You’ve got to put a new roof on your house and now you’ve discovered it’s not as simple as picking out a shingle from three or four options. There are new colors, new styles – should I get metal roofing and what are the advantages or disadvantages of all these things? Questions and more questions.
Luckily, there is a lot of technology out there that you can take advantage of to help educate yourself and even get design help.
First, let’s think about regular shingles. There are a couple of big shingle companies with lots of options, GAF, Certainteed, and Tamko - http://www.tamko.com/ to name three. Each of them has an option to enter your zip code when looking at shingles on their websites. Use it. Shingles are rated for parts of the country and only sold in parts of the country. Don’t fall in love with a color or shingle style you aren’t going to be able to get or use.
Certainteed - http://www.certainteed.com/ - has a color visualizer on its website to look at the shingles on a house similar to yours. Tamko goes one step further and lets you download an I-pad App to do some of your own creating with colors and styles.
Check out GAF’s DIY Roofing Center on their website - http://www.gaf.com/ . There’s something called a Roofing Wizard that lets you change the color of the shingles on a house to see what they look like and their Virtual Home Remodeler lets you change brick and trim styles.
Decra - http://decra.com/ is one of the bigger steel roofing companies. Steel roofing doesn’t just come in big sheets anymore. You can get it in shingles, shakes, tile looks, and architectural styles – there are steel roofing options for any type of building.
Use the knowledge your roofing salesperson has to offer. One shingle might look like another, but he or she can point out the subtle differences like more black material to give it a darker look when it’s all together on a roof or a little bit of red or green you might want use as an accent.
A little bit of research on the internet coupled with some salesperson expertise and you should be ready to make your roofing decision.