Are GAF Designer Shingles Right For You?

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Among numerous premium asphalt shingles brands, GAF designer shingles stand out for their reasonable cost, exceptional curb appeal and dependable durability.

If you are looking for an affordable replica of cedar wood shingles or slate tiles, GAF’s designer shingles offer a wide range of options to choose from.

To get started on your roof replacement, contact your local roofing pros for FREE ESTIMATES!

GAF Designer Shingles Cost and Comparison to Other GAF Products

There are seven products in GAF’s line of designer shingles. You can find their names and costs per bundle in the table below.

Designer Shingles Name Cost per Bundle
Grand Canyon $240
Camelot II $200
Slateline $175
Grand Sequoia $190
Woodland $185
Grand Sequoia AS $232
Grand Sequoia RS $330
Timberline Roofing Shingles Name Cost per Bundle
Timberline HDZ $100
Timberline NS $92
Timberline UHD $135
Timberline UHD with Dual Shadow Line $140
Timberline AS II $245
Timberline CS $210
Timberline HDZ RS $105
Timberline HDZ RS + $110
3-Tab Shingles Name Cost per Bundle
Marquis WeatherMax $84
Royal Sovereign $118
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As you can see, these are premium asphalt shingles that come with extra features GAF’s other products don’t have.

Most notably, GAF uses a hand-cutting procedure to make each shingle you buy, and they either resemble wood shakes or slate tile designs. When compared to its other products, the price difference is clear.

Generally, designer shingles tend to be the most expensive ones, but several of GAF’s Timberline shingles do cost more than the cheaper designer products.

These retail prices don’t include other expenses, like starter shingles or underlayment. Nails and tarps are also not part of these prices. Each bundle is ~33 square feet of shingles, with three bundles being a square, covering approximately 100 square feet.

In most cases, reroofing will require 5-10% more shingles than roof area. Your roof’s structure and design will also affect the pricing. Valleyed roofs and those with dormers will increase your required shingles.

All designer shingles from GAF have a lifetime warranty upon purchase.

GAF Designer Shingle Pros and Cons

GAF’s luxury shingles aren’t the most affordable ones you can find, but they do offer some advantages few other products have. Here are their pros and cons.


Solid Protection

All seven of GAF’s designer shingles are made featuring several cuts and colors for increased durability. They also have a foundation made of durable fiberglass called a Micro Weave Core.

It prevents your designer shingles from cracking when the temperature drops, which is a prevalent problem in inferior shingles.

Transferrable Warranties

GAF has three tiers of workmanship coverage: System Plus, Silver Pledge, and Golden Pledge. These plans last 2 years, 10 years, and 25-30 years, respectively. The latter two are provided and backed by the company.

The Golden Pledge warranty covers your entire roof, especially when hiring a GAF-certified roofer to install the shingles.

Should an inspector from the company visit and check your house to discover any issues, the roofer is required to address them immediately.

Did you know? In the U.S., only 2% of all roofers in the nation qualify as Master Elite Contractors for GAF.

The requirements for this certification are difficult to achieve and are proof that the roofer offers incredible service to clients.

The GAF Smart Choice Shingle International Limited Warranty will protect your designer shingles for 10 years.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
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Maximum Fire and Wind Damage Resistance

GAF luxury series of shingles has the highest possible protection from wind and fire damage you can get for residential shingles.

There is simply no better certification you can find in the nation. All seven of GAF’s designer shingles have received a Class A UL 790 fire rating, ASTM D7158 Class H, and ASTM D3161 Class F ratings.

The fire rating states that these shingles were shown to withstand fire damage during intensive fire testing without moving from the installed position.

An ASTM D7158 Class H rating is proof that these shingles stay in place despite powerful uplift forces.

Class H tests involve winds up to 150 mph, while Classes G and D are set at 90 and 120 mph.
A testament to these shingles’ interlocking ability is how they earned an ASTM D3161 Class F certification.

The Class F rating shows they withstood winds up to 110 mph.

Designer shingles also have transferrable warranties. You can only do so once, however.

Beautiful Design

When installed on your roof, these designer shingles can transform your home into a work of art. Whether you pick shingles that resemble wood or slate roofing, your roof will never look the same.

For example, the Woodland shingles are made to combine old-world traditional designs with modern manufacturing practices. It has a color palette designed by Patricia Verlodt, an expert in the roofing industry. With these shingles, you grant your home new depth and aesthetics.

If you are not sure what color roof to pick, check out our comprehensive guide on the Best Roof Shingle Colors and Siding Combinations.

