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GAF Designer Shingles Vs. Timberline UHDZ Shingles: An Honest Comparison

September , 2023 | 11 min. read

By Mitch Owens

Stuck in the shingle showdown of the century? Want to learn the key differences between GAF Designer Shingles and GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles? You've come to the right place.

Choosing the right shingle is akin to being a kid in a candy store. The only difference? This 'candy' needs to last for decades and comes with a higher price tag. A roof replacement isn't just another home improvement project; it's an important investment.

We get it.

For over 30 years, RoofCrafters has helped homeowners choose the right roofing options. We have a simple approach. We give expert industry insights and are honest about options. Now we want to help you by sharing our experience.

2 roofers installing Timberline Ultra High Definition shingles over the blue deck Armour synthetic underlayment

In this article, we'll dive into a detailed comparison of GAF Designer Shingles and GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles. We will cover:

  • Curb Appeal
  • Warranties
  • Lifespan
  • Master Elite Benefits

By the end of this article, we promise that you'll have all the information you need to make an educated decision for your home's roof. A decision that will serve you well for years to come.

The Value of Curb Appeal: More Than a Pretty Shingle


When people hear the term "curb appeal," they often think about aesthetic beauty. While that's certainly a major component, curb appeal brings more to the table than good looks. Having a nice-looking exterior can raise the value of your property, which is a wise investment.

The Asphalt Shingle Color Guide

According to experts, a home's exterior finish is one of the top considerations for potential buyers. Second, there's an emotional aspect to consider. Homeowners who care about how their home looks feel happy when it is beautiful and well-maintained. In a nutshell, curb appeal is a blend of financial wisdom and emotional well-being.

GAF Designer Shingles: The Luxury Choice for Distinctive Homes


Brick home with designer shingles

GAF Designer Shingles are the premium option for homeowners who focus on uniqueness and luxury. Much like owning a Rolls-Royce sets you apart in the automotive world. Designer shingles offer a one-of-a-kind aesthetic experience that transcends standard roofing options. Their high-quality composition provides visual appeal and lasting durability.

Designer Shingles

If you're the type of homeowner who craves individuality. If you want to steer clear of the cookie-cutter roofs in your neighborhood, GAF Designer Shingles could be the perfect fit for you. They offer unique styles, ensuring that your home won't just blend in but will stand out in elegance and sophistication.

GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles: Rugged Beauty Meets Practicality


two-story home with a new GAF Timberline UHDZ shingle in Pewter gray

GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles provide the ideal blend of aesthetic appeal and durability. For the homeowner who appreciates the classic look of architectural shingles or wood shakes but wants something more. These shingles are thicker and offer a multi-dimensional appearance, elevating the texture and depth of your roof. It's equal to choosing a robust, all-terrain vehicle that's also luxuriously —built for both performance and looks.

Upgraded Premium GAF Timberline UHDZ shingle

If you love the intricacy of traditional roofing but seek a modern twist. One that adds character and distinctiveness to your home, GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles are an excellent choice. They will make your home stand out and come with the assurance of quality and longevity. Designed so you don't have to compromise aesthetics for practicality.

Understanding the Importance of Shingle Warranties


When investing in a new roof, the warranty isn't just a piece of paper—it's peace of mind. An insurance policy so to speak. A good manufacturer-backed warranty can save you money and trouble later. It covers things like wind damage, algae growth, and material defects. Essentially, it's a safeguard for both your investment and your home's long-term integrity. Here, we break down the four key types of warranties you should consider and how each shingle type measures up.

Wind Warranty

  • GAF Designer Shingles
    • 130 mph wind protection (with special installation instructions)
    • Wind warranty for 15 years

  • GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles
    • Infinite wind speed protection (with 4 GAF accessories)
    • Wind warranty for 15 years

Algae Warranty

  • GAF Designer Shingles
    • StainGuard Plus Warranty
    • 25-year warranty against algae

  • GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles
    • StainGuard Plus Pro Warranty
    • 30-year warranty against algae

Material Warranty

  • GAF Designer Shingles
    • Lifetime warranty on material defects
    • 10 years of non-prorated coverage
    • 50-year non-prorated warranty when you choose an approved GAF Contractor

  • GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles
    • Lifetime warranty on material defects
    • 10 years of non-prorated coverage
    • 50-year non-prorated warranty when you choose an approved GAF Contractor

The word "Lifetime" means as long as you are the original owner. Or if you sell the home, the second owner must transfer the warranty properly. The warranty transfer is free but has to be within the first 10 years. So, if you hire a GAF Master Elite Contractor, you'll have a lifetime manufacture-backed warranty with 50 years non-prorated. If you sell the house before 10 years that warranty is transferable to the new owner. They'll get the same coverage. If it's after 10 years, they'll get a lifetime warranty on materials, but it will be pro-rated.

