Archive for September, 2010

Dimensional Shingles For Your Minnesota Home

September 30, 2010

Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles provide an opportunity to customize your roof to fit with the style of your home. Dimensional shingles, also known as architectural shingles, are thicker than other shingles and are used by many homeowners to achieve a unique appearance.  These shingles are also very durable and can last for 40 years or more. Read on to learn more about dimensional shingles.

Dimensional Shingles Materials
Dimensional shingles are constructed by fusing together two asphalt shingles.  This provides a more three-dimensional appearance.  Sometimes this resembles a shake roof, but dimensional shingles have better fire resistant qualities.  Plus, the material is thicker and provides added strength to the roof.

Dimensional shingles

Dimensional shingles

Durability
Dimensional shingles are extremely durable.  They are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, including wind, ice and snow.  This material is also heavier and longer-lasting than composite roofs.  When using dimensional shingles, you don’t need to make structural improvements on your home, unlike with some heavy roofs.

Increased Safety
Dimensional shingles allow you to achieve a shake wood effect without the fire hazard.  In fact, some regions don’t even allow shake roofs to be built because of the safety risk.  A dimensional shingled roof is a better option for protecting your home against fire.

Maintenance of Dimensional Shingles
If you decide to install this type of roof, make sure to keep up with moss buildup.  Dimensional shingles are more prone than other types of roofs to have this issue.  Also, you’ll want to make sure the roof has adequate venting to reduce moisture buildup.  Most roofing companies offer maintenance services to keep your roof in good condition.

Warranties on Dimensional Shingles
Most dimensional shingles come with a warranty that will guarantee the product for 20 or more years.  However, some of these warranties have specific conditions.  For example, the homeowner may be required to have regular maintenance and moss removal on the roof.  Contact your local roofing contractor today to schedule your next roofing inspection.

Hiring a Professional for Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles aren’t a difficult roof to install, however, as with any type of roofing, unless you have experience and all the proper tools, this is a job best left to the professionals. Roofing companies are skilled in installing dimensional shingles and have the experience to do the job quickly and accurately.  Get several quotes before deciding on a roofing contractor so you can compare materials, costs and warranties and ask if you can speak with other customers to determine if they were happy with the work.

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Architectural and Designer Shingles

September 28, 2010

What Is A Designer Shingle?

Dimensional shingles provide an opportunity to customize your roof to fit with the style of your home.  Dimensional shingles, also known as architectural shingles, are thicker than other shingles and are used by many homeowners to achieve a unique appearance.  These shingles are also very durable and can last for 40 years or more.

Dimensional shingles are constructed by fusing together two asphalt shingles.  This provides a more three-dimensional appearance.  Sometimes this resembles a shake roof, but dimensional shingles have better fire resistant qualities.  Also, the material is thicker and provides added strength to the roof.

Architectural | Asphalt Shingles

  • Dimensional shingles are extremely durable.  They are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, including wind, ice and snow.  This material is also heavier and longer lasting than composite roofs.  When using dimensional shingles, you do not need to make structural improvements on your home, unlike with some heavy roofs.
  • Dimensional shingles allow you to achieve a shake wood effect without the fire hazard. In fact, some regions do not even allow shake roofs to be built because of the safety risk. A dimensional shingled roof is a better option for protecting your home against fire.
  • If you decide to install this type of roof, make sure to keep up with moss buildup.  Dimensional shingles are more prone than other types of roofs to have this issue.  You will want to make sure the roof has adequate venting to reduce moisture buildup.  Most roofing companies offer maintenance services to keep your roof in good condition.
  • Most dimensional shingles come with a warranty that will guarantee the product for 20 or more years.  Some of these warranties have specific conditions. For example, the homeowner may be required to have regular maintenance and moss removal on the roof.

As with any type of roofing, unless you have experience and all the proper tools, this is a job best left to a Minnesota roofing professional that is skilled in installing dimensional shingles and has the experience to do the job quickly and accurately

Part 3 of Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles

September 23, 2010

Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles For Minnesota Homeowners

The Roof Environment
Let’s visit the roof environment.  Subjected to harsh environmental weathering, shingles must endure everything from the scorching heat of the sun and its ultraviolet radiation, to the effects of seasonal and environmental changes.  They may even be subjected to the effects of thermal shock, caused by quickly changing weather conditions.

The Heat of the Sun
The scorching heat of the sun can raise the temperature of the roof’s surface as high as 25 – 33ºC (45 – 60ºF) above ambient temperature.  This can affect the life expectancy of asphalt shingles.  Proper ventilation helps to reduce the fluctuation in the temperature of your roof over the course of the day, and can reduce your roof’s overall ambient temperature.

