Roofing Choices

The best way to walk you through the process of selecting which roof is best for you is to share with you the same questions we ask our customers.

The LVC Simple Roof Comparison Guide

Arch. Shingles Slate Roof Cedar Shake Shingle Luxury Designer Shingles
Appearance advice: Look at your neighborhood to see what fits in Well Your preference Your preference Your preference Your preference
Durability & long lasting 3rd place 1st place 4th place 2nd place
Lightweight- not putting as much weight on your roof 2nd place 4th place 1st place 3rd place
Maintenance free 2nd place 4th place. Depends on if the slate breaks. 3rd place. Preserve it after 20 years 1st place. Probably don’t have to do anything for 40 – 50 years
Cheapest 1st place 4th place 3rd place 2nd place
Average Price Per Square Foot of the Roof Installed around $3-$4 is the cost of Arch. Shingles Slate Roofing is around $10-$12 (includes install) square foot. A Cedar Wood Roof costs about $7-$8 per square foot. $4-$6 per square foot

Of course, there’s the metal roofing too. See the metal roof color options here.

Choice 1: Determine a ballpark budget.

LVC is one of the few Pennsylvania roofers that tell you up front what the price ranges for various roofs are.

Although the final price will be based on your roof size and intricacies, this quick guide can you give a good comparison.

For an average roof of 3,000 square feet:
Roof Type Price Range Typical Warranty
Three Tab Shingles $7,000 to $8,500 25 Years
Architectural Shingles $8,500 to $10,000 50 Years
Designer Shingles $10,000 to $13,000 50 Years
Cedar Shake Wood Shingles $12,000 to $15,000 25 to 50 years

Choice 2: Select the Type of Roof and Roofing Material you want

What is the difference in roof shingles?

Three Tab Architectural Shingles Designer Shingles Cedar Shake Wood Shingles.
3 Tab Shingles have been around the longest. Often times it’s cheapest roofing option. Architectural shingles are 3-dimensional shingles. Usually, Architectural Shingles are in the lower price range. Designer Shingles are thicker and heavier, which means they will withstand the elements on your roof longer. There are actually 2 different choices of Cedar Shake Shingles. The first choice is hand split cedar shake that is unique but very expensive. The 2nd choice is a standard Cedar Shake Wood Shingle.
You can spot a 3 Tab shingle by its flat look. The real benefit is they are cheap shingles. There are reduced color options so they are quickly becoming the least popular choice for our customers. Whereas the 3 Tab shingles have a visible line that separates them, architectural shingles all blends into one piece. You’ll have a much bigger choice of design with Designer Shingles. You’ll have choices of different cuts, different thickness, and some truly unique colors. The hand split cedar shakes are rougher on the top side and thicker.
That’s really where it ends. LVC discourages these shingles as the only last 12-18 years on a 25-30 year rating. There is also a more limited choice in colors with these “standard” shingles. Because it’s made of asphalt, it will seal much like asphalt on the road. If you notice a truly unique roof on the home of your neighbors, one you can’t recall seeing elsewhere, they most likely opted for the higher grade shingle. Since they are one of the most expensive choices of roof material you have, these shingles will hold up much better in tough Pennsylvania winters.
You can pick out homes that have architectural shingles because the shingles look more distinct from each other than a 3 tab shingle home would. If you are in a development with upscale top market homes and it’s time for a new roof, and you want to stand out among the other homes, going with Designer Shingles could be best for you. Because it’s made of wood, Cedar Shake Shingles are probably the best insulator.
These are the favorite shingles of LVC because of the lifetime warranty, it’s easier to conceal the nails better and they last longer. There is no other shingle that can have such an impact on the appearance of the house as Cedar Shakes. Remember, the cedar shakes will have a beautiful red color for the first years, but they will eventually turn to gray.

Architectural Shingles are slightly more expensive but will last longer, stand up better to the elements and add to the home’s value.

