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Historic Homes – How to Choose the Right Roof

Replacing the roof on a historic home can be an incredibly daunting task. One of the best ways to maintain the value of any dated building structure is by preserving as much of its original features and design elements as possible. Moreover, many owners of historic homes are required to adhere to a specific and often very strict set of rules. These rules might dictate materials selection, color selection, and many other aspects of roof replacement projects. When this is the case, there’s always the delicate balance of aesthetic and structural preservation, and finding products that are guaranteed to perform well throughout the years.

Rectangle, Road surface, Textile, Wood, Asphalt, Grey, Black-and-white, Style

One of the biggest challenges in roof replacement for historic homes is determining how to best leverage modern innovations without compromising the building’s historic appeal. After all, major advances have been made in rooftop designs and roofing technologies throughout the years to create homes that are better protected against the elements, better-insulated, and longer-lasting. Attempting to get every detail just right can turn this labor of love into a veritable nightmare. Fortunately, the tips below will make choosing the right roof for your historic home a bit easier.

Choose the Right Roofing Company for the Job

The best thing that you can do to simplify this project is to choose a roofing company that understands all of the nuances of working on historic homes. Roofers who’ve replaced, repaired, or restored historic roofs before will have the knowledge and skills for meeting your goals. More importantly, these are roofers who will already have long-standing relationships with the right suppliers for your project. Thus, if typically, hard-to-find materials are required for adhering to historic mandates or for bringing your design vision to life, you’ll have access to them.

Consider using temporary patching services to buy yourself more time to plan for your project. It may be that your roof is already showing considerable signs of wear and tear. Although your roof replacement project might need to be expedited to resolve problems with leaks, there might be a number of obstacles delaying its start. For instance, it could be necessary to have your replacement plans approved by a state historic preservation office or other historic authority. Patching services will shore up existing leaks so that your home isn’t sustaining new damages while you wait for any necessary approvals.

The next step in these efforts is to learn more about the history of your home. Depending upon the age of your property, it may have gone through several roofs throughout its lifetime. It may even have had several significant changes in its overall roofing design. If so, this is your opportunity to restore the entire building back to its original glory. When performing your research, look for:

  • Old photos and journals
  • Archived newspaper articles
  • Insurance surveys
  • Work orders and receipts
  • The home’s original blueprints

Your research can reveal former roof details that no longer exist. It can additionally give you more leverage with historical authorities. If you aren’t overjoyed by the prospect of replacing your current roof with an identical-looking one, learning more about your roof’s past incarnations is a great way to expand your options.

If your goal is to restore your roof back to the very first roofing design that the home ever had, you can also schedule a roofing inspection. Professional roofers can look for evidence of older roof systems such as leftover nails, metal scraps, and other materials that might be found in or visible in the attic and other areas. Roofers with experience in working with historic properties can also determine original roofing types based upon specific architectural styles.

Finally, consider whether or not you want to incorporate new elements that are in line with the history or times of your home. This might include copper elements such as copper gutters and downspouts, or decorative or oversized gutter systems. If you’re ready to replace the roof on your historic home and need assistance in choosing the right roof type, we can help. Call us today at 913-850-6556.