Who says they can’t do it like that anymore? It can be done. I saw this beautiful, patterned cedar shingle roofing being installed on a conical tower roof at Norumbega, a spectacular Queen Anne style house in Camden, Maine now operated as an inn.
Patterned wood roof shingles have been lost from most historic houses because they have to be replaced periodically and modern materials are usually cheaper and faster to install. When I see a wood roof nearing the end of its useful life, I am always afraid the next time I see the building there will be asphalt shingles in its place ~ with the consequent loss of a character-defining feature of the building. It was a joy to see this one being replicated accurately with the appropriate material.
A skilled craftsperson or a determined homeowner can usually recreate historic craftsmanship if they put in the time to learn how. Some tasks have a steeper learning curve than others and require significant practice to master. Having or acquiring the right tools is also essential, of course.
All types of roofing are covered in detail in Chapter 11 of “Restoring Your Historic House, The Complete Guide for Homeowners.”
Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available directly from the author in our shop, YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/.
Select restoration and preservation titles by other authors are also available in our shop. Save on cost and shipping with our combo packs!
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