Category Archives: Asphalt Shingles

Tamko vs. Owens Corning Roofing Shingles: Cost, Pros & Cons, ROI 2019

Owens Corning and Tamko are two asphalt shingle manufacturers sharing the adage, “we’re second-best, so we try harder.” CertainTeed is the consensus leader for overall asphalt shingle quality.

GAF is the largest producer of shingles, and its products get high marks. Right behind those giants are Owens Corning, certainly one of the most recognizable names in roofing products, and Tamko (or TAMKO), a brand that has its fans, too.

The Bottom Line from the Beginning

The bottom line, which all the details in this guide lead to, is that the Owens Corning vs. Tamko comparison is about as even as it gets in the roofing products industry.

Owens Corning Roofing Shingles Display

Both get ratings in the “good” to “very good” range from roofing contractors who install them every day and from home inspectors who have seen their share of durable shingles and shingles that have failed before they should.

What it comes down to is the quality of the installation. You’ve got two above-average shingle brands that can deliver superior durability for 20+ years, fail in just a few years or perform somewhere in the middle.

What makes the difference is how well the installers do their job.

Need a Roofer? Get 4 Free Quotes From Local Pros:

Start Here Enter Your Zip Code:

More on the installation below. Along the way we’ll address where each brand has bragging rights. While OC and Tamko are close to equal in total score, each brand has strong and weak points.

OC vs. Tamko: Quality and Reliability

Quality is a product of the materials used and the production process. Here’s an overview of Owens Corning and Tamko shingle construction.

  • Owens Corning: OC makes three tiers of shingles in basic (Oakridge, Supreme), better (Duration, OC’s best-seller) and best (Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, Berkshire) categories.
  • Tamko: This brand makes a very similar lineup with basic (Elite Glass-Seal), better (Heritage, Heritage Woodgate) and best (Heritage Premium, Heritage Vintage).

All shingles from Owens Corning and Tamko feature fiberglass mat bases saturated with asphalt and dressed with coated granules to resist the sun’s UV radiation. Each shingle is constructed with fused layers.

When installed, less than half of each shingle is exposed. The result is that 3-tab roofs (OC Supreme and Tamko Elite Glass-Seal 3-tab) have 2-3 layers of coverage at any given point on your roof.

All other shingles from both brands are architectural style shingles with 4-5 layers of coverage. The result are shingles with wind ratings of 60mph for 3-tab products and 110/130mph for all others.

The two brands have the same ratings in most ASTM materials and fire rating tests. Both are on par or superior to most other brands including CertainTeed and GAF.

Bad shingles are often the result of production rather than the materials used. The production processes for these brands are similar. The processes are slightly tweaked, even from run to run (runs of shingle batches).

When errors occur, a bad batch of shingles, such as layers that don’t properly fuse, are produced. What makes a brand worth considering is the consistency of the quality from run to run. Owens Corning and Tamko deliver good consistency.

Advantage—Tie: We’re not afraid to take sides, but there’s no clear winner here. These brands are rated about as equal as you will find in terms of quality and reliability, especially the two most-popular series, the Owens Corning Duration and Tamko Heritage.

Owens Corning vs. Tamko: Cost

Since these brands compete aggressively head to head, their prices are comparable across all products (and are very competitive with GAF, too).

Here is a breakdown of the shingle series and their costs from both brands:

Prices are per square, which is 100 square feet of coverage (and 3 or 4 bundles of shingles, so check product specs for the bundles-per-square).

3-tab shingles:

  • OC Supreme: $70-$85
  • Tamko Elite Glass-Seal: $72-$77

Average architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Duration: $110-$120
  • Tamko Heritage: $84-$100

Best-selling architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Duration Designer, STORM & COOL: $105-$135
  • Tamko Heritage Premium: $90-$105

Premium, architectural/dimensional shingles:

  • OC Devonshire, Woodmoor, Woodcrest, Berkshire: $175-$280
  • Tamko Heritage Woodgate, Heritage Vintage: $180-$205

Advantage – Tamko: As you can see, Tamko offers better value in each tier of products. It always makes sense to get written estimates on the specific roofing materials you’re considering, to get a direct comparison of cost.

Continue reading

Asphalt Shingles Roofing: 3-Tab Vs. Architectural Shingles Cost 2019

For most homeowners looking to do a re-roofing job on a budget while maintaining a fairly attractive look and weather tightness of their home, a composition shingles roof aka asphalt is perhaps the most plausible, simple, and cost-effective solution.

In a highly competitive residential roofing market saturated with numerous options, asphalt shingles are by far one of the most popular choices.

While not as durable and long-lasting as some of the more premium roofing materials such as metal, cedar shakes, slate, or clay tiles, asphalt shingles can provide an adequate protection and sufficient aesthetic appeal at only a fraction of the cost of other systems.

In this guide you will learn about advantages and disadvantages of composition shingle roofs to help you decide if this popular roofing option is the best fit for your home.

Two Types of Asphalt Shingles:

asphalt-shingles-roof Asphalt shingles come in two types: organic and fiberglass:

Old School Organic shingles are based on paper (waste paper) saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof, with coatings of adhesive salt and ceramic granules embedded on top.

Fiberglass shingles are made with a base layer of glass fiber reinforcing mat. This mat is coated with asphalt, which contains mineral fillers and makes the shingle waterproof.

While organic shingles are more durable than fiberglass ones, they are more flammable and hence more prone to fire. They are less environmentally-friendly due to their high asphalt (oil based) content.

Fiberglass shingles offer excellent fire protection. Today, fiberglass shingles are more commonly used and are slowly, but surely, replacing the organic shingles.

Continue reading

Roof Repair Cost: Minor & Major Repairs 2019

To repair a roof or not, that is the question. Actually, the question is based on whether the cost is worth doing it now, or waiting a while. In which case, it is more like a gamble. And a wager that each home owner makes virtually every day. Yet, when an obvious problem comes up, such as water trickling overhead, into your living space, the decision is easy: fix the leak! 😉

missing-shingles

Our goal with this guide is to make sure you are better equipped for managing what really is an ongoing wager between your roof and the elements outside, along with the factor of time. Both are in essence sabotaging all the good will, value and lifespan of your roof.

Do nothing between now and the next time your roof needs to be replaced and the odds are against you. Sure you might get lucky, but you have ample opportunity to make your own luck. To be smart with the wager. To keep little problems as little and manage bigger problems with effectiveness.

We have lots of ground to cover. But let’s begin with the primary reason for this guide, the expected cost range for a typical roof repair:

  • $150 to $400 for minor repairs
  • $400 to $1000 for moderate repairs
  • $1000 to $3000 for major repairs

Did you know? Most home owners spend between $300 and $1,100 for a roof repair, or an average of $650 to fix a roof related issue.

Going beyond $3,000 is possible, but at that point a replacement roof could be your best bet. The average cost to install a new roof in 2019 for a moderate sized home is $7,500+. While this is the worst case scenario, in terms of cost, it does allow you to start anew. Still, our goal is to keep costs reasonable, while increasing value.

Continue reading