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Roofing questions - Shingle brands & contractors

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[OP]
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Jan 9, 2003
311 posts
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Ajax

Roofing questions - Shingle brands & contractors

Looking to replace my 20 year old roof. The house is about 2500 sq ft. I've been quoted anywhere from $3,500-5,000.

The 5K quote was for Iko fibreglass 30yr shingles. When I Google Iko, I see lots of bad reviews, although the contractor was talking them up as a premium brand. I keep seeing Certainteed as being the best.

Anyone have insight as the best brand / shingle type to go with?
Any tips on what to look for in a contractor?

I'm in Durham region, Ontario if any can recommend a contractor. Thanks,
368 replies
Member
Mar 15, 2004
290 posts
2 upvotes
Acutally, i am too looking to change roof on the home soon to be purchased (moving on June 8th). The size is around 2600 sqarefeet. I figure the quote you recived included the materials. Do you know if the new shingles will be added on top? i mean will they remove the old shingles and then put new ones? I was told that you could add up to 3 layers of shingles.
Jr. Member
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Jan 18, 2007
101 posts
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Toronto
I just redid my roof.

Used Alpine Roofing in Toronto. I got 4 quotes, they were the cheapest and were used by a very picky friend.

Legally in Toronto there can only be two layers of shingles on the roof. However my house had three so they were all removed.

30 year shingles do look better, as they look more multi-coloured and the lines are less noticable. I went for the 25 year ones, they were $300 less, and we're only going to be in our house for 5 to 7 years.

Do ask for metal vents, not plastic, they should be thrown in for free.
Dec 31, 1969
Go with Alpine Roofing. They are one of the best. Don't cheap out and get this small company cause they will cut corners. Avoid "Power K Roofing" they cut alot of corners. As for shingle brands there are only like a few companies that make shingles and they are all good. They all have their guarantee which is usually 10-25+ years.
[OP]
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Jan 9, 2003
311 posts
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Ajax
Yes the quotes included materials, stripping old shingles, adding vents, all cleanup, etc. I hear that new home are typically not engineered for more than one layer.

Still would like to hear from someone who knows about brands. I see lots of comments about great jobs, and I'm sure they all look great now, but will they hold up for the 20-30yrs they say? Someone who knows the biz could really help here.
Tik wrote:
Apr 24th, 2007 4:40 pm
Acutally, i am too looking to change roof on the home soon to be purchased (moving on June 8th). The size is around 2600 sqarefeet. I figure the quote you recived included the materials. Do you know if the new shingles will be added on top? i mean will they remove the old shingles and then put new ones? I was told that you could add up to 3 layers of shingles.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 25, 2003
8809 posts
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+1 more for Alpine!

They don't cheap out. One of the POS Chip Boards' rotted out ontop of my garage. They didn't replace it with another piece of POS Chip Board but instead used more expensive Plywood!
Deal Guru
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Dec 23, 2003
11295 posts
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Toronto
I too am in the market for getting my roof done. So far, my short list includes:

- Alpine
- Avenue Road Roofing
- Let it rain
- Better Contracting
- few others I can't remember

I just finished talking to Peter Silverman from CP24 and this Thursday on CP24 at 9 PM, his show will be all about roofing and we can call in to ask about roofing tips.

On the topic of shingles, I am leaning toward GAF's Slateline shingles that was ranked very good according to consumer reports for Fibreglass 3 Tab shingles, or GAF's Timberline Armour Shield Laminated shingles. Product info can be found here:
http://www.gaf.com/Content/GAF/RES1/ROO ... chart.html

Since GAF is the one I am going with, I am looking at the GAF Elite roofers. A list of them in Ontario are here:
http://www.gaf.com/General/ContLocate2b ... id=&WS=GAF

My friend got his roof from Let it Rain and was happy with their work. I know a few others that have used Alpine and they too are happy with their work.

Seems like your home is about the same size as mine. In terms of shingle brands, here is what I found out:

Certainteed - High Quality Shingles and decent reports
GAF - quality is similar to Certainteed and also well rated.
ELK Shingles - Lots of good feedback but not easy to find in Canada
IKO - Mid to Low grade shingles.

