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Tamko Lamarite Slate Has Been Discontinued! What To Do If You Have A Lamarite Roof.

If you have a roof made of Tamko Lamarite, you might be in for a nasty surprise.

After a deluge of consumer complaints, including premature cracking, curling, and delamination , Tamko has discontinued their Lamarite Slate product. That means your Lamarite roof isn’t doing its job of protecting your home, family, and possessions.

The bottom line is this: if you have a Tamko Lamarite Slate roof, give us a call! We’ll work directly with your home insurance company to get you the best deal on a roof replacement, with minimal out-of-pocket costs.

Tamko Lamarite Slate is discontinued

What Are Tamko Lamarite Slate Composite Shingles?

Tamko Lamarite was a synthetic slate product: a composition shingle designed to look like realistic natural slate.

Natural slate is a beautiful and durable roofing material, but it’s also heavy and extremely expensive. Tamko Lamarite, like other artificial slate products, was molded with the specific textures and contours of natural slate to create authentic detail and dimension. It seemed like a great roofing choice, but time has proved that Lamarite just couldn’t stand up to the elements.

Natural slate compared to synthetic slate
Examples of Natural Slate on the left and Synthetic Slate on the right.
Images courtesy of
John Stortz & Sons and Roofing Calculator.


Why Was Tamko Lamarite Slate Discontinued?

Consumers have made a number of allegations against Tamko Building Products, claiming that their Lamarite Slate shingles had poor design and manufacturing defects. Consumers have alleged that these defects manifested long before the expiration of the warranty. A number of consumers have reported issues, including but not limited to:

  • Cracking
  • Crumbling
  • Brittle
  • Falling from the roof
  • Discoloration

So, if your home has Tamko Lamarite Slate shingles your roof is likely to be vulnerable. It also means that when any of these tiles need replacing you will not be able to replace like for like, which is pretty frustrating!

Fortunately, your homeowners insurance may cover the cost of a replacement.


My Roof Has Discontinued Lamarite Slate Shingles. What Do I Do Now?

If you have Tamko Lamarite shingles installed on your roof, they may be defective. Document all instances of cracking, delamination, curling, and warping. Also, make sure you have paperwork for your proof of purchase, installation, and warranties.  

Next, you’ll want to contact a certified roofer who can help you assess the state of your roof. Designer Roofing can come out for a free evaluation, help you submit a claim to Tamko, and advocate on your behalf.


Filing An Insurance Claim For Discontinued Tamko Lamarite Slate Shingles

You should then notify Tamko of any damage found. Your roofer can help you submit a claim. You will want to submit a copy of your original warranty and highlight the exact section naming coverage for the specific damage incurred. You will also want to include high resolution photos of the damage.

If your claim is due to a manufacturing defect, a sample tile can be removed from your roof and sent to an independent lab for verification of a manufacturing failure.


Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover A Replacement Roof?

It depends. In the case of discontinuation, many policies will cover a complete roof replacement. However, it will really depend on your homeowners insurance policy. Generally, the more expensive the policy, the more likely it is to cover a new roof if your roof has been significantly damaged and your tiles are discontinued or can’t be “matched.”

A reputable roofing contractor will be able to advise you on your best next steps and help you successfully file an insurance claim. If you have Tamko Lamarite on your roof, call Designer Roofing to make sure your roof continues to protect your home and family.

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The Homeowner’s Guide To Roofing Terms

Don’t just nod and smile when your contractor starts throwing around confusing roofing terminology! Our glossary of the most common roofing terms will help you make educated decisions regarding your roofing project, and give you confidence when it’s time to sign the check.

This guide should help you understand all the roofing terms you need, but if you want even more roofing information, we highly recommend the comprehensive GAF roofing glossary.

Roof Types  |  Slope And Pitch  |  Parts Of A Roof  |  Drip Edge And Trimming

Roof Types

A roof’s shape plays a major role in the overall look and style of your home. It can also provide additional living space and affect how weatherproof your home is.

Two of the most common types are the gable roof and the hip roof. Both shed water and snow easily, but they are quite different aesthetically.

A gable roof is the typical triangular roof you see when kids draw a picture of a home. A gable roof points upwards towards the sky, emphasizing the vertical lines of the house. Their simple design makes them an inexpensive option.

A hip roof has slopes on all four sides, which come together to form a horizontal ridge. While a hip roof is more stable than a gable roof, it is also more expensive to build.

A shed roof slopes in a single direction. Typically shed roofs are used on buildings where one wall is taller than the opposite wall, or on a lower porch or overhang.



Many of our clients like accent shed roof elements with standing seam metal roofing

A gambrel roof is another two-sided roof, like a gable roof. But while a gable roof has a single slope on each side, a gambrel roof has two slopes on each side. The top slope is flatter than the bottom slope. This style of roof is a simple construction with fewer materials so it can help keep the cost of your roof down.

Mansard roofs are a hybrid between a gambrel and a hip roof. To create maximum space under the roof, the section nearest the wall rises steeply, and then the roof continues as a milder pitch towards the center. From the ground, you will only be able to see the steep section and the house will look like it is flat on top.

Both mansard and gambrel roofs provides extra living space for a garret, attic or loft. They are also simple to frame out, which means you have the flexibility to add on a garret or dormers at a later date. However, mansard roofs cost more than typical roofs because of the embellishments and details that go into them.

Most multi-bedroom homes will combine several different styles of roof. You can find more details on the different pros and cons of each roof style at the Roof Cost Estimator


Roof Slope And Pitch: is there a difference?

Image Courtesy of InterNachi

While slope and pitch are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same thing.

Pitch measures how tall a roof is, compared to its width. In roofing terms, the pitch is the “rise” (roof height) divided by the “span” (roof width). This is usually expressed as a fraction: for a roof that has a rise of 4 feet over a span of the 24 feet, the pitch is “1 to 6,” expressed as 1/6.

Slope measures how steep the incline of a roof is. This is the amount of vertical rise, measured in inches, per every 12 inches of horizontal run. This is usually expressed as a ratio: a roof with a 4-in-12 slope rises 4 inches for every foot of horizontal distance.

Steeper roofs are generally more visually appealing and tend to last longer as they shed water much more efficiently and generally are subject to less direct U/V activity. They also leave room for second stories, gables and attic spaces, and give you more freedom to experiment with interesting siding, trim or eave styles.

However, the higher the pitch, the more square feet the roof takes up and the more materials your roof needs. Higher pitched roof may also tend to require more skilled labor to build or repair.

How Roof Slope Affects Roofing Materials

Information courtesy of InterNachi

As a homeowner, the main thing to understand is that the slope of your roof (how steep the incline is) affects the interior volume of your home, how effectively water drains off your roof, the look of your home – and which roofing materials you can use!

For example, wood shake shingles can be used on steeper roofs but are not suitable on a lower pitched roof. That’s because water drains more slowly off a lower pitch, and could begin to penetrate through the wood shakes.


Parts Of A Roof

Image Courtesy of Boral Roofing.

When your home is being built, the first part of your roof to go up will be the wooden frame. This creates the structure on which the rest of the roof will be built. The frame gives your roof its shape and will support the weight of all the materials used to build your roof. Some materials, such as tiles or slate, are much heavier than shingles and will require more hardy framing to support the extra weight. 

Once the frame is in place, it is covered by decking. Decking is a thin piece of wood that covers the frame and creates the foundation for the rest of the roof to be built on. The most commonly used materials for decking are either plywood or orientated strand board (OSB). They provide the bulk of support for anything that hits, lands or walks on your roof.

Applied directly to the decking is the underlayment. This is the first barrier layer of your roof. The underlayment’s primary function is to help stop any moisture that has seeped past the outer roofing material on top of it.

Traditional underlayment is made of felt that is saturated with tar. However, recent innovations have introduced synthetic underlayment with special properties such as added water resistance, reduced heat absorption, or being an ice barrier.

Now for the part of the roof that you will actually see from the ground! The roofing material is where you, the homeowner, will likely focus most of your attention. This is where you choose which material to use, the style and the color. There is a lot to consider when choosing whether you want clay, composition or a metal roof (to name a few options!) such as the overall aesthetic, price and longevity. Composition roofs are the most commonly used roofing material in homes in the US, and are also the cheapest option. However, metal roofs are becoming more popular due to their many benefits, like increased durability and long lifespan.

When considering which roofing material to use for your home, cost is usually an important factor. Your roofer will most likely talk about the “price per square.” A square is 100 square feet (10 feet by 10 feet), and is a common measurement for a roof area.

The roof planes are the large, flat sections of a roof. How the planes are arranged gives each roof its distinctive style and character. Where two roof panels meet you get a ridge, a hip, or a valley.

Ridges are where two roof planes meet projecting upwards. They are generally horizontal and the highest point on your roof. Ridge vents are important as they allow warm, moist air to escape your attic. The location of the ridge is important if there are height restrictions in your locality, as the height of a home is usually measured from the ground to the ridge. For this reason, it is important to know if any height restrictions exist in your area as they may affect the design of your roof.

A hip is a place where two roof planes meet and project outward. A hip is similar to a peak, but is not at the top of your roof and is usually not horizontal.

A valley, just like its geographic namesake, is a place where two planes meet and project inward.

A dormer and roof flashing on a metal roof

Water flows from multiple roof planes into the valleys, so your roof valleys will need to be covered with flashing. Flashing provides an added layer of protection from water damage in the areas of your roof that are most vulnerable to water. It is usually a thin metal sheet installed on valleys and around fixtures like chimneys, skylights, and vents. You can also use flashing to make a style choice: for example, copper flashing is often used to highlight aspects of the roof.

Another common place to put flashing is around dormers, where vertical walls meet the pitched roof. Similar to a valley, this area can collect a lot of water and requires extra protection. A dormer is a common feature on many two-story houses. It is a projection from the main plane of the roof that usually houses a window. The dormer is usually constructed to add space or natural light to the room inside.


Drip Edge And Roof Trimming

What about the edges of your roof? We can’t just let water roll off your roof and down the walls of your home, because that would cause water damage to the bricks and siding, and would cause foundational issues as water pools round the base of your home.

Drip edges (also known as eaves) are the edges of the roof that hang over the exterior walls of the house, consisting of a soffit and fascia. The eave can either be close, or tight to the wall depending on what look you want. Since the primary function of the eave is to take rainwater away from the walls and direct water into the gutters of the house, the further away it is, the better it can serve that function.

Drip edge of a roof
Image Courtesy of Emerald Home Improvements.

Where the eave edge of a roof extends past the exterior wall, the soffit is the horizontal underside of this extension. They tend to be perforated or have built-in vent openings to allow for attic ventilation. Soffits are usually the same design and color as your home’s siding, but can be different depending on your own personal tastes and preferences.

The fascia is the area of siding directly above the soffit. It’s the exposed board you see on the front of your roof’s overhang. Your fascia is also where the gutters are placed. The style and color of your fascia can add visual interest and give a finished look to your home.

Gutters are placed at the edges of the eaves on the fascia and are the plastic or metal troughs that take the water away from the edge of the roof. They are connected to downspouts and help direct water away from your home.

When you need a roof repair, or you’re ready for a roof replacement, please give us a call for a free inspection and estimate. We promise to always explain our roofing terminology and make sure you have complete confidence in your new roof!


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How Long Does A Roof Last In Texas?

Given all the wild weather around here, how long can you expect your home’s roof to last in Texas?

The weather we experience here in Texas is no joke. From the unrelenting hot sun and hail the size of golf balls to thunderstorms that cause the whole house to vibrate, the weather in Texas can be downright brutal on the roof over your home.

So how long is it reasonable to expect your roof to protect your home and its contents in Texas before it needs replacing?

Well, not all roofing materials are the same. As with most things in life, there is a direct relationship between quality and price.

In the case of roofing, “quality” means “how long will it last?”

It rarely makes sense to choose a roofing material based purely on which is the cheapest, as a roof that needs to be replaced every 8 years is by no means a bargain. While it may be reasonable to expect a metal or clay tiled roof to last 40 years, it would be unrealistic to expect a 3-tab composition roof to make it even 20 years.

However, there is no definitive guaranteed number of years your roof will last, as there are so many contributing factors: the quality of your attic ventilation and insulation, how competent your roofing installers were, how many storms your home gets, and so on.

How long does a 3-Tab Composition roof last?

