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Property owners often focus on three factors when evaluating proposals for a new roof: price, color and type of roofing material (shingle, tile or metal).

However, another factor is just as important – brand.

Not all roofing materials are created equal, and if an estimate or proposal does not specify a manufacturer, a contractor is legally able to substitute an off-brand or generic product. Second-tier brands might look and feel the same, but lower-quality, substandard materials are less durable and can break down faster than their name-brand counterparts.

Off-brand products also can feature shorter terms on their warranties. That means you might need to replace your roof in 10 or 12 years instead of 15 to 25 years, wiping away any potential cost savings from using a second-tier brand. In fact, substituting off-brands might actually cost more money in the long run.

Certain manufacturers have built strong reputations nationally and internationally by offering durable, visually appealing products and superb customer service.

Brands recognized for superior performance include: