Owens Corning vs. GAF Roofing Shingles: Cost, Plus Pros & Cons, and More

GAF and Owens Corning own the largest share of the asphalt shingle market in America, and apart from CertainTeed, another major player in the fiberglass shingles market, no other manufacturer comes close.

Most homeowners choose between GAF Timberline and Owens Corning Duration shingles. However, both brands make additional lines of shingles across the traditional and premium categories that are also worth considering. GAF offers an impressive 20 lines of asphalt shingles to choose from compared to 12 main lines of shingles from Owens Corning.

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Did you know? Independent roofers are often happy to install either brand – especially the bread-and-butter lines such as GAF Timberline HDZ and OC TruDefinition Duration shingles.

What we cover in this guide: This is a complete Owens Corning vs. GAF side-by-side comparison across all the main categories that matter to homeowners. We analyzes, head-to-head, the most popular and prominent roofing shingle options, quality, prices, warranties, and specialty shingles including those with Energy Star, Cool Roof, and Class 4 Hail Impact Resistance ratings.

Let’s put the comparison between these two popular brands into proper perspective right from the start

Owens Corning focuses mostly on the mid-range architectural shingle products, although it also makes low-cost 3-tab Supreme shingles rated for 60 MPH winds, and a few premium lines like Berkshire and Woodmoor.

GAF covers the spectrum more completely with a couple of 3-tab options like the Marquis Weathermax with an 80 MPH wind warranty and seven premium designer lines like the classic Camelot II and the beefy shake-designed Grand Sequoia available in standard and Class 4 Hail Impact rated shingle options.

In this guide:

In each major category, we pick a winner to help you choose shingles that will beautifully and effectively serve your home over the next couple of decades or longer.

  1. General Quality
  2. Costs
  3. Performance and Value
  4. Hail Impact Resistant Shingles
  5. Energy-efficiency: Cool Roof Shingles
  6. CA Title 24, LA County Green Building Code Roof Shingles
  7. Warranty Comparison
  8. Bottom-line and Takeaways

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Metal Roof vs Asphalt Shingles Cost – Is a Metal Roof Worth It?

When comparing the cost of metal roofing vs. shingles, there are a few factors to consider. Here is an in-depth look at the cost comparison between the two roofing materials:

    1. Initial Cost: The initial cost of metal roofing is generally higher than that of shingles. Our research shows the average cost to install a new metal roof is between $11.50 and $20.50 per square foot, depending on the type of metal and project specifics, while asphalt shingles typically cost between $4.50 and $9.50 per square foot.
New Shingle Roof

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New Metal Roof

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New Flat Roof

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  1. Long-term Cost: Although metal roofing is more expensive initially, it can be more cost-effective over the long-term. Metal roofing is more durable than shingles and can last 30 to 60 years, while shingles typically last 15 to 30 years. This means that you may need to replace shingles multiple times over the lifespan of a metal roof, increasing the long-term cost of shingles.
  2. Energy Efficiency: Metal roofing is generally far more energy-efficient than shingles. Metal reflects solar radiant heat, which can reduce the amount of heat absorbed into your home and lower your energy bills. Look for CRRC colors with a Kynar 500 paint finish to maximize energy savings with a metal roof. Additionally, some metal roofing systems can be installed with insulation to further increase  your home’s energy efficiency.
  3. Maintenance: Metal roofing is very low-maintenance and requires little upkeep over its lifespan. Shingles, on the other hand, can be prone to damage from storm winds, wind driven rain, ice dams, moss and mildew growth, and other weather conditions, and may require more frequent maintenance and repair.
  4. Resale Value: In the short run, an asphalt roof can offer better cost-to-value return than metal. In the long run, though, a metal roof will maintain its value for decades, whereas an asphalt roof will not. So, 10-15 years down the road, an asphalt roof may offer very little in terms of retained value and may be viewed more as a liability by potential buyers.

While the initial cost of metal roofing is higher than that of shingles, it can be more cost-effective over the long-term due to its durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. Additionally, metal roofing can add lasting value to your home and increase its resale value, maintaining it for decades to come.

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Roofing Materials & Installation Costs: Shingles, Metal, Flat Roofs

Are you exploring the most suitable roofing options for your home? If so, roofing material types and their costs must be top of mind.

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This guide will help you explore the most popular residential roofing materials, including pricing and installation costs.

Roofing Materials Costs

Asphalt Shingles:

Dimensional shingles roof on a house

Asphalt shingles are generally less expensive than other roofing materials like metal and are relatively easy to install (unlike metal roofing), resulting in a lower overall cost for a new asphalt roof. However, premium (designer) asphalt shingles, such as those from GAF, CertainTeed, and Malarkey, can be as expensive as high-end roofing materials like metal. Here’s a breakdown of different types of asphalt shingles:

3-tab shingles (strip shingles):

  • Materials Cost: $90 to $120 per square (100 sq. ft.), excluding trim.
  • Characteristics: Least costly, thin, not designed for longevity, flat appearance without much dimensionality.
  • Top Products: GAF Royal Sovereign, CertainTeed XT 25, Owens Corning Supreme.
  • Wind Rating: Up to 60 MPH.
  • Installation Note: Care needed for alignment to avoid vertical lines running off.
  • Disadvantage: No manufacturer’s warranty for hail damage.
  • Expected Lifespan: 10 years to 20 years, depending on local climate and roof maintenance.

Architectural (dimensional) shingles:

  • Materials Cost: $100 to $150 per square (100 sq. ft.), excluding trim.
  • Characteristics: Midrange, multiple layers, dimensional appearance, thicker, and sturdier.
  • Wind Rating: At least 110 MPH, up to 130 MPH with the 6-nails per shingle installation.
  • Top Products: Owens Corning Duration, GAF Timberline HDZ, CertainTeed Landmark
  • Specialty: CoolRoof rated shingles eligible for rebates in California.
  • Disadvantage: No manufacturer’s warranty for hail damage.
  • Expected Lifespan: 15 years to 25 years, depending on local climate and roof maintenance.

Premium (designer) shingles:

  • Materials Cost: $200 to $400 per square (100 sq. ft.).
  • Characteristics: Custom-looking, multiple layers, distinctive appearance, performance on par with high-end architectural shingles.
  • Top Products: CertainTeed Grand Manor, Owens Corning Berkshire, GAF Camelot, Malarkey Windsor.
  • Disadvantage: No manufacturer’s warranty for hail damage.
  • Expected Lifespan: 20 years to 35 years, depending on local climate and roof maintenance.

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