Most typical Lancaster and Pennsylvania roofs will be between $300-$600, more for these more reliable shingles. Unlike the flat regular (a.k.a 3 Tab) Shingles, the added dimension gives them a better look.

LVC hands down recommend Architectural Shingles for Pennsylvania and Delaware roofs. They do the job, are durable and they cost the homeowner less in the long run. It’s really the best bang for your buck.

Designer Shingles from LVC come with a Lifetime guarantee and are one of the most popular in the region. They offer the best balance between affordability and quality for your home and have one of the best color choices.

Cedar Shake Shingles are basic wooden shingles made from split logs. They are a Pennsylvania tradition as they can withstand our winters and give the home a rustic look. LVC reminds homeowners that on one hand they do have a one-of-a-kind look but on the other hand, these shingles require more maintenance.

Slate Roofs installed by LVC are made from some of the longest lasting material on the market. All though they look great, the experts at LVC are quick to point out they can also be the most expensive. Made from natural stone, they offer one of the best appearances and the strongest material but can be extremely heavy.

Choice 3: Choose a color

Three Tab Shingles come in the following colors:

Architectural Shingles, the favorite of Lykens Valley Contractors come in the following colors:

Designer Shingles come in the following colors:

Cedar Shakes is just cedar color.

Slate Roofs come in the following colors:

A word from the Experts about Choosing a Color

LVC has installed countless roofs in Chester County, Lancaster County, Berks County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Lebanon County Dauphin County and the rest of Pennsylvania.

They point out a few important factors to consider when selecting a color.

A roof color can change the whole appearance of your home for the better, thus dramatically increasing it’sresale value. The roof can take up to half of your home’s exterior and plays a deciding factor on the first impression. Consider how the roof color will compliment or even contrast with the rest of the exterior. A red brick can be enhanced when going with a darker roof, while a lighter roof may compliment gray tones of siding better.

Many of the shingles LVC uses are made from an American company called GAF.

LVC had a customer in who wanted a replacement roof in Reading. They chose Peter Gray Shingles to complement their brick. It looked so-so when they were comparing the samples, but as it started to go up it definitely had the wow factor. And it fits their budget of about $6000.

Choice 4: Do you want the standard Ice and Water Winter Guard or the Upgraded Version?

Unlike other roofing contractors in Pennsylvania, LVC offers the standard Ice and Winter Guard for Free to all their customers.

The Ice and Water Winter Guard LVC offers to create a 100% watertight seal that keeps water out at the most vulnerable areas of your shingle or metal roof (at the eaves and rakes, in valleys, around chimneys, etc.) By going with an LVC Leak Barrier, you protect your home from costly repairs from wall or ceiling damage. It also helps prevent leaks due to water damming in your gutters, wind-driven rain, and, in the North, damaging ice dams. Protection against ice dams is required at eaves wherever the January average temperature is 25°F or lower or where there is a possibility of ice forming in the eaves. Ice dams can still occur in areas where the average temperature is above 25°F (not to mention wind-driven rain). If your eaves are the standard 36″ wide, the Standard Ice and Water Guard should protect you. If you have the wider 72″ eaves, the Upgraded Version is strongly recommended as you are likely to have more ice backups and water runs offs. This is recommended for bigger two-foot overhangs. The Standard Ice and Water Guard cover the eaves and the valleys of the roof where the Upgraded package will cover all the penetrations into the roof like skylights and chimneys.

Getting confused with all this roof terminology? Check out our Roofing Basics Page here.

For an average home with 25 square foot roof, the upgraded Ice and Water Winter Guard will run between $400-$500.

Choice 5: Do you want Pre Cut Starter Strip Shingles?

To answer this “yes or no” question, let the experts from LVC explain.

