Many decisions need to be made during the course of a roof replacement. One of the most important ones is what shingle brand you should choose. In light of recalls from popular shingle manufacturers like CertainTeed and Atlas Horizon, selecting a reputable shingle manufacturer is perhaps one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make during your roof replacement (second to hiring the right Nicholasville roofing contractor!).

Two manufacturers we highly recommend, and most of our homeowners inquire about, are GAF and Owens Corning. They are two of North America’s largest and most reputable roofing materials manufacturers. 

While we typically recommend GAF shingles to our homeowners, both companies produce excellent roofing materials and offer great warranties.We want you to be able to make an informed decision for your unique home and needs. This article will discuss important warranty and durability details so you can make an educated decision about which shingle brand is better for your upcoming project.

Owens Corning Shingles

Perhaps most known for its Pink Panther mascot, Owens Corning is a global leader in producing building materials and is one of the largest manufacturers of roofing materials. They have been in business for nearly 100 years.

The two most popular Owens Corning shingles lines from Owens Corning are:

· Oakridge (mid-grade)

· TruDefinition (high-grade shingle)

These product lines offer excellent warranties and superior longevity and customer reviews.

GAF Shingles

GAF is also one of North America’s largest roofing materials manufacturers. When it comes to durable and dependable shingles as well as roofing products, GAF is an industry leader. Depending on your product line, GAF shingles are constructed of fiberglass-mesh reinforced asphalt and provide three to five layers of protection.

The two most popular shingle lines GAF carries are their Natural Shadow (this is a mid-grade shingle) and their HDZ line (a high-grade shingle). HDZ shingles offer advanced wind protection and warranties, more thickness, a greater overall aesthetic, and longer life expectancy. GAF’s Timberline shingles – available in mid or high-grade, are the #1 selling shingles in the US.

Warranties: GAF vs. Owens Corning

When it comes to material warranties for its roofing shingles, Owens Corning and GAF both offer industry-leading warranties. Although, GAF does perform better in the 3-tab and luxury product lines.

GAF boasts technology advancements like a 25-year limited warranty against blue-green algae on its 30-year-rated shingle. Owens Corning TruDefinition shingles also have a 25-year limited warranty on Algae growth. However, this warranty is more restrictive than GAF’s algae warranty.

GAF has superior wind resistance warranties, offering coverage up to 130mph. Comparatively, most Owens Corning products provide coverage up to 110 mph for wind resistance. GAF and Owens Corning both offer extended warranties on their products if you hire one of their trusted, certified roofers. At AIC Roofing and Construction, we’re able to offer extended and enhanced warranties free of charge to our homeowners because we are GAF MasterElite Certified and an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor.

Both manufacturers have very comparable warranties. However, GAF is considered to have some of the best warranties and (more importantly) customer service in the roofing industry. Another bonus is that their warranties are completely transferable if you decide to sell your home. Long-lasting, enforceable warranties are significant to many of our homeowners, and this tends to be a deciding factor.

Durability: GAF vs. Owens Corning

GAF and Owens Corning have Class A fire resistance and impressive impact resistance. Suppose your local building code requires a Class 4-rated shingle on your roof. In that case, you might consider upgrading to Owens Corning Duration STORM or Duration FLEX or GAF’s Timberline AS II or SBS Modified IR shingles. Your roofer will be able to walk you through the specifics of all applicable building codes and possible insurance discounts.

Aside from their impact resistance, both GAF and Owens Corning are known for producing durable shingles.

Price: GAF vs. Owens Corning

The shingle price is comparable for both GAF and Owens Corning shingles. Installation prices can vary, so getting 2-3 roofing bids is essential before making your final decision. GAF shingles are specially manufactured to improve nailing accuracy and efficiency. In their factory testing, they found the StrikeZone® nailing area on GAF shingles had a 99.9% accuracy and improved speed by 30%. Their nail strip is approximately six times larger than the nail strip of Owens Corning. Shingle prices will be comparable, but installation prices can vary between the two brands!

Deciding between high and mid-grade shingles

Once you’ve decided on a shingle manufacturer, the next step is to determine if you want a mid or high-grade shingle. For many customers, this choice comes down to return on investment. Will investing in a higher-grade shingle yield a longer-lasting roof?

Surprisingly, there is no considerable price difference between high and mid-grade shingles. In our experience, high-grade shingles (this does not include designer or architectural shingles) are typically 5-7% more expensive than mid-grade shingles. For an average roof replacement, that can mean an extra $500-$1,000. Given their added features and warranty, it can be a great investment if this is within your budget.

Choosing a mid or high-grade shingle ultimately depends on your budget and needs. While the high-grade shingles may not fit every budget or unique home need, the advanced life expectancy and warranties often offer a superior return on investment.

Both GAF and Owens Corning offer industry-leading warranties on their mid and high-grade shingle lines.

Final Thoughts

No matter what type of shingle you choose, installation and customer service should be priorities when researching your roof replacement. The choice of which shingle grade and manufacturer you should select comes down to your unique budget, home, and needs. GAF and Owens Corning offer high-quality, durable shingles to protect your home. Based on our experience serving the Nicholasville community, we typically recommend GAF shingles because of the superior warranties provided by GAF.

We sell and install both GAF shingles and Owens Corning shingles. Additionally, we are a GAF MasterElite Certified Elite and an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. These are advanced certifications handed out to North America’s top 1-3% of roofing contractors.

Because of these certifications, we can offer our homeowners extended warranties free of charge. We also are experts in roofing materials offered by both of these manufacturers.

Next Steps – only trust your roof replacement to the experts

If you’re getting your roof replaced, make sure you’re informed. We answer questions to the most common and essential roofing questions on our Learning Center and YouTube Channel.

We’re an experienced, earnest, top-rated roofing contractor in Central Kentucky. We’ve served the local community since 2003 and are proud of the stellar reputation we’ve earned from the community. If you’re looking for a GAF MasterElite Certified and Owens Corning Platinum Preferred roofing contractor in Nicholasville, contact us today for your free roof inspection.

If you’re interested in getting a roofing expert’s opinion on the best shingles for your home, set up your free consultation with one of our experts at AIC Roofing and Construction.

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