When it comes to your roof, you want to make sure you receive the best possible finished product for your investment, as well as a comprehensive warranty in case something goes wrong. As two of the most popular trusted shingle brands in the industry, GAF and Owens Corning are known for their long lasting shingles, contractor training programs, and amazing warranties.
While you really can’t go wrong with either of these companies, one may be better suited for you based on your specific needs. Let’s break down the GAF vs. Owens Corning matchup to see how they compare where it matters most: product quality, contractor certifications, investment levels, and warranty coverage.
GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles — Product Quality
When you take the plunge and invest a bunch of money into a new roof, ensuring the project is completed with high-quality shingles is a key proactive step you can take to protect it.
You want to choose shingles that will last for years, so you don’t have to stress about repairs or replacements. Luckily, GAF and Owens Corning shingles are both made with quality, tested materials.
GAF’s Shingles Quality
GAF sets the industry standard for reliable and long lasting shingles and roofing products. GAF shingles are made with fiberglass-mesh reinforced asphalt, offering three to five layers of protection, depending on the specific product line you choose.
And with superior wind- and impact-resistance, GAF’s ArmorShield shingles are UL 2218 Class 4 rated, with further capabilities when supported by their lifetime roofing system.
GAF’s lifetime roofing system is just one of the many reasons many roofers prefer GAF. It includes multiple amenities that ensure high product quality, including:
- Timberline shingles with a limited lifetime warranty
- Attic ventilation
- Roof deck paper
- Starter strip shingles for eaves
- A leak barrier for valleys
- Ridge cap shingles for vents and ridges
Owens Corning’s Shingles Quality
Owens Corning also offers a total protection roofing system, with tiered products based on investment and protection level. It includes the following features:
- A seal of felt or synthetic underlayment
- An ice and water barrier
- Starter shingles and hip/ridge shingles (in roll or strip form)
- Additional roofing products for ventilation
Owens Corning also offers Class 4 rated shingles in their Duration Storm series.
GAF’s vs. Owens Corning’s Shingles Quality — The Verdict
In terms of product quality, GAF and Owens Corning both carry excellent shingles — but GAF shingles offer more protection for wind and hail. And, especially in Michigan weather, that’s a necessity!
GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles — Contractor Certifications
While choosing the right residential roofing contractor for your project, you’ll want to vet their level of expertise. One of the best ways to do that is by asking about their certifications. These certifications are a great way to measure contractors’ reputations and experience in the industry.
GAF’s Contractor Certifications
GAF provides contractors with excellent training in proper shingle installation, ensuring the very best performance for your roof. Their highest certification level is the Master Elite certification. Any contractors with GAF’s Master Elite certification meet the following requirements:
- Licensing and insurance
- Great, customer-reviewed reputation for high-quality workmanship
- Commitment to ongoing training with GAF for new products and best practices
GAF certified installers are also able to provide homeowners with enhanced warranties, including System Plus or Golden Pledge.
Owens Corning’s Contractor Certifications
Owens Corning also has installer certifications that allow contractors access to enhanced product warranties. However, these higher-level warranties can be added for an additional percentage of the project cost and require customers to install Owens Corning’s total protection roofing system.
GAF’s vs. Owens Corning’s Contractor Certifications — The Verdict
In the GAF vs. Owens Corning shingles debate regarding contractor certifications, the win goes to GAF, as their programs are a bit more comprehensive. Higher-level certifications are available to an exclusive group of contractors who show complete mastery of the GAF product line, commit to ongoing professional training, and demonstrate customer-reviewed workmanship.
In fact, the GAF Master Elite certification is held by only 3% of roofers in the United States, so if you can find a GAF Master Elite certified installer you trust, you’re in good hands.
GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles — Cost
Of course, cost is a huge consideration when it comes to roofing projects. You don’t want to spend too much and break the bank, but you also don’t want to spend too little and suffer the negative consequences of poor material or installation quality. The key is finding a happy medium that’s worth your investment. Since they’re both key players in the roofing industry, GAF and Owens Corning shingles are priced similarly.
GAF’s Shingle Costs
GAF shingles are available in a range of affordable options, from budget-friendly 3-tab styles to more durable, architectural shingles with superior resistance to impact, stains, and UV rays. Their popular dimensional Timberline shingles start around $120 and are available in a variety of color and style options.
Owens Corning’s Shingle Cost
Owens Corning shingles are comparable in cost to other leading shingle brands, including GAF. Their mid-range Definition Duration shingles start at $110. Although they’re a slightly lower price per roofing square, you might be able to upgrade to the OC Duration Designer series for a similar value to GAF.
GAF’s vs. Owens Corning’s Investment Levels — The Verdict
Generally speaking, you’ll be able to find Owens Corning shingles at a lower upfront cost than GAF shingles, but you’ll likely pay the same price (if not more!) overall when you factor in installation and ongoing maintenance costs associated with them.
GAF vs. Owens Corning Shingles — Warranty Coverage
Another huge part of protecting your new roof investment is ensuring you have a comprehensive warranty attached to it. The weather and other outdoor elements are often unpredictable, so it’s critical that you’re protected in case anything goes wrong.
GAF is considered to have some of the best warranties in the industry, which makes them a trusted brand for roofers everywhere. If something goes wrong with your shingles, contractors and roofers are usually the first ones to blame, so they prefer to work with suppliers that offer better materials and warranties to make their job easier.
GAF roofers who have the prestigious Master Elite certification can issue a Golden Pledge warranty. Not only does this warranty cover materials, but it also covers labor and installation. When you have the protection of the Golden Pledge warranty, a GAF representative will inspect your roof once it’s complete to make sure it’s up to their brand standards.
Another bonus of GAF’s warranties? They’re transferable if the ownership of your home changes, which is an uncommon amenity in most brand warranties.
Owens Corning’s Warranties
Owens Corning also offers comprehensive warranties for their shingles. Their warranties are tiered, based on the types of products installed, the number of products installed, and the certifications of the installer.
- Their Standard Roofing System warranty is available for work done by any contractor and covers structural defects in the shingles only.
- Their Preferred Protection System and Platinum Protection System warranties are only available for work done by an Owens Corning certified contractor, come at extra costs, and require the installation of a total protection system.
GAF’s vs. Owens Corning’s Warranties — The Verdict
Warranty claims with shingles companies can be tricky for some customers, no matter which brand they choose. This is because most claims on warranties result from improper installation, not product failure, and are not covered by the warranty — unless you work with GAF and get their Golden Pledge warranty.
There’s something to be said about having a great shingle product and a lifetime warranty, but those two are useless if the roof is not properly installed. Having a knowledgeable GAF certified installer will help you get the most out of your investment, and if there’s any problem, you can trust that you’re covered by the Golden Pledge. So, again, in the debate between GAF vs. Owens Corning warranties, GAF wins.
Get Expert GAF Shingle Installation at Werner Roofing
At Werner Roofing, we believe that GAF and Owens Corning shingles are both great choices. However, in the debate between the two, we’ll always choose GAF.
If GAF shingles sound like the right option for you, get in touch with the Werner Roofing team. We’re proud to be a Master Elite certified installer GAF shingles installer. We can install GAF’s full line of shingles and have been recognized with their President’s Award for four consecutive years. To learn more about our products, services, and warranties, give us a call at (616) 844-5382 or reach out to us online.