Historic Homes: Guide to Choosing the Right Roof

The state of Florida is one of the richest in history in the country. The city of St. Augustine alone has 11,231 registered historic homes. 22% of all of its homes are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Having one of these buildings is an honor, but it can be difficult to maintain its old roof. Their age means they’re also one of the hardest hit in winter. 

It’s equally difficult to choose a new roof for them. Go too far away from their original design and they’ll look like any other house on the block.

Read on to learn how to choose the right roof for a historic home.

Choose the Right Roofing Material

Slate is an all-purpose option for historic homes. It fits with most aesthetics and is durable and protects against fire and weather.

Wood shingles or shakes are one of the more expensive roofing options. They also require careful maintenance. Asphalt shingles are more cost-effective but aren’t always fit for an old home. 

It’s important to consider the style of the home. Clay tiles fit well with Mediterranean and Spanish architecture. 

There are also legal considerations to keep in mind. Look into the local building codes to check what type of materials you can use.

Choose the Right Architectural Era

You can create a vintage roof on almost any home, but if it’s historical, you should try to find out which architectural era it came from so you can preserve its original design. The major ones include:

  • Saltbox
  • Dutch Colonial
  • Georgian
  • Federal
  • Greek Revival
  • Italianate
  • Second Empire
  • Stick Style
  • Queen Anne
  • Shingle 
  • Colonial Revival

Consider the shape of each style. Saltbox roofs have a steep pitch, Georgian homes are rectangular, and Greek revival homes are triangular.

The era will also help you decide on the right materials. Saltbox, Dutch Colonial. Colonial Revival and Shingle homes had wood shingles. Georgian homes were made from brick. Federal homes had shingles made from wood, metal, or slate. Second Empire roofs were slate. Stick Style roofs were made from shingles and slate. Victorian roofs were slate, and their shingles had patterns. 

Choose the Right Roofer

Get a professional assessment of your roof before you begin your project. They can help you determine if there are any repairs to be made or other important steps to take.

There are at least 37,340 roofing contractors in the US, but not all of them have experience with historic homes. Ask to see pictures of previous projects they’ve worked done. Recording their work is an important part of preserving a building’s history, so be sure they do it for you as well.

Choose the Right Place to Get Roofing for Historic Homes

Choosing the right roof for historic homes is a balancing act. They need to be durable and attractive while keeping as close as possible to the original. 

It starts with finding the right material to build with. That depends on factors such as its design, which architectural era the home was built in, and your local building codes. 

Paletz Roofing Inspection is here to help with your roofing needs no matter how old your home is. Contact us for an inspection, installation, or repair today.

CALL (833) 916-7663