Have you given your roof much thought, as a homeowner? Surely when you bought your home, one of the first things you did when considering the house, was to look into the state and age of the roof, and when you bought it, you made sure you had all the documentation of when it was last serviced and by whom, right?
A lot of people know their roof is important, but perhaps people don’t realize precisely how important. Nature has this thing about perpetually trying to decimate any structure humanity builds. If you watch an abandoned building immediately after said abandoning, notice just how quickly it begins to decay. The roof is usually one of the first things to go, too.
We depend on the sun for life, yes, but the sun is also a giant nuclear fireball, and this means it’s forever belching out intense heat and UV radiation. This requires your roof to work tirelessly to deflect this heat and absorb this UV so it doesn’t eat away at your house and overwork your climate control.
So, you take your roof seriously, which means you also take your roofing materials seriously, right? Say it’s time for a new roof, which means choosing the right contractor (we’ve talked about this), but also choosing the right shingles. There are a host of excellent choices out there, the most popular and sought-after being GAF Timberline and Certainteed Landmark shingles. These are both regarded as the crème of the crop, so to speak. Well, that’s all well and good, but which one is right for you?
There’s no one right answer to this, but if we compare them based on some key aspects, we can at least help you decide which ones, for your specific case, are the most ideal for your home. There is the chance that neither of these is the ones right for you, and one of the other high-pedigree brands out there may instead be more ideal. Around here, we believe that knowledge, especially when it comes to your roof, is power, and power you as a homeowner should have, uncompromisingly.
We’ll be looking at the cost of both, the available colors, their wind coverage/warranty policies and their resistance to impacts. That last one, by the way, is often overlooked … at least until a hail storm or fallen branches put that impact resistance to the test. You don’t want to be taught by immediate experience that your roof can’t handle it!
For most people, the cost is the bottom line, and that’s fair, within reason. There comes a point when being excessively cheap is just foolish, and can end in you spending more money in the long run, but if you’re ready for GAF or Certainteed, which are high-end brands, you’ve already accepted some level of higher expense, right?
Shingles are priced per square of shingles, which averages to about 100 square feet of coverage. Thus, when you consider the price of materials, you will want to divide the square footage by 100, and add an extra square to that averaged number, and then multiply this by the price per square. This will give you not a perfect price prediction, but one good enough to make an informed decision.
- Landmark: $78/sq.
- Timberline Natural Shadow: $75.50/sq.
- Landmark Premium: $120.00/sq.
- Timberline HD: $82.00/sq.
- Landmark Pro: $150/00/sq.
- Timberline Ultra HD: $140.00/sq.
While we see the difference shrink when we get to the highest-end products, Timberline by GAF clearly is more affordable at face value.
We all picture black or dark gray shingles when we think of most shingle roofs. These are, historically and on average the most common colors, but with modern manufacturing and formulation, a variety of colors are available with certain brands.
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- Natural Shadow – Natural shadow is a series of flat black and dark gray colors that fall within a richer version of that typical shingle look, which is neutral, and pairs with most things.
- Timberline HD – Timberline HD is available in a range of 11 colors, including weathered wood, charcoal and a variety of others, including the natural shadow varieties.
- Timberline Ultra HD – Timberline ultra HD offers basically the entire line of previous colors of the other two lines, as well as adding more vivid colors and even custom colors for an added expense.
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Note that Certainteed is a little different, offering only two basic sets of palettes across their entire line of products, but with a wider variety of individual colors per palette. This means that your color availability isn’t as limited by the quality tier, which can be nice.
- Landmark – Landmark tiles are available in a variety of 17 mostly organic or earth tones, from silver birch to hunter green, though many of these 17 colors are not always available with dealers, requiring special ordering. They mostly carry the more popular varieties.
- Landmark Pro and Premium – These do differentiate themselves from the lower tier by offering the MAX Def palette, which has a lot more variation, and gradients on established color ranges. You may, again, have to do a little bit of searching around for a dealer carrying the specific color you want, depending on if it’s a popular one or not.
Really, for color, it’s kind of a tie, as they have distinct ranges and gate their palettes differently in relation to tier.
- Wind Coverage/Warranty – These are important, but are a bit more cut-and-dry than colors or price.
- Timberline – Timberline may claim to offer a lifetime warranty for their shingles, but this is actually only a 15-year warranty, so beware of this. On the bright side, it covers seal failures, blow-offs and 130MPH winds, which is on par with a category 3 hurricane.
- Landmark – Landmark, too, has only a 15-year “lifetime” warranty, but also only covers up to 110MPH winds, which is just a category 2 storm. This may sound like a small difference, but you will learn quickly that it isn’t.
Truth be told, Timberline’s warranty and wind coverage wins out here plain and simple.
Honestly, in the case of this one, they both fall short of a rating of 4 in the UL 2218 test, which simulates strong hail impacts. However, this one is a bit more of a toss-up, as sometimes brand new architectural shingles will not bat an eye at baseball-sized hail, while others will cave under the impact of a golf ball-sized hailstone.
In other words, these are pretty equal, and it’s kind of unpredictable here.
So, which is the absolute winner? That depends on your priorities. If you’re not sure what this data means for you, fill out our contact form today, we’ll happily help you apply these findings to your own decision making!