Pros & Cons of Owens Corning Shingles – Costs – Unbiased OC Roofing Reviews

Owens Corning makes a large selection of composition shingles ranging from affordable to high-end. The brand is often compared with GAF, Tamko and Atlas. It’s considered a tier below the best lines from CertainTeed and Malarkey.

OC Shingle Cost

Owens Corning shingles cost ranges from about $80 per square for 3-tab, $90+ for the most popular TruDefinition Duration shingles, and $230 for premium designer shingles. A square is 100 square feet of roofing coverage.

Install Roof Shingles

$7,500
Average price
Install Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
Install Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

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Did you know? Owens Corning (OC), GAF and CertainTeed account for about 80% of all asphalt shingle sales in the US.

This Fortune 500 (#458) dominates the building materials market with about 50% of combined residential insulation and roofing material sales. 2017 revenue was $5.7 billion.

Owens Corning used to make vinyl siding until 2007, when the division was sold to CertainTeed.

Are OC Shingles Right for Your Home?

This guide is designed to provide you with comprehensive research about the strong points and weaknesses of the Owens Corning shingles.

Note: Comparing residential asphalt shingle brands is easy with the guides we’ve prepared for GAF, CertainTeed, Atlas, Malarkey and an Owens Corning vs Tamko guide.

Did you know? OC was the focus of a class action lawsuit regarding defective Oakridge Shadow shingles installed before 2006.

The suit was rejected in 2018 because “plaintiffs’ theories were too broad to show that the class would be sufficiently cohesive under the predominance requirement for class certification.”

Note: CertainTeed, GAF, Atlas and Tamko are among shingle brands that have been hit with class action suits.

Positives:

Here are the key factors besides a huge marketing budget that put Owens Corning shingles in the second place behind GAF in total sales.

The Owens Corning Total Protection Roofing System

A roof is much more than shingles. Other components protect against wind-driven rain, ice buildup, heat in the attic and other risks brought by the elements. All the major brands make a similar collection of products.

Using products from one brand ensures they’re designed to work together. It also gives you access to the best warranties from Owens Corning.

OC uses the moto “Seal, Defend, Breath” to represent the Total Protection roof.

Seal: Underlayment and Moisture Barrier

OC makes standard felt underlayment (basic), ProArmor synthetic (better) and Deck Defense high performance synthetic (best).

The Owens Corning WeatherLock ice and water barrier is made in three tiers too. The premium Flex barrier protects valleys, eaves, rakes and areas around chimneys. It’s best suited for very cold climates with frequent freeze/thaw cycles.

Defend: Starter Shingles, Roof Shingles and Hip/Ridge Shingles

OC makes starter shingles in roll and strip form that provide extra coverage at roof eaves. Five hip and ridge shingle lines match OC’s range of shingle styles.

Breathe: Roof Ventilation

This is a range of products for the soffit, ridge and roof. The vents allow fresh, dry air to flow into the attic and hot and/or humid air to escape. Proper ventilation optimizes airflow to get rid of excess heat and moisture which can damage your attic and roof.

OC Certified Contractors

All major brands offer certified contractor programs. Roofers in the network are trained in the installation of OC products and are given other perks.

The homeowner benefits by knowing the contractor has the experience and training OC requires. Secondly, you have the option of better warranties, though at a cost.

Did you know? Owens Corning offers four warranty tiers:

  1. Standard Roofing System warranty
  2. System Protection warranty using the Seal, Defend, Breathe materials. You don’t need a OC Preferred contractor to get this warranty.
  3. Preferred Protection System warranty can be offered by OC Preferred Contractors.
  4. The Platinum Protection System warranty can be offered by OC Platinum Preferred Contractors can offer.

All enhanced warranties require the installation of products from the Total Protection roofing system outlined above.

The downside to better warranties is the extra cost, and the warranty may not always protect you anyway (see the Pro Tip in the Cons section below):

Did you know? All roofing warranties offer a non-prorated period at the start and then become prorated over the remaining years of the warranty.

OC calls this period Tru PROtection. As you see from the chart, its longer with the enhanced warranties. The better and costlier the shingle line is, the longer the non-prorated period.

Here’s a chart with the basic warranties for all OC lines:

Large Selection of Shingles

OC makes 7 distinct lines of shingles. Each is available in 4 to 14 colors, though color options vary slightly by region. Shingle options are explored below.

Specialty Shingles

If you want specific protection or performance for your home, these are your options:

Impact-resistant shingles: Duration Storm is a line of shingles with the Class 4 impact rating, the best for asphalt shingles. This is a marketing video, but it does explain the impact test and what technology allows these shingles to pass it.

