What do diamonds have in common with shingles?
Homeowners are being more creative with shingle colors and styles these days.

Shopping for an engagement ring can be confusing, but knowing the 4 C’s of picking a diamond—cut, color, clarity and carat—can help consumers get the best gem for their money.

Shopping for roof shingles can be confusing, too. But knowing the 3 C’s of buying a new roof—cut, color and coverage—can help consumers choose the best roof for their home and make the entire process easier and less expensive.

1. Cut

Cut refers to the shape of the shingle and can have a huge impact on a roof’s appearance. Depending on the cut, specialty laminated asphalt shingles, like shingle manufacturer TAMKO Building Products’ Heritage Woodgate line, can give the illusion of wood shake shingles. Other options can resemble stone, slate or tile. Shingle cut can also give a modern or vintage look to a home, so it’s important to choose a cut that fits the style of the rest of your house. The shingle cut can also affect the installation speed and the cost of your roof. The shingle application method shown at http://bit. ly/1dORpuC can help speed installation and reduce waste.

2. Color

When you think of shingle color, you probably think brown, gray and black. And while those traditional colors are still very popular, in recent years asphalt shingles have been introduced in a wide variety of colorful hues. Color trends include high-contrast options like Rustic Evergreen and Glacier White, as well as a popular move toward natural colors emulating the vibrant tones found in nature. “People are getting creative with their roofing—it’s not just utilitarian anymore,” said Stephen McNally, vice president of sales and marketing at TAMKO Building Products. “People are seeing it as a palette—one of the first things visitors notice about the house.”

When choosing a color, take into account the exterior color of your home, including siding, shutters, porch and front door. If the lots are close together, also consider the colors of the exteriors and roofs of the homes on either side of yours. Some options include contrasting colors, complementary colors or analogous color schemes.

3. Coverage

It is important to understand the warranty on your roofing system. Coverage includes which items are under warranty, under what circumstances the roof is warranted and for what amount of time. Most roof warranties do not guarantee the roof will last 30 to 50 years, but do provide options if you experience a manufacturing defect during the warranted time frame. Look for a warranty with longer “upfront” coverage, as these typically offer more time during which both materials and labor to install replacement shingles would be covered (tear off, removal and disposal is typically not covered). Manufacturers’ warranties do not cover regular wear and tear of the roof nor weather damage.