Need help selecting contractor / shingle


I’m glad I found this forum and already have learned a bit reviewing old posts. I’d appreciate any time or advice anyone could give me. I’m having a hard time picking a roofer and a shingle.

We are in SE Michigan and have a 70 year old mostly red brick colonial house, two story, with a bit of wood siding on the front. We need a complete tear-off of two layers of shingles and the original shake roof. I believe we need 21 squares for the house. I have the following four quotes:

#1: $10,720

Replace rotten 1"x6" upto 30’ ($2/ft thereafter);
6’ ice/water shield
30# felt
large face drip edge
30yr dimentional shingle (unspecified)
3 Olley no-caulk soil flanges
ice and water valleys, close cut valleys
New chimney flashing
Resheet with 7/16OSB
Certinteed Shingle Vent II Ridge Vent,
5Year workmanship warranty.

This guy is the top recommendation from my realtor, who I trust and is BBB Accredited with no complaints.

#2 $10,460

This guy is a GAF Certified Installer and would do the Weather Stopper Plus system, thus giving the better warranty.

Appears to be identical to #1, except uses Timberline Prestique singles and GAF System materials.
7/16 OSB
69" ice water shield oat eaves/ 36" in valleys.
Includes Weather stop warranty.
Rotten wood replacement is $3/ft (none included)

This is a family business recently tranfered to the Son in the last five years. This company used to not have the best reputation according to my realtor, but recently they saw him on a window job and looked professional. BBB Accredited, no complaints

#3 $8,536

Similar to above. But:
15# felt
36" ice/water shield
No ridge vent, replace existing vents with “bird free”
replace all flashings
replace rotten wood at $2/ft
1/2" CDX Plywood installed
30 year Certainteed Landmark shingle

I found this guy on the internet, have not checked references yet, but he said call the local community government for a reference. He is a Certainteed certified installer. BBB Accredited, no complaints

#4 $7,980

Same as above, but:
7/16 OSB
36" ice/water shield
15# felt
GAF Timberline shingle 30yr (just realized that it does not say a dimensional shingle)
replace all vents and pipe flashing
replace all chimney flashing and counter flashing
5 year guarantee on leaks and workmanship

I talked to one customer that was very happy with the work. This is a father/son business, one crew. BBB no complaints (not accredited)

All four seem nice to talk to. Our realtor likes #1 best, and #4 over #2 (but I did not ask about #3). Our home inspector recommended #4. #4 is very prompt at the estimate. But #2 was very professional (though younger) a good salesman and has the GAF Certified Installer, thus better warranty. All four appear to be family owned, one or two crews, owner is a roofer as well, and all say they do not use subcontractors.

So, I’m not sure. I’m leaning toward #4, though I need to ensure I’m getting the similar shingle, BUT I’m learly of the lowest bidder curse. I’d go with #1 due to the high recommendation, but I’m leary that I’ll get more value for the extra $3000. Then there is #2 with the better warranty?

Any thoughts or advice?

For a follow up or second question. I’m not sure on the shingle to get. Our old house was built with Cedar Shakes, so it occures to me to try and get a shingle that looks like shakes. The Timberline/GAF Prestique 30 appears to in pictures, but some of the lifetime shingles look even nicer and with the thicker shingle should really stand out. As an FYI, the entire area is old but very nice houses that are mostly kept up very well to retain their charm.

Beyond looks, is it really worth it to pay more for a lifetime shingle? Is it even more so if we went with roofer #2 and got the 50 year 100% warranty on the lifetime shingle?

The other though is to consider a metal roof that looks like shakes, but I’m sure that is twice as expensive.

Thank you all for the time to read and respond.

hey there,
the first 2 prices seem to be more in line with what I charge, which is what is needed to cover actual overheads and profit. Check actual copies of liability and workers comp. Contractors have a funny way of “looking” legit and not actually being legit. MAKE SURE you see current copies of BOTH policies and maybe even a copy of vehicle insurance. DO NOT take thier word, A LOT of roofers will say they have insurance and maybe even show proof, you might want to call the agents to verify, if they can not produce the actual policies, then they probably do not have coverage. Also, do not automatically believe them when they say they do not use subcontractors, when you call the agents about the insurance, ask how many EMPLOYEES the policy covers, again as contractors have many tricks to avoid coverage. I used to sub work from a reputible company who would ask me not to tell the customer that my crew was a sub crew.

id go with #1 or #2. the other 2 bids seem way too low.

Is there any value in going with a GAF Certified Installer and getting the better warranty? I half think its a gimmic since I believe all the warranties do not cover failed installations. Thus, it better to use a good roofer who does a good install versus worrying about the warranty???

Any comments on the materials they are suggesting?

I sort of think that #4 is using cheaper materials, cheaper shingles, and if we selected better shingles, ridge vent, felt, etc., the price would be closer to #1 and #2.

Another question (sorry I have a lot) I think I like the look of a metal valley versus a shingle valley. Assuming the shingle we select can be done either way, is there any benefit or negative to using a metal valley versus a shingle valley?

valley metal.
30 7r.



What does “30 7r” mean?

Also, why #4? That is sort of how I’m leaning, though the extra warranty with #2 is making me pause.

Ok, last I checked 7/16" was less than 1/2" so I have to ask wtf? Half inch is bare minimum IMO, we normally do 5/8" CDX for full replace. I don’t care for OSB myself but it’s up to you if you want it on your house. I’d go with at least 1/2" though.

