Interview with Travis Herritz of Springer Exteriors of Prior Lake, MN

Springer ExteriorsTravis Herritz owns Springer Exteriors in Prior Lake, MN and has installed several DaVinci roofs, so we asked him for an interview.  Travis was also kind enough to send along some photos of his DaVinci green roof systems that he has installed - they can be found throughout this interview.  Thank you to Travis for the interview!

DaVinci Lightweight Roofing SystemsIf you live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, you can reach Travis via phone at 952-440-1997 or through his website,

How did you first discover DaVinci?

I was looking for a product about 5 years ago that was a good alternative to slate but was still a quality product that would last a long time.

What do you like about DaVinci? Color blends? Shape of tiles? Performance?

I like that it has the most realistic look of slate of any product on the market, the Class 4 hail rating, ease of installation compared to other comparable products.

What's the biggest thing that homeowners say to you about DaVinci?

Plastic Roofing MaterialsWow! I thought that it was slate. It looks so real.

Are there homeowners that you wouldn't recommend DaVinci to?

No. Obviously there is a price point to this product like any other but if I have a homeowner that is looking for the best value in the roofing industry, this is what they are looking for.

What DaVinci products have you worked with?

Blend colors, Bellaforté, Solid colors in standard slate

Which DaVinci products do you like? Do you have a favorite color blend?

Fake Slate RoofI prefer the slate tiles.  No preference on color.

What other roofing products do you install?

Most others...asphalt, cedar, metal

How long have you been in the roofing  business?

Since 2003 I have owned Springer. I have been in the industry for 13 yrs.

Do you have a favorite DaVinci job?  In other words, a favorite house or building where you installed DaVinci?  Why is it your favorite?  Could you send photos so we can include them in the post?

I have 2 for different reasons. The one is VERY steep and was very detailed.  The other one is very large and shows the large variety of roof details the product can be utilized. 

Are you interested in learning more about our plastic roofing materials?  To learn more about our lightweight roofing solutions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


DIY Network Blog Cabin Features DaVinci Slate Tile Roof

If you're a fan of the DIY network, you may have seen their Blog Cabin series where fans can submit their renovation ideas for different homes in need of repair. Even if you've never seen the show, you will definitely want to tune in on September 29 where you can view our lightweight roofing solutions featured in a one hour special.

The Blog cabin show and sweepstakes features a structure in desperate need of repair. When the network chooses the home it plans to renovate, they completely remodel it from top to bottom and then air different segments of the renovations on a variety of the shows featured on the network. Once complete, the blog cabin is then offered in a contest where fans can enter and win it for themselves.

This year's home is a 1905 Chesapeake Bay Virginia farmhouse beautifully restored and topped with our DaVinci slate tile roof. The special Blog Cabin show featuring our high quality roof will air September 29th so you won't want to miss seeing our green roofing materials in action. With its highly rated impact and wind resistant qualities, we think you'll agree this blog cabin's roof is surrender to maintain its structure and beauty for many years to come.


From The Architect's Corner - School Days

September is here! Many primary and secondary schools, as well as universities, are already filling up with students eager to learn! DaVinci Roofscapes is proud to manufacture the lightweight roofing material of choice for so many schools.

DaVinci Slate - Vineyard Blend

Below is a list of a few of our featured projects:

We have plenty more projects like these in the works, and by subscribing to our blog or liking us on Facebook you can get notification as the roofs are installed and the features are written! Do you have a DaVinci Roofscapes luxury roof project that you think might make a good case study, project profile, or news story? Contact me at with the details.


Learn to Speak DaVinci

When shopping for a new roof or replacing an existing one, understanding the technical jargon of contractors and manufacturers can be quite a challenge especially for those without any knowledge of the industry. That’s where our friendly support staff can be of great assistance in helping you choose just the right shake or slate roofing tile for your building.

As you peruse our site and learn more about our roofing solutions, here are a few key terms that can aid in your understanding and appreciation of our unique lightweight roofing systems.