For a 3-Tab composition roof, you can expect to pay anywhere from $180 to $450 per square (100 square feet). And although this is the cheapest roofing option you will find, they have a significantly shorter lifespan when compared to other options.

Shingles, otherwise known as 3-Tab composition roofing, are the most popular roofing material used in the US. Most 3-tab shingles typically come with a 10-25 year limited warranty provided by the manufacturer. The reality for most Texans is that depending on the severity and amount of storms they experience, the average lifespan of a composition roof only lasts 10-12 years

The reason for the shortened lifespan of 3-Tab composition shingles in Texas is that 3-Tab compositions shingles typically are only able to withstand a maximum wind-uplift of 60 to 70 MPH. This makes it unlikely for your roof to remain intact when strong winds blow through. Along with wind, sunlight can wreak havoc to Texas 3-Tab composition shingles that are exposed to the strong, direct Texas sunlight and rapid temperature changes; with asphalt shingles developing cracks that greatly dimish the roof’s lifespan.



How long does an Architectural Composition roof last?

Price wise, architectural composition shingles are nearly double the price of 3-tab shingles, with an approximate cost of $450 – $600 per square.

Prices can also go as high as $750 or more per square for more premium composition shingles that have additional properties such as a Cool Roof rating, impact resistance, and so on.

When looking for a longer lasting roof than 10-25 years a 3-Tab composition shingle room offers, start with heavier composition shingles last longer than their 3-Tab cousin. They come with longer manufacturer warranties ranging from 20 years to the lifetime of the roof, and Architectural shingles are able to withstand higher winds, up to 110-130 MPH compared to 3-tab shingles and are more likely to remain intact during Texas storms.

However, it is important to know that the number of years on the warranty serves as more of a general guide, rather than the guaranteed lifetime of the roof. You should plan on needing to replace heavier composition shingles before the warranty date, as it is unlikely that a composition roof will make 25 years in Texas.



How long does a Metal roof last?


Like with 3-Tier Composition shingles, metal roofing has a variety of types, varying lifetime wear, and price points. Metal roof shingles will cost you $700-$1000 or more per square, while a copper roof will cost anywhere from $1,100 – 1,500 per square.

Metal roofing is becoming an increasingly popular choice for Texas homeowners for its lifespan that can last forty plus years. It is weatherproof and non-porous, making it a great roofing option for keeping your home and its occupants dry during the unexpected thunderstorms, hail, and high winds we experience in Texas.

With any metal roof, its lifespan is also dependent on keeping up with periodic inspections and to repaint them with rust-resistant paint if and when needed.

How long does a Stone Coated Steel roof last?

It can vary greatly in cost, from $650- $1,150 and may not be quite as durable as a standing seam roof.

With a wind uplift rating of 120 MPH, and an expected lifespan of 40 to 50 years, a stone coated metal roof is an excellent, light-weight roofing option for storm-prone environments.

How long does a Standing Seam roof last?

Costs for standing-seam metal roofs average about $1,000 to $1,800 per square.

Standing seam metal roofs, depending on the profile and metal thickness, have a wind uplift rating of around 120 MPH. These roofs are virtually maintenance free and have a lifespan of 30 to 50 years, but as a relatively new product, information is still being gathered.

In good circumstances, metal roofs may well last 75 years. To maximize lifespan, regularly check them to make sure that fasteners and sealants haven’t failed, and inspect for distressed, bent, or slipped panels.

With hail being an ever-present threat in Texas it is important to know that although highly durable and long-lasting, depending on the size of hail and material chosen, standing seam metal roofs can experience cosmetic damage not covered by insurance during hail storms.

A key to a long-lasting standing seam metal roof is the quality of its installation, therefore make sure the installers have plenty of past jobs to demonstrate their experience and expertise, and knowledge of materials that will stand up to hail.

How long does a Copper roof last?

On average, you can expect to pay somewhere between $1,100 to $1,500 per square for a copper roof.

Copper roofs can last 100 years or more and require very little maintenance. And if that is not enough to make you long for one, if a copper roof is properly installed and any minor damage is repaired or addressed as it occurs, a copper roof can last longer than many people own the home. Unlike many other metal roofing materials, copper requires no painting or finishing.

Copper roofs can expand and contract when the temperature fluctuates which can cause the fasteners to loosen and require repair. However, this is not a major concern and is an easy fix should it occur.


How long does a Clay Tiled roof last?

Clay tiles are a more expensive option ranging from $1,000 to $2,600 per square depending on the style of tile.

As plenty of archaeological sites have proven, clay tiled roofs are incredibly long-lasting. Some clay roofs have a lifespan of up to 100 years. When it comes to a shorter lifespan of a clay tiled roof, it is usually the underlayment and flashing that are the cause for early replacement. Or if tiles are installed on a mortar bed system, they are susceptible to slippage and can last as little as ten years. Installation by professional roofers is critical, especially ones that have experience laying clay tiled roofs.

It is common for a clay tile roof to last for 80 years, so manufacturers often offer warranties for 50 years or more. You can prolong that length of time, by avoiding walking on your tile roof as much as possible and replacing cracked and broken tiles as soon as you spot them.

Despite their expensive price, clay tiles are still a popular choice due to their long lifespan, resistance to mold, hail, fires. Since clay tiles are created from sustainable materials they are also an excellent eco-friendly roofing option.

They are also able to withstand winds over 125 MPH, and are an ideal choice for Texas home as they allow air flow between the tiles, which keep your home cool during the hot summer months!



How long does a Wood Shake roof last?

Cedar shakes can cost anywhere from $400 to $900 per square, while other shakes tend to be cheaper at around $350 per square. You will also want to consider the cost of constant upkeep on your balance sheet. Although a wood shake roof is twice as expensive as an asphalt roof, it should last twice as long.

Wood shake is a traditional material that has been used on roofs for hundreds of years. Wood shake tends to be made from pressure-treated wood or cedar and is a more expensive option compared to composition shingles, but they tend to last longer at between 25 to 35 years. The lifespan of a wood shake roof is highly variable depending on your local climate, the type of wood used and the thickness of the shake. 

Of all the different types of roofing material, wood shakes require a lot of attention. To maximize their lifespan, you will need to stay on top of periodic maintenance. The roof will need to be cleaned and chemically treated periodically to preserve the wood.

The main issue with wood shake is its vulnerability to rain or general moisture. Since wood is an organic material, it will decay and moss can grow if it is not properly treated. This is particularly a problem during the rainy Texas spring. However, wood shake roofs can withstand winds up to a whopping 245mph, so they are more likely to survive the Texas storms intact.

While there are many species that can be used for wood shakes, the most common are:

  • Redwood
  • Cedar
  • Pine
  • Cypress

Cedar is one of the world’s strongest natural materials for roofing and can last for 30 years or more if well-maintained. Redwood is often appreciated as the most visually appealing wood shake option, however, there is usually a limited supply of redwood in Texas making it a more expensive option. Both pine and cypress are budget-friendly alternatives, but are not as long-lasting as cedar and will typically only last 20 years.



How long does a Slate roof last?


Because of how heavy slate is, it is an expensive roofing option costing you around $1,500 to $3,000 per square to insta
ll.

You can expect a slate roof to have a lifespan of between 50 to 100 years when they are properly maintained. Slate isn’t easily damaged by fluctuations in the weather, so in Spring when it is heavy storms in the morning followed by the hot sun in the afternoon, it won’t affect your slate roof the way it could a composition roof. It is resistant to wind and storms, hail and fire. It’s also less prone to leaks and moisture collection. Slate is impervious to mold and mildew.

Like tile, slate can be fragile, and require extra support due to its weight. Slate roofs generally require very little maintenance; however, fasteners and nails are usually the culprits to any problems with slate roofs. These components should be inspected regularly to ensure the longevity of the roof. Because of how heavy slate is, it is an expensive roofing option. Though, if you can afford it, you will have a roof that should protect your home for as long as you live there and can also increase the resale value of your home.



How long does a Concrete Tile roof last?

Concrete tiles are cheaper than clay tiles at approximately $700 per square.

Concrete tiles are very similar to clay tile in their makeup and properties, however they pretty much last half as long at around 40 to 50 years and thus are a cheaper option for your roof at approximately $700 per square. Like clay, they are heavy, so your roofing contractor will need to ensure the foundation of your home can withstand the weight.

This type of roofing is virtually maintenance-free and is resistant to rot, insects and fire.

Concrete tiles are baked to hardness, providing protection against Texas wildfires. These tiles can also withstand 120 MPH winds with no damage. They are also a great option for helping keep your home cool through the Texan summers, as they take a long time to heat and only a short time to cool.

Factors other than materials that affect the lifespan of your roof

While the material used for your roof will have the biggest impact on its longevity, there are other factors that come into play too.

The elements

Nature can give your roof a tough beating over the years! While roofing systems can withstand extreme conditions, over the years strong winds, heavy downpours, and hailstones will take their toll on even the strongest roofing system. So it is worth seriously considering how the different roofing materials withstand these different elements. For example, if you are considering composition shingles, we highly advise getting impact resistant shingles that are hail resistant and can withstand higher wind forces. In addition, composition shingles are more prone to damage from the sun.

Pitch

The slope of a roof determines its ability to shed water. Every resilient roofing system has a limit in terms of how much ponding it can tolerate before it loses it strength. Higher sloping roofs will shed water or snow faster and thus will dry faster and avoid over saturation of the roofing materials. Installing an effective gutter system and keeping the gutters clear will help with water runoff.  

Sun exposure

Unfortunately for Texas homeowners, our long and hot summers will impact the lifespan of your roofs. Excessive heat accelerates wear and tear and shingles are particularly at risk. Roofing materials that are dark colored in nature are more prone to sun damage as they will absorb the heat. Lighter hues will reflect heat more effectively and will help prevent a shortened life span due to heat and UV damage. But don’t panic just yet if you have your heart set on a darker colored roof! You can opt for roofing materials such as metal, clay, concrete, and slate that are better at withstanding Texas summers.

Ventilation

The humidity in Texas can be painfully unforgiving, for both you and your home. If condensation occurs in your attic, the buildup of moisture can cause mold growth, decay the wooden beams in your roof and attic and ultimately lead to structural damage. Poor attic ventilation also causes heat buildup in your attic, which can cook roofing materials, particularly composition shingles, from the inside.

Insulation

Inadequate insulation can cause the temperature in your attic to soar. Combined with bad ventilation, this makes it very difficult to regulate the temperature in your attic and lead to the problems mentioned above for poor attic ventilation.

Installation

It is essential to hire a competent and experienced roofing contractor to install the roof.

Workmanship errors are the most frequent cause of premature roof failures. Installation defects can cause early deterioration. Not even the best roofing materials can last long due to improper installation and may lead to a preemptive roof replacement.

Maintenance

After proper installation, maintenance is your best friend when it comes to prolonging the life or your roof. Every roof needs care and attention, and by not tending to your room means you will most likely be replacing it before its estimated life span. It is also important to know, you might lose the validity of your warranty if you forgo specific maintenance duties.


Deciding on the right roofing material for your home isn’t an easy task, especially when there are so many options. But if you get it right you may not need to think about it again for 50 years or more! It is worthwhile thinking long-term even if you don’t plan to live in your home for long, a roof with a longer lifespan will add ease and value to your home.

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Call 972-644-6556 or Contact Us today for a free estimate!

Do Metal Roofs Interfere With Cell Phone Reception?

The short answer: Usually not! It’s pretty unlikely that getting a metal roof on your home will drastically change your cell phone signal.

Read on to find out why, and what you can do if you are struggling to get a cell phone signal in your home.


Metal Roofs and Cell Phones

Metal roofs keep getting more and more popular with homeowners because they have so many benefits. In turn, we get asked a lot of questions about metal roofing, and one of the most common is: will a new metal roof affect the cell phone reception in my home?

Man frustrated with bad cell phone signal

It’s a fair question! Cell phones are a necessary part of daily life for most of us. Bad connections, poor voice quality, dropped calls, texts and emails that won’t go through – not to mention trying to share the cute cat video you found on YouTube – is extremely frustrating and not something you want to be dealing with every time you’re at home. Let’s be real here: not getting cell signal renders your phone practically useless.