As far as shingles I like and use both GAF and Certainteed products. My personal choice would be the Certainteed TL Ultimates as they have a thicker profile and offer some unique color choices you won’t find in other shingles.

Don’t be in a hurry to pick a company. Feel free to ask for a list of references (you should have been given on already). We don’t list phones numbers on our reference sheet for privacy reasons but you have the address’ so you can ride by and look at the jobs.

Do a little research and then go with your gut. The more interaction you have with a company the more you will see how they operate so don’t be afraid to ask questions or for references.

One last thing…
The installer certification tests are a joke and the GAF cert is not needed to give the weather stopper warranty only the Golden Pledge warranty. Unless they have changed something recently. A warranty may give you piece of mind but don’t let it be the deciding factor for picking a roofing contractor. All roofs come with a manufacturer’s warranty of some kind.

So, with GAF, I can get the better warranty even if the roofer is not “certified” by GAF? I assume then I just need to use all the GAF brand products and pay a fee for the extra warranty?

Certainteed requires the installer to be “certified” for the better warranty, right?

Ok, my mistake… the Weather Stopper warranty does need to be done by a GAF certified contractor, the Golden Pledge is the higher, GAF Master Elite certification.

All the info if readily available via … nties.html

sorry i ment 30 yr.

I like #1 all except the shingles specs missing. Also I have to ask why are the other guys saying 36" of I&W. do you you have 6" soffits and a 4/12 pitch…if it is greater than that yoou should have the 6’ I&W… Also to get the warrenty they must use all the same manufactures components. for example…Gaf Weather Watch I&W,Gaf Shingle Mate Felt paper,GafElk shingles, Gaf Starter shingles,Gaf Seal a Ridge, or Gaf Timbertex cap, Gaf Ridge vent…

More information.

Okay, so I inspected the house a bit more. This is a two story colonial build in the late 30’s. There are no soffits or soffit vents, only a bit of wood dental trim and the gutters. The roof is fairly steep, its walkable but I would not want to do it, and I’m not terribly scared of heights. The roof pitches front to back, and on the right side of the house the front of the house extends out an extra 8-10 feet. Thus, there is a left to right roof pitch on the front right quarter. Then, we have an addition on the back where the roof is raised in the middle of the addition and slopes in all four directions. I’m not sure that is easy to follow or not.

The ventillation is two vents on the sides of the house cut into the brick just below the roof peak, then four square roof vents across the peak of the house.

Based upon this, what is a good ventillation option? Ridge vent and leave the peak vents as intakes?

There are no soffits, just a bit of dental trim. Roof is pretty steep. I’m not sure how to determine the exact pitch. Regardless I’m going to request 6’ of I/W shield on the edges and 36" in the valleys, metal valleys, superior quality 15# felt of 30# felt, at least 1/2" OSB or Plywood, and proper and high quality ventillation (ridge vents).

We need to select the contractor and shingle yet. I’m not sure it is worth the extra money for better warranty shingles, or for certified contractor and thus better warranty. I thought I read that all the shingles have roughly the same life span if properly installed and the thicker shingles simply have a better visual appearance. Is this accurate?

Tough to see, but this is my house and roof. There is also a hip roof on a small porch two story addition on the back. I definately don’t have soffits and I don’t want to mess with the dental moldings. Also, there really is not a ton of gutter area on the house. Would I be okay with just the gable vents and a ridge vent, or gable/can vents? So, should I get either that solar powered vent or the drip edge style vents?

And, do I need to worry about the roof over the front porch? There is no ventilation there.

As a note, NONE of the four roofers mentioned anything about attic venting other than saying they would use a ridge vent.

if the house does not have a ventalation problem
now then i wouldnt worry about it.
dont change nothin when you reroof.


IMO…The warrenty is to cover material defects…the contractor should stand up for himself . I have not had a problemm w/any of my jobs…I sell em,install em and cleam em up… that is to keep overhead too a minimum.I have tried many different shingles,and IMO Elk, now new Gaf /Elk are the tops…I have found that they lay straight, and lay flat, and seal quickly. w/almost NO visual sign of defect…such as crooked laminate or what I used to call Tamko Herritage 30s DENTAL problems,laminate loose or pealing off Ihave yet to have to set aside any shingles to be returned as defective. That is my story,and I’m stickin to it,so as far as price goes I liked #1 cause he included the wood, If you like the cheap guy…ask him for a Worst case senerio price and see where that goes…I have had lowballers get the jobs and the people said after the roof was on the ground, the price doubled…“UNFORSEEN DAMAGE” it’s right there in the fine print! If you have minimal rotten wood now…then I would say that you have nothing to worry about in this life, don’t sweat it.

yeah…what Gweedo said…

[quote=“gweedo”]if the house does not have a ventalation problem
now then i wouldnt worry about it.
dont change nothin when you reroof.


First, how do I tell if I have a ventilation problem now? Second, assuming I don’t have a problem now, I currently have two gable vents and four can vents on the peak. So, stay with that plan or switch to gables and the ridge vent?

Last, we also have a small metal roof on the front bay window. We are contemplating have this built up to a more verticle profile and having copper installed. Its not a significant amout of metal and I got quotes from #4 of $1250 and #2 of $1500 for this. The question is, there is no ventilation under that little roof. Inside there has been past problems with the ceiling paint in the bay window area peeling. Could this be a ventilation problem?

BTW, the inspector check and was very impressed with the very clean wood inside the attic, though he could not see down at the roof line where insulation blocked the view.