LEED® - the certification process that encourages sustainable roofing development and building processes through the use of sustainable sites, water efficiency and reduction of construction waste materials. DaVinci Slate and Shake synthetic roof tiles can make a valuable contribution to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification Process (LEED-NC Standard 2.2),

Cool Roof We earned this rating from the Cool Roof Rating Council because our EcoBlend cool roof tiles reflect sunlight and heat away from buildings which, in turn, increases energy efficiency and lowers air pollution.

Single Width or Multi WidthWe offer a choice of single width, value options or multiple widths to suit your roofing project in either simulated shake or slate tile styles.

Bellaforté Our special slate alternative that is more affordable than its natural counterpart and the newest addition to our product line.

Color Designer The color designer features an option for your roofing tile selection that allows you to create custom color blends from our 49 standard colors for no additional charge.

Minimize Roof Hail Damage with DaVinci Tile

For areas of the country that regularly experience hail storms, protecting buildings from hail damage and expensive insurance claims is simply a matter of installing impact resistant roofing tiles. There is nothing that can stop Mother Nature from sending tornados, hail, wind and rain, but using our lightweight roofing solutions can help minimize whatever potential Lightweight Roofing Materialsdamage the weather dishes out. Our lightweight roofing tiles are highly rated for wind up to 110 miles per hour and rated Class 4 in impact testing for resisting the extensive roof hail damage associated with major hail storms.

By roofing your home or commercial building with our eco friendly roofing tiles not only are you creating a beautifully exterior on your building, but you are also protecting the roof from extreme weather. That, in turn, can result in potentially saving money on the cost of insurance for your home or office. Sure, insurance companies can pay out when severe damage occurs to your roof, but you still face the cost of deductibles and potential of insurance premium increases. Using roofing materials that have impact resistance will help to decrease all costs associated with roof repair and insurance over time since both insurance companies and building owners save money overall by using superior quality materials made to last and withstand any weather that might affect them.

For more information about our protective roofing products, please review our website to contact us for help with your project.

Considering the Cost of DaVinci Roofscapes

When choosing your DaVinci lightweight roofing tiles, it is important to keep several factors regarding costs in mind to stay within your roofing budget. How you manage your selections will determine what your eventual outlay for a new or replacement roof will be overall.

Roof Tile Choice
Considering the Cost of DaVinci RoofscapesBecause we have six different products to choose from, the price varies depending on the specific tile line you choose. Your roofing choices include: Single-Width Valoré or Multi-Width DaVinci tiles in simulated shake or slate, the Bellaforté slate alternative tiles or our Fancy Shake roofing tiles.

Straight or Staggered Coursing

Another factor that affect the cost of your new roof is whether you choose a straight or staggered coursing. The more materials required for laying the roof, the more that the roof will actually cost overall.

Roof Pitch

The steepness of the roof will also determine how many tiles are needed for the roofing project. The steeper the pitch of your roof, the less potential for material needed to cover the surface area. Finding the amount of roofing squares or 100 square feet of roof needing tiles will help you stay within budget and adjust allocation for materials as needed.  You can always get quotes from three roofers in your area to figure out an idea of how many squares you have on your roof.

Special Features & Labor
Labor costs are a large part of any roofing budget and will vary depending on the region. You need to make sure that you have an experienced and reliable roofing contractor working on your project. Prices for new roofing installations or replacing an existing roof can also be different because an older roof must be removed before laying the new one.  If your roof has valleys or turrets, then it will be more time consuming to roof (because of all the extra cutting) and you need to consider adding to your budget to allow for additional labor costs.

Roof tile choice, coursing, pitch and labor are just a few of the many specific items to consider when having a roof installed and determining final costs. For additional information about our tile roofs or to find a contractor near you, contact our knowledgeable professionals.


How Much Do DaVinci Roofscapes Tiles Cost?

People who are looking to replace their roof with a more environmentally friendly one or even install a roof on brand new construction will often want to know right away what our lightweight roofing systems cost.

Synthetic Slate CostOf course when constructing a new building budgeting correctly for the cost of the entire project is necessary so that proper amounts can be allocated for materials, contractors fees, permits and other accessory items. Our roofing tiles are produced to create a cost effective solution to typical roofing materials such as slate or cedar shakes.

