You might not think of it on a daily basis, but your roof is always protecting your home. During rainy days, it keeps it dry. Hot days? It keeps it cool. All year long, it keeps you safe from the elements. Which is why when your roof starts to go downhill, it is essential that you tackle caring for it as soon as possible.
Choosing a roof material might not sound all that complicated, but there are many factors to consider. In this comprehensive guide to the best roof shingles, we will explore:
- Different materials
- Top brands
- Tips on finding a qualified roofing contractor
By the end, you’ll have the knowledge you need to make an informed decision for your roofing project.
5 Best Shingles by Material
The material you choose for your roofing shingles plays a vital role in determining the overall performance, durability, and aesthetics of your roof. Let’s delve into some of the most popular roofing materials:
1) Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the United States, thanks to their affordability and versatility. They come in two primary types: 3-tab and architectural (also known as laminated or dimensional) shingles. 3-tab shingles are thinner and more budget-friendly, while architectural shingles are thicker, offer better aesthetics, and typically have longer warranties.
Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install and provide decent durability, with an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Some popular brands include GAF, Owens Corning, and CertainTeed.
2) Wood Shingles and Shakes
Wood shingles and shakes offer a timeless and rustic appearance to your roof. Wood roofing shingles are precisely cut and have a smoother, more refined look, while shakes are split and have a more textured, rustic appearance.
Cedar and redwood are the most common wood species used for these shingles.nThey offer good insulation properties but require regular maintenance to prevent rot and decay. The lifespan of wood shingles and shakes can range from 20 to 50 years, depending on maintenance and local climate.
3) Metal Roofing
Metal roofing has gained popularity due to its:
- Durability 💪
- Energy efficiency ⚡️
- Modern appearance ✨
Common materials include steel, aluminum, and copper. Metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years or more, making them a long-lasting option. They are resistant to fire, pests, and extreme weather conditions.
Standing seam and metal shingle profiles are popular choices for residential applications.
4) Slate Roofing
Slate roofing offers unparalleled beauty and longevity, often lasting over a century. It is a natural stone material available in various colors and thicknesses. While stunning, slate roofing is heavy, and installation requires skilled craftsmanship. It is one of the most expensive roofing materials but pays off in longevity and aesthetics.
5) Clay and Concrete Tiles
Clay and concrete tiles are known for their durability and Mediterranean-style aesthetics. They are resistant to fire, pests, and harsh weather conditions.
While heavy and more expensive than asphalt shingles, they can last 50 years or more with proper maintenance. These tiles come in various shapes, such as:
- Flat profiles
Best Roofing Shingles by Brand
When it comes to choosing a roofing material, selecting a reputable brand is essential. Here are some of the top roofing brands known for their quality products:
1) GAF Shingles
GAF is one of the largest and most trusted roofing manufacturers in North America. They offer a wide range of asphalt shingles, including their popular Timberline series. GAF products often come with impressive warranties.
2) Owens Corning
Owens Corning is another well-respected brand in the roofing industry. They are known for their durable and energy-efficient roofing materials. Their Duration and Duration Designer series of shingles are popular choices.
CertainTeed is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, a global leader in building materials. They offer a variety of shingle options, including Landmark and Presidential lines. CertainTeed shingles are known for their durability and aesthetics.
Malarkey Roofing Products is a family-owned business known for its commitment to sustainability. Their Legacy and Windsor lines of shingles are well-regarded for their performance and durability.
IKO is a global roofing manufacturer with a strong presence in North America. They offer a range of asphalt shingles, including the Cambridge and Dynasty lines. IKO shingles are known for their quality and affordability.
Cost of Installing New Shingles
The cost of roof shingles can vary significantly depending on the material, brand, and other factors. Here’s a general cost overview for different roofing materials:
- 3-tab asphalt shingles typically cost between $1.50 to $3.50 per square foot, making them one of the most budget-friendly options.
- Architectural shingles, on the other hand, range from $3.50 to $6.00 per square foot.
Wood Shingles and Shakes:
- Wood shingles and shakes can be more expensive, ranging from $4.50 to $9.00 per square foot.
- Keep in mind that maintenance costs should also be considered.
- Metal roofing costs vary depending on the type of metal used.
- Steel roofing ranges from $5.00 to $12.00 per square foot, while premium options like copper can be significantly more expensive.
- Slate roofing is one of the most expensive options, with prices ranging from $10.00 to $20.00 or more per square foot.
Clay and Concrete Tiles:
- Clay and concrete tiles typically cost between $10.00 and $15.00 per square foot.
It’s important to note that these are rough estimates, and the actual cost of your roofing project may vary based on factors like roof size, complexity, labor costs in your area, and any additional features or accessories.
Finding a Qualified Contractor
Once you’ve decided on the roofing material and brand that best suits your needs, the next crucial step is finding a qualified contractor to install your roof. Here are some tips on how to find the right roofing contractor:
- Seek Recommendations: Ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations if they’ve recently had roofing work done. Look for online reviews and ratings of local roofing contractors.
- Check Credentials: Ensure that the contractor is licensed and insured. Verify their credentials and certifications related to the specific roofing material you’ve chosen.
- Obtain Multiple Quotes: Request quotes from at least three different contractors to compare pricing and services. Be wary of significantly low or high bids, as they may indicate potential issues.
- Ask for References: Ask the contractor for references from past clients and contact them to inquire about their experience.
- Review Contracts Carefully: Before signing any contract, thoroughly review it, and make sure it includes all necessary details, such as materials, costs, timelines, and warranties.
- Check for Manufacturer Certifications: Some roofing manufacturers offer certifications to contractors who meet certain standards for installation. Hiring a certified contractor can provide added peace of mind.
- Communication: Ensure that you can easily communicate with the contractor and that they are responsive to your questions and concerns.
- Warranty: Inquire about the warranties offered for both the roofing materials and the installation work. Make sure you understand what is covered and for how long.
Get Assistance Choosing Shingles
Choosing the best roof shingles involves careful consideration of materials, brands, costs, and longevity. Each roofing material has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to weigh your priorities and budget when making a decision.
At Johnson Restoration, we know a thing or two about roofs and can help you choose the style that will work best for your needs. Contact us today to set up your first appointment!