Efficiencies at its Kansas facility in 2016 has permitted DaVinci Roofscapes to lower pricing on the company’s roofing products. Price reductions went into effect during the fourth quarter of 2016 and range from 11 percent to 16 percent on several of the company’s synthetic shake and slate product lines.
“Adding more workers and line equipment at our plant along with other advances have enabled us to leverage our operational efficiencies and pass the savings on to our distributors,” says Ray Rosewall, president and CEO for DaVinci Roofscapes. “We’re going outside of the box by sharing our cost savings to make our composite roofing products even more accessible to roofers and owners across the country.”
“We’re conscious of what the market is telling us versus what our competitors are doing. For us, it’s all about advancing the growth of our customer’s business.”
“When DaVinci started manufacturing synthetic roofing tiles about two decades ago they were considered specialty products. Now, thanks to technological advancements our slate and shake tiles are seen more as main stream products. This means we’re very comfortable competing against products like slate, real cedar, asphalt and other materials. From an aesthetic, performance and cost standpoint synthetic roofing products are competitive.”
“Most importantly, we’ve heard from distributors, roofers and builders that our products are becoming preferred to the natural roofing products. People want the expected look of shake and slate, but they want the benefits that a manmade product offers. We’ve achieved that goal by creating realistic-looking products with additional features.”
New molds allowed DaVinci to enhance the look of all of its slate profiles in 2016. The thicker profiles replicate the quarried look of slate at a cost less than natural slate. Thanks to recent price reductions, pricing for the company’s Bellaforté Shake tiles falls below pricing of many real cedar shingles, but with the added benefit of resistance to fire, splitting, curling, mold and algae.
The team members at DaVinci Roofscapes develop and manufacture polymer slate and shake roofing systems with an authentic look and performance. DaVinci offers a selection of colors, tile thickness and tile width variety. The company’s products have a limited lifetime warranty and are 100 percent recyclable. All DaVinci roofing products are made in America where the company is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Roofing Contractors, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council.
The morning of April 2, 2015, started out clear and sunny for residents at the Harbor Isle community in Wichita, Kan. By evening, a powerful microburst with winds reaching up to 100 mph destroyed a bulk of the roofs in the subdivision——except polymer roofs installed by Heiland Roofing and Exteriors, Wichita.“The majority of concrete tiles sustained very serious damage with many others demolished,” says Mike Heiland, president of Heiland Roofing and Exteriors. “Of the three composite roofs we installed in this community, one home had zero damage, another home had one missing ridge cap, and the third home needed approximately 10 feet of ridge replaced. That’s absolutely nothing compared to the devastation that all the other homes in that neighborhood experienced.”
According to homeowner Paul Dugan, roofing debris littered the entire Harbor Isle community after the storm. “Concrete roof tiles were thrown through neighbor’s windows, into vehicles parked along the streets and in driveways,” Dugan says. “A couple of the homes that had been recently reroofed by Heiland Roofing with polymer shake roofing tiles had every single tile in place and no visible damage to the property. I was very impressed and called Heiland Roofing the next morning.”
HOA Selects Polymer Roofing
A distant relative to a tornado, the National Weather Service, Washington, D.C., defines a microburst as sinking air (or a downdraft) in a thunderstorm that is less than 2 1/2 miles in scale. A microburst can develop as a result of cooling beneath a thunderstorm cloud base or because of mid-level dry air entrainment.
Wet, dry and hybrid microburst distinctions exist. With each of these, significant straight-line wind damage can occur, resulting in snapped power poles and tree and roof damage. There can also be a loss of power and potential hail. In Wichita on April 2, all these factors occurred when strong straight-line winds hit the area before a bow echo thunderstorm. With an appearance like a comma—a round head on one end and a tail on the other—a bow echo thunderstorm moves rapidly. Generally, the atmosphere is unstable during these moisture-laden storms and wind shear is present, making bow echo thunderstorms very dangerous.
Kansas residents are no strangers to severe weather. Located in Tornado Alley, most homeowners, like Dugan, understand their state is subject to unusually strong weather during the course of the year. That’s why many people, like the residents of Harbor Isle, seek out durable building products to help protect their homes and families.
