Roofing materials

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Roofing materials

Postby bungalow10 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:12 am

I just found out this morning I need a new roof. I also need soffit, fascia, and gutters.

We will having a single layer of 12 year old asphalt shingles removed. They are failing because of improper installation. The repairman said the entire roof is slowly sliding off my house :shock: We think the plywood underneath is okay, I will be going up to the attic later today to check.

I'm not sure I want to put asphalt shingles on. Can anyone give me their thoughts on metal (I know there are several options here) versus asphalt? Pros and cons, cost difference, durability, etc?

We are in Wisconsin. Our house is 100 years old, very well built. We plan to stay for a long time. It's a very pitched roof, probably 10/12 or 12/12 (40-45 degrees), and up high enough (three stories) that we can't do a whole lot to maintain it throughout the year.

Bonus question - anyone put in a tubular sky light? I think they might be cool in our hallway and upstairs bath, and now would be the time to do it.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby scouter » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:36 am

We've used tubular skylights and love them. Would recommend installing them on the back side of your home's roof, especially if your roof is pitched to where you can see it from the street. The tube in your attic doesn't have to be straight, so if the room you're lighting is on the front side of your house, it's still possible to use them, though slightly more complicated. Also helps if the back of your house faces south, as the skylights tubes will get more light.

As far as brands, we used Solatubes. We put in two of them 13 years ago, no problems, no leaks. No loss of insulation of your roof as in regular skylights, either. Just natural light in the room for free. (once you've paid for the Solatubes.)
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby bungalow10 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:41 am

scouter wrote:We've used tubular skylights and love them. Would recommend installing them on the back side of your home's roof, especially if your roof is pitched to where you can see it from the street. The tube in your attic doesn't have to be straight, so if the room you're lighting is on the front side of your house, it's still possible to use them, though slightly more complicated. Also helps if the back of your house faces south, as the skylights tubes will get more light.

As far as brands, we used Solatubes. We put in two of them 13 years ago, no problems, no leaks. No loss of insulation of your roof as in regular skylights, either. Just natural light in the room for free. (once you've paid for the Solatubes.)


What kind of rooms are you lighting? I've seen them in a ranch-house hallway (normally very dark) and they were nice. I'm considering putting them in a bathroom as well.

The tubes would be on the west side of our house, not especially visible from the street. Come to think of it, we have a rather large tree that would shade them in the summer, but I still think we'd get enough light from them - winter is when we'd really want the extra light anyway.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby rustymutt » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:45 am

We are in Wisconsin. Our house is 100 years old, very well built. We plan to stay for a long time. It's a very pitched roof, probably 10/12 or 12/12 (40-45 degrees), and up high enough (three stories) that we can't do a whole lot to maintain it throughout the year.

Bonus question - anyone put in a tubular sky light? I think they might be cool in our hallway and upstairs bath, and now would be the time to do it.[/quote]


I just got two 14" tube style skylights installed with my new DaVinci, Bellaforte roof. We love the light they bring to dark rooms.
http://www.bellafortebydavinci.com/ and it's made here in the USA. The Kansas City area to be exact.
My roofer used a product called Titanium PSU30 under the new shakes. http://www.interwrap.com/titanium/psu_30_main.html

I couldn't be happier with my new roof. It really does look like shake, but doesn't come apart in time.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby YttriumNitrate » Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:58 am

I'm in Indiana and a couple years ago I had a metal roof installed when the asphalt shingles started to cup and fail. There are many different styles available ranging from somewhat expensive to super expensive. I ended up going with MidWest Manufacturing's (a.k.a. Menard's) hidden fastener panels. The exposed fastener roofs are a wee bit less expensive, but not worth the risk of a fastener washer failing in my opinion.

Cost wise, the metal roof ended up being $12k while the highest grade asphalt shingle roof I could find would have only run $6k. I received several quotes that ranged from $11k to $19k with various different materials.

Unfortunately, the energy efficiency tax credit for metal roofs isn't as good as it was a few years ago. However, you should still be able to get ~8% off your homeowner's insurance with a hail waiver.