However, people tend to forget that they regularly use their cell phones under metal roofs without even noticing it. Many of the restaurants you eat at, the malls you shop at, and other businesses you regularly visit have metal roofs, and you don’t lose cell reception the moment you step into one. Your home environment, with a metal roof, should be the same.


What Causes a Poor Cell Phone Signal?

There are various factors that can affect the strength of a cell signal in your home, such as where your home is located, its distance from a utility tower, weather conditions, and which cell service carrier you use.

Bad cell phone reception generally falls into two categories:

  • Localized poor coverage, where you can get better signal by moving to another room or going outside. This kind of bad reception is due to building materials or some other local destructive interference, and can often be fixed.
  • Geographical poor coverage, where the whole area has a poor signal. This kind of bad reception is because you’re just too far away from a tower, and in this case, you’ll have cell phone issues with or without a metal roof. Geographical reception barriers are often insurmountable, unless you can get a cell tower built closer to your home!

With such strong networks today, if you’re near a city or in suburbia, the cause of a bad cell signal is far more likely to be localized rather than geographical. There are two main culprits for localized poor coverage:

1) Interference from the buildings or landscape around your home. If there’s something blocking a direct line of sight to the closest tower – trees, buildings, hills and so on — the signal will need to bounce off something before it can be received by the tower. In this case, you’ll typically experience erratic signal that fluctuates up and down.

External obstructions that may cause poor phone signal at home

Image courtesy of Wilson Amplifiers.

2) The construction materials used in your home. Common building materials like brick, metal, wood, and energy saving window coatings can impede signal coming in, causing weak signal or dead spots in your home. The tell-tale sign of this is when you have perfect signal outside your home and lose signal once you’re inside.

A metal roof is just one of many building materials that may weaken cell phone reception. Generally, if you do have poor cell phone service in your home, it will be due to the cumulative effect of the materials used. No one material will be the sole perpetrator.  

Internal obstructions that may cause poor phone signal at home
Image courtesy of Wilson Amplifiers.

So, metal roofs don’t actually interrupt cell phone reception. If you have consistently good cell phone signal in all areas in your home, a metal roof shouldn’t make any noticeable difference. Unfortunately, if you currently have a weak or spotty cell phone signal inside your home, it’s possible that a metal roof could be the last straw.

But if you currently have poor cell phone reception, and you really want a metal roof, do not be deterred! There are plenty of ways to improve your phone’s reception no matter the cause – including the unusual situation that a metal roof does drastically affect your cell signal.


How to Improve Cell Phone Signal in Your Home

Give your signal a boost with a Cell Phone Signal Booster

A cell phone signal booster, also known as a cellular repeater, does exactly what it says on the box: it boosts your cell phone signal.

It’s a system that takes an existing outside signal, brings it inside the house, boosts up the power of the signal, and then broadcasts it to parts of or your whole home.

It’s worth remembering that a cell phone signal booster can’t create a signal, only boost a weaker one. For maximum effectiveness, put the unit in an area of your home where you have good reception, such as near a window sill.

You can buy boosters from your cell phone carrier, but that booster will only work on your carrier’s network. If friends and family on a different network visit you, the booster won’t help them. However, you can generally find third party boosters that will work for multiple carrier networks. Prices range from the $100 to $200 all the way to nearly $1,000. Some of the new, more expensive boosters are plug and play: you plug them in and they work right away without having to install an outdoor antenna.

FEMTOCELL: The lifesaver if you have no signal at home

Femtocells are similar to boosters, but they have to be plugged into your router so they can use your internet connection. Essentially, it’s a small cellular tower that provides a signal in and near your home, connecting to the larger mobile network over your internet connection.

This means that you can use them in areas where you have absolutely no signal what so ever. Most of the major carriers have their own Femtocells: you may have heard names like Verizon Network Extender, Sprint Airave and T-Mobile Personal CellSpot. Interestingly, AT&T dropped their Microcell product as of December 2018, shifting their focus to Wi-Fi calling.

Similar to boosters, if you get one from a carrier, it will only work for phones using that provider. On the plus side, if you live in an area your carrier knows has poor service, give them a call. You may be able to get a femtocell for free or at a steep discount.

You can also buy femtocells that work for multiple carries from Amazon or at a tech store. These devices cost more than cell phone signal boosters and it can be hard to source ones that cater for all the specific carriers you need. You should also be aware that a femtocell may affect your monthly broadband internet bill, so be sure to factor this into your decision.

Furthermore, almost anyone can use the signal your femtocell is providing so long as they have the same carrier as you, which means that someone who is nearby or passing through can use your internet connection. If you’re in an urban area, multiple devices may connect to your femtocell, taking up your precious bandwidth and using up data. To combat this, some carriers allow you to create a whitelist so only your devices can connect, or you can have priority numbers. 

Take Advantage of your Wi-Fi Network

In all likelihood you have Wi-Fi already set up in your home and you are aware of the fact you can send texts and make calls using apps such as Skype, Google Hangouts, iMessage and Facetime. We won’t preach to the choir here.

However, you may not know that T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, MetroPCS and Verizon have developed Wi-Fi calling. When this feature is enabled due to weak signal, your phone will automatically switch to a nearby open Wi-Fi network without you even noticing!

Consult Apple’s list of carriers that support iPhone features and check if your carrier offers the “Wi-Fi calling” feature on an iPhone. To enable Wi-Fi calling on an iPhone, head to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling.

There’s no big list of carriers and devices that work with Wi-Fi calling on Android, so consult your carrier or search the web for more information if you’re using Android. To enable Wi-Fi calling on an Android phone, head to Settings > Wireless and Networks > More > Wi-Fi Calling. Phone manufacturers can customize Android, so this setting may also be located in a different location or called something else on your Android phone. Again, your carrier will likely have instructions for you.

Over the 25 years we have been in business, none of our clients have reported a loss of cell signal when a metal roof has been installed on their home. So, while it is possible for a metal roof to affect your cell phone reception at your home, it’s extremely unlikely – and there are a number of good solutions that can boost your signal if needed!


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What To Do About Hail Damage On Your Roof


(This is Part 2 of our blog series on hail storms. For Part 1, see How To Prepare Your Home For Hail Storms.)

The clouds roll in. The winds rise. And suddenly, giant balls of ice are plummeting out of the sky, and we all have a collective moment of panic about whether our cars are in the garage.

Texas has more hail storms than any other state in the country, and you can be sure that we’ll see some hail in DFW sometime between March and June every year. It’s easy to see the damage to your patio, landscaping, and vehicle – but what about your roof?

A significant percentage of roofs that are hit by hail don’t get replaced because homeowners can’t see the damage from the ground. But even seemingly minor hail storms can cause big problems later. Just a small patch of exposed asphalt immediately begins to deteriorate under UV radiation, potentially leading to leaks and expensive water damage – at which point it might be too late to make a successful insurance claim.

We’ll cover how to determine if there’s hail damage on your roof, what to do next, and how to make sure you get the best coverage from your insurance company.

How To Determine Hail Damage On Your Roof

Here’s our usual warning: please don’t climb up on your roof to look for damage after a hail storm! Climbing on your roof at any time is risky, but it is especially dangerous with ice and water still around. Instead, you can get a general idea of whether you need to get a roof inspection by looking at your:

  • Decks and painted wood surfaces
  • Gutters and downspouts
  • Outdoor air condenser unit
  • Siding
  • Windows, windowsills, and casings
  • Plants, grass, bushes, and flowerbeds
  • Mailbox

If these parts of your home have dents, dings, cracks or other damage (similar to the pictures above), then it’s probable that your roof does too.

Finally, check out your surrounding neighborhood. Do cars have dents in them? Is there much damage to the front lawns? Chances are, if your neighbors are having their roofs repaired or replaced after a storm, then your roof likely suffered damage too.

Evidence To Gather After A Hail Storm

If you think your roof may have hail damage, you’ll want to start collecting evidence immediately. Most insurance companies are honest, but it’s important to keep records to back up your position in case your claim is mishandled or unfairly rejected.

After a hailstorm we suggest that you:

Keep copies of all your correspondence with roofers, inspectors, and insurance adjusters. When you speak to someone on the phone, document when you spoke, who you talked to, what was discussed, and what the outcome was.

Note the exact date and time of the hail storm. Your insurance company may need to verify this information with weather records.

Take photos of your yard, home, and property, paying close attention to damaged areas. The more photos you take, the better! Make sure you include some of a hailstone next to another object for scale, like a golf ball or ruler. And then back up those photos to the cloud so you can’t lose them!

Keep receipts for any expenses you incur due to the hail storm. For example, if the damage was so extensive that you have to stay at a hotel, make sure you keep a record of that.

This doesn’t have to be too complicated – just grab a small notebook where you can jot down notes about conversations and keep any paperwork. If you need to prove damage later on, it’ll be a lifesaver!

Get A Roof Inspection After A Hail Storm

If you suspect roof damage, your next step – even before calling your insurance company! – is to get a roof inspection.

Most roofing companies offer free roof inspections and will know exactly what to look for when they get up on your roof. Having a qualified roofing contractor come out will also give you peace of mind that there isn’t any current damage that could cause big problems later on.

It’s important to get the inspection done quickly, preferably within a week or two but certainly within a month. While homeowners typically have one year to file a hail damage claim with their insurance company, you have to be able to show that the roof damage was actually caused by the hail storm. This means that the longer you leave the inspection, the easier it is for an insurance company to claim that your current roof damage was caused by waiting too long to get repairs. Unfortunately, this applies whether you were aware of the damage or not!

Getting a prompt roof inspection also protects you when you sell your home in the future. The last thing you want is for a buyer’s inspection to turn up hail damage you weren’t aware of, because then the buyer will want the roof replaced before closing, or try to reduce the sales price to cover the roof repair. Either way, it will cost you.

Overall, you have a lot more to lose from not getting a roof inspection. After all, it’s free, so go ahead and set one up quickly after the next hail storm comes your way.  

But who should you choose?

How To Avoid Storm Chasers

If you’ve ever gone through a big hail storm, you know what happens next. Storm chasers blow into town too, knocking on doors, leaving flyers everywhere, and generally being a nuisance. While some of these companies are legitimate and reputable, sadly, the majority are not.

Storm chasers are typically smaller, not-very-trustworthy roofing companies that descend on a neighborhood hit by hail, hoping to pick up roofing jobs. They’re often not local, which means it’s harder to get resolution if there are any problems or concerns during the repair process. Some even collect money from homeowners and then move on to the next storm before paying suppliers or finishing their work.

The biggest red flag is any roofing company that offers to pay your homeowner’s insurance deductible. This is illegal and you will be committing insurance fraud, plain and simple. Whatever way these scammers try to rationalize it to you, not paying your deductible is a breach of contract by you, the homeowner. If you profit in any way from your insurance claim, such as not paying your deductible or pocketing any of the insurance money, you are committing fraud – so don’t even go there!

Here are our tops tips for avoiding storm chasers who just want to scam vulnerable homeowners after a hail storm:

  • Don’t pay cash up front.
  • Run away from any contractor that offers to pay your insurance deductible.
  • Choose local companies and get several estimates.
  • Research the contractors you’re considering: check their references, their Google and Facebook reviews, and their Better Business Bureau rating, and make sure they have worker’s compensation and liability insurance.

For more on this, take a look at our post on How to Choose the Best Roofing Company.

What To Expect From Your Roofing Inspection

The roofing contractor will let you know whether your roof is damaged, and if so, give you an approximate quote on how much the repairs will cost. This repair estimate from the roofing contractor helps you have a reference point when your insurance adjuster comes to evaluate the damage.

Roofing contractors marked hail damage after a roof inspection.

Furthermore, a qualified roof inspector will know whether the hail damage is functional or cosmetic. Cosmetic damage means that although there are signs of hail, the roof’s ability to protect the home isn’t affected. Functional hail damage refers to damage that affects the integrity and longevity of the roof. Insurers can avoid paying a claim for purely cosmetic damage, so a roof inspector can use his expertise to point out areas where the damage is truly functional.

Ultimately, your roofing contractor will give you a written estimate with photos, detailing the damage that you can use when you file your claim. Good contractors will also guide you through the claims process, as they work with insurance companies every day and understand the process better than the average homeowner.

Even after a severe hail storm, there are times when the damage isn’t enough to warrant a roof insurance claim. Getting a repair estimate from the roofing contractor will give you an idea of whether the damage is more than your deductible on your insurance, and whether it’s worthwhile filing a claim.

Filing A Hail Damage Roof Insurance Claim

If your hail damage does require repair or replacement, the next step is to contact your homeowner’s insurance company. Of all the tips for filing an insurance claim, one of the most important is to get your insurance company fully involved from the beginning!

Organize all your records, facts and photographs so you can give your insurer the necessary information.  Once you’ve filed a claim, you will be assigned a case number and an insurance assessor will be scheduled to come out to evaluate the damage to your roof to determine how much the insurance company will pay out.

Make sure that when the insurance adjuster comes, you also get the roofing contractor to come at the same time. You are entitled to have a contractor of choice represent you during the adjustment process to expediate the settlement of your claim. While a contractor can’t attest to your insurance coverage or argue with your adjuster over the scope of the work, they can offer their expertise in the degree of damage to your roofing and siding, and will make sure that the assessor doesn’t overlook any of the hail damage to your roof.

According to The Lane Law Firm many homeowners fear if they make a claim, their rates will go up or their policy could be cancelled. While this may be true for incidents within your control, like a bathtub overflowing, it is not the case for naturally occurring events like hail storms. These are considered “Act of God” incidents and cannot result in an increase in premiums, cancellation, or non-renewal. So don’t avoid filing a claim promptly!

Once the insurance adjuster approves your claim, the insurance company will send you their approved scope of work along with pricing. If your roofing contractor disagrees, it’s the contractor’s job to provide evidence to why the scope of work or pricing needs to be adjusted. This is another place where choosing a local, reputable company will stand you in good stead.

What To Do If Your Roof Insurance Claim Is Denied

If you receive a denial for your claim, you can contest it and ask for a reinspection.

There are plenty of reasons why an insurance denial might be made at first and then overturned. Perhaps a mistake was made during the process, or the denial was made based on inaccurate information, so be persistent.

When a claim is denied, the insurance company must provide a written explanation within 15 days of you providing all requested information. This letter should give you clear, specific reasons for the denial and should reference the section of your policy that supports the denial. Compare the denial reason with the language cited in your policy. If the reason is vague or ambiguous, request further clarification in writing from your insurance company. And don’t forget to keep documenting all correspondence!

The best next step is a reinspection from the insurance adjuster. During a reinspection, the insurance adjustor meets with the roofing contractor to review your roof damage together. Your roofing contractor may be able point out things the adjuster missed the first time around. Reinspections are common, and a second look may be all it takes to get your claim approved.

As a last resort, in cases where the denial stands but you feel your claim is justified, you can file an appeal or take the issue to a third-party regulatory agency in your state—typically an insurance commission.

Final Thoughts On Recovering From Hail Damage

Although undergoing a severe hail storm is overwhelming and stressful, we hope this guide will make it easier for you next time a storm comes your way. With the right information, and a reputable contractor to guide you, you should be able to get your roof repaired or replaced with as little hassle as possible.

Any time you think your roof might have storm damage, please give us a call. We’d be happy to come out and give you a free inspection and our honest opinion on your options moving forward.

Images used thorough this post are courtesy of Florida Insurance Claim Lawyers, Gardening Blog, International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Omaha World-Herald, Picrevise and Roofing Life.


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How to Prepare Your Home for Hail Storms


While spring signals that hot weather is just around the corner, it also marks the start of hail season. Texas homeowners can typically expect hail and heavy storms from March through June each year, and they can cause a lot of damage.

In fact, Texas is first in the nation in catastrophe claims and losses, largely due to wind and hailstorm claims. In 2017 alone, Texas had 747 hail events – the highest of any other state in the country.

And last June, just one hailstorm in DFW racked up approximately $1 billion in insured losses to properties and automobiles, damaging 20,000 structures and 25,000 vehicles, and making it the fifth storm in 5 years to cost the DFW area over $1 billion in storm damage!

Unfortunately, you can’t prevent all hailstorm damage. However, there are several preventative steps that will increase the chances of your property surviving intact. Planning ahead can mean the difference between extensive damage and minor problems!

Repair Roof Damage Before Hail Storms Start

Our number one tip is to make sure you don’t enter hail season with an already damaged roof.

Going into hail season with damaged or missing shingles means that one heavy storm could cause your roof to fail, leaving the rest of your home and its contents vulnerable. Leaks, mold, and structural damage can be expensive to fix, so it’s far more cost effective to have your roof’s weak points inspected and repaired before the hail arrives. Your roof will stand a much better chance of making it through hail season without significant damage. Plus, insurance policies don’t pay out for older roof damage, so it’s not a good idea to hope that the next big storm will get all your roof repairs covered.

We recommend getting a qualified roof inspector to see if there are any issues that could compromise your roof’s integrity. An expert will be able to take a close look at the roof’s condition and assess any problem areas that could be exacerbated during a storm and might require expensive repairs, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing exactly what the state of your roof is.

Designer Roofing offers free roof inspections year-round, so give us a call any time for an honest expert opinion.

Image showing how they measure hail stone impact on roof materials
Image courtesy of the Institute
For Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

If any part of your roof does require replacing, now may be a great time to consider investing in impact-resistant roofing such as architectural shingle or metal roofing. Metal roofing, like stone coated steel and standing seam roofing, is incredibly durable and hail-resistant, although it might take some cosmetic damage from a severe hail storm. Look for materials with a Class 3 or 4 rating under the Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) 2218 standard. Class 4 is the highest rating and means that the product did not crack when hit twice in the same area by a two-inch steel ball.

While impact-resistant roofing choices cost more initially, they also last significantly longer in North Texas’ extreme weather conditions, saving you money in the long run. Plus, most insurance companies offer premium discounts for Class 4 rated roofs, anywhere from 15% to 35%.

You can check the UL Class of your roof in this Home State Insurance list of roofing materials that qualify for discounts on homeowners insurance.

Protect Your Home from Wind Damage

It’s not only hail stones that are a concern during a hail storm. High winds can damage your roof and fittings and fling things at your home, so a little preventative spring cleaning maintenance could save you a lot of money later on.

In March:

Trim your trees

Check for any dead limbs, weak areas, and overhanging branches that could potentially fall on your home during a storm. Even big, sturdy branches are at risk during a hail storm as hail is more likely to break these branches than rain.

Clear the gutters

Make sure your gutters and drainpipes are free from any leaves or other debris that may have built up over the winter. You want to make sure that water can efficiently drain from your roof, especially when hail is melting, to avoid any leaks or water damage.

Before a big storm:

Put away your  lawn furniture

Patio furniture, trampolines, unattached swing sets and more can all cause damage to your house during a heavy spring storm. These items may become airborne and be sent flying into you or your neighbor’s home, so if possible, put them in a garage or storage shed. If you can’t move items into a covered area, make sure to secure them if they pose even the slightest threat to your home and roof.

Cover your windows

It doesn’t take huge hailstones to make chips or cracks in your windows, and many homeowners are surprised by the damage seemingly small hailstones can do. Storm shutters will protect window glass from shattering, so they can be a good investment in areas with lots of heavy spring storms. You can also use plywood to cover your windows, and close interior curtains and blinds to prevent wind from blowing glass in if hail does break or shatter your windows. If you’re getting ready to replace your windows in the near future, consider buying models that are wind and impact resistant.

Check Your Insurance

Finally, we strongly recommend that you find out what your insurance covers and how much your deductible will be before hail season starts, so you don’t have any unexpected surprises.

Review your deductibles so you know exactly how much you will be out of pocket in the event of hail damage. Remember that insurance deductibles for hail storms are different than deductibles for other types of claims, such as fire or theft. Rather than charging a flat amount, most insurers charge a percentage of the home’s insured value as the deductible. This can range from 2% all the way up to 5% of the insured value of your home: for a home with an insured value of $200,000 and a 3% deductible the homeowner will pay $6,000, which is a pretty large sum of money out of pocket before your insurance company pays out after a storm!


As we enter hail season here in Texas, we hope you take the time to protect your home from damage! If you need a roof inspection, please give us a call – and if you’ve been hit by a hail storm, check out our next blog post: What To Do About Hail Damage On Your Roof.

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Choosing The Best Metal Roof Colors For Your Homes

You’ve finally decided on a metal roof for your home (because of their many benefits!) and it’s on to the next choice: what color?

You’ll want to select a roof color that not only matches the exterior of your home, but also enhances its overall curb appeal. You might also be interested in a metal roof color that lowers your energy bills. Whether you’re considering stone coated steel or a standing seam roof, this is your guide to choosing the perfect color for your metal roof.

Part 1 covers the basics of choosing metal roof colors, and Part 2 will talk about how the style of your home affects your choice.


Choosing Metal Roof Colors

No matter what style your home is, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

Design Guidelines for Metal Roofs

An example of Colorview by CertainTeed, an online tool for color combinations for your home.
An example of Colorview by CertainTeed, an online tool for color combinations for your home.

Look at your potential color choice in natural light, not just under synthetic light in the showroom or your home. Get an idea of how the color changes in the bright sunshine as opposed to a gray day. Do you like the color in the morning sun, as well as the subdued dusk of the evening?

Create harmony between all elements of your home: not just the roof and the brick, but also other features like stone, wood facades, doors, trim, shutters, and decorative accents.

Don’t get too matchy-matchy. Homes tend to look more dramatic and attractive when you choose a roofing color that isn’t an exact match to the exterior. Color specialists advise staying in the same color family as your exterior siding, but going darker for your roof.

There are some pretty fun online tools to explore as well. We like these two by the Metal Roofing Association and CertainTeed, where you can even upload a photo of your own house and play around with different color combinations.


The Dark Side or the Light Side?

The same house with a light and a dark metal roof done in Colorview by CertainTeed.
Image courtesy of CertainTeed.

Choosing a dark or light roof color has a tremendous impact on the look of your entire home. A dark shingle can help balance the look of a taller multi-level home, while dark shingles on a single-story home can make the house seem “all roof.” A light shingle can be a good choice when your roof is large and you want to help it blend in.


Energy-Efficient Metal Roof Colors

Sample of ENERGY STAR metal roof rated color options from Berridge.
Energy Star rated metal roof color options from Berridge.

You can also consider a lighter roof color to make your home more energy-efficient.

Homeowners in Texas know that keeping your home cool during the summer can be costly! Lighter colored roofs will reflect the sun’s heat and can help lower your monthly energy bill by as much as 20-30%.

But if you really want a darker color, don’t despair. Metal is one of the most energy efficient roofing materials, and standing seam roofs in particular reflect so much radiation that even dark colors can be Energy Star rated. All our metal roofing suppliers – Boral, Berridge, McElrory, Decra and Varitile – offer either Energy Star rated roofing products or Energy Star color options.


Considering Copper

Cooper is a color option for metal roofs
Image courtesy of Coastal Shows.

If you want a copper roof, you don’t have to consider any other color options! While all roofs fade over time, no other roofing material undergoes copper’s drastic change. Initially, copper is a distinct bright orange-brown color. As the metal oxidizes with the air over its first 20 years, it slowly changes to different hues of brown and gray before developing a striking blue-green patina.


Homeowners Association Rules for Metal Roofs

Row of homes with matching metal roofs.
Image courtesy of Realtor.com.

Before you become too attached to a certain color, it’s best to consider the overall look of your neighborhood (hello, HOAs!). Do you want to blend in or stand out? What is and isn’t allowed?

We once installed a standing seam metal roof on a home in Dallas, and only when the job was finished did the homeowner discover that it wasn’t allowed under his HOA rules! In the end, we had to take it all off and replace it with a stone coated steel roof instead.


Paint Finishes

Image showing the ageing affects of paint

A metal roof is an investment. You want it to last as long as possible, so please make sure your installer uses a top-quality paint. You need paint treated with a special acrylic resin which blocks UV light and prevents premature fading, corrosion, peeling, water infiltration and rust. The current industry standard is PVDF and is generally marketed as Kynar 500 or Hylar 5000.


Choosing Metal Roof Colors for Different Architectural Styles

With those general considerations out of the way, let’s discuss how your home’s architectural style affects your choice of metal roof colors. If you have a more traditional home in a Tudor or Colonial style, then more muted colors like gray, brown, and cream can help create a classic look. If you have a more modern home, you have the freedom to be more adventurous. A survey by Trulia shows that Americans favor craftsman-style homes (43%), followed closely by ranch (41%) and colonial (36%). In Texas the most popular home is the ranch home, followed by modern and contemporary styles.


