What does it mean to be master elite?

You may see this bit of jargon on our site, accompanied by the logo above and wonder what it really means to be a master elite roofing contractor. I will explain in great detail, it may get a little long winded but in the end will reveal a huge amount of information that you will need when choosing a company to install your roof. I promise it will be worth your time, and potentially save you thousands in the long run.

First off, a little history on what it takes to become a roofer to begin with.

You may be surprised but in Michigan and several other states there is actually no requirements at all to become a roofer, so technically anyone with a swinging hammer and $50 to buy a used nail gun can install your new roof.  Building codes dictate roofs should be installed a certain way but in reality when (and if) the building inspector shows up to inspect the roof there is no way to verify the proper code has been met since the roof is already on.

Considering the facts above is it any mystery why roofing complaints make up 70% of the Better Business Bureaus overall complaints? Pretty wild when you consider that your roof is easily the single most important element to the protection of your house, and yet only represents 4% of the cost of your home.  Makes you wonder why everyone is so bound and determined to choose the lowest bid!

Q. So what can you do to protect your home and investment?

A. The good news is that a few shingle manufacturers have come up with a certification program that allows contractors to offer better warranties and in turn offer more protection than your everyday roofer/handyman/dude with a hammer. These programs are fantastic but there are still some holes in your overall protection.

Standard certification program for major manufacturers only require you to use 3 of their system components (felt, ice and water, etc.) to get an upgraded warranty. That is a step up from the standard warranty but still does not cover components made from other manufacturers and can leave you with a nasty bill if you ever get to the point you need warranty coverage.

The biggest problem is there is no factory certification, so you may get a certified roof with a certified contractor and when it comes time for warranty replacement there can be other factors that disqualify you from even getting that warranty, such as improper ventilation and insulation in your attic and a host of other common problems.  Your first instinct is to blame the roofer since the manufacturer will not cover you.  Problem with that is that technically it is not their fault (very grey area) since roofers only responsibility is what is on top of the roof.

Q. The solution? – pay close attention, this part is gold.

A. Hire a Master Elite Contractor from GAF!

A Master Elite contractor is the only type of roofer than can provide the golden pledge warranty, the most powerful and substantial warranty in the entire roofing industry.  A golden pledge warranty is the only warranty that requires the entire roof system to be from GAF, a single manufacturer.  The real beauty is that once your new roof is installed, a representative from GAF comes out to certify your roof installation.  The very same company that will be handling your warranty claim if it ever exists in the future will come out and put their stamp of approval on the job when we are done, and if for some reason we fail  their in depth 40 point inspection we have to fix it right away!  Funny thing is that there is not much of an extra cost to do your roof in this manner, we are talking a few hundred bucks on mid size roof, you will probably spend more on buying a warranty on a new tv set, and the tv does a crummy job of keeping your living room free from rain and snow.

Q. What makes a master elite contractor so good, and how is that different from a standard roofer or even a certified contractor?

A. We thought you would never ask!  Master Elite contractors make up only 3% of the total roofers nationwide.  The reason?  it is damn hard to achieve!  GAF verifies the following items before granting a company the master elite status.

you can see why it is almost impossible for 97% of companies to achieve even these base requirements, but still the final test is a face to face meeting with the territory managers to doubly verify all information and personally check out our previous jobs and talk to some of our previous customers.  It is a true partnership with GAF, and it is fantastic for you, us, and them.  It is how business relationships should be!

Q. Is this an extended warranty?!

A. Technically no, Technically yes.  It is a factory certified roof installation.

For example: If you buy a tv extended warranty and well within your warranty coverage your tv blows up.  It turns out that your problem came from an electrical surge due to faulty home wiring and that is not covered by the warranty plan.  guess who has to buy a new full price tv again? or even worse, a 20″ tv from a garage sale because you can’t afford a new one again!

If you had a certified factory warranty where the warranty provider came out and checked your electrical system and your entire system and certified that system, and the same situation happened.  Then who is left with the bill at that point?  certainly not you!

Q. Ok enough of the touchy feely stuff, how much can I really be liable for if my roof fails under warranty?

A. You may be surprised.  Here is a table below to outline some of the key points, if you want to see a full side by side check out our warranty comparison page.  These figures are done during the roofs “non prorated warranty period” which is considered 100% coverage.  As the table reveals there is much more to a warranty than meets the eye. POP QUIZ! which one is the true 100% system warranty?

Standard Uncertified Contractor: 

10yr. non prorated/lifetime total shingle only warranty

Shingles – Covered!
Felt Underlayment – NOT covered
Ice & Water Shield – NOT covered
Starter Strips – NOT covered
Ridge Vent and Cap – NOT covered
Tear Off – NOT covered
Tear Off Disposal – NOT covered

Total liability: 55% Roof cost

Typical Certified Contractor 

10-50yr. non prorated/lifetime total warranty (varies by mfr.)

Shingles – Covered!
Felt Underlayment – NOT covered
Ice & Water Shield – covered
Starter Strips – covered
Ridge Vent and Cap – covered
Tear Off – covered
Tear Off Disposal – NOT covered

Total liability: 20% Roof cost

GAF Master Elite Golden Pledge Warranty 

50yr. non prorated/lifetime total warranty
plus 25 year workmanship warranty

Shingles – Covered!
Felt Underlayment – Covered!
Ice & Water Shield – Covered!
Starter Strips – Covered!
Ridge Vent and Cap – Covered!
Tear Off – Covered!
Tear Off Disposal -Covered!

Total liability: 0% Roof cost


Q. I love it! Where do I get it and how much?

A. While each roof is different and we can’t exactly give a quote over the internet, we can tell you that the price difference between the baseline roof and the top of the line roof with all the premium materials is on average 10-12% higher. Considering it can save you up to 55% of your total roof if a warranty claim is required that is one heck of a value.  As far as where can you get it?  Well here of course!


Thanks for hanging in there this long, I know it was a long article and I hope you got some use out of it.  We care about our customers and we do our best to provide top service and premium products at prices that are affordable to everyday people.


Murray's Roofing and Siding, Inc.
6536 Buckshore Dr. HamburgMI48139 USA 
 • 810-231-1177


  1. Sue Bass
    Posted September 3, 2011 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    Does a Certified Master Elite roofing company use a nail gun to install a roof?

    • Posted September 3, 2011 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

      Thanks for the question Sue! We use nail guns for the majority of the roof, using 6 nails per shingle. For the ridge vent and cap we hand nail since the venting system we use requires nails that are too long for a nail gun.

  2. Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    You offer solutions to problems I see. I like the sound of a Golden Pledge Warranty. The standard it takes to be an elite roofer flushes out all the wanna bes and filters out the lack of knowledge in the industry.

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