Roofing Choices: Certainteed Landmark vs GAF Grand Sequoia/Grand Canyon

Hi all,
I’ve been scanning the forums for a bit now and had a few (likely ignorant) questions for you experts out there.


We live in the Pacific Northwest (just outside Seattle) and are planning to replace our 22 year old cedar shake roof. Our HOA has some limits on what asphalt shingle we can use and right now, Certainteed Presidential/Certainteed Landmark and GAF Grand Sequoia and Grand Canyon are approved. I did some reading on the two companies (in Consumer Reports) and also on this forum - though some of the posts are from 2010.


  1. What do people feel about the differences between Certainteed Landmark vs the two GAF offerings? Our weather here is mild summers (don’t usually get above 90F) and rainy winters - hardly any snow or ice.
  2. What kind of questions do I ask to evaluate a roofing company, since after all installation is so critical.

Sorry for the “beginner” questions, but hey, that’s what I am!!!

Thanks for your inputs.

IMO Certainteed is very good across the board.
Malarkey should be available in your area, get them.

GAF has a top rate marketing department, they need it because their actual material is on the lower end unless you get the premium stuff.

Why a does the cedar roof need replacement so soon?


Agree totally with Axiom. Presidential is the original and all the others, including GAF, are copycats pushing the ‘user friendly’ angle to contractors. You can see patterns in GAF and Presidential is much more random, like shakes. We have put on tens of thousands of squares of it and never had anyone unhappy with it. I also have put it on the three houses I’ve owned. And no, they don’t give me anything to say this. Not even a hat.

Why a does the cedar roof need replacement so soon?

Well, we were quoted close to $6K for cleaning+oiling and shingle replacement (4 bundles of shakes). For a 20 year old roof, it wasn’t obvious that it was worth making that kind of investment. This is why we wanted to get quotes for new roofs to understand the yearly investment that we’re making.

In terms of Certainteed, do we need to go as high as the Presidential or do y’all feel that Landmark is a good choice? The reason I ask is that a recent Consumer Reports ranking gave Landmark a fairly low rank.

I’ll take up Malarkey with our HOA too.

Again, thanks a lot for your inputs.

Malarkey Windsor specifically.

The shingles you are looking at are at the top end both in material costs and installation costs.

Is your current roof installed over cedar breather or spaced decking?

  1. Cedar breather or spaced decking: Honestly, I don’t know. Is there a good way to find out by going up into the attic?
  2. Yes, the costs seemed extremely high to me. Get more quotes I guess.
  3. What is the mean lifespan of cedar shake? We’ve been cleaning and re-oiling it every 5 years or so.

If it’s installed correctly it’s not unreasonable to expect 50+ yrs out of a good cedar roof.

If it’s installed over spaced decking you will be able to see the underside of the shingles from inside the attic.

If it is over cedar breather you can usually see a small (1/4" - 3/8") space between the cedar roofing and the roof deck and also see the plastic mesh like cedar breather.

Do you have copper flashings?

No, I am pretty sure that we do not have Cu flashing. I’ll head up into the attic over the weekend and thanks so much for your answers. Did I understand you correctly when you say that 6K is too much for replacing a 4+ bundles of shakes + cleaning and oiling?

PS: I also looked at Certainteed and GAF and it looks like both have class action lawsuits against them. In the Certainteed case it is for Landmark and in the GAF case it is Timberline.

Our shake roofs in the Pacific Northwest are almost always installed over spaced sheathing and typically last 17-25 years max unless upgraded to a 1” butt heavy. Most of what I have seen through the years have been what is called ‘mediums’ and sometimes fail after 15 years even. We are in a drier and hotter area of the P. N’West and our sun just twists and buckles them. They probably last a little longer in the damper regions close by but in recent past, since old growth logging was shut down,shakes have become garbage.

GAF has had class action lawsuits practically since shingles were invented and well deserved. Landmarks are good shingles but Certainteed bought a lot of defective lines from other companies; Celotex, GS, and others. They inherited, and paid, claims on a lot of these products until they finally just closed the door on it. I think this may be what you’re seeing but not sure. A class action can happen to any company thanks to scumbag lawyers but repetition is what you look for. Malarkey is a very good ‘30 yr.’ shingle but if you are looking for premium lines Certainteed is the best way to go.


Yes, thanks, Tileman. I’ll take a look through Malarkey Windsor. Will have to find a company that installs these in the Redmond area. Just FYI, do both of you think that 6K is too high for 4 bundles of shakes + clean+oil?

Can I answer on the pricing? The cost would be related to the size and the difficulty in completing the job. We would need more information to be accurate.

I’m wondering what has happened to the company that previously oiled your roof and what did they charge? What kind of repair is needed, is it scattered throughout the roof or an isolated area?

We generally love pictures so feel free to share if you have any.

Don’t use Malarkey Windsor. If you use standard limited lifetimes Malarkey is one of the best. If you step up into premium upgraded shingles Presidential is far superior to Windsor.

  1. @RooferOhio: The company that did the job previously gave us this quote. I also believe that the repair is scattered based on a conversation with the person who went up on the roof. Alas, I don’t have pics since the wife won’t let me up on the roof - even though I do a bunch of rock and alpine climbing :zipper_mouth_face:.
  2. @Tileman: I’m missing something: Do you feel that I shouldn’t use Malarkey Windsor specifically? Are there other Malarkey lines that are good for 30 years?

i wouldnt be worried about shingle brand but quality of installation.80(workmanship):20(shingle brand) ratio .ive torn ~15-20yr old landmarks and they were in ok shape.havent seen malarkeys tearoffs here.Best bet would be to ask few 5-15 yr old customers of prospecting contractor reference list to see whats going on with their roofs.
its all imo based on my limited experience.might be wrong xD

You’re partly correct but good workmanship won’t have any impact on a bad shingle that is defective and loses all its granules.

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somewhat agree,as far as i remember back when i started, tamko were losing granules right out the gate,but it could be old batch. Majority jobs i tear off have all of them,atlas,iko,oakridge,gaf,certeed .average condition across the board seems acceptable for given age.

Hi Tileman,
So I’m a bit confused about Malarkey: We are looking for a 30 year roof not a 50 year roof. So what do you think? Malarkey Windsor and/or Certainteed Landmark. Nothing from GAF. RIght?


Your homeowners association likely won’t allow the Landmark series, go with the Presidential.

The Presdential is an excellent shingle just make sure you hire someone who knows how to follow instructions because for this shingle one must follow the directions to the letter.

Hi Axiom & Tileman,
Thanks for your reply. The HOA does allow Landmark series shakes and they also allow the Certainteed Presidential/Luxury. We’re likely to stay in the house for < 20 years, which is why I was thinking that a 50 year roof is overkill. Other allowed shakes are GAF Grand Sequoia or Grand Canyon, but it seems I should avoid GAF (is that correct?).

And I hear you about the Presidential. I’ll ask about stats on # of Presidential roofs they’ve installed in the last 6 months.

Thanks for putting up with the spate of semi-ignorant questions & have a great weekend.