Ultraviolet Radiation from the Sun
Besides the heat, the sun is also a source of ultraviolet radiation, which can make the asphalt layer of the shingles age more rapidly.  In order to protect against this, asphalt shingles are covered by colored granules to protect the asphalt from the sun.

Thermal Shock and Cyclical Fatigue
Sudden changes in weather can put an enormous stress on your roof.  As an example, a cold front may enter an area and change a bright and sunny day into a dark and rainy one, suddenly dropping roof surface temperatures 30 – 45ºC (54 – 81ºF) almost instantaneously.  This may cause the roof deck beneath the shingles to expand and contract, causing stress on the asphalt shingles.  This process, along with the yearly change from summer to winter, may result in cyclical fatigue.

If your home or complex has suffered roof top hail damage or you are considering reroofing your home, contact a Minnesota roofing contractor today for more information.

Part 2 of Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles

September 21, 2010

Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles For Minnesota Homeowners

It is useful to look at the anatomy of an asphalt shingle to understand how the different components work together, and to see how asphalt shingles are designed to protect your home.  The life expectancy of asphalt shingles is based on the performance of three components, and their ability to resist weathering.  Made from petroleum, asphalt contains oils that make asphalt shingles easy to work with and effective at protecting your roof and home.  As time goes on, these oils come to the surface and are weathered away by the elements.  This weathering process ages a shingle.

Roofing shingles

The Anatomy of an Asphalt Shingle

  • Reinforcement: Asphalt shingles start out with an asphalt-coated fiberglass mat.  This reinforcement is the structural base of the shingle, to which the other raw materials (asphalt and granules) are applied.  In order for asphalt shingles to provide protection, the reinforcement must resist tearing, warping and shrinkage when applied on stable, well-ventilated decks.
  • Asphalt: During shingle manufacturing, the reinforcement is coated with asphalt to provide the water-resistant layer that protects your roof from the elements.  The thickness of this layer of asphalt determines the weight of the shingle.  Many believe that the heavier the shingle the greater the protection offered to your roof and home.  This factor is only one of many that determines the life expectancy of your roof.
  • Granules: A layer of granules is pressed into the surface of the asphalt.  The granules protect the layer of asphalt from the ultraviolet radiation from the sun.  Without this layer of protection, the asphalt layer would quickly deteriorate.

If your home or complex has suffered roof top hail damage or you are considering reroofing your home, please contact a Minnesota roofing contractor today.


Part 1 of Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles

September 16, 2010

Selecting Your Asphalt Shingles For Minnesota Homeowners

As you start preparing to have a new asphalt shingle roof installed, it may seem to be a long and complex task.  It is important to remember how important this process is, since it will directly affect what is probably your largest single investment – your home.  In order to simplify this process, we have developed a guide to help you through the many choices to be made.  We walk you through the different styles of asphalt shingles available, and give you the easiest way to start the process.  Getting involved in each step of the process is advisable to do away with any hassles that may crop up later.

The first step in the life of your asphalt shingle roof is selecting a shingle.  At first glance, with so many different styles and colors to choose from, it may seem a little intimidating.  But when you get right down to it, there are really only four decisions to make.

1. Selecting a Shingle Style

The different styles of shingles can be divided into two basic categories: Architectural shingles and Traditional 3-Tab Design shingles.

The first type is the architectural shingle.  Their remarkable dimensional thickness and deep, blended shadow bands simulate the appearance of classic wood shakes, enhancing the beauty of any home.  The traditional 3-tab design shingle gets its name from the three tabs incorporated into its profile.  Always a popular choice, traditional 3-tab shingles are available in a wide variety of colors.

2. Choosing a Limited Warranty Length

Architectural and traditional fiberglass shingles also come in different weights and limited warranty period lengths.  Once you have decided on one of these styles of shingles, check with your roofing contractor to determine the choices in warranty periods offered.  Ask your roofing contractor to show you a good, better and best selection of products.

While architectural shingles may cost more than Traditional 3-Tab shingles, it is important to remember that laminated architectural asphalt shingles may last longer.  Amortized over that length of time, the difference in price between Traditional 3-Tab shingles and upscale architectural shingles is less than you might think.

  • Note: Product availability may vary per region.  Depending on location, materials, roof design, underlayment, installation, slope and other factors.

