When it comes to endorsements of goods and services in America, few names carry more weight than Good Housekeeping magazine; that venerable name — alongside its iconic “Seal of Approval” — has held sway for more than a century.
At the end of September, the magazine published its 2023 “Home Renovation Awards.” Among myriad products and services vetted and endorsed, a few brands intimately familiar to readers of this magazine received that coveted seal, if not explicitly, certainly by inference through the magazine’s endorsement.
This year’s Home Renovation Awards issue, which had its inaugural launch in 2022, hit the street on September 29 and, according to the article's author, Dan DiClerico, director of Good Housekeeping Institute’s “Home Improvement & Outdoor” arena, was a clarion call for numerous products and services in the home improvement space.
DiClerico wrote, in part, “[T]here were so many smart, innovative submissions to the 2023 edition of our Home Reno Awards that we had to extend the testing period by six weeks to give our judges ample time to review them all.”
At the end of the process, the magazine identified 64 “award-worthy” submissions spanning the gamut of home improvement, including, naturally, roofing.
To that end, DiClerico brings well-heeled credentials in that facet since, as his GH bio states, he has written thousands of product reviews and was, himself, a former roofer. Along with his team of experts, building envelope items — among the more than four dozen products named — included roof shingles, all-weather siding, exterior cladding and vinyl siding.
Hailed as “reliable roofing,” the product GH chose among the likely many candidates was GAF’s Timberline UHDZ shingles. Reengineered and relaunched in February of this year, Timberline UHDZ shingles, formerly known as Timberline UHD, is a premium laminate shingle with a substantive profile.
The product boasts time-released algae-fighting technology and gives the product a well-defined, wood-shake look with the addition of dual shadow lines. Additionally, in this instance, not only did GAF’s product get the win, but among the nine products in the “Exterior Enhancements” category, it was the only roofing shingle picked and also received the coveted Good Housekeeping “Seal of Approval” stamp. The other product among the nine items featured that earned the sought-after “seal” was James Hardie’s Architectural Collection fiber cement board.
In its assessment of GAF’s Timberline UHDZ shingles, GH wrote:
“When it comes to providing shelter from the elements, there’s nothing more important than the roof over your head — and shingles are the first line of defense. GAF’s Timberline UHDZ asphalt shingles deliver top-level protection against Mother Nature’s harshest assaults — hard-driven rain, snow, sleet and hail, as well as the record-busting heat that has become increasingly common in many parts of the country. The premium shingles are also fortified with a time-release algae-fighting technology that will help extend their life in damp, humid climates.”
And because the Good Housekeeping Institute is more than just an “editor’s choice” facility, the product competed in a controlled laboratory environment. Of the lab results, GH wrote:
“Our engineers verified Timberline UHDZ’s claims around resistance to weather, heat and algae as part of the GH Seal approval process. Lab tests reaffirmed durability and ease of installation, including the extra-wide strike zone for fast, efficient nailing. Outside judge Fernando Pages then went the distance and installed the shingles on a project in Houston. “Timberline’s UHDZ shingles represent a missing middle between common-variety composition shingles that protect from rain and the more durable yet ultra-high-cost roofing selections, such as concrete tile and metal,” he says.”
You may view Fernando Page’s full review below:
Along with GAF’s Timberline product and James Hardie, other products featured within the Exterior Enhancements category included Royal Building Products’ Zuri Decking — for premium PVC decking; Azek Exteriors’ TimberTech Cladding — for “sleek siding” and CertainTeed’s CERTAplank Single 7-inch Reinforced Siding — for top-quality vinyl siding.
The Power of the Seal
The Good Housekeeping Seal is more than just an emblem; it symbolizes trust. GH’s nod of approval has few rivals — Consumer Reports is likely its only brethren — and is based on the magazine’s reputation for unbiased and meticulous testing, focusing on providing practical advice for homemakers.
The Good Housekeeping Institute, keeper of the seal’s bestowment and the magazine’s endorsements is a controlled testing facility founded in the 1930s. The Institute acted as American consumers’ defacto first bulwark against shoddy, dangerous and sometimes outright fraudulent products — decades before Congress enacted the Consumer Products Safety Act of 1972.
The Wall Street Journal wrote an excellent history in 2010 on Good Housekeeping and Consumer Reports' influence in keeping Americans from consuming proverbial snake oil. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which was born out of the 1972 legislation, is solely mandated to protect consumers from items that could be dangerous or even deadly. The CPSC neither endorses nor confers quality, and more importantly, the CPSC acts only after an issue has been discovered.
Good Housekeeping and Consumer Reports, both private independent watchdogs, sift through the wheat to discard the chaff, which is why the GH seal and the publications’ endorsements still carry the weight they do with consumers.
Hearst Magazines, one of the country’s largest media companies, purchased Good Housekeeping in 1911, and according to Hearst auditing data, has a readership approaching nearly 17 million. Consumer Reports is a monthly publication published by the nonprofit Consumers Union and first hit newsstands in 1936; the magazine has about 7 million subscribers.