DaVinci Roofscapes

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Now over the years I’ve constructed many roofs and re roofed a good number of them too. Some of these roofs where with conventional asphalt shingles and others were done with metal roofing but I have never had the opportunity to use DaVinci Roofscapes. Being from New England there is a certain sense of we’ve never used those before and trying anything new is a bit like spinning straw into gold, it’s just not happening.

DaVinci Roofscapes

DaVinci Roofscapes

I have had the opportunity to see them on roofs and they look really great. Beside their appearance, I love the ease at which they can be installed and can be done in a slate or shingle product but in reality they are a polymer. This polymer is designed to match the look of a conventional slate or shingled roof but will last much longer and at a price that slate can’t compete with.

DaVinci Shingles

DaVinci Shingles

One of my first thoughts on a product always go to how it’s made and how well will it last and come with a 50 year warranty so that answers those two questions.

“Is DaVinci Synthetic Slate or Shake made from recycled materials?
We use 100% virgin resin in our roof tiles. While other synthetic tiles may be manufactured from recycled materials such as tires or milk bottles, it is our opinion that the variability found in recycled materials could compromise the long term viability of a roof. Roofing tiles are exposed to extremely harsh conditions (extreme weather, extreme UV, extreme temperature). The only way to assure that a synthetic slate or shake will provide good service for 50 years or more is to consistently produce those tiles to very exacting standards. We do not feel it is possible to meet our high standards for quality and durability using recycled materials.”

Another aspect that I always like to look at is the installation process and from what I’ve been researching the process is really a breeze to install.

DaVinci Roofs also have some great certifications behind them too. DaVinci EcoBlend® tiles reflect sunlight and heat away from your home. Higher emissivity and reflectivity rates lead to greater reductions in the cooling load and, in return, increase energy efficiency. On top of that, these roofs can help in  the LEED certification process for your home and their EcoBlend tiles are Energy Star rated.
They have also been fire rated, impact tested and they are also wind rated to 110 mph which is a big advantage in places that experience high winds or hurricanes. Regular shingles can’t compare to the wind rating that these have.
Now as I said I’ve never installed these so I thought I would turn to someone that has. Mark Clement from My Fix It up Life agreed to answer a few questions that I had.

Compared to asphalt shingles- are they more expensive, comparable or..? 
The Bellaforte line are marginally more expensive (about 10%) than high-end asphalt. The individual multi-width slate and shake are premium products.
As far as installation- are they easy or comparable to using architectural shingles?
They’re comparable in the sense that everything is weatherboarded. Starter course, first course, etc. Setting layout lines is easy. Using the slate and shake multi-width products is just like installing shakes: individual pieces, two nails a piece–pop, pop.
 
One different: At the end of a gable-end course, instead cutting the last tile to fit, you lay out a combination of tiles to figure out which combination of widths get you there. Sounds crazy but it works. So not only do you have a full tile at the rake, but you don’t have 8,000 shingles to cut off, drop in the shrubs and onto the AV condenser, and then pick up.
 
The Bellaforte shake and slate products are different. Each unit interlocks with the one before it with a gutter in between each tile. Really smart. It saves 1 out of three courses because you don’t need a double overlap. You cut these at the end and they’re capped with a trim piece. 
On roofs that require staging ie steeper, how do you attach the roof jacks and are they strong enough to take walking on? Do leave out the ones where the jacks will go and fill in on the way down? 
I like this question. On the multi-width systems I use an impact driver with a 6-inch driver bit on it, flexing the tile up enough to sneak a couple screws past the butt and secure my jacks that way. I like at least a 2 1/2 inch screw. With the slight angle I want to make #$%^&* sure I get lots of steel into the roof deck. For the Bellafortes, there’s a rib on the back. While they make ribless tiles for brackets, you can just slice the rib off and slide the iron up there.
 
DV tiles are plenty rugged to walk on. Since there are no granules they grab the bottoms of your shoes less than asphalt. But I can still walk around on an 8-pitch. I can’t stand, but I can walk. Also, since there’s no snow retention, you need snow-guards.
I assume that when working valleys you have to cut them? How’s that work? Saw? Knife?
I use a cordless circ saw. A W-bend in the flashing hides the open ends. Utility knife works, but saws work better.
Anything else that you want to add would be great too. 
For homeowners/contractors on the fence and wooed by price (who isn’t?) it pays to think about DV long term. They’ll never stain. I see asphalt shingles staining after just a few years (there’s something organic in the binder. Look at any roof where water drains from a downspout over it and you’ll see mega streaking). Once you see that crap, you can’t un-see it. And who’s going to buy a new roof because it is dirty?
 
Also, they have a 50 year warranty. Whether you’re selling your house or you’re planning to live there forever, this is the last roof you’ll ever have to install.
 
And, they look bitchin’. If you can see your roof up close from anywhere inside your house (we can see our porch roofs for example) life at home has more awesome sauce. And since I fell in love with beautiful roofs when I saw some old barns in Vermont that had multi-colored slates–some even with patterns–I’m a roof nut. A roof can be a work of art that ushers water and snow from your house, regally, instead of a basic baseball hat that keeps water out of your house but starts to look threadbare in short order.
Thanks Mark for adding all these points about the DaVinci line and some great installation tips too. Mark has a lot of great insight when it comes to construction so don’t hesitate to check out his site and the videos that he and Theresa have over at You Tube! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

 
Mark Clement is a home improvement expert and host of MyFixitUpLife  –  Here’s a video of the Bellaforte product —  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k6Emh1qiFc

So with such a raving review from Mark, who’s actually worked with this product,  I think it’s safe to say that DaVinci Roofscapes are a hit in every area for your roofing needs!

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About Todd Vendituoli -HomeCentrL

Todd Vendituoli has been a builder for almost 30 years with companies in Vermont and the Bahamas and HomeCentrl is an extension of those years of building experience highlighting everything about your home. I am presently working within the field of social media and using my years of construction and design knowledge to help others understand and use social media to enhance their businesses in a multitude of different ways. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and a variety of other social networks.
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