Deciding on roofing brand & longevity

This is our first home and we are removing a concrete tile roof to put on comp shingles, under recommendations that the roof is too heavy for our home. It has caused damage already. Low bid building at it’s best, since house is not that old.

We have gotten several bids and though we are quite savvy with projects, are having a hard time finding info to make an “informed” decision. We wanted to go with a 50 year so we never had to mess with it again, but are having a hard time deciphering the warranties and lifetime vs specific year warranty lingo. We are between two roofers one offering certain teed and another offering GAF.
Is there a good place to see a real side by side comparison? Do the warranties really stand behind their product enough to make it worth the 50 yr vs 30. Everything I read seems to contradict the last thing. One spot on the website says 5 yr workmanship, or 10yr, another 25 yr workmanship. We also want to make an environmentally responsible decision here.

We have to make an investment to get repair work done on warped & water damaged boards and poorly repaired fascias. As well as extra bracing to undo some weight related warping. So want to do this right the first time(doesn’t everyone?)

Also considering cutting plywood out from eaves and replacing with t&g starter board, and curious if it’s a worthwhile upgrade?

Any roofing contractor with half a brain will gladly use whatever brand of shingle that YOU desire irregardless of their own personal preferences, in order to win your business.

I would just go with the 30 yr. for two main reasons. Weight has already been an issue and 50 yr. is much heavier than 30. Any comp shingle is not going to be in too great of a shape or look very good beyond 30 years. In my opinion the high end shingles are extremely over rated. A professional installation is of much more importance.

There’s an old saying that goes: We provide three kinds of services, fast cheap and good. You are allowed to pick two of them. If its cheap and fast it won’t be good. If its good and cheap it won’t be fast. And last but not least, If it’s good and fast it won’t be cheap.

Concerning the plywood soffits, It just depends on how much you want to spend. If the existing soffits are in good condition its probably just overkill. If they deteriorate later on down the road, you could still get that done then.

  1. You want a company that is a Certified Installed with the shingle manufacturer of your choice. Not because being “certified” makes them a better installed but because certified company’s can generally offer the highest warranty for those products. Here in the North East U.S. the two biggest company’s are GAF/ELK (Master Elite) and Certainteed (Master Shingle Applicator). The manufacturing company you choose should have an extensive website with all the warranties they offer listed. Do not be afraid to call them and ask questions, most are happy to help. From a professional stand point I love Certainteed and dislike GAF but their products are of similar quality, I just find Certainteed people more knowledgeable and eager to help. GAFs highest warranty is their “Golden Pledge” and they will actually send an inspector out to walk to finished roof (provided it’s walkable) and report any problems to your roofer. All shingles come with a basic warranty, the higher end warranties will run you a bit more.

  2. Fascia, or any non-load bearing wood is best replaced with a composite like AZEK if you have the money, imo. Pine is cheap and rots composite will not.

Don’t focus too much on warranties. Workmanship warranties, in my opinion, don’t need to be any more than 5 years (workmanship issues typically leak immediately, or as soon as the caulking laden patch job fails). Material warranties are often pro-rated, so by year 30 or 50 they are essentially useless anyway. However, a longer warranty typically means a thicker shingle, which will last longer.

In the end the quality of the roof usually comes down to the knowledge and workmanship of the contractor. Don’t be afraid to ask him for references, or how he would do certain details.

How many companys are going to be around still in 50yrs?

We are leaning towards a local company offering a 5 yr workmanship, but the 25 yr warranty is enticing, from the standpoint of being a selling feature for our home later. We were leaning towards the higher end thicker shingles since we were removing concrete tiles, which are considered an upgrade(value wise) so want something comparable. But maybe that is not the best option overall, seems like a small difference in price though around $1000-1500 more to use the presidential level which “should” last longer. Any thoughts on presidential vs landmark ultra?

Some of the existing plywood is bad, so we thought we would upgrade it all while we already had repairs to make, we wanted the look of natural wood, so hope to stain it instead of paint. I love the idea of the composite fascias, I will have to look into that. DO you ever have issues with it sagging??
Thanks for the advice everyone. I did call GAF and get clear info on the warranties but have left 3 messages with certainteed with no reply.

Certainteed Presidential shingles weigh 355lbs per square (100 sq ft) which is CONSIDERABLY less than tiles. Tiles usually weigh 900+lbs per 100 sq ft.
Presidential are a great shingle, again, if installed properly. Look good and quite thick. They do have a pattern to them, so if installed wrong you will notice.