“When constructed about 18 years ago, our community had wood shake and concrete tiles used for roofing,” says Dee Manning, president of the Harbor Isle I homeowner association, which consists of 59 homes. “As the years went on, the wood shakes were wearing out and, at the same time, they became harder to get insured. We wanted an alternative that was realistic looking but lightweight enough to be installed over the existing roof trusses of the homes in our community. We did our research and found a polymer roof tile that was a realistic alternative to natural cedar shakes. Our community started offering polymer products three years ago as an option for homeowners looking for replacement roofing.”
Polymer Roofs Gain Foothold
After the microburst, the homeowners’ association received notice that 15 to 20 roofs, plus a variety of decks, were damaged.
“Nothing will protect a home from Mother Nature if a tornado is sitting right on top of you,” Heiland says. “But if you’re on the outskirts and just getting pounding hail or strong winds, at least a manmade polymer roof will give your home a fighting chance.”
For almost a dozen years Heiland and his team have recommended and installed imitation slate and synthetic shake roofing products. “The look and durability of these imitation slate and synthetic shake shingles is simply incredible,” Heiland notes. “For our geographic area—and any part of the country that can get severe weather—the impact resistance of these products is a tremendous asset. In the many years I’ve been installing polymer roofing, we’ve never had one of their roofs totaled by hail.”Made of 100 percent recyclable virgin resins, the polymer tiles installed on the Harbor Isle homes are engineered to resist fire, impact, insects and algae. The products are Class A-rated for fire retardance, have achieved a Class 4 impact rating and passed the TAS-100 certification test for wind-driven rain. The durable products have also passed the maximum of 110 mph in the ASTM D 3161 Standard for straight-line winds and achieved very high design pressures in TAS-125, a test to demonstrate wind uplifts and acceptability to be installed in High Velocity Hurricane Zones.
“After the microburst in April, there are at least 10 homes ready to commit to the polymer tiles to replace their destroyed concrete tile roofs,” Manning says.
Dugan was one of the homeowners ready for change. “I now have a [polymer] roof that looks exactly the same as the concrete tile roof but has the highest impact resistance in the industry,” he says. “The impressive interlocking system allows for installation with securing the tile in all four corners so we’re not going to worry about tiles peeling back and blowing away in future storms.”
Bellaforté Slate from DaVinci Roofscapes
PHOTOS: DaVinci Roofscapes
Mount Carmel New Albany, New Albany, Ohio
Roofing Contractor: Smith Roofing, Columbus, Ohio
Bellaforté Slate composite roofing in Smokey Gray was installed on the 117,668-square-foot hospital. The composite roofing has achieved a Class A Fire Rating in the ASTME E 108 fire test and withstands straight-line winds up to 110 mph in the ASTM D 3161 test. The roof tiles also resist impact, severe weather conditions and wind-driven rain. Bellaforté Slate tiles not only add safety to the structure, they also add aesthetic appeal.
Composite Roofing Manufacturer: DaVinci Roofscapes
The 60-room hospital features eight operating rooms and specializes in outpatient and inpatient orthopedic, neurologic and musculoskeletal care. The roof was installed in May 2015.
PHOTO: DaVinci Roofscapes
When it was time for homeowners at the historic Fleur du Lac Estates in Homewood, Calif., to select new roofing materials, they looked for a product that would mimic the look of cedar but bring them advantages to protect their homes and buildings from Mother Nature. After a comprehensive search, they determined that the Class A fire and Class 4 impact ratings of Bellaforté polymer shake tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes met their needs.A prime filming location for the 1974 movie “Godfather II,” Fleur du Lac Estates is now a private condominium development located on the beautiful west shore of Lake Tahoe. A Yacht Club and Boat House, 22 individual homeowner units and a variety of shared recreational facilities make the historic 1938 compound a much-sought-after retreat.
Fire Resistance a Prime Benefit
Years of harsh weather conditions took their toll on the real cedar shake roofs at Fleur du Lac Estates. Damage from repeated leaks, hail, ice dam issues, snow and other weather conditions recently convinced the board of directors it was time to invest in new roofs for the entire estate.
“We started with our two most valuable community structures, the Yacht Club and Boat House,” says Stewart Dalie, maintenance supervisor and project manager at Fleur du Lac Estates. “Our plans are to reroof all of the buildings in the Tahoe Blend over the next five to seven years. We did a tremendous amount of research to determine what roofing products would look realistic in this setting, meet the new codes required for roofs in our area, yet offer us superior qualities and a long life span.
