Know Your Roofing Terminology & Understand Your Estimate

Researching roof products? You might be at a point where you need a new roof and knowing your roofing terminology is an important step in the process. As with any large construction project, you want to have general knowledge of terms so you have a clear understanding when the roofing contractor is discussing options with you.

Probably the easiest way to understand roofing language is to see it in a diagram:

Roofing Terms

When it comes to DaVinci products - your contractor will order starter tiles, hip and ridge pieces and field tiles (not identified in the diagram above, but these are the tiles that are on the main surface area of a roof).

When you get a roofing estimate, there are usually three parts:

  • material costs
  • labor costs
  • disposal costs

Material costs should include the cost of our lightweight roofing materials, any necessary underlayments (this will vary on where you live in the country, the pitch of your roof and more), and metal flashings. Again, it's important to know that material costs will vary based on the shape, size, pitch of your roof and more. That's why we recommend securing three estimates when roofing.

Be sure to double check to make sure labor costs and disposal costs are included in your estimate. These should be separate line items or the estimate should clearly state that those costs are included in your total estimate. You don't want to have any surprise costs sneak up on you at the last minute.

You can learn more about roofing terms and roofing estimates by reading any of the following posts on our blog:

What questions can we answer for you? Email us or give us a call at 1-800-328-4624.


New Color eBook Now Available!

If you know anything about DaVinci Lightweight Roofing Materials, then you know we like to talk about color.

We love color and we understand how important it is aesthetically for your home - not only for today, but also for the day you sell it.

Color at DaVinci

We are excited to share the second color eBook that you can download - FRESH Color Schemes for Your Home Exterior.

Often times, homeowners and business owners struggle to figure out which colors would look best with their style of home. Or which roof color would be best for the brick or stone work that is on their home. In this book our color expert, Kate Smith of Sensational Color, gives advice on how to approach these difficult decisions, so that you are pleased with the end result.

In an effort to stay on the cutting edge of color in the roofing industry, we have some great tools that you can utilize. Just visit the DaVinci Color Studio and you'll see:

Interested in learning more about color with DaVinci Roofscapes lightweight roofing tiles? Here are a few more resources:

Has our color expert, Kate, helped you with the color of your roof? How so? Please tell us about it in the comment section.


Hurricane Season - How Will Your Roof Fair?

Coastal living is something many people dream about.... except when there is a threat of a hurricanes.

For those who live in a coastal region, you already know hurricanes can bring heavy and destructive winds, leaving behind unwanted damage and debris that has to be cleaned up. And roof damage is often one of the most worrisome and costly results of a hurricane.  

DaVinci SlateIf you live in a hurricane zone, we recommend that you have your roof professionally inspected by a roofer at least once a year. At the very minimum, you want to look for shingles that have curled, shifted, cracked, split, etc.

If you have been through a rough storm and know that you will need to have your roof replaced in the near future, you might be searching for a luxury roof that can withstand hurricane force winds.

Whatever your situation, if you are looking for a roof that can stand up to mother nature's wrath, then you might be interested in our lightweight roofing materials that are backed by a limited 50-year warranty and have achieved Class 4 ratings for impact resistance. Our plastic roofing materials have also achieved the Miami Dade County (High Velocity Hurricane Winds) and TDI (Texas Department of Insurance) acceptance.

Want more information about our polymer roofing products? Please contact us via email or give us a call at 1-800-328-4624.


Items to Consider When Getting a Roofing Estimate

Getting a Roofing EstimateIf you are in the process of constructing a home or a building, or just re-roofing, then it's important to understand all that you need to consider for your project. Whatever venture may be, there are many things that factor in to costs.

One key consideration for a re-roof project is tear-off. You need to think about and be aware of possible extra costs generated from the time, labor and materials involved in tearing off the old roof. Make sure you ask about these costs and that they are included in your estimate.

If you have a new construction project, tear off won't be an added cost because everything is being laid for the first time, so there is nothing to tear off or throw away. However, make sure you ask about any extras that could bump up your costs, like decking, nails, etc. Always ask if the estimate includes all materials and labor.