Standing seam metal roof on a ranch home.

Ranch Homes With Metal Roofs

First built in the 1930s, ranch homes were originally modeled after rural western ranches and became widely popular in the 1960s. This is the most popular home style in Texas, typically single-story with a low-pitched gable end or hipped roof. They’re common across all the DFW suburbs, including Bedford, Irving, Mesquite, and Richardson.


With ranch-style homes, you may prefer a lighter roof color. A dark roof can make your home appear squished, while a light color will add height to your home. To tie in with the theme many ranch homes have of connecting to the outside, weathered greys or muted green will complement the natural surroundings and create a laid-back look.


Stone coated steel metal roof installed by Designer Roofing on a Mediterranean home in Texas.

Mediterranean Homes With Metal Roofs

The Mediterranean style, also called Spanish Revival or Spanish Mission, became popular in the U.S in the 1920s and 1930s. This distinctive style is modeled after Spanish homes and mission churches, with plaster walls, low-pitched red tile roofs, arches, and bell towers. Homes with Mediterranean architecture can be seen throughout Preston Hollow, University Park, and Highland Park, with newer builds in this style popping up throughout Southlake and Frisco.


Stone coated steel metal roofing is a great option to mimic the look of clay tiles with less weight and greater durability. And don’t feel like you have to go with the classic terracotta color: the slideshow below shows browns and golds also complement this style of home nicely.


Metal roof on a modern home in Dallas, TX.

Modern Homes With Metal Roofs

The “modern” style of architecture comes from the 1950s and 1960s, so these homes actually tend to be over 50 years old. Modern homes have clean, geometric lines and have flat or lower-pitched roofs. You can find them throughout the Metroplex, but they’re particularly common below 635 in Preston Hollow, Oak Lawn, and Lower Greenville.

On a modern home, there’s often not much roof to be seen from the ground. Still, a bold roof color can help accentuate the lines of the home and create a dramatic contrast to the siding.



Metal roof on a contemporary home in Dallas, TX.

Contemporary Homes With Metal Roofs

Contemporary architecture tends to get confused with the Modern style, and it’s an easy mistake to make as they have several similarities. The Contemporary style is always evolving, so these homes have a lot of variety in their design and appearance. Currently, this style tends to have a boxy, modular layout, flat or low-pitched roofs, large windows, and a focus on sustainable building materials.

A popular roofing style is to use either wood or metal cladding on both the wall and roof to create an uninterrupted transition, usually seen with gable roofs. Alternatively, as with modern homes, a flat roof’s color can be used to accentuate the lines of the home.



Metal roof on a Tudor home.

Tudor Homes With Metal Roofs

Originating from England, the Tudor home style is easy to spot, with its steeply pitched, multi-gabled roofs and decorative half-timber framing. This style of home became popular in the first half of the 20th century. Unsurprisingly, considering where they come from, the steeply pitched roofs are perfect for rain and snowy conditions.

Tudor homes tend to look more traditional, so they are often complemented by color schemes of brown, buff, cream, and white. Green tones also work nicely with most Tudor brickwork.



Stone coated steel metal roof installed by Designer Roofing on a home in Texas.

Craftsman Homes With Metal Roofs

The craftsman style is an early 20th century favorite that exemplified the arts and crafts movement, with an emphasis on natural materials like wood, stone and brick. Typically, these homes are short and boxy, with wide front porches, low-pitched roofs, and attractive wooden framing. Many of the older homes in Fort Worth’s Fairmount neighborhood are craftsman style, and in Dallas you can find them in Oak Cliff and East Dallas.

As this style of home is so compact, it can easily be overpowered with too much of a darker color. Pops of brighter, lighter colors work well when paired with a gray or white roof. A brown roof can work well with timber accents on the home’s exterior as long as a lighter color is used for the siding.



McElroy Metal standing seam roof on a colonial home.

Colonial Homes With Metal Roofs

The Colonial style originated with early American settlers in the 1600s and is one of the most popular in our history. There are many variations, but Colonial architecture can be identified by evenly spaced windows, shutters, and columns.

More traditional colors, like shades of grays, browns and blues, enhance the classical look of these homes. If the siding is brick, a brown or black roof compliment the home nicely. Yellow is a popular siding color and works well with a gray roof. Most people choose a dark roof color to highlight the symmetry of their colonial home, but light colors also make an eye-catching design statement.



Standing seam metal roof installed by Designer Roofing on a Traditional home in Prosper, Texas.

Traditional Homes With Metal Roofs

Traditional house plans are the mutt of house styles, as they incorporate a mix of several different styles. The Traditional style is what you find all over North Texas suburbs like Flower Mound and McKinney, with two stories, a simple roofline, and architectural features like turrets, balconies, and stonework.

In Texas, Traditional homes often have mottled gray roofs that blend in, allowing other features to come to the fore. These houses most often have roofs of high-quality architectural shingle, but we’re seeing more and more homeowners choose metal roofing when it’s time to re-roof.



We hope we’ve helped you decide on the metal roof colors that are perfect for your home. For more inspiration, you can check out our gallery and our Facebook page. And if you’d like to share a picture of your new metal roof, we’d love to see what color you chose!

Images used thorough this post are courtesy of Architectural Digest, Berridge, Boral, CertainTeedChristopher Polly, Coastal Shows, DecraFreshome, HomeditHomestratosphereHome Adore, Los Angeles TimesMcElroy MetalMdwstudioMetal Roofing AllianceRealtor.comRoofing Calculator and Varitile.


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Buying a New Home? A Roof Inspection Will Save You Money.

A couple inspecting the roof of a potential new home

Buying a new home is a huge life decision. Prospective buyers know they need to make sure their new dream home has a sound foundation and safe electrical wiring, but inspecting the roof is often overlooked. This is surprising, considering how integral roofs are to protecting a home, and how expensive a new roof can be.

According to the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association, roof deficiencies are the most common problem reported by home inspectors. But as we’ll explain, you won’t want to rely on just the home inspection. A certified Roof Inspector will be much more thorough and will be able to warn you about major upcoming expenses.


First Impressions: Inspecting the Roof Yourself

You can start to get an idea of the condition of a roof from the moment you go to view a potential home. Look for damaged or missing shingles on the roof, dry rot, and the condition of the gutters. Can you see moss growing on the roof? Is the roof sagging on one side?

When you can spot major problems from the ground, then you know there are likely to be costly repairs needed in the new future. If you know you won’t have the capital to buy the home and repair or even replace the roof, then you’ll know right off the bat that this home is not for you, before you spend money on a home inspection and roof certification.

However, buyers should be aware that in all likelihood, the homes you’re looking at will have roofs with some degree of wear and tear. Houses on the market will not usually have a new roof unless they have just been built.

So your goal is to find out where in its lifespan this particular roof is. How old is it? Has it been properly maintained? How long before major repairs or a complete re-roof are needed? What quality of shingle was used? In our hot Texas summers, you’ll be lucky to get 15 years out of a standard 3-tab shingle, while the more high-end architectural shingles could last up to 25 years, and metal roofing can last 50 years or more.


What Do You Need to Know About the Roof Before Buying a Home?

In order to make an informed decision, you need a few crucial documents:

Documents you should have when buying a new home such as a roof certificate

How Much Will This Cost?

We know you’ll be wanting to save your pennies when you’re just about to shell out a lot of money on a new home, so you are probably wondering how much this will cost you. The average cost for a roof inspection is $650 and the average cost of a home inspection is between $500 to $700.

But in context, this is a very worthwhile investment. Paying for both a home and roof inspection is a small price relative to repair costs if there is something very wrong with the roof that you were unaware of.

How to Choose a Home Inspector and Roofing Contractor

Your real estate agent will often be able to recommend inspectors they have worked with but. But, as with all recommendations,a lot depends on how you feel about the recommender.

You can really argue both sides of the coin on this one. On one hand, your realtor is anxious to close the deal and collect their commission. On the other hand, a qualified home inspector is important to an agent’s business and their reputation. If you trust your realtor, then you can generally trust their recommendations – but be wary of any real estate agent who insists you use only their approved inspectors.

Tips for selecting a home inspector

Why Do You Need a Roof Certificate as Well as a Home Inspection?

If you are detail-oriented and want to know exactly is and isn’t included in the home inspection, read on. However, if you would rather skip over the details and get to the point, OK!

Here’s the bottom line: a home inspection does not thoroughly inspect the full health of your roof. The home inspector could miss crucial warning sighs that will cost a lot of money in upcoming years. ($5,000 to $10,000 for an average home, and $30,000 or more for a larger home with high-quality shingles.) A roof inspection will make sure you understand how much you’ll need to invest in the roof in the near future, so that you can negotiate the asking price or decide that this isn’t the house for you. You can now skip to here.

For our detail-oriented readers, under the Standards of Practices of the National Association of Home Inspectors, a home inspection should examine the roof components listed in the image below, note their condition, and if there are any signs of water penetration.

But here’s the important part: home inspectors are not required to walk on the roof or remove any debris to conduct their inspection. More often or not, they will do a roof inspection from the ground with binoculars, which is a rather limited way of assessing potential issues that could cost you. The image below shows what is and isn’t covered in a home inspection in relation to a house’s roof.

What is and isn't covered in a home inspection

A more thorough and in-depth assessment can be requested by getting a licensed and certified roofing contractor to do a roof certificate. A roof inspector will walk on the roof for an in-person inspection and will go into the attic to thoroughly examine the roof’s interior. You should expect a roofing certificate to:

  • Report any movement on the roof
  • Report the condition of the roof and roofing shingles
  • Report the condition of flashing around roof vents, pipes, valleys, chimneys and HVAC mountings
  • Report the condition of ridges, drip edges and caps
  • Note the performance of drains, gutters and downspouts
  • Estimate the lifespan left on the roof
  • Note whether any repairs are required
  • Determine whether the existing manufacturer’s warranty is valid and transferable to a new buyer
  • Verify that routine maintenance and emergency repairs were conducted in accordance with the terms of both the workmanship and materials warranty, ensuring the potential buyer is covered

If a roof doesn’t require any repairs, the roofer will estimate the remaining years of life for the roof and issue the certificate, which is usually good for 2 to 5 years. However, if repairs are needed, they will not issue the certificate until after the repairs have been made.

Make sure you review both the home inspection and the roof certificate carefully. It is amazing how many homeowners just read the summary! There are plenty of smaller issues that may not get listed in the summary, but could add up to something major, so don’t get caught out. Some roof certificates include a warranty and you’ll want to ensure you are clear about whether yours does or not.


Does a Bad Roof Inspection Mean I Shouldn’t Buy the House?

example roof inspection report
Sample home inspection report. Image courtesy of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. 

Getting a thorough report on your roof will help you decide if your purchase aligns with your personal goals and budget. If the house you love does need roof repairs, then by doing a little homework you can better understand the financial impact now and in the future. A couple of questions that may impact your decision will be:

  • How long do you plan to live in your new home?
  • Do you have the budget to make any immediate roof repairs, and will the seller work with you on that?
  • What other additional repairs are needed in the foreseeable future, how much will they add up to?

If the roof requires some major repairs upfront, you may wonder whose responsibility is it to pay for them. It depends! Normally, roof repairs can be negotiable, but it can also depend on how far in to the process you are and whether your initial offer is contingent on your approval of the inspection results. Your estate agent should be knowledgeable on how to navigate this process. It’s also important to consider market conditions. In a seller’s market your bargaining power will be greatly reduced. If the repairs are serious, such as mold, the buyer is likely to have more leverage.


What to Do if There Are Issues With the Roof

If you have discovered significant roof issues, you have a few options.

  • Accept the house “as-is.”
  • Lower your offer by how much the repairs will cost. (Make sure you get several quotes!)
  • Ask the seller to fix the roof problems. (However, be wary that the seller may hire the cheapest contractor they can find to fix the repair. Their goal is going to be to save money, so you might end up with a roof repair lacking in quality.)
  • Back out of the sale, as allowed under the inspection contingency in your contract.

Sometimes a roof can be in such poor condition that it’s best to walk away. Of course, this will vary depending on each buyer’s budget, expectations and how much they want the home, but here area few roof issues that should give you pause for thought before signing on the dotted line.

