Best Roof Shingles
I am looking for help with determining which roofing contractor to choose. I'm a widow and I must say this is tough to figure out and it's tough to know who to trust. My roof is approximately 15 years old and it leaks into the kitchen. The house is a 1952 brick Cape Cod, 1682 sf, and I live in Western New York so winters are long and fierce.
I called the contractor we used on our last house and he quoted me $6949 to apply GAF/ELK Timberline Prestique shingles over the existing roof. He will install 36" of GAF Weather Watch in any closed cut valleys, install new aluminum/neoprene flanges on soil/vent stacks, install black aluminum Pre-Flash base kit on chimney along with ice shield and aluminum step flashing, and add 3 GAF Master Flow box vents along peak areas where needed. This company has been in business for over 80 years, provided me with a professional contract and wants a $2300 down payment with a signed contract.
The second quote I got was from a one man outfit recommended by my real estate agent/friend. They used him on their business and on a family member's home. They were very satisfied. His quote was $5500 to tear off the existing roof and then to install Atlas Pinnacle Architectural shingles. We only spoke on the phone (no contract). I told him about the leak to the kitchen and he assured me he would install an ice shield, address the leaking area, and install a ridge vent. He sounded very energetic and enthusiastic and eager for my business.
The first guy (big company) took photos of all the issues needed to be addressed. He showed me 1" or so gaps under the windows and places where the flashing was missing. My concern with him is that they want to go over the existing roof. I read all the posts on roofing shingles this afternoon and some of your bad experiences have really concerned me. I like the idea of a tear off.
What concerns me with the second guy is that I've not read anything about the Atlas Pinnacle shingles. He left the sample board and it states it has a 35 year limited warranty and is good for 110 mph wind. It is an algae resistant ARS shingle. Are any of you familiar with this product?
I assume these contractors work with a product that they get the most benefit (profit) from. Is there a roofing material I should request them to use regardless of whether the price increases? I understand that due to the unrest in the world, the cost of roofing material is slated to increase this summer based on oil prices.
I was at Home Depot today and noticed they sell the GAF/ELK Timberline shingles. I intend to be in this house for many, many years (till I die! LOL!) and so I want a long-term roof that I don't need to worry about.
So basically I'm wondering if:
the Atlas Pinnacle product is a good bet;
if it's not, can I ask the little guy to supply a better product;
if it's best to go with the tear-off;
which is better, the ridge vent or the box vents;
weather it's best to go with the bigger (warranted) company versus the little guy who may not be around 5 years from now.
I know, lots of questions, but I am so afraid of making a mistake. I suppose I could ask the big guy to do a tear off. I mentioned it to him, but he assured me it's fine to go over the existing roof. There is lots of moss on the roof that he said is no problem to just brush off.
Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate it. I have a third company coming over next week. It's a big operation so the price will probably reflect that. Truthfully, this is not so much about price as it is about the right way to tackle this. I want this done right and with quality materials.