Other key items consider:

  • HOA and City Rules - Know the roofing materials that your HOA or city allows.  Also, you will want to know if you need a building permit - waiting on a building permit on the day that the job starts doesn't make anyone happy.
  • Material - Be prepared with the type of lightweight roofing materials that you're interested in using. Have you see samples? Do you like it? Have you seen it on a roof?
  • Roofer Estimates - 3 names of roofers to call - you definitely want to get at least three bids for your roofing project.
  • Roofing Pitch - roofers can figure this out, but it's nice to have when you call to set up an appointment for an estimate.
  • Weather and Timing - depending on where you live, there might be limitations as to when a roofing product can be installed. For example, some roofing products cannot be installed in cold weather. So while a roofer might be inclined to work in colder weather, the roofing product might not be up for the task

If you are interested in reading more on this subject, here is some additional information:

What other factors were important for you when you got a roofing estimate? Are you a roofer? What items do you like for business owners or homeowners to have ready?


DaVinci Roof Tiles: Engineered to Withstand Hurricane Force Winds

Bellaforte Lightweight Roofing TilesIf you live in a region where strong winds and bad storms are common due to hurricanes, then more than likely you are searching for a roofing material that can withstand hurricane force winds and strong impacts.

Hurricanes bring with them high winds, driving rain and flying debris, all of which can severely damage your roof. Our lightweight roofing tiles have been engineered to provide a Class 4 impact rating and superior wind resistance to hurricane force winds. Here's a breakdown of our various roofing systems and their high wind approvals:

Succesfully tested to 110MPH through the ASTM D 3161 Wind Test:

Miami Dade Code  & Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Approvals:

You'll love that our products are really lightweight too - weighing between 200-340 lbs per roofing square (depending on the product you choose). So you don't have to have a really heavy roof in order to withstand the forces of hurricane winds. In other words, you don't have to spend more money to beef up your roof structure to support the weight of a heavier roof.

Do you have a DaVinci imitation slate roof? Did you buy it because of it's hurricane wind resistance? How has it worked out for you? We would love to hear about how well it has performed. 

What questions do you have about our lightweight roofing materials? We're here to help you address any questions you have.


What Are Contractors Saying about DaVinci Lightweight Roofing Materials?

Over the years, we have found that the people that work with our products on a daily basis - the roofers - certainly have a lot to say about them. Here is a run down of recent contractor interviews and brief summaries of what some of these roofers had to say about DaVinci products:

Are you a roofer?  What do you like about our products?  Please share your comments below!




Installing Bellaforté Tiles Over An Existing Asphalt Roof

DaVinci Bellaforte Fake Slate TilesIf you are familiar with our lightweight roofing materials, then you probably know that we recommend a clean, smooth flat surface to start with for installation of our products.

As well, if you are familiar with roofing products, then you know that asphalt shingles, for example, can be laid on top of more asphalt shingles. In fact, this practice is so common that sometimes you can have multiple layers of asphalt shingles on a roof, occasionally more than are permitted.

While we recommend that our Bellaforté Tiles are installed on a smooth flat surface like our other shingles, in some circumstances, overlaying our Bellaforté tiles over one layer of Class A fiberglass asphalt shingles is an acceptable alternative.

In order for this type of application to be acceptable, we have specific recommendations in our Bellaforté Installation Guide for:

  • Preparation
  • Fasteners
  • Rake Edges/Gable Ends
  • Flashings


How does the ability to lay Bellaforté lightweight roofing tiles over a layer of existing asphalt shingles help you?  Well, it means that you don't have to pay for the removal labor or haul away of that layer of shingles, which means that it saves you money.

To learn more about the installation of our Bellaforté tiles, please feel free to reference our Bellaforté Installation Guide.

What installation questions do you have about our products?


So Many Roofing Options - How Do I Choose?

DaVinci Slate TilesFinding the right roofing material and type can be a challenge when you have many options to choose from.