There is structural damage to the roof. Replacing cracked or deteriorating roof beams is a huge up-front expense for a homeowner. You may also need to be a cash buyer, as obtaining financing on a structurally damaged property can be all but impossible.

Signs of previous water damage. Roof leaks are never good. Make sure the home inspector checks the root cause and how much damage there was throughout the house. Water damage can cause mold, structural instability, and all kinds of problems that are difficult to fix.

Homeowner caught put by insurance nto covering roof
Image courtesy of Bogle Heads.

Age issues. Your insurance company or your lender may want a roof replaced simply because it’s too close to the end of its expected useful life.This is a preventative measure and doesn’t imply there is an actual “problem” with the current roof. The standard practices of insurance companies and lenders vary, so be sure to consult your insurance agent or lender about this if you’re looking at a house with less than ten years’ projected life remaining on the roof. Once the inspection period allowed in your contract has expired, it may be too late to negotiate on the basis of the roof needing to be replaced.

Building Code Issues. This is uncommon, but occasionally a roof has been replaced without the proper permits. Once you purchase a home, any building code violations become your problem. Without an inspection, you can’t know whether or not the roof is up to code. As the buyer,you need to ensure the situation is resolved prior to purchase. The resolution to the problem and how much trouble it requires will depend on the local building official. The official may simply do an inspection and issue the permit. More commonly, a bunch of fees will need to be paid along with a signed-and-sealed engineer’s report that states that the roof is installed to current code. Scarily, they can require the work to be redone from scratch!

We know we’ve given you a lot of information to digest in this article and brought up some of the more negative and worrying aspects of buying a home. However, if you reach out to certified professionals to help you through the buying process, you can rest assured that there will be no roof-related surprises when you have moved into your new home. So you can sleep easy at night knowing that you have a good roof over your head! Good luck house hunting!


Call 972-644-6556 or Contact Us today for a free estimate!

Help, I Have a Leaking Roof! Here’s What to Do.

Unfortunately, the most likely time to discover your roof has a leak is during a heavy rainstorm. You are cozy inside, sheltering from the rain, dry and protected from the storm outside – or so you thought! Then suddenly you have water coming into your living room, or, as Murphy’s Law would have it, dripping onto an expensive piece of furniture. A leaking roof is a scary situation, and you need to act fast to minimize the damage.

We’ll give you a quick guide on what to do through the whole journey – the moment you notice the leak, when you’re working with professionals, and taking care of things after the repair.


Roof Leaks 101: What to do Right Away

1. Damage Control

  • As quickly as possible, move furniture, rugs, electronics and any other valuable possessions away from the area with the leak.
  • Ideally, move them out of the room entirely as the space will be needed for repairs.
  • If you can’t remove something from the area, cover it with plastic sheets.
  • If the leak is near electronics or electrical wiring, that’s particularly dangerous. To prevent electrical fires, make sure you unplug all electronics near the leak. Turn off electricity to the affected areas at your breaker box, or, if that’s not possible, you may need to call your electricity company to turn off power to your home.

Do I need a contractor? Depending on the severity of the leak, you may want an electrician to inspect your wiring before you turn the power back on.

2. Contain the Water

Unfortunately, there may be more water pooling above your head than you can currently see! Here’s how to contain it.

Buckets catching water leaking from the roof
  • Grab a bucket to collect the incoming water. Two buckets are even better, as you can switch them when one needs emptying.
  • If water is splashing as its falls into the bucket, place an old t-shirt or cloth in the bottom of the bucket to reduce the splash back. Alternatively, you can pin a piece of string to the ceiling next to the leak, so the water has a path to follow.
  • Check the ceiling for paint bubbles. Those paint bubbles are most likely holding water, so puncture the bubble to release the water.
  • Release pooled water up above. If there is water coming out from multiple areas or is spreading across your ceiling, find the wettest spot or where the ceiling is bulging and poke a small hole in the middle (making sure a bucket is placed underneath!). This will release the buildup of pooled water before it gets too heavy and causes your ceiling to collapse. This also prevents the pooled water from leaking into your walls, lighting fixtures or other wiring.

Do I need a contractor? Definitely – we’ll get to that in the next section.

3. Remove the Water

Time to dig out all your old towels and dry out the area as much as possible to prevent water damage.

  • Mop up standing water with towels and mops.
  • Use a fan to help circulate the air.
  • If the carpet is soaked, pull it away from the padding so both sides of the carpet and the pad can dry out.

Do I need a contractor?If there’s extensive water damage, you’ll want to call a water extraction company sooner rather than later.


Roof Leaks 102: Repairing the Damage

1. Check the attic (if it’s safe)

A man checks the source of a roof leak in the attic using a torch
  • Bring a flashlight and a camera.
  • Be extra careful to only step on secure framing wood, and not on any wood that appears wet or water-damaged.
  • Look for pools of water, watermarks, stains, and discoloration. This information will help your insurance company and roofing company assess the damage.
  • Take pictures of the damage (both in the attic and in your home) for your records.
  • Please don’t go on the outside of the roof! We don’t recommend going up on your roof at the best of times, and especially not when the water might have caused structural damage.

2. Call your insurance company

It’s important to tell your insurance company about the damage as soon as possible, and certainly before you commit to any repair work. Check your deductible and the terms of your coverage so you know what to look for when you get estimates.

3. Call a trustworthy roofing company (or three)

Get an estimate from your roofing company, if you already have one you like. If not, get estimates from two or three companies to find a team that’s reputable and responsible. You can also see our blog post on how to choose the best roofing company.

If you see a leak, no matter how small, please get in touch with a roof repair company as soon as possible! Water can quickly do a lot of damage to the structural integrity of your home, and by the time you notice it, it may have been damaging your attic for quite some time. Mold could be growing, or a whole section of ceiling might be ready to collapse.

When the roof needs to be repaired, there are a number of reasons you need a reputable roofing company to help you:

  • Making repairs on your own can invalidate your roofing warranty and your homeowners insurance claim.
  • It can be difficult to find the actual leak. It’s typically not right above where the water shows up in your home, because the water will flow along the roofs heathing, rafters, and ceilings before it finds a place to drip down.
  • Professional roofers have years of experience repairing roofs to a high standard of quality.
  • They know how to do it safely.
  • A roofing contractor can find and repair problems you might miss, which would cause even more damage later on. 

Roof Leaks 103: What Else do I Need to Know?

Will my Homeowners Insurance Cover the Cost of a Leaking Roof?

That depends on what caused the leak. Typically, insurance covers repairs for leaks that are beyond your control (like storms and falling branches), but not for things you could have controlled (like regular maintenance). Specific examples are shown in the image below. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of your roof maintenance and repairs! 

Image showing what causes homeowners insurance  will and wont cover for the cots of a leaking roof

How Much Does it Cost to Fix a Leak in the Roof?

We wish we could give you a simple answer! Unfortunately, the price range for roof repairs is incredibly wide: anything from $150 for a simple repair to upwards of $10,000 for a complete new roof. The average cost 150 consumers reported paying was $675, but that doesn’t include other services you might need, like an electrician or a cleaning company.

Designer Roofing offers free estimates, and we’re always glad to give you our honest opinion so you have complete transparency on what needs to be fixed and what the costs will be.

What Can a Roof Leak Damage?

Buckets catching water from a leaking roof in the attic
A leaking roof can cause structural damage to wooden beams and attic insulation. 

The reason it’s so important to act quickly when you notice a leak is because water can damage so many parts of your home.

Structural damage can include damaged rafters, ceiling joists, wall framing and fascia boards. A chronic leak can lead to wood rot and deterioration, which is expensive to repair.

Ceilings and walls can be damaged. Check your drywall surfaces for dark areas or bubbles. Light fixtures on walls and ceilings need to be checked as well.

Water damage can create a breeding ground for mold. Mold is a serious health risk, and with even just a small amount of water, mold can take root and grow in as little as 48 hours. Removing mold can be expensive, so you’ll want to treat it before it spreads through the house. This may be covered by your homeowners insurance, depending on what caused the leaking roof. 

How do I Know if my Roof is Leaking?

Remember, your roof can be leaking long before water starts dripping into your home. If you think there may be a leak, check for these common signs:

Signs around your home that your roof is leaking
Signs around your home that there is a leak
  • Discoloration on the ceiling or walls, even small patches
  • Moisture on the walls, especially above or below your windows, even if it seems to go away
  • Visible moss or mold on your roof or chimney
  • Water spots on the exterior walls
  • Water leaking behind the gutters
  • Wet spots or damp wood inside the attic
  • Bubbling paint
  • Mold on the attic insulation
  • A musty smell in the attic
  • Dampness around light fixtures
  • Granules in your downspouts and gutters
  • Faint dripping noises from the bathroom vent or chimney

How to Prevent Future Roof Leaks

It’s not all doom and gloom! This has been a pretty dispiriting blog post, but with the right installation and maintenance, the odds are that your roof will protect your home and family for a long time.

clogged gutter
Clogged gutters could be the root source of water leaking into your home 

Regular maintenance will help with early detection and ultimately keep the costs down by proactively fixing any potential problems before they end up as expensive damages. Once a year, check your attic, inspect the roof from the ground, and keep an eye on any trees that may need to be trimmed back. Make sure your gutters and downspouts aren’t clogged, and look out for signs of wear and tear on your shingles. And if you need a maintenance check, we’re always happy to come out and give you our honest opinion!

Call 972-644-6556 or Contact Us today for a free estimate!

Can You Staple Christmas Lights to Your Roof?

Oh, the festive joy of the holidays, with eggnog, presents, and a house covered in sparkly Christmas lights. Whether you’re just in it for some pretty Christmas decoration, or you’re at all-out war to be more impressive than the neighbors, Designer Roofing wants to help you stay safe and protect your home from damage this holiday season.

We’re sure your Christmas decorations will be beautiful, even without synchronized music.

It’s Simple: Don’t Staple Christmas Lights to Your Roof!

In National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold is a case study on what not to do in pretty much every scene. Still, many people think his use of a staple gun to hang Christmas lights is OK. It’s fast and cheap, right?

Clark Griswold from the film National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation hanging up Christmas Lights using a Staple Gun

Not true! Anything that penetrates your roof shingles creates a weak point that can cause cracks, let moisture in, and cause long-term water damage that will be expensive to fix. After all, the whole point of a roof is to be a protective barrier that shields your home and family from the elements. Whether you’re considering screws, nails, or staples, don’t ever poke holes in your roof’s surface!

Even worse, the staples can rub against the plastic coating on your Christmas lights, exposing the wiring and causing a fire and electrocution hazard.

If you absolutely insist on stapling Christmas lights, make sure you use specialty insulated staples with a plastic cover, and staple the lights to wood trim – NEVER to your shingles. But read on, because there are much better and safer ways to get your home merry and bright for the holiday season!

Smart Solutions: Plastic Light Clips & More!

Plastic Light Clips for hanging up Christmas lights with instead of using a staple gun
Image Courtesy of Christmas Lights Etc

Meet your new best friend: plastic light clips. They’re inexpensive, easy to find at hardware stores or online, and most importantly, they won’t damage your roof! Christmas Lights Etc has a great guide to the wide variety of styles, whether you want to hang larger C7 or C9 bulbs, mini lights, icicle lights, or a glowing combination of them all.

If at all possible, use the clips on gutters, eaves, or siding. Many plastic light clips also attach to shingles, but they can abrade the surface of the shingle and wear away granules, especially in high winds.

To easily install lights with plastic light clips:

How to protect the connector sealing Christmas light strings together
You can seal string connections DIY style or with ready-made protectors. Images courtesy of  The Family HandyMan and 1000Bulbs.
  • Check your lights: Make sure they’re still working, check for any damage like exposed wiring, replace any broken bulbs, and make sure you’re not using indoor lights outside.
  • Find your outlets: This will help you plan how many strands you need in each part of the house. Check the packaging to see how many strands of lights can be safely connected to one outlet, and make sure you’re not mixing LEDs and incandescents on the same circuit.
  • Check your gutters: If a gutter or fixture is loose, it’s better to repair it now, rather than waiting until it falls off and drags half your Christmas decorations with it.
  • Attach the light clips to your Christmas lights: Do this safely on the ground, so there’s less to do while you’re up the ladder.
  • Seal all connections: Most blown fuses are caused by moisture getting into the connections between strings of lights to each other. Seal each connection and loose end with duct tape or electrical tape. In extremely wet conditions, you can even cut holes in a small plastic container and secure the connection inside! 