Pre Cut Starter Strip Shingles about $100 extra for the average roof and the advantage is preventing damage from high winds. The strips are glued to the bottom row of the singles and have an actual seal with your roof. You can also have it put along the roof eaves. 90% of the time shingles blew off by wind start coming loose along these roof edges. The Pre Cut Strip Shingles are a small insurance policy to prevent damage during high winds.

Choice 6: Do you want Felt Paper or an Underlayment?

Any decent roofer will insist you purchase an “Underlayment” or a waterproof barrier between your actual roof and your home. So what kind of Underlayment do you want?

15# weight 30# weight Shingle-Mate Synthetic Felt Deck Armour
Thickness 4th place 1st place 3rd place 5th place 2nd place
Strength 4th place 3rd place 2nd place 5th place 1st place
Breathe-ability-breathes better so shingles last longer 3rd place-its lighter and thinner 4th place 2nd place 5th place 1st place
Durability- long lasting 4th place 3rd place 2nd place 5th place rot, blow away 1st place synthetic, won’t rot. With 25 year warranty
Lightweight- not putting as much weight on your roof 3rd place 4th place 2nd place 5th place 1st place
Cheapest 1st place 2nd place 3rd place 4th place 5th place

LVC’s pick for Pennsylvania Roofs? The Deck Amour.

This breathable material allows moisture to escape from your attic while providing an exceptionally strong layer of protection against wind-driven rain. It also lays flatter for a better-looking roof.

For a full list of Roofing terms, click on our List of Pennsylvania Roofing Terms here.

Choice 7: What kind of Drip Edge do You want?

The last layer on your roof will be the drip edge. It goes around the perimeter for the roof to prevent water from running underneath the shingles. LVC offers an aluminum drip edge upgrade for no extra cost and strongly recommend you take it. You will have 2 choices: one style has about 1 1/2 inches showing and the other style only has about 1 inch.

Choice 8: Do you want a Ridge Vent?

LVC recommends you select YES on this choice.

About 99% of the Lykens Valley Contractors customers go with it and it’s not that expensive. A ridge vent provides a maintenance-free way to help release (or vent) hot air from the attic space. Ridge vents use a passive method of ventilation. These vents do not use fans or other mechanical devices to remove hot air from the attic space. Because they are passive they don’t require maintenance and may even last longer than the shingles on the roof.

Choice 9: What KIND of Ridge Vent do you want?

If you answered yes to Choice #8, now you can select the type you want.

Lykens Valley Contractors

Ridge Vent
(Attic Exhaust Vent)
The original Cobra® Ridge Vent — protects over 2 million homes!

Lykens Valley Contractors

Rigid Vent 3™
(Attic Exhaust Vent)
Premium rigid-style vent — available in warmer climates.

Lykens Valley Contractors

Ridge Runner®
(Attic Exhaust Vent)
The performance of a baffled rigid vent… with the ease of a roll!

Lykens Valley Contractors

Snow Country™
(Attic Exhaust Vent)
Quality rigid-style vent. Snow Guard™ filter helps resist snow infiltration. Available in colder climates.

Lykens Valley Contractors

Snow Country™ Advanced (Attic Exhaust Vent)
Premium quality rigid-style vent. Snow Guard™filter helps resist snow infiltration.

Lykens Valley Contractors

Fascia Vent
(Attic Intake Vent)
Allows you to add attic intake ventilation when you have no soffits.

Lykens Valley Contractors

FasciaFlow™ Vent
Allows you to add attic intake ventilation when you have no soffits.

LVC recommends the Cobra Snow Country. It’s a good venting ridge vent, and not the most expensive. It’s actually middle of the road when it comes to price. It has a great look and the Snow Country won’t smash and keeps the bugs out. LVC guys think it’s the best venting ridge vent on the market.

Choice 10: Skylights?

Do you have old skylights you want to replace or would you like to add new skylights? How much do skylights cost? LVC skylights run about $500 per skylight-installed. LVC uses Velux skylights. They are priced well, the guys have installed hundreds of them, and they are practically leak proof.