Are you in the process of buying a roof or know that you’re going to have to start that process in the near future? Do you want to make sure that you get the best type of roof for Atlanta, Georgia?
Roofing is a complicated industry. There are tons of things that go into a roof that you can’t see from the ground, or even when you’re standing on top of the roof!
So, you’re in the market for a new roof but there are tons of things you can’t even see that you need to be thinking about?!?!…
YEP! Which is exactly why we decided to write this article. We’ll cover the ins and outs of buying a new roof, what are the best types of roof for Georgia, and look at the decisions you need to make in order to make the best decision for YOU. We’ve also thrown in a couple of tools to help you out with your roof buying process.
Here are the roof buying basics we’ll cover so you get the best type of roof for Atlanta, Georgia!
The first step in your roof buying process is to budget! The only way to do that is by figuring out how large your roof is. Luckily, it’s as easy as a few clicks of a mouse now that we have all of the technology behind satellite imaging and aerial measurement. The best type of roof measurement tool for Atlanta is typically just to buy an Eagleview report.
This will typically cost anywhere from $30-$100 depending on the size of your property. Alternatively, you can request a free estimate from one of many local roofing contractors and let them know ahead of time that you’d like to have an Eagleview included.
While there are other softwares and measuring tools available in the market, the roofing industry has generally decided that Eagleview is the benchmark for accurate aerial imaging. That is why we’ve listed it here as the best type of roof measurement tool for homeowners in Atlanta.
Colony Roofers Recommendation: Eagleview
Other options include: Aerial Reports, Inc. and Roof Scope
Once you have your aerial measurements back, you’re ready to whip out your calculator and crunch some numbers. Your measurement report will have a total square footage on it. It will also have a suggested waste percentage. You will need to take the total square footage and multiply it by (1+waste percentage). This results in your total square footage needed to complete your new roof. Simply take that and multiply it by the prices we’ll talk about below to figure out just how much you need to budget for your roof replacement.
Roof decking is the substrate level of your roof, which provides the structure for the remainder of the roof to be installed on-top of. Generally speaking, there are two main types of roof decking used in Atlanta.
For the latest pricing on all decking, you’ll need to check your local HomeDepot due to the fact that pricing is constantly changing.
Plank decking was used in Atlanta home construction for years and years, but has quite a few deficiencies when it comes to longevity and integrity of the roof. This type of roof decking is typically some form of “1-by” boards. That is, 1”x6”, 1”x8”, 1”x10”, or some combination of these. This type of roof decking is measured in linear feet, as opposed to the square footage calculation we got from our aerial measurements.
Sheet decking is a more modern material used for roof decking and boasts added longevity and integrity over plank decking. This type of roof decking is typically some form of sheets. The most common sheet sizes are 8’ by 4’. This type of roof decking is measured in square footage, which makes it easy to approximate from our aerial measurements.
It is important to note that not all “Sheet” decking is the same. There are two main types of sheet decking: OSB and Plywood. What is the best type of roof sheet decking? If budget is not an issue, we recommend going for the plywood decking option, as it provides a more sound decking structure for installation of the other roof components.
The decking on your roof will only need replacement in the case that it is rotten, or out of building code. Unfortunately, many houses with plank decking are no longer up to code in Atlanta and MUST be replaced when the existing roof is removed. See the section below titled “Roof Decking Requirements in Atlanta, Georgia” for more information.
This is probably the only aspect of the roof budgeting process that is impossible to forecast with 100% accuracy. Your roofing contractor will typically specify a cost for roof decking replacement on a per-foot basis.
If your existing roof is installed on plank decking, we recommend budgeting for a FULL replacement of the decking on the home. However, if the existing roof is installed on sheathing (OSB or Plywood sheets) then you can typically get away with just a couple of pieces.
As a general rule of thumb, budget 1 sheet per 1000 square feet of roof space from the aerial measurement report.
If you want to get more detailed with the numbers, here’s a helpful tool to dial it in:
Roof Sheathing CalculatorInch Calculator
Roof decking is a commodity, because the wood can be used in many different ways in construction. Because of this, you’ll need to check with your local building supply store in order to get the most up to date information.
We typically recommend either HomeDeport, Lowes, or Ace Hardware for a ballpark estimate. You can also just google “OSB sheet price HomeDepot” in order to get pricing.
As of 2021, any plank decking that has greater than a ⅛” gap between the planks MUST be replaced with sheathing. This requirement has been imposed by the shingle manufacturers, which means that your roof warranty will be void if careful attention is not paid throughout the installation process. If your contractor is pitching you on leaving the existing plank decking, just be sure that you have proof it holds up to these standards.