3. Choosing a Color

Now, it is time to choose a color.  Although it sounds like a simple process, it is usually the step that causes the homeowner the most difficulty.  After all, choosing a color is a very personal and subjective process.  Since everyone has a unique sense of style and taste, it is impossible to give a hard-and-fast rule on how to choose a shingle color.  One of the best ways to pick a color is to drive around your neighborhood.  Check out the different color combinations of roof, brick / siding, and trim colors that your neighbors have tried.  Make a list of the ones you like, and steer clear of the ones you don’t.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, it is important to view several full size shingle samples, or an existing roof completed with the same style and color shingles, before making a final decision.  Often overlooked, getting actual shingle samples from your contractor is the best way to see how a shingle color will look in combination with the other color elements (brick / siding, and trim color) of your home.

If you are considering new trim paint or siding, grab those samples as well, and take them outside.  Hold them out in the natural sunlight, and see how the colors interact together, and how they change under different lighting conditions.

Here are some additional questions you may want to ask yourself when selecting a shingle style

Remember that laminated architectural asphalt shingles may last longer.  Amortized over that length of time, the difference in price between Traditional 3-Tab shingles and upscale architectural shingles is less than you might think.

  • Depending on location, materials, roof design, underlayment, installation, slope and other factors.

Here are some additional questions you may want to ask yourself when selecting a shingle style.

Do I live in an area where algae discoloration is a concern?

If you live in an area where algae discoloration is a concern, some shingles feature an algae resistant system to protect against algae discoloration.  You may also want to consider selecting a dark color shingle, which is less likely to show the staining associated with algae discoloration.

Do I have a steep pitched roof?

With a steep pitched roof you can see more of the roof while standing on the ground.  To give your roof an interesting and complex texture, consider using architectural shingles.  With their multi-layer, laminated construction, architectural shingles are a perfect match for steep pitched roofs.

Do I want my home to stand out from the crowd?

If you want to give your home a more distinct and individual look, consider using architectural shingles.

4. Choosing Your Roofing Contractor

After selecting a shingle style and color, the next step is choosing a roofing contractor.  This is an important step in the process, and should not be taken lightly.  It is important to do your homework, since not all contractors are alike.  Some are more committed to their workmanship and after-sales service than others.  Some may have better-trained installers.  There may even be contractors on shaky financial ground who will not survive long enough to provide the roofer’s warranty service.  A contractor who stands behind his work typically has a good reputation in the community, and wants to keep that reputation by making sure his customers are satisfied.  Take whatever time is necessary to select the right contractor.  Having the right contractor can make a big difference.

Points to consider when assessing the qualifications of various contractors:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Are they bonded and insured, including worker’s compensation and general liability?
  • Do they have the appropriate licenses for your community? (Ask to see written proof.)
  • Will they give you the names and phone numbers of some of their customers you may call for a reference?
  • Do they have a satisfactory record with your local Better Business Bureau?
  • Are they willing to put all agreements, promises and understandings in writing
  • Whether you need a new roof, roof replacement, or roof repair, find a reliable Minnesota Roofing Contractor to provide you with an estimate for the services you need.

Home Improvements That Still Deliver The Best Return

September 14, 2010

Updating Your Existing Space

It pays to know which upgrades will deliver the best return when you sell your home.  The annual remodeling report finds 4 basic replacements are likely your smartest choice.

Replacement projects included in the Cost vs. Value survey all cost less than $20,000 and most cost considerably less.  They instantly enhance curb appeal, boosting a home’s marketability, and they require little maintenance once installed.  A bonus: Most of these replacements qualify for a federal tax credit for energy efficiency (not included in Remodeling Magazine’s ROI calculations).

1. Replace the front door.

  • The absolute best return on the money of any of the projects surveyed — 129% of cost — is gained by replacing a beat-up front door with a $1,200 steel-shell door filled with foam insulation.
  • A new fiberglass door (more expensive, at $3,490) returns less, about 65%. (Fiberglass is the new chic building material because it’s rugged and durable, can be painted and will mimic almost any wood. Unlike wood, it doesn’t crack, warp or shrink and needs zero maintenance.)
  • Spend about $7,500 on an entire new entrance, including a widened opening, a solid-core wood door and high-end glass, new lighting and better locks, and you’ll recoup 69%, on average.

2. Replace home siding

  • Replacing old siding with a durable fiber-cement product ($13,287) recoups about 84% at resale.
  • Use vinyl siding ($10,607) to get an 80% return.
  • Foam-backed vinyl ($13,022) costs more and earns back less — roughly 79% — but it is much more efficient at insulating a home.

3. Replace windows. Three of the four window-replacement projects considered in the survey pay back about 77%:

  • Wood-trimmed windows ($11,700).
  • Lower-end vinyl windows ($10,728).
  • Windows trimmed in higher-end vinyl ($13,862).
  • The fourth project, higher-end wood-replacement windows ($17,816), has a return of about 72%. Fiberglass windows weren’t included in the study.