Increases Home Resale Value

Curb appeal and your home’s appearance will help your home sell for more when the time comes for you to move.

If your roof is in shambles, it’s harder to convince potential buyers to go forward with a deal. They don’t want to spend more money fixing a roof if they can help it.

Installing these designer shingles eliminates this issue and will increase a home’s resale value. A beautiful roof is a prized possession, and many are willing to pay extra if they can buy a home with striking visual appeal.

Algae Protection

Blue and green algae are a plague on all roofs and manifest in the form of stains. If you find these, it’s time to clean them up. The process takes a massive chunk of your time, and pressure washers can damage your shingles.

All GAF shingles, including the premium products, have the company’s famous StainGuard technology to prevent algae growth.

Instead of spending weekends washing the roof with bleach, installing these shingles will prevent or limit algae from growing in the first place. You can spend your precious time on other tasks, such as cooking a delicious dinner.

Did you know? As pressure washers can damage roof shingles, it’s best to use household or oxygen bleach to remove algae stains.

You’ll need a scrub brush or something similar to dislodge the unwanted plants. There are also special products like Jomax that help remove algae.

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Granule Loss

There are some whisperings of GAF shingles experiencing granule loss. While it’s normal to see some, GAF shingles have been found to become defective or develop unusual amounts of loss. Severe weather and improper installation are the two leading causes.

Troublesome Warranty Claiming

While not a GAF-specific problem, the company has a reputation for how difficult it is to claim your warranty. It’s primarily due to the small print in the contract. You may have to spend extensive effort convincing GAF that your roof has a problem.

The process may involve many calls, emails, and even sending the company shingle samples. It takes time, and the company won’t usually recoup temporary fixes you employ during this period.


Sometimes, a poor installation can cause the layers of your designer shingles to separate.

Fortunately, this usually happens within the scope of your warranty. It’s a common enough problem that home inspectors have noted its frequency.

High Cost

These shingles are GAF’s premium offerings, and not everyone has the funds to afford them. They offer a beautiful visual upgrade to your home, but it’s usually at a high price many aren’t willing to pay.

If you still want to get GAF shingles, the only alternatives are the brand’s more affordable products.

Designer GAF Shingles ROI

The return on investment of your GAF designer shingles can’t be calculated accurately, but national data does say that replacing shingles can result in an ROI of 66% on average.

If your designer shingles were correctly installed and well-maintained, you might find yourself getting more back upon resale.

GAF’s designer shingles are highly durable and attractive. What ROI doesn’t account for is curb appeal and assurance, so you may find a beautiful roof increasing your return amount later on.

GAF vs Malarkey Shingles

Malarkey asphalt shingles tend to be more expensive, especially its Windsor Scotchgard designer shingles.

Like almost all of the company’s offerings, these have more asphalt in them compared to other brands. They make for a heavier roof than most, and that’s something not everyone is a fan of.

Malarkey is highly committed to saving the environment, and it uses upcycled waste, like tires and plastic bags, to modify the asphalt. Instead of ending up in landfills or the ocean, these unwanted objects are given a new lease on life.

The Windsor Scotchgard designer shingles are made of Malarkey’s NEX Polymer modified and rubberized asphalt.

Instead of having only the advantages of pure asphalt, you get the weather resistance and durability increases that come with adding rubber and polymers.

These shingles have a Class 4 impact resistance rating, the highest possible achievement in this category.

With these materials, you can expect the shingles to withstand winds up to 110 mph and stay intact in colder climates. Cracking is simply not an option for Malarkey.

The company focuses more on quality than quantity, resulting in only one designer shingle product.
Compared to GAF’s designer shingles, Malarkey’s product loses in terms of product choice.

GAF has seven designer shingle styles to choose from, and they each come in various colors. The Windsor Scotchgard shingles have several color choices, but being limited to one style can stifle homeowners’ creativity.

Malarkey’s Windsor Scotchgard designer shingles are pretty heavy, having extra mass in each shingle. The company states they’re 22% thicker than typical shingles. You can’t avoid having more asphalt, as there’s only one choice.

Pro Tip: When choosing shingles, thicker and heavier doesn’t always mean more durable. The product’s composition and manufacturing processes are more crucial for extended life.

By default, this shingle will only withstand winds up to 110 mph, but you can get an Enhanced Wind Warranty that increases the resistance up to 140 mph.

GAF’s designer shingles can all withstand 150 mph winds and there’s no need to pay extra for more protection.