Think of Certainteed and GAF as the Honda and Toyota and think of IKO to be more like the Chrysler. As with any company, look at the charts for certainteed, GAF, etc. and budget to go with their TOP end shingles for 3 tab. I found for my 2500 sq. foot house, the price delta between IKO low end, and the better ones are about $650. $650 over the life of a roof (typically 15 to 25 years) is not bad. If you want to save money, get the BEST 3 TAB fibreglass shingle from a reputable roofer and you will be fine. Some people prefer the laminated shingles and they will last longer. The cost of good laminated shingle could be as much as $3K to $4k more then the top end 3 TAB.

Here are some quotes I got:

IKO low end $4200 - $4600
GAF/Cetainteed high end 3 tab shingles $5700 - $6300
Laminated stuff $6800 - $7400
Metal Roofing - don't ask... the number was like $10K

I'm approaching this with buying the BEST 3 Tab fibreglass shingle I can afford, and roofing it the right way (ice felt 3' around and around the narrow areas), 6 nails if possible for proper wind proofing, and metal vents. If I get another 20 years out of a good roof, I will be happy. no point going with these 35 and 50 year warranty, since the roof will be fine, but other areas will get bad because of age.
[OP]
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Jan 9, 2003
311 posts
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Ajax
Hightech .. Excellent summary. Thanks for the advice. Your assessment of brands is similar to what I've been able to figure out thru net searches.

One brand you didn't mention is BP. I hear some good things. It seems to me they're maybe just under GAF opinion wise. I'll be looking for the roofer who I'm confident in and one of the higher end brands.
Deal Guru
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Dec 23, 2003
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Toronto
hurricane wrote:
Apr 25th, 2007 10:31 pm
Hightech .. Excellent summary. Thanks for the advice. Your assessment of brands is similar to what I've been able to figure out thru net searches.

One brand you didn't mention is BP. I hear some good things. It seems to me they're maybe just under GAF opinion wise. I'll be looking for the roofer who I'm confident in and one of the higher end brands.
Yes BP is another brand, but I have not found reviews of their product in comparison to the likes of Certainteed and GAF. I think BP or IKO is in the same area for quality, as Alpine Roofing seems to use either one according to their quote.

According to Consumer Reports, these were the top 2 brands for 3 tab shingles:

CertainTeed XT 25 CR Best Buy
GAF Slateline

For Laminated, here are the pics:

CertainTeed Grand Manor Shangle
CertainTeed Landmark 50
CertainTeed Landmark TL
GAF Timberline Ultra


Keep in mind the Grand Manor is a very costly shingle and could cost as much as 4x the cost of the GAF slateline. A link to compare the Certainteed line is http://certainteed.com/NR/rdonlyres/17E ... ewGrid.pdf

I am looking at the GAF or the Certainteed brands. I know that Avenue Road Roofing (www.avenueroadroofing.com) and Better Contracting (http://www.bettercontracting.ca) are the top tier Certainteed sellers and have the best credentials. If you click on the button called Roofing Resources on the Avenue Road roofing site, it will take you to the Certainteed line of products. For GAF Elite, you can go vist this link: http://www.gaf.com/General/ContLocate2b ... id=&WS=GAF

I am getting quotes from the following soon:

CARROLL HOME IMPROVEMENTS Master Elite Ajax 905-686-2445
LET IT RAIN INC Master Elite Mississauga 905-624-0430
COMPLETE ENERGY MANAGEMENT LTD Master Elite Scarborough 416-616-9463