4. Replace the roofing: Spend $19,731 on new fiberglass asphalt shingles and you’re likely to recoup about 67% of the cost.

  • A higher-end roof replacement using standing-seam metal ($37,359) pays back about 61% of the cost, agents told the survey.

Contact an Experienced Home Remodeling Contractor in Minnesota for your next remodeling project!

Source: realestatemsn.com
Remodeling Magazine: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2009/costvsvalue

What Type Of Material Is Best For Your Home Roof Comparisons

September 9, 2010

Are You Thinking About A New Roof?

Wondering what type of material might be best for your home?

There are many types of roofing materials—some of which are brand new with a range of plusses and negatives.  You can re-roof with the same type of roofing material that you currently have or investigate alternatives.  Some materials are environmentally friendly and some are long lasting or low maintenance.  And who doesn’t love low maintenance?

Before making your choice, consider the life-cycle cost of your roofing material.  Some materials, though much more expensive, require less maintenance and have a longer life expectancy than others.  An asphalt composition roof might last just 20 years whereas a metal roof might last more than 50.  Consider both the current and potential value of your home, and its age when calculating whether a roofing material is actually “too expensive.”  It might just be more cost-effective in the long run.

The following table describes some of the roofing choices available.

Roof Type House Style Advantages Disadvantages

Composition (asphalt shingles)

Can be used on any house from contemporary to historic.  False thatched roof with the wrapped roof edge on 1920s Tudor style.

  • inexpensive
  • ranges from low-cost 3-tab shingle to architectural shingles with extra durability and style
  • many colors, types, and manufacturers
  • suitable for most residential applications
  • easy to repair
  • fire resistant
  • relatively short life-span (15–30 years)
  • scars easily when hot
  • subject to mildew and moss
  • environmentally unfriendly
Wood shingles or shakes

Bungalows, ranch, contemporary, cottage, historic

  • natural look weathering to a soft grey
  • offers some insulation value
  • blends in with the environment
  • easy to repair or replace
  • long lasting if maintained (30–50 years)
  • expensive
  • usually requires professional installation
  • high maintenance
  • tends to rot, split, mold, and mildew
  • poor fire rating unless pressure treated
Metal (steel, aluminum, tin, copper)

Bungalows, ranch, contemporary, cottage, historic (virtually all)

  • available in different looks including cedar shingles, slate, or standing seam
  • many colors
  • light weight
  • durable
  • long life span (at least 50 years)
  • low maintenance
  • can be installed over existing roofs
  • excellent performance in high wind, hail and rain
  • environmentally friendly
  • may be difficult to install
  • can be expensive
  • may need periodic painting
Tile (concrete, clay)

Mediterranean, Italian, French Eclectic, Spanish Eclectic, Beaux Arts, Mission, and Prairie. May also be attractive on some contemporary or ranch style homes.

  • non-combustible
  • many colors and styles
  • attractive
  • fireproof
  • easy to maintain
  • extremely durable when maintained
  • expensive
  • heavy
  • used primarily in new buildings because of weight and structural requirements
  • installation and repairs can be tricky
  • fragile; walking on roof may break tiles
Slate

Colonial, French, Italianate, Exotic Revivals, Chateauesque, Beaux Arts

  • beautiful, distinctive appearance
  • fireproof
  • long life span
  • low maintenance
  • very expensive
  • requires specialized installation
  • heavy
  • fragile
  • high maintenance
Concrete (fiber reinforced)

Virtually any style of home

  • many colors and styles including shakes, tile, and stone
  • relatively lightweight
  • fire and insect resistant; meet many of the more restrictive fire codes
  • low maintenance
  • extremely durable
  • resource efficient
  • can be expensive
  • uneven quality among products
Hot mopped asphalt with decorative stone

Flat roofed California-style modern

  • inexpensive
  • easy to repair
  • stinks
  • health risk to installers
  • fumes promote smog
Engineered rubber/plastic

Virtually any style of home

  • about 1/3 the weight of slate
  • long lasting (30–50 years)
  • cost effective
  • attractive
  • available in a large range of styles and colors with more appearing constantly
  • made of reclaimed materials
  • new to market
Eco-roofs

Flat to moderately sloped roofs.

  • Environmentally friendly; filters rainwater through a roof system of vegetation and soil
  • Low maintenance; can extend the life of the roof membrane substantially
  • Provides insulation to even out climate variations; in particular, keeps houses cooler in summer
  • Attractive
  • initially expensive
  • unconventional in US, though used more than 30 years in Europe

Think about your choices , then call your local roofing contractor to help you make the best decision for home and budget.