Did you know? Class 4 shingles qualify for home insurance discounts from some carriers.

Algae/stain protection: Dark, flowing stains on roofs are a result of algae. OC StreakGuard protection is available on all lines. Copper in the core of the granules gradually leeches out. The copper prevents algae growth.

StreakGuard a 15-year warranty on Berkshire; 10 years on all others.

Wind protection: The industry standard for wind warranties is to 60mph for 3-tab and 110mph for dimensional, which can be increased to 130mph for most lines with enhanced installation.

OC Berkshire comes with 130mph warranties with standard installation.

Energy Star shingles: A limited number of OC shingles reflect enough UV to qualify as a cool roof/Energy Star product.

Your options are all TruDefinition Duration Premium Cool shingles, and the Shasta White color in Duration, Oakridge and Supreme.

Estimated Roof Costs (1620 s.f.)
Asphalt Shingles
Metal Roofing
Flat Roof
$7,500
$14,500
$8,225
See Roof Costs in Your Area

Possible Negatives:

The top complaint against every asphalt shingle brand is that it does not honor its warranties.

OC is better than most. Owens Corning ranked second in customer service in one large poll of consumers.

Pro Tip: Extended warranties make money for the seller, but they rarely pay off for homeowners. As a result, manufacturer’s warranties are often considered “not worth the money”. The reason is that most warranties cover defects in the shingles, but that is almost never the cause of shingles failing.

In most cases, bad installation is the culprit. That’s a workmanship issue that has nothing to do with the manufacturer’s warranty.

As Jim Cory of Pro Remodeler says, “Manufacturers and insurance companies know that when a roof fails, it’s almost always the result of construction defects, that is, installation.”

OC or any other asphalt shingle manufacturer will find the workmanship issue and deny the claim. In fact, they will likely void the warranty.

The solution? Choosing a highly experienced roofing contractor with an excellent reputation for quality installation and good customer service is more important than using a certified installer or getting extended coverage.

Ask the contractor to install the shingles exactly according to the manufacturer instructions.

Color variation issues: TruDefinition Duration shingles get complaints that the color of the actual shingles differ from the brochure and online pictures.

Desset Tan TruDefinition Duration Shingles Roof

Desset Tan TruDefinition Duration Shingles Roof

While there seems to be a legitimate issue, it’s a general rule that you should see actual shingles, not just pictures, before making your choice.

Poor sealing in cold and/or cloudy weather: The standard OC shingle warranty says: “Your shingles contain asphalt sealant that requires direct warm sunlight for several days (Thermal Sealing) in order to seal properly.

If your shingles are installed during a period of cool weather, they may not adequately seal until the season changes or the weather warms, and if your shingles never receive direct sunlight or are not exposed to adequate surface temperatures, they may never achieve Thermal Sealing.” All brand warranties have similar language.

Failure to seal is not a defect. Avoid cold-weather installation. If the shingles are blown off before they seal, you’ll be liable for replacement costs.

If you have a heavy leaf canopy over the roof, suggest that the roofer apply adhesive or direct heat to ensure the shingles seal.

Poor recycling record: Recycled and chipped shingles can be used in asphalt road mix. Most asphalt shingles still end up in landfills.

While OC has an aggressive asphalt recycling program, as seen in this video, it’s so far having little impact.

Did you know? By contrast to asphalt, metal roofing is one of the greenest roofing materials. Most is made with a high percentage of recycled metal, and all metal roofs are completely recyclable. Many metal roofs meet CoolRoof criteria too.

OC Shingle Colors:

Amber – Desert Tan – Brown Wood colors

Quarry Gray – Sierra Gray – Shasta White colors

Colonial Slate – Harbor Blue – Chateau Green colors

Teak – Driftwood – Onyx Black colors

Owens Corning Shingles Cost: Materials and Installation

Here are the current material costs for best-selling OC shingle lines and options from other brands.

Costs are per roofing square, or 100 square feet. Shingles are sold in bundles, and for most OC lines, either 3 or 4 bundles make a square. Keep that in mind as you shop online. You might see bundle prices.

