HELP! Are GAF Natural Shadow Barkwood good or bad shingles?

Hi all,

I’ve been looking forever for the perfect shingle for my red brick house and haven’t had much luck. I’d like an architectural shingle that’s similar in color to my existing roof (dark brown/walnut brown), but problem is all the “brown” shingles I’ve seen have a reddish/orangish tone which I don’t want. My roofing company and others have recommended the Certainteed landmark shingle in burnt sienna (or GAF HD in hickory), but those are some really ugly looking shingles. One, they look reddish/orange. Two, I think the the multi-colored checkboard pattern will be too much for my brick house. It does work on some houses (houses that have a solid color), but for my house which already has multi-colored bricks, I think adding a multi-colored roof would be too loud/busy-looking and would clash with the brick. The best compliment for my brick house would be a mono-tone brown color to balance the brick out.

Today I was ecstatic because I thought I finally found the perfect shingle (GAF natural shadow in Barkwood). I saw it on a house and loved how the shingle looked. It has the dimensional look that I like about architectural shingles and the color is really close to my existing roof. But now I’m seeing reviews on here and discovering that most people think badly of natural shadow?? It’s pretty disappointing. I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I either get a high quality but ugly shingle (certainteed burnt sienna) or I get a low quality but beautiful shingle (natural shadow barkwood). My question is, is natural shadow really THAT bad? Would I be making a stupid decision if I went with the natural shadow? I don’t want to get a low quality shingle but at the same time I’ve been looking and looking and can’t find anything else that comes close to the color of my existing roof. What do shingle manufacturers have against a true brown color??? I know many people like GAF timberline HD. Aren’t natural shadow the exact same shingles except it has a more mono-tone look? Please share your thoughts, opinions, comments. Thank you.

Shingle quality varies greatly in different regions so it’s kinda pointless to read online reviews when you have no idea where the reviewer is based. I really don’t think any brand of shingles are gonna substantially outlast any other (yeah yeah I know about the faulty iko and certanteed lines of the early 2000s that left such a bad taste in people’s mouths).

Despite what many salesmen (the gaf master elite salesmen are the worst) will tell you no asphalt shingle is a “top quality” product. While they certainly serve their purpose and do the job just fine for 20 years they are simply just production roofing. And this is being said by someone who most of his installs are asphalt shingles and would put his roofs up against anyone’s when it comes to a quality install.

At the end of the day just get the gaf natural shadow if you really fell in love with the color. You will be just fine.


Well said IslandRoofing
100% agree
Hire a quality roofing company and any shingle you install will last to its full potential.
Good luck

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Your research is correct about these shingles.

Your question is if the natural shadow is made of the same quality as the HD.
The answer is No.
The nailing area is so thin and small on the natural shadow. I would never install it.
Get one shingle of both and look for yourself.
Look Very closely at the nailing area.
How thick and wide the nail area is.

Yes the HD bark wood is the orange-y brown.
Not a fan of GAF but that shingle is gorgeous.

Don’t see how you think the Certainteeds
Burnt sienna is ugly. Really?
I think it looks Good.
It is the true darker brown.
It has no orange-y tone to it.
Yes, it has light and dark tones in the shingle which is what originally made Certainteed great.

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I ended up going with landmark burnt sienna. After looking at several houses with burnt sienna shingles, I noticed that some were a nice brown color and others had an ugly orange checkerboard pattern. Discovered that the basic landmark shingle were the nice brown ones and the max definition shingles (like below) were the ones I disliked.