Are you looking for a new roof? Slate? Shake? Sustainable roofing?  

You're in luck - our website is carefully organized to make it easy to locate the information that is most important to you. With the technical specifications menu you are able to see the characteristics of each of our products and better assess how their respective performance can meet your needs. We also have the DaVinci Color Studio on our website that allows you to see just how your slate or shake colors will look and discuss the many options with your contractor of choice. If you don’t have a contractor, we can help. Simply complete the online form and we do the rest.

DaVinci ShakeDaVinci also has a YouTube channel where you can get more information about the types of lightweight roofing systems we manufacture. The videos also show the certification testing that our products undergo to give you the highest quality and safest options on the market.

You can also learn more about the best color to choose for your roofing project by watching the YouTube videos or reading the information on our website that our color specialist Kate has complied to share with you.  Read the many customer reviews of the people that are proud to have been DaVinci’s clients and you will see that our roofing materials are made with the highest standards.

Need further help still?  We can help - just give us a call.  1-800-328-4624


Will Your Roof Color Work with Copper Two, Ten, or Twenty Years From Now?

Not too long ago a homeowner contacted us with a question about selecting a roof color for the new home he is having built. He is in the process of selecting materials and knew he wanted to include the copper patina tiles shown below.

Chart of Colors of Copper Patina at different stages of the aging process

Our homeowner also knew he wanted lightweight roof tiles but he thought his choice would be limited to the green or gray imitation shake or synthetic slate roofing. Since the copper is being installed with the patina already applied the roof will not change color further so he certainly could select a green or gray tile to harmonizes with the copper but these are not his only choices and for a homeowner who is going to install copper and let it age naturally they might not be the best color choices.

Copper oxidizes when it is exposed to the elements. Rather than rust it morphs from a shiny yellow-orange to deep brown then green and finally becomes dull bluish-green. As the process occurs the copper is developing what is known as patina. Copper patina is called verdigris. The term comes from the French phrase “verte grez”.

The chart above I designed based on information from Denninger a company that produces copper weather vanes and finials. It shows how the color naturally advances from raw copper to chocolaty-brown to dark verdis to the almost white of a truly aged copper decoration. According to Denninger in some geographic locations, copper will patina faster, or with a different hue than what is shown. Look for examples in your area to help give you an idea about what colors to expect.

Lightweight Roofing Solutions in Brown

Bellaforté Slate by DaVinci shown Dark New Cedar, Dark Autumn, Dark Amber

The homeowner could use any of the warm shake or slate tiles that have cooper-y undertones.  I have shown a few that might work well above. Any of these will blend well with copper. You can see how well the tiles below work with the cooper above at each stage of the patina process.

The warm undertones of these Bellaforté tiles are an excellent choice for homes with copper details. Even though the product our homeowner has chosen already has the patina when installed the same thinking can apply whether the copper took 20+ years to reach the patina or was installed new with a “pre-aged” finish. This is because the based color of the copper continues to influence the surface color.

The same line of thinking can apply to any metal that has a finish or patina. The color change is most pronounced with copper but consider the original color as an option when creating a scheme for any metal details on your home inside or out.

Kate Smith
Color Expert Kate Smith lends her expertise to DaVinci Roofscapes; a company that has manufactured award-winning synthetic slate and shake roofing since 1999. The polymer roofing tiles are virtually maintenance free and far more cost effective than the natural product. DaVinci leads the industry in tile thickness, the tile width variety and the greatest selection of subtle earth-toned colors. Company products have a 50-year warranty and are 100 percent recyclable.


Weathering the Storm with a Davinci Roof

Where do you live? What are your concerns when looking for a new roofing product for your home or building?

More than likely, wherever you live, we have a polymer roofing product that will fit your needs. All of our lightweight roofing materials are tested for fire, impact and wind, so wherever you call home, we have you covered.

Here is a quick run down of the different products we offer:


All of our products offer a Class A  or Class C Fire rating(depending on how the tiles are installed), Class 4 Impact rating and are Certified to withstand up to 110MPH* winds giving them superior abilities to weather the storm. 