3-Tab shingles – OC Supreme: $68-$90

OC supreme desert tan 3-tab shingle roof

Owens Corning supreme shingles colors

Compare to: GAF Royal Sovereign, Malarkey Dura-Seal, CertainTeed XT 25, Atlas GlassMaster and Tamko Elite Glass

Most popular dimensional shingles – OC Duration: $80-$115

OC Tru-def Duration-driftwood shingle roof

Compare with: GAF Timberline, CertainTeed Landmark, Malarkey Legacy, Tamko Heritage, Atlas Castlebrook and Heritage Premium

Best dimensional shingles – OC Duration Designer: $84-$120

Tru def Duration Designer Sedona Canyon

Compare with: CertainTeed Landmark Premium, GAF Timberline Ultra, Malarkey Vista, Atlas Pinnacle Pristine and IKO Royal Estate.

Premium shingles – OC Berkshire: $218-$240

Berkshire Colonial Roof

Compare with: CertainTeed Grand Manor, Malarkey Windsor, Atlas StormMaster, GAF Woodland and Tamko Heritage Woodgate.

Did you know? Owens Corning offers cool design/inspiration tools you can use to visualize your home’s exterior with OC shingles, siding and more. These include Style Boards with color schemes to explore and the DesignEyeQ Visualization Experience.

DesignEyeQ allows you to upload a picture of your home or choose one like it from a large gallery of homes. Then, you can apply any OC roofing shingle to the house to see how it looks.

These tools and many other tips are discussed in our Roof Shingles Color Guide here: roofingcalc.com/roof-shingle-colors/

Pro Tip: Big Box stores usually do not have the best pricing on shingles. Your contractor should have a wholesale account with a local supply company that gives discounts to pro roofers.

There are some wholesale shingle sellers like Reese Supply that sell to the public at prices 25% to 50% below Lowes, Home Depot and other major chains.

Additional Costs

We’ve priced shingles only. For new construction and tear-offs, you’ll need all the accessories: underlayment, moisture barrier, starter shingles, ridge vent and hip/ridge shingles.

For second layers of shingles, your roof’s condition and local climate will determine which of these are used.

Here are their costs per square of roofing:

$6-$15: Accessories

$125-$250: Base installation labor cost. This includes nails and other installation supplies. The range is based on contractor credentials, the complexity and height of your roof and the shingles you’re using.

These costs don’t cover replacing the roof deck or making repairs prior to roofing. Our Ultimate Guide to Getting a New Roof covers all potential scenarios here: https://roofingcalc.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-getting-a-new-roof/

Pro Tip: As we’ve emphasized, the quality of the installation is the single most important factor in how long your roof will last.

We recommend requesting roofing estimates from several experienced contractors in your area. Learn about the experience of the crew installing the roof and the workmanship warranty offered by the contractor. Definitely review the manufacturer’s warranty too.

Verdict:

Owens Corning shingles are second in market share, but probably behind CertainTeed and Malarkey in quality. CertainTeed uses a lot more material in those shingles, providing more protection from severe weather.

Still, as noted, OC is better than most brands at standing behind their warranties and providing satisfactory customer service.

If you find an experienced installer that prefers Owens Corning shingles, there’s no reason not to have them installed.

Ask your chosen contractor to carefully follow OC’s installation guidelines (or those of any brand you choose), because doing so is the best way to prevent warranty claim rejection based on faulty installation.

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2 thoughts on “Pros & Cons of Owens Corning Shingles – Costs – Unbiased OC Roofing Reviews

  1. Susan R

    New roof installed 5/2016 in South Florida. My home was built in 1958 (roof was 20 years old ) it has a chimney.

    Now 8/2019, the chimney is leaking down my brick wall (fireplace) in my kitchen.

    Contacted the roofer who installed the new roof. He only installed a cricket per the size of my chimney for which he charged me $900, but he did NOTHING else to the other 3 sides of the chimney (no flashing etc.).

    The roofer used Owens Corning Oak Ridge lifetime shingles that he put on my bill (I think he left out the work “limited”).

    Per Florida building code, it says to install flashing around the chimney per the shingles manufacturers recommendations…

    So here’s my question, if the roofer didn’t install chimney flashing, who is responsible? The roofer won’t even answer the phone and in my invoice it says 5 year workmanship warranty!!

    Thank you in advance senior citizen (female) who got scammed.

    Reply
    1. The Roof Guy Post author

      Hello Susan,

      The contractor clearly didn’t follow the manufacturer’s specifications when it comes to chimney flashing during the installation of new shingles on your roof. Therefore, the contractor is responsible and should rectify the situation.

      Since, you have a contract that states you have a five year workmanship warranty, you should contact your local contractor licensing board (https://www.myfloridalicense.com/entercomplaint.asp) and/or state attorney general.

      Best of Luck!

      Reply

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