Also, if you get a metal roof lots of people will ask if it's loud when it rains, and you'll get lots of practice explaining how it is not.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby SSN688 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:03 pm

Just had new shingles and gutters put on last week. First step was to check Angie's List for both grade and number of responses. Got 3 bids and weighed costs and reputation. Contractor we went with did a great job (~3000 sq ft of roof). Be sure to check that he's insured and bonded - you don't want your home insurance being his workman's comp. The new Owens-Corning Tru-Definition shingles look great and come with a 50-yr warranty. Special padding and other steps are required for the warranty. Get 6" gutters, not 5", with appropriate-sized downspouts. Direct water away from house everywhere, unless you can connect to underground feeder (we have). Check everything after first rain to verify dryness in overhand region and crawl space/basement. Better to have too much gutter system and downspouts than too little. Good luck.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby wageoghe » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:53 pm

Like SSN688 we recently had new roof and gutters installed (last summer). We got architectural shingles (good shingles, just can't remember the exact make and model). We did not have to replace any fascia, although we did have the fascia, eaves, and gables painted (full brick raised ranch, on which we replaced the windows this year, so fascia, eaves, and gables are just about the only surfaces that require painting). Our decking was on the thin side, compared to today's materials (home built around 1970) so we had another layer of roof decking added on top of our existing. We upgraded from 5" to 6" gutters (seamless aluminum). We had something like this installed for leaf protection:

http://www.guttersupply.com/p-Leaf-Defe ... 7AodzC8Akw

If you have anything besides straight gutter runs (inside corners, outside corners, etc), be sure that your installer (if you get something for leaf protection like I linked above) does the corner details correctly. Depending on the details (say an inside corner with a splash guard installed on top of the front of the gutter), it can be hard to get the screen (or whatever material is used) installed correctly. If the material normally overlaps the front of the gutter, it might not be able to because of the splash guard.

I don't have any direct experience with metal roofs, but as another poster indicated earlier, I would lean towards one of the hidden fastener solutions rather than the screw-through-the-metal solution. My BIL installs the screw-through-the-metal roofing (and has it on his house), so my concerns might be overblown. However, it makes sense to me that you would be more likely to have a leak with hundreds of screws through your roofing than with no screws through it.

Whatever type of roofing you get, I would recommend a complete tearoff (i.e. don't have the new roofing installed on top of the existing roofing). Supposedly it is acceptable to put new shingles on top of old (to a maximum depth of two layers total), but I never see that recommended. I'm sure that it can save some money, but I would feel better with the roof installed on a clean surface.

If you have any flashing, try to understand what properly installed flashing looks like. Hint: It probably does not look like a continuous band of aluminum (or some other metal) with gobs of silicone caulk on the top edge. We ended up taking down part of an unused (and poorly flashed) chimney so our job did not require any flashing work at all. One less "skills required" work item, one less thing to possibly go wrong.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby Easy Rhino » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:56 pm

well, i was starting to do some research for a new roof on a house we were in escrow in. That deal fell through.

Since it's hot down here in san diego, i was starting to look at a metal roof. A white metal roof. In wisconsin, that would help in the summer, but not be a big deal in the winter.

Just bear in mind how long you'll be in the house. if you're going to move in a few years, then a roof that lasts for 50 won't do you any good. composition shingles that look pretty enough would be fine.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby scouter » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:51 pm

bungalow10 wrote:
scouter wrote:We've used tubular skylights and love them. Would recommend installing them on the back side of your home's roof, especially if your roof is pitched to where you can see it from the street. The tube in your attic doesn't have to be straight, so if the room you're lighting is on the front side of your house, it's still possible to use them, though slightly more complicated. Also helps if the back of your house faces south, as the skylights tubes will get more light.

As far as brands, we used Solatubes. We put in two of them 13 years ago, no problems, no leaks. No loss of insulation of your roof as in regular skylights, either. Just natural light in the room for free. (once you've paid for the Solatubes.)


What kind of rooms are you lighting? I've seen them in a ranch-house hallway (normally very dark) and they were nice. I'm considering putting them in a bathroom as well.