If you want to have the best type of roof in Atlanta, this is a SUPER important aspect of the roof that you need to understand. Roofing underlayment is the final waterproofing layer of your roof. It is typically composed over either synthetic material, felt, or asphalt. Some brands will even combine these materials into hybrids.
In addition to the water-proofing aspects, it also provides an additional layer of insulation for the roof structure and your home. Depending on budget, you can even upgrade your roof to have special premium insulating underlayment.
The three materials we discussed above, synthetic, asphalt, and felt, makeup the 3 main types of roof underlayment in Atlanta. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll just leave this topic with a simple recommendation…synthetic felt is the way to go!
Seeing that this is the water-proofing layer of the roof, it’s critical that this is installed properly. For more information on the specific installation requirements regarding underlayment, you can take a look at the Certainteed Master Shingle Applicator Manual. This tends to be the most robust resource to make sure you have the best type of roof in Atlanta.
We’re finally to the part of the roof that you are likely the most comfortable with and aware of. This is the part of the roof that you can see from the ground. It is the hard outer covering that provides durability for the roofing system for years to come. Shingles are simply a mixture of asphalt, tar, and fiberglass. Three major manufacturers in the industry: Owens Corning, GAF, and Certainteed. While some contractors will try to convince you that one product is better than the other, the standard lines of shingles are all VERY similar.
**While we typically recommend Certainteed shingles, that is only because of our status as a top-tier contractor for them. We fully believe in and support the installation of any of these shingles.
When you’re trying to decide on the best type of shingles in Atlanta, this is the area where you’re going to have to make the biggest decision. You can either go for budget-friendly, aesthetically appealing, or find a balance between the two. It’s also worth noting that beauty is truly in the eye of the homeowner when it comes to aesthetics. Pick something that makes holistic sense for you.
For more information on the types of shingles and the cost of these various options, take a look at our article “How much does a new roof cost?”
The build code in Atlanta states that all roofing shingles must have a wind rating of at least 90 mph. This only comes into question when you look into some of the more budget-friendly options.
Other than the city requirements, it will be important that your Atlanta roofing contractor meets the installation specifications outlined by the manufacturer. Here are links to those resources:
- Certainteed Landmark Installation
- GAF Timberline HDZ Installation
- Owens Corning Oakridge Installation
In general, yes, the best type of roof in Georgia homes is going to be a metal roof. They simply last longer and can take more of a beating. The lifespan of a shingle roof is approximately 25 years, but the lifespan of a good metal roof can be anywhere from 40 to 70 years.
Metal roofs also have a reputation for being safer because metal doesn’t burn the way that shingles do, and they withstand the Georgia weather as moisture won’t cause a metal roof to grow moss or algae (shingle roofs that grow moss and algae will quickly get eaten away and leaks will appear.)
Well going by what we’ve said above, the answer seems to be yes, but when you look at cost you might change your mind. A metal roof can cost twice as much as a shingle roof. So the best type of roof really depends on whether you are in the house for the long haul (and expect to get 70 years out of that roof instead of 25) and whether you think that fire is a big enough issue to warrant the construction of a metal roof.
There are a lot of different types of metal you can choose from when looking into roofs.
Copper is an excellent material as it is corrosion resistant and looks great, especially as it ages and develops its natural verdigris. But it does cost more than other types of roofs.
Aluminum is very similar to copper in that it doesn’t corrode, even with the sea air that blows in from the Georgia coast, but it is also expensive (though not as much as copper.)
Tin roofs are actually alloys of tin and steel and are very strong, which helps with regards to wind. Pure tin roofs are a type of roof that is very uncommon now, but tin alloy roofs are popular and cheaper than copper.
The main two reasons for metal being the best type of roof in Georgia are, first, that it is a very attractive look, whether you go for copper or for other metals. The look of a metal roof is very streamlined and elegant, and a good copper look can give your house the feeling that it is much older than it is (in a good way) by the beautiful verdigris patina that gives copper its greenish white tinge (the Statue of Liberty is copper, and you can see that it no longer has the color of a penny.
Second, the way that metal roofs are attached and installed is done in a manner that makes them stronger than shingles when it comes to wind, and it makes them less prone to leaks. It is very rare for a single piece of metal to come loose--almost impossible given the standing seam system--but how often do you see a home with a shingle dangling or missing entirely?
You can probably tell from the length and detail of this article that roofing can get a little bit complicated! For some, it can even become overwhelming. That’s why we’re here for you!
We want to make sure you get the best type of roof for your Atlanta home. If you have questions, need help, or just want someone to talk to about the process, please reach out to us anytime!
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