Home Owner Asks - What Makes A Quality Roofing Job?

I am replacing an asphalt shingle roof on a large lakeside house and boathouse. What should I look for other than a good roofing company to insure that we get a good quality job?

Could anyone comment on which brands of asphalt shingles seem to hold up better than others (we are repalcing GAF Timberline 40 shingles)?

Is there a difference in what grade of felt is to be used and how it is attached?

How many nails per shingle should there be, is there a preferred nailing method?

How should ridge caps be covered and attached?

What else should I look for?

Would appreciate any guidance.

Thank you.

im a certainteed fan myself. Gaf isnt a bad shingle but i dont care for them much. they get really soft in heat making them a pain to install and are thinner feeling for the same year material. Its all about opinions as far as this question goes…

Everyone is gonna have different opinions on these questions But in my opinion
#15 felt should be fine,I like the 6 nails pattern for high winds,Certainteed or GAF, All accessories including ridge caps should be installed per manufactures instructions.

I’m a Certainteed fan as well. From the Landmark line to the Presidential Shake, I have yet to use a “cheap” shingle. GAF shingles are so thin they feel “cheap”. That and Certainteeds nailing strip is 1.5" wide and GAF nail line is a chalk line.

Most shingles on the average slope (under 21/12) only require 4 nails per shingle. If you live in a place prone to winds, you can go 5 or even 6 nails

Underlayments have come a long way in the past decade or so. Although #15 felt is decent for the field, #30 should be used for eves and valleys, or better yet peel & stick Ice & Water shield. You can go a step up and get a synthetic underlay like Certainteed DiamondDeck or GAF Deck Armor. Lots of options that will reflect the price.
Around here we just staple out felt down. The synthetic underlays require a different fastening system that use caps with staples.

Ridge caps are nailed into place with 1 nail on either side. Certainteeds Mountain Ridge is probably the strongest asphalt cap out there, and it looks great too.

Certainteed DiamondDeck synthetic underlay
Certainteed Landmark TL asphalt shingle
Certainteed MountainRidge ridge caps.
Lomanco Omni-Roll ridge venting

It depends on where you are located. In our area I&W 6 ft from rakes and eaves, in valleys, ect. (details), #15 felt the rest. 4 nails per shingle is standard for a regular pitch, if you are in a high wind area you can step it up to 5 or 6.

We have some good information in our education section of the webpage. Here is an article on ice and water membrane

Also; I know most of your questions are technical but here is a good article on how to choose a roofing contractor, again this process is also area specific (different regulations/licensing, ect.)

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I would hire a roofing inspector (one who has a roofing background NOT YOUR LOCAL BUILDING INSPECTOR…HE KNOWS SQUAT ABOUT ROOFING)

  1. This person will do a walk through before you get your bids
  2. Show up during the job to look over specific details he will flag at the bidding process
  3. Conduct a final inspection

How can this benefit you…

If you want your job done in a day…your going to pay the high price…if you are willing to let your project go 2-4 days, you can go with smaller, cheaper reputable contractor. SAVE $$$ FROM THE HIGH BID! pay the portion of the savings to the inspector who will ensure the contractor gets everything right and completed.

The result: A good roof by a contractor who is forced (or make sures that HIS roofers) put on his best roof because he has someone watching over him…That is how you get a good roof!!!

[quote=“Roofer Gee”]I would hire a roofing inspector (one who has a roofing background NOT YOUR LOCAL BUILDING INSPECTOR…HE KNOWS SQUAT ABOUT ROOFING)

  1. This person will do a walk through before you get your bids
  2. Show up during the job to look over specific details he will flag at the bidding process
  3. Conduct a final inspection

How can this benefit you…

If you want your job done in a day…your going to pay the high price…if you are willing to let your project go 2-4 days, you can go with smaller, cheaper reputable contractor. SAVE $$$ FROM THE HIGH BID! pay the portion of the savings to the inspector who will ensure the contractor gets everything right and completed.

The result: A good roof by a contractor who is forced (or make sures that HIS roofers) put on his best roof because he has someone watching over him…That is how you get a good roof!!![/quote]

Thanks for the idea. How do I go about finding a roofing inspector. What should I expect to pay the inspector?

Your cheapest route would be another local roofing company…but there is always a conflict of interest here…why?

  1. You could be pressured to go with the company inspecting the roof…He has a financial gain as well if he is successful.
  2. They will tend to be more subjective rather than objective (thinking outside the box if you will)

The other route would be to hire a waterproofing firm (some will do residential but they mostly deal with commercial side of constructionto include: roofing

My stance has always been: "Every roof needs to be inspected by a third party to protect the homeowners and the constractors interest, because it is the roofers who do the bad job that puts the bad name on a good contractor and the H/O has to live with the bad roof if issues are overlooked.

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