If you’re still not a fan of light clips, don’t reach for the staple gun just yet. There are a few more simple and safe plastic options. 

Zipties are the best way to attach lights to railings, and really anywhere else that makes sense. They attach quickly and can be removed just as fast with a sharp pair of scissors.

You can also get 3M Command Clips designed for hanging lights, with adhesive strips that remove cleanly when you pull them slowly. This may be a great option for you, although some reviewers say they don’t hold up to wind, rain, and uneven surfaces.

Custom Christmas Light System
Custom Christmas light systems. Images courtesy of Home Talk.

DIY enthusiasts may even want to make a custom Christmas light system, which involves permanently attaching the lights to a bar or pipe. Install hooks under your eaves to hold the bars, and you’ll definitely win the award for “fastest Christmas light setup” every year afterwards. The Creviers made a custom system with PVC pipe, zip ties, and broomstick clips – there’s even a video if you want to see the installation in action – and Christine Graves made a clever system by drilling holes into a J-Channel bar for perfectly spaced lights every year.

Deck the Halls – Safely!

14,000 people are injured due to holiday decorating every year – that’s 230 injuries per day! Thanksgiving and Christmas are already stressful and expensive enough, so here’s how to make sure that you and your family members aren’t part of that group.

Leave the Roof Climbing to Santa

Our number one safety tip is to not walk on your roof! For one thing, it damages your shingles, wearing away at the protective granules on top of them. But more importantly, no matter how careful you are, anyone who doesn’t work on roofs regularly is at risk of falling and severely injuring themselves.

Of course, we’ve been in this business long enough to know that some people will head up to their rooftops anyway, so if you’re one of them, here are our tips:

Where to walk on a tiled roof. Image courtesy of Roof Genius.
  • Walk gently and wear soft sneakers that have a good grip
  • Limit the time spent on the roof to avoid unnecessary stress
  • If you have shingles, try to place your foot in the center of each shingle, not on the lower edge where the shingles overlap
  • If you have a tile roof, walk on the peaks of the tiles and not in the valleys between them as show in the image on the right. 

Find an Elf to Help with the Ladder

It’s always better to have a ladder buddy! They can hold the ladder in place, hand you the supplies and decorations, and offer encouragement (or maybe just laughter) from the ground.

Falls from ladders are one of the most common causes of holiday injury, so follow these tips to make sure your decorating is successful and pain-free:

  • Make sure the ladder is on stable, level ground
  • Use an extension ladder, not a step ladder. The last thing you want is to be teetering on tip-toes at the top of a step ladder that’s too short!
  • Be mindful of your center of gravity: don’t reach too far to the side. Get into the habit of climbing down and moving the ladder.

For a Style that Sleighs Them

We can’t wrap up our post without showing you some beautiful Christmas light inspiration. You’ve heard our message – don’t staple Christmas lights to your roof! – so now enjoy these beautiful homes as you plan your own holiday decorations.

Traditional

For a traditional look, keep the lights white and aim for symmetry. There are three varieties of white LED lights. Warm white mimics the glow of classic incandescent bulbs, polar white gives off an icy-blue tinge and pure white is just what it sounds like. We recommend using a mix of warm white and polar-white, using warm white along your roof line and polar-white in any greenery.  

Traditional Christmas light displays on the roof of houses
Image bottom left courtesy of Dallas Christmas Light Installer.

Classic and Colorful

If you want to introduce some color but still have a traditional style, then less is more!

Classic and Colorful Christmas light displays on the roof of houses

Go Big or Go Home

If you want your home to really stand out than mix up the colors you choose, increase the number of bulbs and use different sized bulbs across your home.

Go big or go home Christmas light displays on the roof of houses
Top images courtesy of Fort Worth Magazine and Urban Matter.

Minimalist 

If you prefer a minimalist look – or you’re short on time but don’t want to be the neighborhood Grinch – then this look is for you.

Minimalist Christmas light displays on the roof of houses
Top image courtesy of Daily Mail. Bottom right image courtesy of DoNetsSync.

LED Projections 

For major impact with minimal effort, try LED projection spotlights. Simply plug them into an outlet and project them on your home and you’re done!

LED light projector for Christmas light displays on the roof of houses
Images courtesy of Amazon.

From all of us at Designer Roofing, Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We hope you enjoy the holiday season and please be safe!


Call 972-644-6556 or Contact Us today for a free estimate!

What’s the Difference Between Asphalt and Composition Shingles? 

The structure and materials of composition shingles showing what is a composition roof
Image Courtesy of IKO

It’s pretty much the same thing! A composition shingle is made of a “composite” of materials that include a base mat, asphalt on both sides, and granules on top. We tend to say “composition shingle” because it’s the technically correct term in the roofing industry, but if you ask us about asphalt roofing options we’ll know exactly what you mean.

What is a Composition Roof?

When it’s time for a new roof, deciding on what material to use can feel overwhelming. We have come a long way from the original organic asphalt shingles pioneered in 1901, and since the fiberglass composition shingle came on the scene in the 1970s, homeowners have had dozens of choices in styles, colors, and durability. 

The structure and materials of organic felt and fiberglass composition shingles
Image courtesy of Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Organic composition shingles became America’s roofing material of choice in the 1920s, as they were more inexpensive and easy to install than other options like wood shakes or slate. They had an organic base mat of felt, paper, or wood pulp, which was then coated in asphalt and topped with a layer of ceramic granules. Today, they have all but disappeared on new roofs, as fiberglass is more durable and more fire-resistant.

Fiberglass composition shingles, as the name suggests, have a fiberglass base which is reinforced with synthetic resin, coated with asphalt, and topped with granules. The resin and asphalt make the shingle waterproof and hold the granules in place, while the granules protect the shingle from UV damage, add color, and can help resist algae and fungus growth depending on what additives are added by the manufacturers.   

But within the world of fiberglass composition shingles, you still have plenty of options!

3-tab shingles come in a strip with notches cut out of it, so that it appears to have three “tabs” per strip. This is the standard composition shingle, and you may even hear people say “asphalt shingle” when they mean the basic 3-tab shingle, as opposed to higher-end dimensional shingles.

3-tab shingles are the least expensive composition option, so they’re also the lightest and least durable. They typically last for 10 to 20 years before needing to be replaced. On average, installation costs $350 to $450 per “square” (a square being 100 square feet of roof), but keep in mind that this doesn’t include tear-off or repairing any structural problems that are discovered. 

3-Tab Shingles vs. Dimensional Shingles

Dimensional shingles (also called laminate or architectural shingles) are slowly but surely overtaking 3-tab shingles in popularity, as they are both more durable and more attractive. They are at least double the thickness of a 3-tab shingle, and are made of irregular layers to create random shadow lines. Today, you can find dimensional composition shingles that mimic the look of slate, wood, and even tile, giving your home a more attractive appearance. 

Dimensional shingles come in a wide range of prices and quality, typically lasting 20 to 30 years before deteriorating and needing replacement. However, with the intense heat and hail of Texas weather, any shingle that lasts 30 years is doing a great job! The most high-end types of architectural shingle can even come with a 50-year or Lifetime warranty, but it’s important to understand that these warranties are pro-rated, as the manufacturers know they won’t actually last 50 years.

The different styles of composition shingles for your roof
Top row: TAMKO Heritage Premium, CertainTeed ArcadiaShake, CertainTeed Lankmark TL, TAMKO Heritage. 
Bottom row: GAF Grand Sequoia Armorshield, GAF Sienna, GAF Camelot II, GAF Glenwood, GAF Slateline.
Images courtesy of TAMKO, CertainTeed and GAF.

Installing dimensional shingles will cost, on average, $450 to $700 per square, not including the costs of tear-off or any needed repairs. 

Styles of Composition Roofing

Now that we’ve answered the “What is a composition roof?” question, your next step is to pick the profile and color that are perfect for your home. Before beginning to consider different color options, first check with your homeowner’s association if there are any bylaws regarding exterior home colors. You don’t want to fall in love with a roof color to find out your homeowners association won’t allow it.

The range of colors available from CertianTeed's GrandManor composition shingles
The range of colors available from CertianTeed’s GrandManor collection. Images courtesy of CertainTeed.

There are a few guiding principles for using a blended shingle. If you have a plain siding, a roof with a more pronounced blending color will make your home more interesting to look at. However, if your home has a siding such as a stone or brick with varied colors using color blended shingles will clash.

Mood board for GAF composition shingles for your home
Mood boards from GAF showing how different shingle styles and colors can match different home designs.

The number of stories in your house will also impact color choice. A dark shingle can help balance the height of a multi-level home, while dark shingles on a single-story home can make the house seem “all roof,” especially if the roof is tall and steeply pitched.

Living in Texas, lighter shingles can help lower AC bills since light colors reflect the sun’s heat. The color of the shingles can affect attic temperatures by up to 40 degrees. However, on the flip side, the sun can make light neutral colors appear washed out and some people suggest using bolder colors when in a sunny climate.  

Interior designer and color expert Maria Killiam has a general guideline to follow: “When choosing an asphalt roof, choose a darker color than the body of your house. There’s something grounded and solid about the look that I think really works. Unless of course your house is a very dark color or there’s more roof than siding, then a lighter roof is necessary.”

Pros and Cons of Composition Roofing 

There are plenty of reasons why composition roofs are so popular for homes in the U.S., and the most important one is price! Asphalt shingles are a very affordable option, although the downside is that the less you pay up-front, the sooner you’ll have to replace the entire roof. 

Advantages  

  • The most affordable roofing option 
  • A wide range of styles, colors and textures to choose from 
  • You can get the look of slate, wood shakes or clay at a cheaper cost 
  • Able to replace individual shingles, making repairs easier and cheaper  
  • Lighter material than slate or clay tile (although heavier than wood or metal roofing) 
Damage to Composition roofing
Examples of some of the wear and tear composition shingles are susceptible to, including cracking, shrinking, peeling, and eroding. Creative Commons images from Wikipedia.

Disadvantages

  • Deteriorate over time, especially in extreme weather conditions like heat or heavy storms, and will require replacement every 20 years or so 
  • Should be regularly maintained to preserve the life of your roof 
  • Not particularly eco-friendly: asphalt shingles are made from petroleum, and as much as 20 billion pounds of torn-off shingles go into U.S. landfills each year 
  • Vulnerable to high winds and wildfires 

(Not convinced that a composition shingle roof is right for you? Take a look at some of our metal roofing options.)

A women decides on which composition shingle material to choose for the roof of her home.

With so many new and elegant composition roof choices to choose from, there’s almost certainly one that’s right for your home’s style and your budget. When you’re ready to talk about your options, please give Designer Roofing a call! We’d love to help you get the perfect composition roof for you.

Call 972-644-6556 or Contact Us today for a free estimate!

An FAQ for all Your Metal Roofing Questions

We’ve found that more and more of our customers are interested in the beauty and durability of metal roofing – and also, that they have a lot of questions about it!

Well, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled the top 15 questions we get about metal roofs and answered them here. And if we somehow missed your question, feel free to ask us!

If you’d like to jump to a specific question, here you go:

KINDS OF METAL ROOFING
What is stone coated steel roofing?
What is a standing seam metal roof?
What metal roof styles can I choose from?

COST
Are metal roofs more expensive than asphalt shingles?
Can I get an insurance discount for my metal roof?
Is a metal roof energy efficient?

DURABILITY
How long does a metal roof last?
Does a metal roof get hail damage or weather damage?
What happens when lightning strikes a metal roof?

QUALITY OF LIFE
Are metal roofs noisy or loud in the rain?
Do metal roofs interfere with cell phone reception?
Do metal roofs interfere with wi-fi signals?
How do I clean a metal roof?
Is metal roofing environmentally friendly?
Can any roofing company install a metal roof?

What is stone coated steel roofing?

Stone coated steel roofs are made of shingles, just like composition roofs are, but these shingles are pretty amazing. They have a steel base coated with stone particles and epoxy, and can mimic traditional shingles, wood, slate, and ceramic tile.

