American Roofing & Metal

Choosing The Right Roof For Your Historic Home

3-5-2021 | Josh Steinrock
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Choosing The Right Roof For Your Historic Home

“They don’t build them like they used to.” You’ve probably heard this term before when describing the quality craftsmanship of an old home; this sentiment isn’t inherently wrong however it does contain a fair amount of selection bias- the old homes that are still standing were built better because the ones that weren’t  are no longer around. So what is it that sets the structures that are still standing apart from the ones that failed the test of time? “A good hat, and good boots.”

A Good Hat and Good Boots

What does that saying mean? Well, a ‘good hat’ is a roof that keeps the damaging effects of water, solar radiation, and damaging elements away from the structure; and ‘good boots’ refers to a solid foundation that keeps out the elements and holds the home secure.

When it comes to historic homes- the roof may be the most important architectural feature both for maintaining its character as well as it’s structural integrity. For the sake of this article we want to focus on why certain roofs withheld the test of time and how to choose a new roof when it’s time to replace your historic homes existing roof.

What makes a long lasting roof?

A long lasting roof boils down to the following 3 things: Material, Design/Shape, and Installation.

Material- although there are dozens of different roofing materials  there are few that truly stand the test of time like Slate, Metal, and Tile. These are the roof types that probably come to mind when you are thinking about old victorian era homes. Unlike modern shingles (which are a great product) these historic materials can last almost indefinitely if properly maintained.

Design/Shape- a good roof design takes into account regional variations in weather extremes. Areas with large snow loads need a higher pitch, areas with higher rain fall need larger eaves. A roof constructed with the absolute best materials is bound to fail if it is improperly designed.

Installation- This is arguably the most important aspect when it comes to a roof that is going to stand the test of time. A roof with great materials, great design, but poor installation can lead to mold, decomposition or even structural failure. A good roofing contractor understands how to follow manufacturer guidelines for each specific product which is paramount to proper functioning. 

Choosing The Right Roof For Your Historic Home

Now that you know what makes a good roof structure it is up to you to make the decision on how to re-roof your historic home. Luckily you are not alone! The professionals at American Roofing & Sheet Metal can help you plan and executer a quality roofing system that will meet your needs.

We have built a reputation for providing high quality residential roof repair and installation while working with our manufactures to provide the best possible roofing warranties. The goal at American Roofing & Metal is to give you, the homeowner, what you want. Your complete satisfaction is important to us. If your home needs roof restorationcontact us today for an honest, reliable quote.a


Josh Steinrock

Josh Steinrock | Vice President

At the age of twelve Josh Steinrock started working in his grandfather's sheet metal shop learning the craftsmanship of roofing and sheet metal work. Being groomed to become the leader of a fourth generation company--a company founded on basic principles of hard work and high quality craftsmanship--Josh has aspired with his father to growing American Roofing into one of the largest roofing companies in the state.