What questions do you have about our products and their ability to weather the storm? How can we address concerns you have for a roofing product in your home town?

 * See DaVinci Installation Instructions for details.




Polymer Roofing vs. Rubber Roofing Materials

Rubber Slate Roof When fake slate products were first introduced on the market, a number of them were made from a variety of different products.  Some were made of old tires and some were made from cement boards.  While the idea of old tires and the whole concept of recycling was a nice idea, unfortunately, the performance of those shingles wasn't the best.

However, those rubber slate roof products left their mark on the roofing industry - so much so that we are often asked if our products are made from recycled rubber.

While we love the idea of recycling and helping the environment (and we do have a recycling program!), we also understand that tearing off a recycled rubber roof 5 years after it was installed would be not be helping the environment.  We wanted to create a product that lasted.

Therefore, we decided to make our lightweight roofing materials from virgin polymer resins with some other goodies (like fire retardants) thrown in.  We also wanted to avoid the issues that rubber roofs had - curling and cracking - so we added an engineered rib structure on the back of our shingles to ensure that they would lay flat for years to come.  We did so much preliminary testing and analysis of other products that we even offer a 50 year warranty with our product. 

You can read more about this topic on our blog:


DaVinci Lightweight Tiles Offer Class A Fire Ratings

Are you searching for a roofing material that offers a Class A fire rating? Or did you just happen upon this blog post as you were browsing our site? Whatever the case, you are in luck because our simulated shake roofing and our imitation slate roofing offers a Class A fire rating with proper underlayment.

To help explain a Class A fire rating, I always like to share this video with interested customers. It shows what the shingles and the underlayment have to go through into order to achieve the Class A rating (which is the best fire rating a shingle can have).


You can imagine (after watching the video above) how a burning branch falling off of a pine tree would take much longer to burn through a roof deck with DaVinci and the proper underlayment than it would with a natural cedar shake roof.

Do you live in a fire prone area and want to learn about our Class A fire rated lightweight roofing systems? Please feel free to reach out to us Contact DaVinci Roofscapes by email or calling 1-800-DAVINCI.

Did you select DaVinci for your roof because of the Class A rating or because of our Class 4 impact ratings? Tell us about it.


Made in the USA - Happy 4th of July!

With today being Independence Day, it's important to focus in on all things American --- including manufacturers that support America.

Based in Kansas City, Kansas, DaVinci Roofscapes has been producing 100 percent "Made in America" roofing products for the past 14 years.

"Responsible American consumers can research the products they purchase and make a conscious effort to support our country by purchasing products made in the U.S.A." says Ray Rosewall, DaVinci's president and CEO.

"We provide jobs to Americans, support the economy with the taxes we pay as a company, and produce beautiful, top-quality polymer roofing products that Americans can rely on to help safeguard their homes and families against the wrath of Mother Nature.

"We're so confident in the quality of our lightweight roofing materials that we offer a 50-year limited warranty on every polymer shake and slate roofing tile we produce."

Rosewall goes on to explain that by relying on suppliers located only in the U.S.A., DaVinci is able to support many avenues of the economy.

"There's a natural multiplier effect of our 'Made in America' focus that benefits numerous companies in our country and people,” says Rosewall. “Every roofing tile we sell helps the continued growth of our country's economy. As a result, homeowners purchasing our polymer roofing tiles are contributing to the economic recovery and enhancing the appearance of their own homes."


Bellaforte Lightweight Roofing Systems: Affordable Elegance

Bellaforte Fake SlateIf you are looking for a new roof and would like to have a fake slate or a fake shake product installed on your home or buildings' roof, then you might be up for considering our Bellaforté lightweight roofing systems.

Our Bellaforté product is one of the most innovative roofing products on the market - the tiles interlock so that they not only are easy to install, but they also have a superior wind performance as a result. These tiles are patented, self-aligning and snap-fit.

Furthermore, because they are 12" wide shingles and are easy to install, it makes Bellaforté one of the most affordable plastic roofing materials on the market.

Bellaforté Slate comes a number of color blends including: Cambridge, Milano, Sabino, Sedona, Slate Black, Slate Gray, Verde, and Villa.

Bellaforté Shake is in color blends that include: Abruzzo, Espresso, Tuscano, Verona, and Harbor Gray.

An added bonus: Bellaforté lightweight roofing tiles are backed with a 50-year-limited warranty, just like all of our great DaVinci products.

Do you have questions about our Bellaforté products that we can answer? Please feel free to leave a comment below and we will get in touch!


Polymer Slate - How Does It Compare to the Real Thing?

Imitation Slate ShinglesYou might not even be aware that there is such a thing called, "Polymer Slate". What is that anyway?  Polymer imitation slate tiles are roofing tiles that are made out of a virgin resins (more or less a plastic) and molded to look like natural slate roofing tiles. However, while these tiles are made to look like natural slate, the performance of the tiles is quite different. Here are some of the main differences between polymer slate and natural slate:

  • Lightweight - DaVinci's Slate is very lightweight and therefore can replace even the lightest of roofing materials. In other words, you don't have to beef up your roof's structure in order for it to handle the weight of DaVinci. The lightweight factor also comes into play when you talk about overall cost of transportation of the material, labor costs in transportation to and from your job site and to and from the ground to the roof.


  • Multi-Width - DaVinci Slate comes in multi-widths (we do have some Slate products that don't - if you prefer that) whereas natural slate requires cutting of the tiles to get them to be those perfect sizes.


  • Waste - There is very little waste with DaVinci imitation slate, however with natural slate, tiles can crack and break as they are being hauled to the job site, being installed or being walked on. This is one factor that can increase the material cost for natural slate.


  • Color Blends - DaVinci's Polymer Slate comes in color blends that are job-site ready - pre-collated and ready to go.  Whereas, if you wanted a multi-colored slate roof, you would be paying much more for labor, as the roofers would have to lay it out on site.


Do you have a DaVinci polymer slate roofs? Were you debating on whether or not to go with natural slate or DaVinci? What made you pick DaVinci? Share your project with us here.


Use DaVinci to Restore Your Historic Roof

DaVinci SlateStructures that have historic significance often require specific materials to preserve their timeless beauty and historic architecture. Consequently, not just any paint, foundation, framing, roof or accent will do. Roofing can be particularly challenging when it comes to historic buildings. The design features, slope and details must not be compromised. Whether you have a museum, university, church or historic monument to renovate, DaVinci plastic roofing materials will match the textures, hues and character of any historic roof. Our materials coordinate so perfectly, that you’ll hardly believe you replaced the old roof!

All of our products are lightweight so your contractor won’t need to conduct elaborate structural analysis to consider any extra load the new roof will add to the existing structure. This means more savings for you and quicker renovation time. You can confidently select from our slate and shake products knowing you are getting the best materials in the industry.

Another excellent feature with DaVinci Roofscapes materials is their energy efficiency. Many historic buildings were not built with a “green concept” in mind and as a result use a considerable amount of energy. When you renovate with DaVinci green roofing materials, you are choosing a material that has a long service life and that is energy efficient. All of our products are 100% recyclable so you won’t have to worry about excessive disposal costs. With our 50-year warranty, the historic beauty of many buildings is preserved for longer period of time without showing signs of wear and tear. This means less maintenance costs and less disruption during the life-cycle of the building.  

For more information about our products, drop us an email or call us at 1-800-328-4624.


Roof Type: Gable & Hip

As we continue on our roof design journey, here are a few more to cover - a hip roof and a gable roof. Do you have a hip or a gable roof? Did you buy your home because of your roof line? Your roof line plays an important role in the character of your home and so does the roofing materials that you put on top of that roof line.

According to Wikipedia, a hip roof is "a type of roof where all sides slope downwards to the walls, usually with a fairly gentle slope."  Whereas, a gable roof is "generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof."

DaVinci products can be applied to many roofs types including gable and hip roofs as seen below in the the following photos.

Here is an example of a hip roof with DaVinci imitation slate tiles:
Hip Roof with DaVinci Slate Black

Here is an example of a gable roof with DaVinci's fake slate:

Gable Roof with DaVinci Slate

What style is your roof? Trying to figure out what sort of lightweight roofing materials that you want to go with? What about color? Whatever your concerns or questions are, we're here to help. Please reach out to us via email or call us at 1-800-328-4624.


Roofs and Hail Damage

DaVinci SlateWhen it comes to hail damage, we usually think about our vehicles first.  But another common item damaged by hail is your roof. Therefore, if you live in a hail prone area, it is best to look for a roofing product that can withstand the impact hail can bring. At the same time, if you find a roofing product that has a Class 4 Impact rating, your roof may qualify for discounts on your homeowner's insurance premiums. Why? Because the insurance companies know that the product has been tested and therefore is less likely to need replaced.

Recently homeowners in Nichols Hill, OK choose to redo their roof with our lightweight roofing materials that are Class 4 Impact rated. Looks pretty good! Another homeowner whose roof was demolished by "Tennis Balls of Ice" selected DaVinci Slate to protect his home.

Whether you're looking to get a new roof or you need to replace a hail damaged roof, you might be interested in checking out our lightweight tiles.

Wondering how the Class 4 impact test is executed? Check out this video below to see a simulated version of the test:



You might also enjoy this video of Mark Clement, home remodeling expert and contractor from MyFixitUpLife, as he takes a hammer to our shingles!




Are DaVinci Slate Roofs Walkable?

Lightweight Roofing SystemsFederal OSHA safety rules are very specific about roofing contractors and the work they perform on low slope and steep slope roofs. During roof installation, workers on low sloped roofs with unprotected sides or edges that are 6 feet or more above ground or lower levels must have protection in place such as a warning line or guard rail system. For steeper slopes, roofers need protection from falls with guardrail systems using toe boards, safety nets and/or personal fall arrest units.

To read the specifics of these rules, please refer to 1926.501 (b)(10) and (11).

DaVinci synthetic roofing materials are walkable for the purposes of installation and repairs. So OSHA laws notwithstanding, the fact that workers can walk on our roofs just means that combined with safety harnesses, they can easily move around to get the job done.

The same applies should a home or building owner decide to install solar panels or some sort of attic ventilation system that requires venting on the roof. Our tile roofs made of lightweight roofing materials can withstand the weight of people standing on them as well as the weight of solar panels. The only consideration property owners will need to make on do it yourself projects that require walking on the roof is making sure to follow proper safety precautions while up on the roof.

If you have questions, please contact us. We have answers.



It’s Home Improvement Month – How About a New DaVinci Roof!

Environmentally Friendly RoofDid you know that the month of May is Home Improvement Month? Warm weather, bright sunshine and time outdoors means it's time to brighten up your exterior for the summer.

Do you have any projects planned to improve your home this month, or even this year?

Have you considered a new roof? Whether you need to replace a roof because of storm damage or you just have an old roof that needs replacing, you might consider DaVinci's lightweight roofing materials as an option.

When it comes to DaVinci you have several green roofing options:

  • DaVinci Slate - This is our original slate - it comes in 5 different widths and you can choose whichever color blend fits your fancy.
  • DaVinci Shake - This is our original shake - it comes in 5 different widths too and a number of color blends to fit your tastes.
  • DaVinci Fancy Shake - Our Fancy Shake has a more sawn appearance rather than a the hand split look.  It comes in 3 different widths.
  • Single-width Valoré Slate - As the name suggests - this is a single width shingle of our popular Slate.
  • Single-width Valoré Shake - As the name suggests - this is a single width shingle of our popular Shake.
  • Bellaforté Slate and Shake- Our newest line of DaVinci products is our Bellaforté - they are interlocking tiles that look like their natural counterparts - in this case, Slate and Shake.


What DaVinci roof profile do you fancy?  Tell us about your home improvement projects this year in the comments below!