]