We put two in a bonus room, (only one side of the room has windows, the tubes help light the other side) and in an interior bathroom that has no windows. It's nice to not have to turn the light on when going into that bathroom. They would be good for a hallway, as well. One thing to remember: They don't have an "off switch", so don't put them in places that you sometimes want to have dark during the daytime. (bedrooms, over your favorite nap chair in the den, over the big-screen TV where you sometimes watch movies in the afternoon, etc.)
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby wageoghe » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:38 pm

scouter wrote:One thing to remember: They don't have an "off switch", so don't put them in places that you sometimes want to have dark during the daytime. (bedrooms, over your favorite nap chair in the den, over the big-screen TV where you sometimes watch movies in the afternoon, etc.)


Note that for some tubular skylights (like Solatube) this is not quite true. Some tubular skylights have an optional "dimming" kit. It is a damper that goes inside the tube that allows you to control the amount of light that passes through.

http://www.solatube.com/residential/daylighting#add-ons

Other options can include a lighting kit (so that you can use the tubular skylight as a light at night) and exhaust fan.

So, if you have an older bathroom like we do that has a single light fixture on the ceiling and no exhaust fan, you might consider replacing the existing light fixture with a tubular skylight with a light kit and an exhaust fan. That would make for a much neater (albeit more expensive) result than simply adding a "dumb" skylight.

If you plan ahead and learn about all of the options available, you can probably do more with a tubular skylight than you might think going in.

As always, Know Your Options.

Good luck!
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby jsl11 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:56 pm

My homeowners insurance company will give a discount on your HO insurance, if your roof is hail resistant. If your insurance company does the same, you may wish to learn about their requirements before selecting materials.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby stan1 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:57 pm

I was in a house a few weeks ago where a tube light transformed a dark bedroom hallway into a beautiful gallery (especially if you have wood floors). Highly recommended.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby scouter » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:32 pm

wageoghe wrote:
scouter wrote:One thing to remember: They don't have an "off switch", so don't put them in places that you sometimes want to have dark during the daytime. (bedrooms, over your favorite nap chair in the den, over the big-screen TV where you sometimes watch movies in the afternoon, etc.)


Note that for some tubular skylights (like Solatube) this is not quite true. Some tubular skylights have an optional "dimming" kit. It is a damper that goes inside the tube that allows you to control the amount of light that passes through.

http://www.solatube.com/residential/daylighting#add-ons

Other options can include a lighting kit (so that you can use the tubular skylight as a light at night) and exhaust fan.

So, if you have an older bathroom like we do that has a single light fixture on the ceiling and no exhaust fan, you might consider replacing the existing light fixture with a tubular skylight with a light kit and an exhaust fan. That would make for a much neater (albeit more expensive) result than simply adding a "dumb" skylight.

If you plan ahead and learn about all of the options available, you can probably do more with a tubular skylight than you might think going in.

As always, Know Your Options.

Good luck!


Nice! It's been over ten years since we installed ours and didn't know about that feature. Tempted to get some more-
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby bungalow10 » Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:36 pm

wageoghe wrote:So, if you have an older bathroom like we do that has a single light fixture on the ceiling and no exhaust fan, you might consider replacing the existing light fixture with a tubular skylight with a light kit and an exhaust fan. That would make for a much neater (albeit more expensive) result than simply adding a "dumb" skylight.



I wasn't considering replacing the light fixture that has the vent fan... but since you mentioned it that would be perfect! Our fixture/fan are very old and dated, and in a perfect spot for a solar light.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby mnnice » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:01 pm

Metal roofs have gotten much more common in Northern and Central WI.

A friend who lived in the Shawano area said it was actually cheaper on her house.

If that is the case it would be a no brainer since IMO it is also asthetically superior as well.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby Saving$ » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:42 am

Yes on the tube skylights. Greatly improves natural lighting; saves energy, etc.

On replacement of a 12 year old roof I would definitely get a 2nd and maybe 3rd opinion.

In 1995 I was told the roof on a house I own was shot, and needed complete replacement. Not worth repairing. Got a 2nd opinion and repair for $150. 18 years later I finally really do need a new roof, but that roof is now about 25 years old, so it is time. I cannot imagine a 12 year old roof, however poorly installed, needs total replacement.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby rickmerrill » Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:16 am

I am not a roofing pro (but I have done some roofing and had one put on). In the south, where I am, heat and mold are the issues with composition shingles. AFAIK, weight is the restriction on the layers of roofing. I've been told by pros that doing a tear off just about doubles the price. A least where I have lived two layers is standard practice. Architectural shingles look pretty good to me and they hide any imperfections quite well. So, my advice is if you think a metal roof would look better on your 100 year old house and you are ok with the price, fine. If you are going with a composition shingle, research a good shingle and save the extra money on the tear off. Check the warranties to see if they simply replace the materials or pay to replace failures - like most home building material warranties most simply replace and don't pay for the labor involved.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby WhyNotUs » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:39 am

Some products worth googling:

Owen Corning Weatherguard HP asphalt shingles (I have also had luck with Elk in the past but when I replaced my own roof I used these). They cost a little more but I plan on being here a long time. They may have changed the product name but it is their top of the line asphalt shingle.