Workmanship Warranty

  • GAF Designer Shingles
    • 30-year workmanship warranty when you choose a GAF Master Elite Contractor
    • No workmanship coverage by GAF unless you choose an approved GAF Contractor

  • GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles
    • 30-year workmanship warranty when you choose a GAF Master Elite Contractor
    • No workmanship coverage by GAF unless you choose an approved GAF Contractor

In the battle of warranties, both shingle types offer robust protection. So, whether you decide on the Designer shingle or the Timberline UHDZ you'll have excellent coverage. The Timberline UHDZ is the best in class for shingles.


Lifespan: Real-World Durability Beyond the Warranty


lifetime warranty sign

When choosing a roofing material. It's important to understand the difference between the "warranty lifespan" and the "actual lifespan." At RoofCrafters, we believe in being transparent with our clients. Drawing on over 30 years of hands-on experience to provide insights you won't find on a warranty card.

What We've Observed:

  • GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles: From our experience, these shingles typically last between 25 to 30 years.
  • GAF Designer Shingles: These generally have a longer lifespan, often lasting 30 to 35 years.

What This Means for You:

GAF offers lifetime coverage. The first 50 years of coverage are non-prorated. This essentially means you'd get a 100% replacement for material and labor if the shingles fail within that time frame. While the warranty is generous, the reality is a bit different. We've never seen an asphalt shingle roof last over 35 years. So, while "lifetime" might be the formal warranty language, a more realistic expectation is in the 25 to 35-year range.

RoofCrafters roofer doing a roof installation along a rake edge

But, here's the silver lining. If your shingles do fail while you're still living in your home and they were installed by a GAF Master Elite Contractor. GAF will cover the complete cost of a new roof, including labor and disposal. That means no deductibles and no out-of-pocket expenses for you.

In short, you'll get a full replacement with this warranty if needed and you'll get peace of mind knowing that your investment is safe. This leads us to our next section on choosing a GAF Master Elite Contractor.

Image call to action, read the homeowners guide to roof replacement

The Perks of Partnering with a GAF Master Elite Contractor: More Than Installation


Choosing a contractor for your roofing project is as important as selecting the right shingle. When you choose a GAF Master Elite Contractor, you get more than an installer. You also receive benefits that improve the value and lifespan of your investment.

Extended Non-Prorated Material Coverage

With most contractors, you'll only get 10 years of non-prorated coverage on the materials. A Master Elite contractor offers you a lifetime of coverage, with the first 50 years being non-prorated. This is more than a safety net; it's an assurance of quality that lasts decades.

Workmanship Warranty

Statistics show that 85% of roofing contractors go out of business within five years. This leaves you with no one to turn to for workmanship or leak issues. For 30 years we've seen many contractors come and go. We've also repaired leaks on many roofs less than 5 years old. A Master Elite contractor provides a robust workmanship warranty, backed by GAF. So, if they went out of business, you still have coverage against leaks.

No Hidden Costs in Warranty Claims

If you have a warranty claim, hiring a Master Elite contractor prevents unexpected costs. The average shingle warranties do not cover the tear-off or disposal. Leaving you with out-of-pocket expenses. These are all covered, ensuring that your warranty is comprehensive.s.

In essence, choosing a GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractor gives you a high-quality roof and peace of mind. When you buy shingles, you're also investing in a long-term relationship with a GAF-approved contractor. They provide benefits that most other contractors can't offer.

Image call to action, use the pricing calculator to estimate the cost of your roof replacement

In Summary: Your Roof, Your Choice, Our Expertise


Choosing between GAF Designer Shingles and GAF Timberline UHDZ Shingles is more than a selection between two products. It's a decision that shapes your home's aesthetics, resilience, and even its resale value. That's why it's so important to consider what these options bring to the table. Also, the added layer of assurance you get when you hire a GAF Master Elite Contractor.

From the luxury of Designer Shingles to the rugged appeal of Timberline UHDZ. Each shingle comes with its own set of benefits; curb appeal, warranties, and lifespan. And let's be real—when you invest in a roof, you're not only covering your home; you're also securing a part of your future. So why compromise?

At RoofCrafters, we don't just aim to guide you through this process—we aspire to make it an enjoyable journey. With over 30 years in the business, we know roofs. We also understand this is an important decision for you. One that you want to get right. We're here to help.

So, whether you're looking to make a statement with a roof that sets you apart from the Joneses. Or, if you're after something that combines both beauty and brawn, we're here to help you make a well-informed decision. One that you'll not only live under but one that you'll be happy with for decades to come.

Your roof, your choice, our expertise. Let's build something great together.

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Mitch Owens

My name is Mitch, and I have over 10 years of roofing experience. I enjoy my career in the service industry because I love helping others take care of their homes and businesses. With over 10 years in the roofing industry, my success comes from my honesty and integrity during my roof inspections. I do my best to listen to the needs of my clients and strive to provide an awesome client experience.