Overall, you should go with GAF’s designer shingles if you want to have more styles and colors to choose from. They’re also lighter and don’t strain the roof as much, all while offering superior protection.

If you don’t mind the Malarkey Windsor Scotchgard’s limited colors and heavier weight, they remain a solid choice for your home.

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GAF vs Owens Corning Shingles

Owens Corning is another reputable roofing company in the U.S., resulting from Owens-Illinois and Corning Glass Works partnering.

The company prides itself on experimenting with asphalt and roofing, earning many awards. Like Malarkey, Owens Corning only has one designer shingle, the TruDefinition Duration Designer Shingles.

This product comes in 13 colors designed to help your house stand out. Its Bourbon color even managed to win the 2022 Shingle Color of the Year award. A combination of blue and brown hues was enough to help it stand out from the competition.

Owens Corning’s scientific approach to asphalt has resulted in its SureNail Technology. In general, some shingles don’t stay secure to the roof due to poor retention, which is a crucial step during installation. The company manages to alleviate most of the problems with this technology, and it shows.

SureNail Technology claims to improve nail pull-through resistance by 250%. It would require even more force than usual if the wind were to pull a nail entirely out of the roof and allow the shingle to fly off. A 900% increase in nail blow-through resistance also prevents over-driven nails, making extra nails unnecessary.

Using fewer nails will reduce costs and make installation more convenient.

When heated to 180 degrees Fahrenheit, the Owens Corning TruDefinition Duration Designer Shingles have twice the delamination resistance compared to standard products. The layers won’t separate unless extreme forces are present.

GAF’s designer shingles have similar wind and fire resistance ratings but are again superior due to having more choices. The Owens Corning designer shingle does outperform GAF in nail pull-through and blow-through resistance.

Check out our extensive guide comparing GAF vs Owens Corning Shingles

Is Owens Corning Better Than GAF?

Not in all areas, though it’s not wrong to say GAF’s warranties are superior. GAF does have more exceptional colors, but some of its products are more challenging to install. Overall, the two brands aren’t too far apart.

CertainTeed vs GAF Shingles

CertainTeed is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain and has more than a century of experience manufacturing building products.

Its line of premium shingles contains five products: Grand Manor, Carriage House
Belmont, Presidential Shake, Presidential Shake TL.

All five have the company’s StreakFighter and CertaSeal Technologies. The former is designed to withstand algae growth and stains using copper infusion on the shingles’ surface.

CertaSeal is CertainTeed’s wind uplift protection, consisting of high-grade adhesive that remains pliable over time.

Each designer shingle has several colors to choose from. The choices satisfy an extensive range of clients, as the U.S. has many different environments and locations that work best with certain color schemes.

There are many similarities between CertainTeed and GAF designer shingles. Both brands manage to qualify for similar wind, fire, and hail resistance ratings. Their limited lifetime warranties are also transferrable.

GAF does win again in terms of having a wider range of products and colors. However, it’s important to note that more choices don’t necessarily mean better shingles.

Did You Know? Despite a shingle’s ratings, the real world is full of uncertainties and factors beyond your control.

A reliable roof is great to have, but they’re not invincible. You’ll still need to keep an eye out for damage and algae.

Check out our comprehensive guide comparing GAF vs CertainTeed Shingles.

What Is A Designer Shingle?

Designer shingles are premium shingles that usually have a style that sets them apart from regular ones. You may also know them as premium, dimensional, or architectural shingles.

Are Luxury Shingles Worth It?

Luxury shingles tend to last longer and have better curb appeal. They may cost more, but having them on your roof also increases resale value. If you can afford them, these products are worth the investment.

Did you know? Designer shingles are only as good as the roofers installing them. It’s wise to get a roofer’s warranty in addition to the manufacturer’s coverage for greater security.

You can experience less stress when your shingles are damaged if you have more protection.

The designer shingles from GAF come in many styles and colors, as the company is known to boast one of the most extensive palettes in the country.

GAF is a trusted brand across the U.S., and its products endure for years without problems 90% of the time. If you’re interested in getting them, look for a reputable roofer today.

Average Roof Costs For:
Most Homeowners Spent Between: Most People Spent: $4,190 - $5,740 (For a 1600 sq. ft. Roof)
Low End
High End

See costs in your area Start Here - Enter Your Zip Code

Author: Leo B
For over 20 years Leo has run a successful roofing business in New England, specializing in metal roofing, as well as cool flat roofing technologies. Having replaced and installed hundreds of roofs in New England, Leo has first hand experience with pretty much every residential roofing material and roofing manufacturer available in the US.
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