Fascia- MiraTec
http://www.miratectrim.com
Another product that has higher material cost but should last longer than me. Takes paint and cuts really nice on angle.

I am not a fan of the look of a metals roof for my house so I did not seriously consider them. It can look good on some houses. One sees a good bit of roof at my house and the metal would draw the eye away from what I want people to look at. A few houses in my neighborhood went metal and it makes me cringe.

Definitely the time to install skylights or solatubes.

Things you probably already know:
1.) Check your household and roof venting (bathrooms, kitchen, attic ventilation) now so that you can make any additional holes now.
2.) Make sure you get ice guard in appropriate areas before re-roofing
3.) Figure out whether you have hot or cold roof and look for simple insulation upgrades that will work with new roofing. Cost benefit tends to be great for these.
4.) Replace drip edge
Last edited by WhyNotUs on Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby Bengineer » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:15 am

Saving$ wrote:Yes on the tube skylights. Greatly improves natural lighting; saves energy, etc.

On replacement of a 12 year old roof I would definitely get a 2nd and maybe 3rd opinion.

In 1995 I was told the roof on a house I own was shot...


I absolutely agree on getting multiple opionions, particularly if it isn't obvious to you that the roof was installed incorrectly. Soffit, fascia and gutters too? If all these are failing as well, I'd think it would have been obvious for years.

What led to you getting your roof inspected? Leaks?

On the vented, lighted tube skylight - had one in a walk-in shower. Very nice. Installation with power and ventilation is more complex, of course.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby jegallup » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:32 am

An unofficial and highly-opinionated hierarchy of roofing materials, based on quality, appearance and cost:

1. Slate: highest first cost; very heavy and may require heavier roof framing. Lasts a very long time and is beautiful in the appropriate architectural setting. The thin black line of the eave edge is an exquisite detail, particularly on a stone structure. You see old buildings in Germany where the slate is worked into curves where it meets vertical walls. Not sure how they do it but it is lovely.

2. Tile: also heavy and expensive. The real roof is the felt underneath; the tile is a decorative cover but also provides hail protection for the felt. Tile roofs and stucco walls go together like ham and eggs. We're talking here about clay tiles; concrete and other substitutes are not very convincing.

3. Wood shingles: these are sawn shingles, not split shakes (see below), usually made of cedar. Very beautiful and can also cover walls on "shingle-style" houses.

4. Wood shakes: split out of billets of wood so that each piece has continuous grain and is very durable. The rough appearance is less suitable for many urban environments and requires careful installation. Just what you'd want on your log cabin, though.

5. Standing-seam metal roofs: once made of copper and hand-soldered together by highly-skilled technicians, the current versions are made of factory-bent sheets with a cap that clips on. I think these present an industrial appearance but they do look good on Florida-style beach houses.

6. Asphalt shingles: these have the lowest cost, very good lifespan for the money, and some of the "premium" styles simulate wood shingles with a fair degree of accuracy when viewed from far enough away.

7. Mineral-surface roll roofing: ew.

Built-up ("tar-and-gravel" or single-ply) roofs are another matter and usually not visible from the street.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby bungalow10 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:51 pm

thanks everyone for the feedback. So far the contractors are split 50/50 on whether or not we need immediate replacement. I have one more coming out this week. I'm having a bit of deja vu since we went through this just a few years back and obviously decided to wait at that time.

Regarding the soffit and fascia questions - my house is 100 years old and has wood (untreated) soffit and fascia. It's no longer holding paint and we knew it needed to be replaced when we bought the house 10 years ago.
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Re: Roofing materials

Postby frugaltype » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:00 pm

Think about the rating for wind resistance.
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