“Selecting the fire- and impact-resistant Bellaforté shake material from DaVinci Roofscapes means we won’t have to be concerned with the potential spread of flames should our area ever be touched by wildfires. That’s a huge concern for our geographic area. However, not having to worry about wind-blown embers landing on a roof and then catching the building on fire is a tremendous relief.”
The Class A fire and Class 4 impact ratings of the Bellaforté tiles bring peace-of-mind to residents within the community. The durable roofing tiles have the appearance of natural hand-split cedar shake with slanted sawn edges and staggered lengths, but with the hassle-free qualities of a manufactured product. At a 1-inch average tile thickness, Bellaforté Shake roofing tiles remind many residents of jumbo cedar shakes prevalent in the Lake Tahoe area.
Safeguarding a Historic Setting
It’s not surprising that homeowners at the upscale Fleur du Lac Estates want to invest in the best possible roofing material. This is a mountain and lakeside homeowners association where every home has a deeded slip in the marina, resort-style services are the norm and aesthetics of the community are vigilantly upheld.
Originally the summer home of famous industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, the 15-acre lake-shore site was constructed beginning in 1938. After Kaiser sold the estate, it went through a series of transitional uses from the 1960s to 1979, including serving as a private school and as the site for many on-location scenes for Francis Ford Coppola’s film, “The Godfather II.” Only in the 1980s did the current project begin to refurbish existing key structures and transform original homes on the property to individually owned homes.
“Our community has always embraced the history of this setting while looking toward protecting its future,” says Lane Murray, general manager at Fleur du Lac Estates. “That’s one of the key reasons we wanted a roofing product that has the look of real cedar shakes but with manmade advantages like resistance to fire, impact and high winds.”
Superior Roofing Installation
Despite a variety of challenges with removing the old roofs and prepping for the new synthetic shake tiles, the team at Bruce Olson Construction, Olympic Valley, Calif., has successfully tackled their first DaVinci Roofscapes installation project at Fleur du Lac Estates.
“The roofing surface for the Yacht Club and Boat House were in bad shape and very uneven,” says Taylor Greene, general manager of Bruce Olson Construction. “We had to plane these into workable surfaces before getting started. Once we got started the product installed beautifully. We added flashing material to cover some valley locations, which made the project look exceptional. To achieve the realistic look, gable end flashing that concealed the manufactured edge of the DaVinci product was added.”
The company, which does residential and multifamily new construction, works in several states, including Hawaii. It has already started work on several additional roofs in the Fleur du Lac complex.
“The Bellaforté roofing looks amazing,” Greene says. “Best of all, these polymer shakes are perfect for this geographic area. Traditional wood shakes ‘hold’ the water from melting snow. Those saturated shakes weigh more and cause the freeze line to be a part of the shake. With the DaVinci product, the water is not absorbed into the tile, so snow melting is faster and more efficient. This can also help reduce the ice damming effect in many locations.”
Laughing at Mother Nature
Nestled amidst stunning mountain peaks and world-famous ski conditions, Fleur du Lac Estates can experience heavy snowfall during the winter months. The property is just five minutes from Homewood Mountain Ski Resort and the area usually sees snow in excess of 180 inches total. That’s one reason why the community decided to have the Bruce Olson Construction team incorporate snow fences and snow guards from Rocky Mountain Snow Guards into the structures.
“In our area it’s very common to use snow guards and fences to help keep snow from falling on individuals and property,” Greene explains. “The previous structures at Fleur du Lac Estates didn’t have any type of snow-retention system. We believe having these products in place now—which were very simple to put in during the polymer shake installation—will make life much easier for property owners no matter how much snow Mother Nature delivers each season.”
Rocky Mountain Snow Guards custom designed the snow-retention system for Fleur du Lac Estates, incorporating its Drift III+ snow fences and Rocky Guard RG10 snow guards. The system was developed to handle the 180-PSF snow load that can occur in this geographic location.
“The snow guards are attached in a pattern above the snow fence that creates friction to hold the snow ‘slab’ in place while the snow fence provides a barrier beyond which the snow slab won’t slide,” says Lars Walberg, president of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards. “Using the combination of snow guards and snow fences gives this project a balanced snow-retention system that has the ‘look’ the owners desired.”
