Shingle & Ventilation Recommendations Needed

We JUST bought our first house and have to replace the roof (and probably even some of the underlying plywood!) and get a ridge vent installed. We’ve had several roofers come out, all of whom seem competent (well, the ones we’re considering do), but they all seem to use different shingles. Cost difference between them is ~$500 total, give or take, so that doesn’t seem to be an issue and we may use the shingle type as the deciding factor.

For a colonial home in northern DE with some shade (due to a neighbor’s tree), which shingles would you recommend–OC Duration, GAF/ELK Timberline, or CertainTeed Landmark? One roofer even recommended the CertainTeed Solaris, but I don’t know that they’re necessary or would qualify for the tax break in this area.

We also had some recommendations for advanced ventilation systems with Smart Vents, etc. We’re adding a ridge vent and removing the insulation from over our existing soffit (sp?) vents and we * think * that will be sufficient…but are we wrong?

If there’s any thing else you think we should know before going into this, PLEASE let me know–we plan to be here for quite a while and would like the highest quality roof we can afford.

Thank you!!

I have had good luck with Landmarks for a long time now.
GAF makes a good shingle also.
If it were my house those are the only 2 brands I would be looking at.

Yes that is a good idea, but you don’t really want to remove any insulation, you just want to get a rafter vent in there for clear airflow.
When we do this we usually add insulation at the wall line.
This is where the heat loss will have the biggest effect so far as ice dams are concerned.
It is also the hardest part to insulate well from the attic, so doing it when the roof is done makes a lot of sense.