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Can I Determine The Best Shingle Online?

Internet search for shingle products

One great customer I had three years ago said to me, “After you gave me a quote, I took three weeks to research the best shingle on the market by going online. After three weeks, I know less than I did when I started.”

Mr. Banister was an actual scientist for his vocation. I thought if anyone could do a convincing job of research, it would be him. The truth of the matter, though, is it is incredibly difficult to rely on the internet to guide you to the right product properly.

Part of that is due to the variables that can impact a customer’s experience and opinion when they leave a review. Those variables can include experience/inexperience and the overall experience with the installer. They are also determined by the quality of the roof installation and reasonableness of the customer. Let’s look at these factors one by one.

Experience Versus Inexperience

As I was preparing to write this, I did some online research. Most of the people leaving reviews were the homeowners or customers. As I read review after review, it was not hard to determine that many customers did not have experience with construction, let alone shingles. Their perspective was probably not coming from the same place that you or I might be taking.

Two years ago, my wife and I decided to take a trip to the Dominican Republic. We had never been there before. Something I had heard over and over was that the food at the all-inclusive resorts wasn’t as great as what others had expected. So, I took a week and read all the reviews on the different resorts. We wanted excellence in two areas: Food and the beach.

I chose a resort that was rated 9.5/10 for food and beach and 8.5/10 for resort and service. When we got there, the resort & service was darn near 10/10, the beach was a 9/10 and the food was a 5/10! As you can imagine, we were very disappointed. We soon realized people cared more about the menu being “Fine Dining” rather than what I consider great food. When the base that defines your opinion is different from someone else’s, you can come up with vastly different landing spots.

It can be the same with roofing or really any industry. I have had customers do research and come back to me with confidence that the product I offered was exactly what they should use. I have also had potential customers come back to me almost insulted that I would dare offer them such an inferior product. One time a customer told me that the consensus best shingle product on the market was trash, and I should be embarrassed for offering it. They came away from their research heading 180 degrees from where they should have been going.

It is challenging to determine if you are at a similar starting point as the reviewing customer is.

The Overall Experience With The Roofing Company

Let me share a personal experience I had with one of our customers.

We were in our busy summer season, and were scheduling our crews back to back with jobs. At the same time, we were also trying to schedule emergency jobs in between the regular ones to get to everyone as quickly as we could. This combination can lead to some scheduling issues with customers.

I had one customer get quite angry with me because we were having difficulty agreeing on a start date for his project. He wanted it done on the upcoming weekend when he could be home. I could not guarantee we could be there that weekend as I had a possible emergency job to do around that time. During the back and forth conversation, there were things said, on both sides, that were less than ideal. We finished the conversation, finally coming to a compromise.

At the end of the job, I thought we had worked everything out between us. Still, when it was time to ask the customer for a review for the manufacturer, the review for everything came back extremely negative from the shingles to our workmanship. Because of the customer’s perceived bad experience with me, he painted the install and the product with the same brush. Anyone who reads his review will not get a fair review on that shingle. And I learned to have a little more patience.

Roof system & Shingle installation

Quality Of Installation

Many of the reviews I read complained about blow-offs, lifting shingles, or it just doesn’t look good. All of that could easily be the quality of the install.

Because of the contractor chosen, the shingle gets a bad review.

Sometimes it can the other way around as well. A great installer applies a low budget shingle and the customer is ecstatic. The yard is clean, the roof lays flat, and the valley is straight, so it’s gotta be a great product. Therefore, a Great Review!!!

Unreasonable Reviewer

Not everyone who leaves a negative review is unreasonable, some negative reviews are outright deserved, but some… One of the shingle reviews I read said the company would not do anything about the fact that they did not like the colour they had chosen. So, bad review!!!

At the time of writing this, our company has 29 5-Star Google reviews (that’s great right!?) and one 1-star review. We earned that review because we did not phone them back. And to top it off – that was me! I took the message when I was in the truck and lost it. A costly mistake as this person chose to leave us a very bad review. Absolutely, I wish that I hadn’t lost the message and called the person back. I am the first to confess – I’m not perfect.

All of this is to say, the internet is a great place to find out some information. But – because it is on the internet, it does not mean it is 100% true.

Now you are probably asking yourself – How do I determine what the right shingle product is to put on my house?

The real truth is, you need to find a trustworthy contractor and take their advice on the best product to use and what is best for your roof and your budget.

Find a roofing contractor that will tell you:

  • Exactly why the product they are suggesting in best for you. There needs to be a reason.
  • About more than one product: Everyone and their roof are different and have different needs and wants. Some homes need a high wind application. Some need or want an extra long-lasting product. Others require a roofing product that can stand up to more inclement weather.

Choosing The Best Shingles For Your Home

At South Peak, we want to recommend what is best for you and your situation. And give you options. There is always more than one way to slice an apple.

Many roofing companies will only give you one option, and there are a couple of reasons for that.

  • Marketing studies show that companies with only one product to sell, make better profit margins.
  • Some sell products that are intentionally not long-lasting so that there is more work in the nearer future.
  • Regardless, when only one product is offered, the customers’ needs are not paramount in the estimate proposal. Be aware of this!

I realize that this post may not have given you the “do this” and you will have a great roofing contractor and product. Online research can help you – definitely. However, nothing replaces old-fashioned questions and answers.

Find a contractor with a good track record, ask questions. Use your judgment on their responses. Are they answering your questions? Are they giving you options? Do they have information to back up what they are telling you? Ask around, find out about the contractor. Do you know anyone that has used them?

All of these questions and more will help you determine the best roofing company and best shingles for your home.


If you are looking to replace or repair your roof, give our team at South Peak Roofing & Exteriors a call at 1-(877) 380 – 1965 or fill out our contact form. We will provide you with a free estimate and recommend the best roofing product for your home and budget.