We use stone-coated steel shingles from Gerard and Decra, two of the most reputable names in the business.

What is a standing seam metal roof?

Standing seam metal roofs are made of long panels crimped together to create a “seam” that “stands” up from the roof. The seams travel vertically down the roof to create a bold and beautiful aesthetic.

The metal sheets are typically aluminum, galvanized steel, or even copper, all of which are incredibly lightweight and durable. These panels can be painted or left to weather naturally.

What metal roof styles can I choose from?

Metal roofing gives you a huge number of style options to choose from. A standing seam metal roof is a statement piece, with its bold vertical lines, while stone coated steel tiles come in a variety of profiles, from wood shakes to slate to barrel tile. Standing seam metal roofing can be painted in a variety of colors, and stone coated steel has a wide range of colors to choose from.

Are metal roofs more expensive than asphalt shingles?

Yes, metal roofing is definitely an investment. A metal roof typically costs two to three times as much as a standard composition roof. However, they also last much longer, increase the value of the home, and help you save money on energy bills and insurance premiums. Ultimately, only you can decide whether the benefits are worth the initial up-front cost.

Can I get an insurance discount for my metal roof?

Yes, although it depends on your insurance company. The metal roofing products we use have a Class 4 impact-resistance rating, the highest rating UL offers. Many insurance companies provide a discount on your homeowners insurance when you install a Class 4 roof.

Is a metal roof more energy efficient?

Yes, a metal roof can help reduce your energy bills. Metal roofs reflect radiant heat from the sun more than composite roofs do, and the color you select also makes a difference. This helps to keep your home cooler and can cut energy costs 10-25%.

How long does a metal roof last?

Composition roofs have to be replaced every 10-20 years, while a metal roof can last 40-70 years or even more. They are incredibly durable and should last the entire lifetime of your home, meaning that you’ll never have to replace the roof again.

Does a metal roof get hail damage or weather damage?

Hail: Metal roofing is far more hail-resistant than traditional asphalt shingles. The metal roof products we use, both standing seam and stone coated steel, are rated Class 4 for insurance purposes, the highest rating. While that doesn’t mean they’ll never, ever be dented by hail, it does mean that they’ll take a lot less damage than traditional roofs.

Sun: Metal roofs are also very durable and weather-resistant. They won’t corrode, crack, peel, or fade like composition roofs, even when subjected to the scorching Texas summer heat. They can also withstand wind speeds up to 140 mph!

Mold: Both kinds of metal roofing are mold-resistant. Standing seam metal roofs contain zinc, an anti-fungal, and stone coated steel tiles have an anti-fungal in the adhesive binder. Plus, both surfaces are smoother than composition shingles, giving mold fewer nooks and crannies to start growing.

What happens when lightning strikes a metal roof?

While it may seem counter-intuitive, metal roofs are actually better at handling a lightning strike than composition roofs are.

Lightning strikes (or, more correctly, originates from) the highest structure in an area, no matter what it’s made of, so a metal roof is no more likely to be struck by lightning than any other kind. And if your home is hit by lightning, a metal roof is the safest bet. As an electrical conductor, the metal will efficiently discharge the lightning through the home to the ground, and a metal roof can’t catch fire in the same way a composition roof can. Our metal roof products have a Class A fire rating, the top fire-resistance rating.

Are metal roofs noisy or loud in the rain?

Actually, no! You may be thinking of an old corrugated sheet metal roof on a barn, which certainly would be very loud during a storm, as it’s just a piece of metal installed over rafters. Today’s metal roofs are installed over an underlayment of insulation and sheathing, and there’s no discernable difference in the sound of a metal roof versus a traditional composition roof.

Do metal roofs interfere with cell phone reception?

It shouldn’t! Consider that you likely already use your cell phone in buildings with metal roofs (shops, restaurants, churches) without even noticing. If you already have very weak cell phone reception in your home, it’s possible that a metal roof could be the last straw, and you’ll need to buy a repeater system or phone signal booster – but we’ve never had this happen with any of our clients.

Do metal roofs interfere with wi-fi signals?

It’s possible. Metal does interfere with wireless signals, just like a metal file cabinet between your router and computer can obstruct the signal, and a small percentage of customers do report issues with their wi-fi after installing a metal roof. A top-quality router with a long range and a wireless repeater will generally fix the issue.

How do I clean a metal roof?

The short answer is: you don’t. In general, a metal roof will stay cleaner than an asphalt roof because it is smoother, so dirt and particles will be more easily washed away by the rain.

If you’re in an area with lots of trees, pollen, or other airborne particles, you may get a layer of grime just as you would on an asphalt roof, or on your car for that matter. Most of our clients do not clean their metal roofs, but if you want to, a metal roof (unlike an asphalt roof) can be safely cleaned with a light power washing.

Is metal roofing environmentally friendly?

Very! While old composition roof materials go to landfills (up to 20 billion pounds per year), metal roofing is typically made with 25-90% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable when it’s no longer needed.

Can any roofing company do a metal roof installation?

Absolutely not! In fact, if you go on metal roofing forums, you’ll find a significant number of people who are very upset that their stone coated steel roof is leaking because it was incorrectly installed. (Even worse, improper installation typically isn’t covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.)

In the case of stone coated steel roofing, the underlayment must be installed correctly and the attic needs to be correctly vented. Most importantly, the shingles need to be cut, layered, and screwed to battens correctly, or it can leak and cause all kinds of mold and mildew problems in the attic.

For standing seam metal roofs, the edges must be carefully crimped to allow the panels to expand in hot weather without buckling, and exposed fasteners must be correctly installed to avoid the possibility of leaking or rusting. Finally, the installers must be careful not to scratch or dent the metal panels during installation, which could also create rust problems.

But don’t let that scare you off! Designer Roofing specializes in residential metal roofing, and we have a trained team of experts who have done this many times before. If you’re interested in a metal roof for your home, please contact us. We’d love to help you get the roof of your dreams.

Call 972-644-6556 or Contact Us today for a free estimate!

6 Amazing Benefits of Metal Roofing for Your Home

For decades, traditional asphalt composition shingles have been the default choice for home roofing. But in recent years, several stunning new metal roofing options have become available, and they have some pretty impressive benefits.

Stone coated steel metal roof tiles are made from a shaped base of galvanized steel, then coated with a protective alloy and adhesive primer and topped with ceramic stone granules. They can look like traditional composition shingles as well as wood shakes or clay tiles, giving you a wide variety of styles to pick from.

Standing seam metal roofing is made from panels of galvanized steel which lock together along raised seams, for an elegant look with bold vertical lines.

Roofs installed by Designer Roofing: architectural composition shingle, stone coated steel metal roof tiles, and standing seam metal roofing.
Architectural Composition Shingles, Stone Coated Steel Metal Tiles, and Standing Seam Roofing.
All roofs installed in Texas by Designer Roofing.

So what makes these new metal roofing options so popular?

1. Metal Roofing Lasts a Really, Really, Really Long Time

Asphalt is a petroleum product, so it begins to deteriorate from heat and weather damage from the moment it’s installed. That’s why a composition shingle roof typically has to be replaced every 10 to 20 years, especially when it’s your home’s first line of defense against Texas’ scorching heat and violent hail storms.

But metal roofing has an expected lifespan of 40 to 70 years – or longer.

According to metalroofing.systems, both stone coated steel and standing seam roofs are considered “lifetime” systems, meaning that as long as the roof is correctly installed, you should never have to replace it.

There are so many ways asphalt shingles deteriorate over time: lifting, curling, blistering from heat, balding (aka losing granules), cracking, creasing, tearing, cupping, buckling, separating, splitting, and a whole lot more synonyms for decomposing.

Metal roofing does not deteriorate in the way composition shingles do.
These worn composition shingles show the shrinking, peeling, balding, and separating that eventually happen to asphalt.

But metal roofing will never decompose. Galvanized steel doesn’t rot or crack, and will continue to protect your home for decades.

2. Metal Roofing Laughs at Mother Nature

The reason metal roofing lasts for so long is that can stand up to all kinds of weather extremes.

In fact, stone coated steel is so durable that it was discovered during a world war! As buildings were demolished during the London Blitz in World War II, British citizens scrambled to rebuild, often with sheets of corrugated metal. Unfortunately, the shiny metal could easily be spotted during nighttime bombing raids, so it was coated with a protective emulsion. After the war, they discovered that the coating had bonded with the steel so well that it couldn’t be removed — and a new roofing material was born.

If stone coated steel can make it through a war, let’s see how both kinds of metal roofing hold up against Mother Nature:

Metal roofing is hail resistant.

Hail Resistant: certified to UL Class 4 impact resistance, the highest rating, which can also give you a discount on your homeowners’ insurance. While that doesn’t mean a metal roof will never, ever be dented by hail, it does mean they’ll take a lot less structural damage than traditional roofing, and be far more effective at protecting your home. 

Metal roofing is wind resistant.

Wind Resistant: up to 120 mph. That’s equal to an EF2 tornado or a Category 3 hurricane! In fact, steel roofing is often recommended in coastal and storm-prone areas because it’s so wind-resistant and durable.

Metal roofing is resistant to mold, mildew, and algae.

Mold, Mildew and Algae Resistant: Mold and mildew are both fungi, with mold typically being surface-level and easier to remove, while mildew usually indicates a much bigger problem. Both kinds of metal roofing are resistant to mold and mildew: standing seam metal roofs contain zinc, an anti-fungal, and stone-coated steel tiles have an anti-fungal in the adhesive binder. Plus, both surfaces are smoother than composition shingles, giving both fungi and algae (a moss-like plant) fewer nooks and crannies to start growing.

Metal roofing is heat resistant.

Heat Resistant: able to handle scorching Texas summers without cracking, shrinking, or peeling like composition roofs do.

In summary, as the fine folks at metalroofing.com put it: “Unlike asphalt or other roofing styles, a properly installed metal roof can handle just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it. Metal roofing can protect your home against extreme temperatures, high winds, hail, marine air and even fire — all with minimal maintenance.”

3. Metal Roofing is Good for Your Wallet (In the Long Run)

You probably think that metal roofing is expensive — and at first, that’s true. Having a metal roof installed will typically cost 2 to 3 times more than getting a composition roof, due to the cost of materials and the need for skilled installers who know what they’re doing.

But in the long run, metal roofing is often incredibly cost-effective:

  • Metal roofing boosts your home’s curb appeal and makes it attractive to potential buyers
  • It increases your home’s resale value anywhere from 1% to 6%
  • A metal roof can help you save money on energy bills, reducing cooling costs anywhere from 10-25% (according to State Farm) or even up to 40% (according to the Metal Roofing Alliance)
  • You can save money on insurance premiums thanks to the Class 4 impact resistance rating
  • A metal roof is essentially maintenance-free, saving you both time and money

But most importantly, a metal roof pays for itself over time because it lasts for so long. During the lifespan of your amazingly durable metal roof, you’d need to re-roof with asphalt shingles 2, 3, or even 4 times. So if you can afford the up-front costs, a metal roof is usually a very good investment!

4. Metal Roofing Keeps Your Home Safe

In addition to being so weatherproof, metal roofing has some great safety benefits.

First, metal roofing is a lightweight roofing solution, on average about 50% lighter than shingles, which maintains your home’s structural integrity. And if you’re hoping for the style of clay tile or slate, which are much heavier, you can get that same look with lightweight stone coated steel.

Additionally, metal roofing is fire resistant. Traditional composition roofing is flammable because it’s made with asphalt, a petroleum product. But metal doesn’t catch fire, so metal roofing products have a Class A fire rating, which can make a huge difference in case of accident or if you life in an area prone to wildfires.

5. Metal Roofing Makes the Planet Happy

If you’re interested in being more environmentally friendly, then metal roofing is a great choice:

  • Metal roofing is typically made of 25-60% recycled material
  • Metal roofing is 100% recyclable at the end of its (long) life
  • Metal roofing doesn’t contribute to the almost 20 billion pounds of torn-off composition roofing we send to landfills each year in the United States
  • Metal roofing contains no petroleum products and does not increase our dependence on fossil fuels

6. Metal Roofing is Really Beautiful

Take a look at some of the installations we’ve done below, or browse our gallery for even more inspiration. And when you’re ready to talk about the best metal roof for your home, just give us a call!

Call 972-644-6556 or Contact Us today for a free estimate!