Best Roof Shingles

cottageandcreekApril 7, 2011

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.

Thanks again!

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sierraeast

A continous run ridgevent is best when used in conjunction with continous run soffit/eave venting. The air is drawn up through the soffit/eaves uninterrupted up and out the ridgeventing. Any existing venting such as gable vents would need to be blocked off. Ridgeventing alone would be better than the box vents, imo as with a cape, you might not have existing overhangs for soffit/eave venting. If you have a small overhang on your cape, typically about 6", it could easily be made into a continous run soffit venting.

I always recommend tearing off the existing roofing on older homes as it gives you the oppurtunity to see the conditions of the roof sheathing for any rotted areas, inspections of all flashings as well as any roof protrusions such as plumbing vents.

I can't speak for Atlas, but here's a link and Im sure there are others that you could look into concerning shingle ratings.

Here is a link that might be useful: shingle ratings

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 10:47AM
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sierraeast

On the link I provided, click on shingle brands. There are two listings for atlas. The second one down is the shingle your roofer is recommending and it gives a product description, warranties, types,etc.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 11:10AM
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cottageandcreek

Thanks, Sierraeast. I read the reviews and now feel comfortable with this product. The link you posted was very helpful. You are correct that the soffits are narrow and not vented at all. I'll make sure I don't obstruct the gable vents with the addition of any new insulation. Hopefully that will be fine. Thanks for your advice. I appreciate it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 2:30PM
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