By using sustainable engineering design, we have created tiles that take up less space per square than traditional materials and also require less cutting. By needing fewer tiles for the same amount of space and reducing the time that contractors would normally have to spend cutting the roofing product, there is a reduction in budget for material and labor cost as compared to natural wood or slate materials.

Because our simulated slate and wood shake roof tiles are energy efficient and protect buildings from fire, wind and hail damage, the cost is also reduced when looking at the overall expense to clean and maintain the roof. Our unique designs typically cost less for the overall installation and installation expense is recovered in the low maintenance and high efficiency of the tiles.

The actual synthetic slate cost of the project is determined by a number of factors, including the pitch of your roof, the type of DaVinci tiles you want, the exposure that the tiles are laid at, the underlayments used, as well as the geographical location of your home or building needing the roof. Our knowledgeable support staff is available by phone or online to assist you in learning more about how our tiles can meet your building budget. Just give us a call or email to learn more.


From the Architect's Corner - FAQ

The most frequently asked question of the week has been about color! Black, grey, brown, purple - people have been all over the board this week with their design ideas. Fortunately our lightweight roofing materials come in many color options. Below is the most asked question of the week! 

Will my color choice factor into the cost? Maybe. In order to simplify this I will break out the answer into 3 scenarios. 

1. If you are looking at our multi-width imitation slate shingles and you are trying to decide between two pre-designed color blends, those will all run at the standard price (this will be true if you are comparing blends within the same product). You can also use our color designer to design your own composite shake or slate blend. If you can create it on the designer, there are no additional charges or fees beyond the standard pricing. This includes plugging slate colors into the shake mold (or vice versa) or creating your own blends using any available color in the ratios provided on the tool.  

2. If you want to customize a blend in color ratios that are not provided with the color designer on the website contact us for information on if your order will have additional charges. 

3. If you want to customize a color, meaning you want us to create a color that is not already one of our standard 49, contact us for information on if your order will have additional charges. 

Color Designer

Consider Brick and Roof Combinations to Complement Surroundings

When constructing a new home or office building, proper consideration must be given to the brick and roof combinations used on the exterior. Curb appeal is most important to the elegance and charm of any building. In the case of commercial construction, the exterior materials set the stage for a company’s first impression with clients. For residential use, homeowners want visiting guests to appreciate the time and effort put into constructing a home and how it positively reflects on the neighborhood and community surrounding it.

Combining the color and style of brick homes with our environmentally friendly roof tiles can be a whole adventure in classic, timeless design or more modern, contemporary appeal. Our post “How to Choose a Roof Color for a Brick Home” details various brick color selections and our complementing lightweight roofing materials that enhance both the brick itself as well as the entire home’s exterior.

For fresh ideas on selecting roof colors, take a peek at our July 13th post “Think FRESH When Selecting Roof Colors.” Our color expert, Kate Smith, helps define all the elements needed to choose just the right color combinations and materials to work with the region of the country, the building’s style and natural environment.
Design Your Custom Roof with the DaVinci Color Studio

To see all of the available colors and shade combinations for our slate and cedar shake alternative roofing tiles, visit our Color Studio. You’ll find all the tools you need to bring your colorful roof vision to life.


DaVinci Tiles Selected for Roof and Siding of Tower Banks in Indiana

DaVinci SlateIf you're in Indiana, check out the design of the new Tower Banks in the Fort Wayne area. They're using lightweight roofing materials for the roof AND the siding!

"The use of low-maintenance polymer roofing tiles, brick and composite features make our banking facilities showpieces in the community," says Julie Bobay, facilities coordinator for Tower Bank & Trust Company.

Architect Amie Lindsay, RA, with Delineation, specified DaVinci multi-width Slate Aberdeen eco-friendly roofing materials for the Fort Wayne Tower Bank locations. Featuring a combination of five colors --- dark gray, light brown, dark purple, green stone and dark stone --- the Aberdeen blend complements the overall design of the bank's exterior.

Architectural Insights
"We found the idea appealing of bringing some of the roof colors and tiles down onto the sides of the building," says Lindsay. "We also specified the synthetic roofing tile added between the windows on the bank.

