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Materials vs. Installer: What Matters Most in Roofing Replacement?

October , 2023 | 7 min. read

By Mitch Owens

4 man shingle crew installing a roof

So you're planning on replacing your roof. You're looking at shingle types, brands, and colors, and it's a pretty big deal, right? A new roof is a hefty investment—one of the biggest you'll make for your home. Naturally, questions flood in:

  • What kind of material is the best?
  • Will the more expensive shingles actually last longer?
  • Am I getting what I pay for?

Hold on; let's step back a bit.

With 30 years in the roofing business, RoofCrafters has seen roofs of all kinds. Some expensive materials didn't last long, while cheaper options exceeded expectations. The common factor? Installation quality.

roofer installing GAF felt buster synthetic underlayment

This article will pull back the curtain on what really matters when getting a new roof. We'll talk about why, even with the best materials, a poor installation can leave you with regrets and expenses. So, get ready to become a well-informed homeowner, equipped to make the best decision for your roof.

Let's dive right in.

The True Impact of Material and Installation Quality


So, you want a roof that lasts and does its job, keeping your home safe and dry. Well, here's the scoop: the quality of the material and how it's installed both play BIG roles. Which is more important? Let's break this down.

How Even the Best Materials Can Fail When Improperly Installed


man drinking coffee inside with an umbrella, pots and pans catching roof leaks

Imagine you buy the most top-notch, five-star shingles. You're feeling good, right? But then, oops—the installer makes a mistake. Maybe they use the wrong nails or skip an important step in laying the underlayment. Guess what? Your five-star shingles might as well be one-star, 'cause water's getting in, and you've got problems.

Real-world examples or Case Studies Showing the Impact of Poor Installation


roof leak overlooking neighborhood

We've seen it firsthand. Homes with so-called "best in class" materials suffer from leaks and other issues, all because of poor installation. It is the number one cause of roof failures. On the flip side, we've seen more budget-friendly options perform really well, all thanks to a pro install job. The lesson? A skilled installer makes all the difference.

How Installation Errors Can Void Manufacturer Warranties


rusted flashing at a brick chimney coming through a metal roof

Do you know that awesome warranty that comes with your premium shingles? Well, it could become worthless paper if your roof isn't installed correctly. Manufacturers have specific installation procedures. If you don't follow them, you lose your warranty.

The Risks of Cutting Corners With a Less Experienced Installer


hand lifting loose shingles in valley during a roof inspection

Saving a few bucks on installation might seem tempting. But think about it—your roof is not a place to skimp. A newbie installer might not know all the tricks of the trade or how to handle unexpected issues. And that can lead to some not-so-great surprises down the line.

So, there you have it. Picking the right materials is important, but getting the right person to install them? That's key.


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How to Choose the Right Roofing Company


Choosing the right roofing company is crucial for a quality installation. After all, even the best materials can fail if they're not installed correctly. Here's what you need to know to make the best choice.

lifetime warranty sign

Signs of a Reputable Roofing Company

  • Licenses and Certifications: A legitimate company will have both. This ensures they meet certain industry and local standards.
  • Years in Business: Experience matters. Look for a company that has been in business for many years.
  • Local Presence: Companies with a strong local presence have a vested interest in doing a good job since they rely on local word-of-mouth.
  • Importance of Reviews and Testimonials: Customer reviews and testimonials can offer a lot of insight into the company's reputation and quality of work. Don't just look at the star rating; read through reviews to see what people are saying.

What to Look for in a Roofing Contract

  • Detailed Scope Breakdown: The contract should itemize the scope of work and any other potential fees.
  • Timeline: Make sure the contract specifies when the project will start and approximately when it will finish.
  • Warranty Information: This should explain what the manufacturer's warranty and the workmanship warranty covers.

Questions to Ask Potential Contractors:

  • Do you have references I can contact?
  • What will happen if the project encounters unexpected costs?

If you choose a contractor carefully, and read the fine print, your roofing project will be successful. A solid installation can mean the difference between a roof that lasts decades and one that gives you headaches in a few years.

For a list of questions to ask and things to consider when hiring a roofing company, Download our free hiring checklist below.

image call to action, download the top 10 checklist

The Balancing Act: Why Both Materials and Installation Expertise Matter in Roofing


Over the years, the roofing material industry has changed a lot. Most roofing manufacturers now make long-lasting, high-quality materials. They can often stay intact for many years, as long as the conditions are right. They often come with warranties that attest to their longevity and durability.

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

Yet, even the best materials can fail if they are not properly installed. Poor installation can lead to issues such as leaks, wind damage, and premature failure. These issues can negate the benefits of even the most high-end, top-quality materials. If you do not install the roofing correctly, you may void the manufacturer's warranty. This means you won't have any way to get compensation.

Lowcountry home with a red metal roof

But, a skilled roofer can make average materials work really well. Experienced roof installers know about materials and can work on different roof styles. You'll get double protection with their workmanship warranty and the manufacturer's warranty.

Yes, it's crucial to pick good materials, but the expertise of the roofing company matters too. Aim for a balance of both for the best long-term outcome.

Wrapping It Up: Your Roof, Your Choice


So there you have it—the inside scoop on what counts when replacing your roof. While quality materials are a big part of the equation, they're not the whole story. The skill and experience of your roofing company can make or break your investment. With over 30 years of installation experience, RoofCrafters is here to guide you through this journey. By balancing both quality materials and expert installation, you set yourself up for a roof that not only looks good but stands the test of time. Don't cut corners; make informed decisions. Your home—and your peace of mind—are worth it.

How to Find the Right Roofing Contractor

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.