An Artful Aesthetic

Asphalt Shingle Roof Maintains Beautiful Views in Laguna Beach, California

by Abby Feinstein, commercial product manager, CertainTeed Roofing


From Western Roofing Sep/Oct ’18


Located along the Pacific Ocean in sunny Laguna Beach, California, the Blue Lagoon Condominiums boast a breathtaking view that overlooks miles of California coastline. One of the most notable neighborhoods in Laguna Beach, this luxurious community offers an everyday escape for its residents.

In the fall of 2016, the Blue Lagoon homeowners’ association determined it was time to replace the roofing shingles on the complex’s 119 homes, which continually endure the rigors of coastal weather, including harsh rains, high winds, and ocean spray.

Selecting a roof to span the entirety of Blue Lagoon was no easy task, with valid concerns and stringent requirements being echoed from the Blue Lagoon homeowners’ association. The new roofing would not simply need to be visually appealing, but also tough enough to withstand coastal weathering and hold up to foot traffic from the workers performing roof upkeep.

According to Steve Brown, a member on Blue Lagoon’s homeowners’ association board, the residents wanted a shingle that mirrored their community, one made from the highest quality materials with a look that emulated the reputation and distinguished appearance of Laguna Beach.

“Many of the units at Blue Lagoon overlook the rooftops below, so the roof aesthetic was a big deal to us,” said Brown. “It was the most important thing for the board. For many people, these are their second homes, and we didn’t want anything that detracted from the established look.”

Coastal living provides a unique challenge because routine maintenance is necessary to protect the exterior of the homes from the elements. For this reason, the Blue Lagoon homeowners’ association board required shingles with a lasting warranty, having undergone multiple renovations throughout the 1980s and 1990s. To aid in their decision-making process, Blue Lagoon’s homeowners’ association board consulted Luke Roofing, a local contractor that it partnered with multiple times in the past.

Luke Roofing originally recommended Presidential Shake® TL roofing shingles from CertainTeed®, but the final decision was to go with CertainTeed’s Arcadia Shake®, a recent addition to the CertainTeed roofing collection, in the color Shenandoah. Arcadia Shake is a four-layer luxury laminate shingle with thick, stylized edges and granule blends that capture the authentic coloration of wood in the form of tough, low-maintenance asphalt.

“It’s so similar to wood shake that the difference is almost unnoticeable,” said Gary Luke, president of Luke Roofing. “Just after we signed the contract, we brought in product samples. The board loved the product, and we liked it, so we changed over to Arcadia Shake.”

Arcadia Shake was a featured choice not only for its resemblance to real wood shake roofing and impressive build quality, but also for its Class A fire resistance rating, something many Western states are conscious of due to the dangers associated with wildfires.

“We’re seeing less and less wood shake in California, and a lot of it has to do with the fire hazards they present,” said Scott Widdes, a sales representative with CertainTeed. “The new wood shakes that come out are chemically treated for fire resistance, which shortens the life span of the product.”

Arcadia Shake was also an attractive option because it is less costly than real wood shake from both a material and installation standpoint, and the upkeep required is virtually nonexistent. Asphalt roofing doesn’t require ongoing maintenance, unlike wood, which naturally absorbs moisture and becomes warped and brittle over time.

“At first I was not excited about asphalt, because I thought it was going to be a downgrade from the wood shake,” said Brown. “Some owners were concerned about it, so the board vetted our options for three whole years. In the end, the decision was unanimously made, and we knew we made the right choice after seeing the finished product.”

Luke Roofing also installed CertainTeed’s DiamondDeck® and WinterGuard® underlayments beneath the shingles for additional protection against moisture infiltration that would otherwise threaten the integrity of the roof structure. To provide superior wind resistance, Presidential® Starter shingles were used along the roofs’ perimeters. For further enhancement of the architectural beauty, Mountain Ridge® accessory shingles were installed along all roof hips and ridges, providing an artfully crafted, finished look.

In addition, due to Luke Roofing’s status as a CertainTeed SELECT ShingleMaster™ credentialed company, they were able to offer Blue Lagoon an enhanced warranty on the products installed as well as the installing workmanship. “We’re at the highest credential level with CertainTeed,” said Luke. “That’s all we sell when it comes to residential units. We love the warranty, but really are proud of the fact that our employees must be thoroughly trained in order for our company to offer it. When we tell that to our clients, they’re impressed.”

While maintaining the community’s overall look and feel remained a top priority for the Blue Lagoon homeowners’ association board, residents also expressed an interest in adding solar roofing. Being right on the water in one of the sunniest beaches in California, Blue Lagoon sought out products that would match the high quality of their roofs while offering highly efficient energy production.

The desire to install solar was met with some initial deliberation due to concerns over the solar industry’s volatile and uncertain landscape. Yet Luke Roofing presented CertainTeed U.S. Series solar modules as the ideal solar solution because of CertainTeed’s track record of stable, high-quality products and an industry-leading warranty.

“Solar is still in the growth stage and a lot of companies come and go. CertainTeed provides the reputation of a secure and established major manufacturer with industry expertise,” explained Brett Moran, solar sales representative with CertainTeed.

“We added solar systems to about a dozen homes using CertainTeed’s 300W modules and an added warranty,” said Luke, whose firm was able to provide 15 years of extended warranty coverage on the system and its installing workmanship through their Credentialed Solar Installer status with CertainTeed. “With the installation of solar roofing, we anticipate the homeowners will save a lot of money on their utility bill throughout the year. Most of them save their entire utility bill.”

“There are several different companies that Blue Lagoon could have gone with, some of which that may have been less expensive, but other companies didn’t stack up with the warranty,” added Moran. “As a CertainTeed Credentialed Solar Installer, when Luke Roofing pulls the ladder away from the roof, the warranty on that system is now covered by us, and that’s powerful in the industry.”

A unique project that required the input from a whole community, Blue Lagoon’s expansive renovations took 20 weeks to complete, with the project reaching completion in October of 2017. “In the end, Arcadia Shake matched the previous roof so well that it was an easy choice and a natural transition for everyone,” said Bill Bauer, sales representative with CertainTeed. “Overall, everyone was very satisfied with the end product.”

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