Also a reminder that Peter Silverman on CP24 will have a 1 hour show tonight dealing with Roofing and Roof Repair and allow viewers to phone in for questions.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
24879 posts
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Ottawa
Great info Hightech.
I am not in the Toronto area but did have my roof done in the not too distant past and the quality of the shingle, although important is not the only consideration. Find out how long the company has been in business and how long the warranty the roof for leaks, Ice dam damage etc. Also, the price of the roof job should also include a good quality ice shield, ask them how much they put down and the thickness (ask for more than the standard 30 inches if you can, this one area where more is better). Ask if they put down builders felt or anything under the shingles (code does not require it anymore). Ask what they will do for flashing around any of the chimneys or anywhere flashing is required. Ask about the vents on you roof and if they will or are going to replace them and with what product. I am sure there are things I forgot but it is an expensive job and an important one to hour house so be sure who you get to do the job. Cheaper is not better but then the most expensive may also not be a value added expense.
Deal Guru
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Dec 23, 2003
11295 posts
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Toronto
Pete Coach,

Thanks for the info.

I had the folks from COMPLETE ENERGY MANAGEMENT LTD Master Elite Scarborough come by today and the guy was as total prick and was asking 2x what others did for the EXACT same work. AVOID this guy :mad:

I also had CARROLL HOME IMPROVEMENTS come by today and his price was 1/2 of the complete energy guy and was night and day different in personality. Carroll was not a salesman but honest and had a book of about 100 homes that he has put roofs on and all credientials, etc.
[OP]
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Jan 9, 2003
311 posts
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Ajax
Any idea what time this show is on?

Also a reminder that Peter Silverman on CP24 will have a 1 hour show tonight dealing with Roofing and Roof Repair and allow viewers to phone in for questions.[/QUOTE]
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2005
3162 posts
118 upvotes
I've had numerous quotes from so called reputable or big name contractors

Home Depot (contractor)
Better Contracting
Avenue Roofing
Smart Roofing
Contech
...and a few others


All have unique problems.

The really busy ones are very hard to get a hold of after getting the initial quote - now imagine after they install and collect their money how hard would it be then to get them to come and fix problems?

Some are outrageously expensive. I got one quote from Contech at $7000!

It's hard to get a feel for most of the contractors since the salesman giving you the quote is not the guy doing the install.

At the momenet I dont know what to do - my roof needs changing..I want a decent job but can't find an honest(lol) contractor.
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Newbie
Sep 8, 2006
49 posts
74 upvotes
Toronto
Hi Blexann,

Can you give me an example of problems with Home Depot and Smart-Roofing? I was planning on getting quotes from these guys, so some advanced information may help on what to look for.

Thanks.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 23, 2003
11295 posts
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Toronto
blexann wrote:
Apr 26th, 2007 10:03 pm
I've had numerous quotes from so called reputable or big name contractors

Home Depot (contractor)
Better Contracting
Avenue Roofing
Smart Roofing
Contech
...and a few others


All have unique problems.

The really busy ones are very hard to get a hold of after getting the initial quote - now imagine after they install and collect their money how hard would it be then to get them to come and fix problems?

Some are outrageously expensive. I got one quote from Contech at $7000!

It's hard to get a feel for most of the contractors since the salesman giving you the quote is not the guy doing the install.

At the momenet I dont know what to do - my roof needs changing..I want a decent job but can't find an honest(lol) contractor.
Well if a roofer is not busy, I would be very concerned. A way to find out if there are any concerns, is to check the local BBB site and see how many complaints are raised in the last 3 years. Many top tier ones have a few complaints. Keep in mind that if you have say 10 complaints and you do approx 1000 roofs a season, that is like a 1% complaint rate and that is pretty slim. Also, you don't know the situations that are behind the complaint. For example, someone could have insisted on the bargain basement roof job and not do things that would offer peace of mind (i.e. tar paper entire roof to prevent icing) and now there are issues.

Yesterdays Silverman show had a president from http://aaaroofmasters.com/ on the show and he mentioned something that was very interesting.

In Quebec, the code is to put tar paper on the whole roof, and ice shielding on the corners. In toronto, that is not in the code. As a result, with this winters wet, ice weather, the number of roofing issues is on a rise. He suggested that putting tar paper on the whole roof will minimize water leak issues. Of course there is a cost for this, but the $$ is for something that should last at least 15 to 20 years.


Here is a link to a previously aired show dealing with roofing issues:
http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_4698.aspx
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