"The continuous use of DaVinci roofing tiles around the top perimeter of the building allowed us to design a structure that was both beautiful and easy to maintain. We started working from the top down, with the roof specifications and continued the polymer product as a siding feature."

Lindsay believes Tower Bank truly appreciates having lightweight roofing materials that are also Class A Fire Rated on their structure. "The impressive DaVinci tiles resist insects, fungus, algae, mold, cracking, fading and curling," says Lindsay. "Add to that the product's 50-year limited warranty and you have a bank roof that is not only beautiful but long-lasting."


Understanding Fire Ratings for Roofing Materials

Fire ratings for roofs are developed by various organizations to measure the fire resistance of roofing materials. Two of these groups, the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and ASTM, create fire standards to give the general public a better understanding of what they can expect from the performance of their roofs should any type of spark, flame or fire reach their building.

DaVinci ShakeThe primary standard of these testing procedures for the UL790/ASTM E 108 standard is based on fires that are generated on a building from an external cause. Class A, B and C are all ratings that categorize a roof as resistant to fire and not expected to ignite from a spark or flame. The highest form of protection is the Class A fire rating. Class B is rated moderate and Class C fire rating is the lightest fire protection.

The most desired fire rating for any roof is Class A and is most often the required standard rating for complying with building ordinances and codes. The ASTM fire standard procedures further evaluate for burning, resistance and combustion of materials. In many cases, building codes and ordinances as well as insurance regulations require the use of Class A fire rated materials in order to pass code and actually be insurable for home and commercial insurance coverage.

Our lightweight roofing materials have received the highest Class A fire rating. Their high quality is evident in the virgin copolymer resins that form the roofing tiles as well as their high test ratings for impact, hail, freezing and wind. See our site to learn more about how our roofing tiles will protect and enhance your building’s rooftop.


Historical Restoration Roofing with DaVinci Tiles

DaVinci SlateAlthough many older homes and historical buildings are traditionally roofed with a natural slate or wood shake roof, many architects, engineers and designers are looking to our lightweight roofing materials for historic restoration roofing of homes, offices, universities and museums.

Older homes and buildings that are preserved for their historical significance often need updating after decades old roofs that DaVinci Shakerequire considerable maintenance to keep up their appearance. With our copolymer plastic roofing materials, historic buildings can benefit from modern technologies that protect these roofs and help them last for many generations to come. Our roofs also provide a low maintenance option that will not only beautifully complement the architectural design of a home or building but also respect its structure as well.

Of particular benefit to historical structures is the fact that our roofing tiles are class A fire rated and have also excelled in wind, weather and impact testing performance. These high quality polymer tiles are constructed to withstand anything nature can dish out.

Building owners that are updating their interior and exterior walls will find that our roof will not cause a heavy load on older structures. In fact, its lightweight can help to ease the burden on the framing structure especially since in many cases, steps are being taken on these structures to provide extensive repair to the framing and eaves.

To learn more about our work on restoring various historical projects around the country and also see how our roofs enhance any old or new structure, be sure to visit our site today.


Roof Envy

Bellaforte by DaVinciHave you ever wished you could have an elegant new roof like your neighbors? You may have a case of "roof envy." Don't worry, there's an easy --- and surprisingly affordable --- cure.

Thanks to advanced technologies, polymer roofs like those from DaVinci Roofscapes, have become the "must have" roofing product for homeowners investing in new roofs. Featuring impact-resistant and energy-efficiency qualities, these man-made eco friendly roofs require no maintenance and come in a wide variety of colors.

"When you consider you're investing in a roof that will last for five decades you get a true feeling for the value of a polymer roof," says Mark Clement, professional contractor and host of "When I installed my DaVinci Roofscapes roofing tiles, I had neighbors come right up to the house to touch the tiles. They simply couldn't believe the polymer tiles look so authentic like real slate.

"Now I've seen my neighbors replacing their own roofs with DaVinci's lightweight roofing materials. They're eliminating roof envy by adding these imitation slate shingles to their own homes!"

