I will be purchasing a new roof in the near future and could use some assistance. I am a first time homeowner, and thus, this is my first new roof experience. I have received 4 estimates and still not sure what to do. The difference between the lowest and highest bid is $1,500. All 4 bids differ in different ways due to type of shingle, roofing felt #, etc. First question is brand of shingle. The bids either use Elk or GAF Timberline shingles (30 year). Which is better? Second, would you recommend using metal valleys or not (two bids include that and two do not)? One of the roofers told me it was a preference issue. Is there any benefit to having a metal valley? Third, I live in Kansas City and have to deal with snow and ice build up on my roof. I believe I had a leak due to snow/ice build up. Are there any precautions I need to take when having the new roof put on/something to help prevent this in the future? Fourth, is 30# felt better than 15#? I only plan to stay in the house another 5-10 years, but still want the roof to be in good shape when I sell it. Plus, I always hear you shouldn't trust the lowest bid. But it is hard to pass up a bid that is $1,500 less than the highest bid that is somewhat similar. Sorry for such a long message, but any advice would be appreciated. If there are any roofing contractors from KC reading this, I would be interested in speaking with you. Thanks!!