Roofing is more than just the material you can see, there is a whole system working to keep your home safe and dry.  But, in this page we will discuss what most customers are concerned with; what surface covering to choose for replacement.  Rest assured, no matter what surface covering you select we will design and build it with the proper system to ensure a waterproof covering over your home for years to come.

For information on installation of a proper roofing system see:  How is a Roof Built  

What will the Insurance Company cover?

Once the insurance company has approved the claim for the replacement of the roof; they don’t care what material you choose, but they will only pay for replacement material of “like kind and quality.”  Simply stated, the insurance will provide enough money so your roof can be replaced to look just like it did before the storm; same style – same material.

What if we want to pick a different material?

If you want to upgrade the material on your roof, now is a great time.  But, that doesn’t mean the insurance company is going to fund the upgrade for you.  Selecting a different product now allows you to upgrade at a minimal cost to you by only paying the difference in material cost – no added markup.

If you can’t decide what product would look best on your home or just can’t pick a color, we may be able to help.  All of the major shingle manufactures have some kind of digital shingle selector, giving you the ability to see different shingle styles and colors on multiple homes and even upload a picture of your home.  One that is easy to use is from  Certainteed Color Selection

1)  To use your own home, follow the above link to the GAF website and click on the tab at the top right that says “Use Your Own Home” and follow the on-screen instructions.
2)  Or, if you would rather choose a preloaded picture similar to your home, then follow the same link above but on the upper left click on the tab that says “House Type/Model” and after you have selected a picture click on the tab on the right that says “Roofing Options” and follow the on-screen instructions.

Whether this helps or not, make sure to discuss your options with your project manager.  We can bring samples and even full shingles to your house so you can see the real thing before you make a final decision.


What are my Roofing Choices?

Asphalt Shingles:

Every year manufactures are making improvements in these products and today even the entry level products perform better than the premium products in years past.  Today almost all asphalt shingles are referred to as a fiberglass composition shingle because they are made of more than just asphalt and have a reinforced fiberglass core.  With the advances in manufacturing and technology and improved design and durability, today approximately 75% of all roofing is being done with some type of asphalt based fiberglass shingle.

Within this style of shingle there are three (3) main categories to choose from: 3-Tab, Architectural, and Heavy-Weight Designer

1.   3-Tab Shingles:
This shingle is extremely common and is the least expensive choice.  For years this was the standard in all roofing, but with an array of choices, today this shingle is less common than the Dimensional Shingles.  The name comes from its design; a solid piece of material that has two cuts in it to produce “three tabs.”  This shingle is still a good option and will waterproof your home for many years, but it does not have some of the cosmetic advantages of other designs and it is more susceptible to high wind damage.


2.   Dimensional Shingles (sometimes called Architectural Shingles): 

Many homeowners are upgrading their roofs to this product as it is superior in design and functionality to the 3-Tab Shingle, and does not have a high upgrade cost.  Dimensional Shingles are designed to simulate a three-dimensional appearance of wood shakes and offer more color choices than the 3-Tab Shingle.  In design they are superior as well as they are constructed of one solid piece of material that is two layers thick, allowing the shingle to pass wind tests of over 130 mph.

3.   Heavy-Weight Designer Shingles:
Within this category there are many different designs depending on the “look” you want to create for your home.  If you would like to consider one of these products, then talk to your project manager and they will bring books and samples to you and help you decide which one will be best for your home.  Other than design the most noticeable difference in this product is the thickness and the weight.  It is not uncommon for these products to weigh two and even three times as much as an Architectural Shingle.
If you are considering this upgrade, allow extra time for the project to be completed and expect some delays.  1) We will need to order an engineer’s report to verify the roof structure was constructed strong enough to hold the additional weight.  2) These products are not usually stock items and will require more time for special order and delivery.


Within these three design types advances in technology have also resulted in new “Impact Resistant” Shingles.  To the eye, these products look the same but many of them are constructed of material other than asphalt; SBS Modified Rubber is one such material.  If impact resistant shingles are something you would like to consider for your home, let us know and they will be happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages with you.

Looking for more information?  Make sure to discuss your concerns with your project manager, but the manufactures websites also have a great deal of information.

Recommended Manufactures: GAF, Ownes Corning, CertainTeed, and Tamco


Wood Shingles and Shakes:

With the increase of composition shingle options natural wood is less common than it once was, but it still makes for a very sound and beautiful roof.  The shakes and shingles are made commonly made from cedar, redwood, southern pine and other woods; originally these were all handmade but today machinesawn is much more common.
A point to consider: Some local building codes limit the use of wood shingles and shakes because of concerns about fire resistance. Many wood shingles and shakes only have Class C fire ratings or no ratings at all. However, Class A fire ratings are available for certain wood shingle products that incorporate a factory-applied, fire-resistant treatment.


Tile (Clay or Concrete):

Tile roofing is considered a very durable roofing material, and will hold up to almost all severe weather conditions.  If you have a tile roof already, it should still be checked after a severe weather event but it is likely there is no damage to the roof.  Originally, this product was specific to Spanish and Mission Style architecture, but today a variety of shapes and styles are manufactured.  Similar to Heavy-Weight Designer Shingles the roof must be engineered to hold the weight of this product, without the proper engineering this upgrade would not be possible.

 Above are the most common types of shingles, with the most popular being the Asphalt Composite Shingles.  But there are still others to choose from: Slate, Metal (in many varieties), Rubber, PVC, Plastic, Fiberglass, and still other synthetic varieties.   Each has unique qualities that are superior under certain circumstances and we will be happy to discuss them with you.  If you would like more information on any of these products please ask your project manager and we will provide you with whatever you need.


Other Factors to Consider

Roof replacements are expensive and it cannot be changed after the decision is made.  We recommend that you consider all of the pros and cons of each choice before making the decision.

  • How long do you plan to say in the house?
  • Will the product improve resale value?
  • Is the decision purely cosmetic or are there functional advantages?
  • Are there local climate reasons to choose or avoid certain products?
  • How often does your area have damaging severe weather?
  • How much is your deductible?  Meaning is it cheaper to put on two or three roofs than to pay the cost of one upgrade?
  • Are other houses in the neighborhood making upgrades?
  • Will the insurance company offer a premium discount if you install an upgraded roof?  If so, how much of a discount?