For homeowners, the new Bellaforté roofs on the Yacht Club and Boat House are tempting reminders of what will be on their own homes in the years to come.
“Now that the Yacht Club and Boat House roofs are complete we’re hearing very positive comments from our residents,” Murray says. “Folks are eager for the work to continue in the common areas so that their individual homes can soon get these terrific-looking new roofs!”
Almost 600 votes were cast in the contest, with Delgado’s entry generating the most votes of the three finalists. In her contest entry, the Hampton area homeowner explained how she wants to break the mold of being a boring home in her neighborhood.
“I want to shake up my home by going with an urban farm/rustic chic theme,” says Delgado. “The exterior will be painted barn red with white trim and we plan to create a porch with a swing area and space for dining.”
According to Wendy Bruch, marketing manager with DaVinci Roofscapes, the sponsor of the contest, the judges saw the potential for dramatic change using color and new products on the Delgado home exterior. “As a finalist, this home was evaluated by radio show co-host Allen Lyle with Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford and national color expert Kate Smith with Sensational Color,” says Bruch. “Kate worked to create an artist’s rendering of what the Delgado home would look like transformed with colorful new products.
“She specified a new Tahoe blend polymer shake roof from DaVinci along with a Therma-Tru Classic-Craft Canvas Collection fiberglass door painted in a trendy gray tone. As a final touch she recommended the addition of a new low-maintenance balustrade system from Fypon to create the porch space the Delgados desire.”
The voting public saw the potential in adding ‘top down’ color to the Delgado home that will increase the overall curb appeal of the house and make it a stand-out in its neighborhood. For the 2015 contest, the Delgado home rose above more than 180 entries to capture the grand prize.
When notified of her winning status, Delgado was excited by the prize money that will allow her to add color and new products to the exterior of her home.
“Our first priority is to purchase the red paint color recommended as part of the artist rendering to help transform the home exterior,” says Delgado. “After that we’ll focus on the new porch and a new entry door. Finally, the wish list will be complete in a few years when we can top off our ‘new’ home with the recommended DaVinci roof.”
The 45th anniversary of Earth Day in 2015 puts a shining spotlight on recycling efforts around the country—including at DaVinci Roofscapes in Kansas. That’s where more than 300,000 pounds of polymer roofing tile scraps are recycled each year.
“Most manufacturing operations have scrap materials,” says Bryan Ward, vice president of operations at DaVinci Roofscapes in Lenexa, Kan. “The difference here is that every roofing tile we create is 100 percent recyclable, so we are able to reuse every pound of scrap that comes off our production line into our roofing material’s starter shingles. This saves a significant amount of material from going to the landfill, along with making us an efficient, environmentally friendly operation.”
With more than 300,000 pounds of scrap recycled annually, DaVinci doesn’t stop there. The polymer slate and shake roofing manufacturer offers two recycling programs that provide a way for roofers to return scraps, cuttings and unused synthetic roofing material to the company’s facility for recycling.
Waste products from a job site can be returned to DaVinci’s Kansas plant for recycling (with shipping paid for by DaVinci within a 500-mile radius of the plant) and expired tiles (those older than 50 years old) can also be returned for recycling. Ward estimates that almost 5,000 pounds of product are returned from field projects each year for recycling.
Selecting polymer roofing tiles also helps save trees and energy. “Every time someone chooses a DaVinci roof instead of wood shakes, trees are saved—often young growth cedars that are difficult to harvest, produce low-quality shingles and further deplete our limited resources,” says Ward. “Natural slate roofs present other problems. The quarrying process consumes large amounts of labor and fuel and can be harmful to the local ecosystem. Up to 15 percent of natural slate tiles crack or break up during installation, so waste is significant. Because DaVinci tiles weigh one-third as much as natural slate of comparable thickness, transportation energy costs and carbon emissions are lower.
“Just as it’s important to us that all our sustainable roofing products are Made in America, it’s also vital that we keep our earth as clean and healthy as possible for future generations,” says Ward. “We’re a company that celebrates Earth Day every day of the year. By creating roofing products that meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process standards, we’re taking a step toward saving valuable resources.”