From the Architect's Corner - DaVinci and Rainwater Collection

Custom Blend - Fired Brick RedDesign Opportunity - This question doesn't come up often, but from time to time I am asked if our eco friendly roof tiles can be used when the homeowner will be collecting rainwater. I was asked this for the first time a few years ago while working with a client on a project in the US Virgin Islands. It would be a complete deal breaker if the rain water collected off the roof could not be used for irrigation, laundry, bathing and drinking.

Design Solution - DaVinci Roofscapes' lightweight roofing materials are suitable systems to be used if you plan on collecting rainwater for your private use. Of course we recommend sticking to the recommendation that the EPA makes regarding the safe collection and use of harvested rainwater. Check out the picture of the finished roof from the above mentioned conversation. Not only a tool used to collect rain water for the homeowner, but a gorgeous, custom color to boot!


Built to Withstand Strong Wind Conditions of Hurricanes and Storms

Hurricane season officially lasts from June 1st to November 30th of each year, and areas of the country that experience the brunt of these volatile storms learn very quickly to stay vigilant and prepared for the sometimes devastating effects of these severe weather conditions.

DaVinci SlateFor those who want to weather these storms with the least amount of damage, it is important to safeguard your surroundings and take steps to protect it from injury prior to hurricane season.  Areas of particular concern for every homeowner are the walls, windows and roof of their homes. Wind and rain can make quick work of blowing out windows, damaging exterior walls and shingle roofs. Often people who live in hurricane prone areas will find shingles all over the yard after a strong storm.

We can help prevent the typical damage associated with these storms with our lightweight roofing solutions that are rated Class 4 for impact tests and wind certified to 110 miles per hour. When hurricanes hit, they often blow objects that hit windows, doors and roofing.  Additionally, severe thunderstorms often found in these same areas during different seasons will produce hail storms in addition to heavy rain.

Our slate and cedar shake alternative tiles are built to help resist roof hail damage and the impact of blown objects. To see for yourself how high winds and debris can destroy basic roofs, this video demonstrates an asphalt roof under heavy wind as well as how our roofing materials withstand and avoid damage associated with strong winds.


DaVinci Roof Tops the 2011 DIY Network Blog Cabin

DIY Network Blog Cabin with DaVinci RoofFor a truly inspiring look at design renovation from the bottom up, the DIY Network hosts a show called Blog Cabin that will quickly inspire a little bit of the do it yourselfer in all of us.

Using popular shows on the network including House Crashers, Bath Crashers, Desperate Landscaping, I Hate My Kitchen and Blog Cabin, experts completely renovated a 1905 farmhouse on Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. It is also incredible part of a sweepstakes where yes, some lucky winner will be able to win this beautiful vacation home.

For those of you that have been following the rising popularity of our green roofing options, this year’s Blog Cabin home features a brand new DaVinci Roofscapes slate tile roof. Our high quality roofing product will be featured in the Blog Cabin one hour special aired on September 29, 2011 so you’ll definitely want to stay tuned on that day or record it on the DVR to see how our tiles gracefully top this lovely retreat.

Check out the pictures to see the first look at the home's exterior before the renovation work was completed.

As you can see the farm style home was in desperate need of extensive exterior repair including a new roof. Our lightweight roofing materials were the solution to provide the home with good looks and durability that will last. All of our roofs feature a 50 year warranty and this one will hold up to any severe rain, wind or roof hail damage that is common in the area.

Take a look at the following video that shows what the home looks like after all renovations are complete.


From the Architect's Corner - Shakes as Siding

I grew up in a house with a wood shake roof and wood shakes as siding. I totally understand the appeal of shake siding, but also watched how much maintenance needs to be done with this material. Every year it was something...wood rot, insects or hail damage. Because we manufacture a composite shake material we get tons of inquiries on if our (traditionally) roofing material can be used as siding.

DaVinci Shake as SidingDesign Opportunity - An architect is working on a project for a home where the owner wants shake on the front of the home. Researching alternatives, he ended up on our website looking at our lightweight roofing systems.

Design Solution - DaVinci or Valoré Shake can absolutely be used as siding! Because the pieces go down one at a time, as opposed to some vinyl siding options, they look way more realistic plus they are virtually maintenance free!

Another siding project installed by DaVinci Masterpiece Contractor Program Member United Contractors from Andover, MN (612-803-3413).


Plastic Slate Imitation Roof and DaVinci Tiles

In our changing world where many homeowners and builders are beginning to take green roofing options seriously, we find that some interested in this alternative tile do not understand the differences between the different plastic slate imitation roofs being offered on the market.

Pallet of Slate TilesWith growing awareness of our limited resources and the need to conserve energy, the demand for synthetic alternatives in roofing is increasing around the world. Our lightweight tiles are made from an engineered polymer that has been enhanced with fire retardants and UV stabilizers to give durability in different climates and weather conditions.

The main difference between our tiles and other synthetic roofing materials is that ours are manufactured with 100% never before used, virgin copolymer resins. Other brands use, for example, recycled tires or milk bottles, which in our opinion compromises the integrity of the tiles and limits the long term sustainability of other manufacturer’s plastic roofing materials.

Additionally, our tiles meet standards set for resistance to wind, impact and fire conditions as well as mold, algae, fungus and pests. Other synthetic roofs simply cannot compete with the quality and durability found in our product.

While we don’t use recycled materials in the making of our product, our slate is recyclable. Contractors who are installing our roofs can easily take scraps or cutting from roofing projects and return them to our facility where we take them to repurpose and recycle as starter tiles. Additionally, we are committed to limiting the waste of resources.  For builders working on projects within 500 miles of our Kansas City facility, they may ship any unused tiles back to us free of charge.

Simulated Slate Roofing

While natural slate roofs are well known for their long lasting durability, simulated slate roofing was created as an alternative option because it is lighter, easier to install and less expensive. The good news is that our lightweight roofing tiles match the detail and craftsmanship of real slate so that our roofs give all the appearance of slate but are much more durable and low maintenance. You can also expect long lasting performance as evidenced by our 50 year warranty on our slate and shake roofing.

Lightweight Roofing MaterialsWhen taking steps to replace an old roof or install a completely new one, our lightweight roofing solutions will surprise you in appearance and performance, and you’ll be proud to have DaVinci tiles covering your home. Some points you should consider when comparing our tiles over other synthetics or even natural slate itself is whether the tiles will be able to withstand wind, hail or UV exposure?

Our shingles are Class A fire rated and also certified for 110 mph winds and Class 4 impact resistance. We add UV stabilizers during the manufacturing process so that the tile material and color can resist fading and weathering. This means you can expect our roof to be able to successfully perform under tough weather conditions and perform its vital job of protecting your home.

Another consideration is the size and thickness of our shingles and the variety of available widths and colors. We are proud to offer thicker profiles than other makers as well as five widths for all your roofing needs. Be sure to visit us online to learn more about our roofing products or contact our customer service for any questions about how our product can add beauty and charm to your roof.


Faux Slate Shingles for Your Home

When considering a material for your home’s or building's roof, faux slate shingles can add beauty and elegance that will make you proud to show off your home to friends and neighbors. You won’t believe how our lightweight roofing tiles will not only enhance your home’s appearance but also contribute to protecting your home and family with virtually no maintenance needed. The reason the roof is maintenance free is due to its unique polymer plastic roofing materials made from polymer resins that give the appearance of real slate without the weakness normally associated with slate.

BellaforteHurricane prone areas, in particular, need a roof that can stand up to high wind conditions, and our roof tiles are constructed to resist winds up to 110 mph. They will also resist algae growth from high moisture conditions as well as damage from impact and fire.

Natural slate has a tendency to crack over time, and because it is very heavy and brittle, it is more likely to break should something like a tree branch or limb fall on it. The engineered polymer that makes up the DaVinci tiles are designed to stand up to extreme weather so that falling limbs or hail stones will not damage the roof. 

Another highly regarded feature is the Class A rating of these tiles. This rating from UL and ASTM means that the roof covering is highly effective against severe test exposure. 

See the following video that will show how the Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford informally tested the DaVinci slate roof tiles: