Thursday, January 4, 2018

roofing the beast

Now given that we haven't seen the roof for two weeks with the incredible deep freeze Pittsburgh's been having, a post about shingling the roof seems less than timely.  So be it... 

After much hemming and hawing we ended up going with the GAF Camelot II shingle in charcoal.  We had initially called for the Camelot shingle in Sheffield Black, but that added tremendously to the price for no obvious reason other than color.  This is a slate look shingle, and was well worth the slight price difference over a regular dimensional shingle. 

The entire roof was wrapped in Grace Ice and Water Shield.  This was not only because of the relatively low slope on some of it, but also so that the sheathing would be protected if roofing was delayed. 

We also went ahead and did all the flashing in copper, along with copper ridge caps, valleys and drip edge.  Copper flashing isn't as expensive as most seem to think, and in this age of lifetime rated shingles it's foolish not to use flashings that will last as long as the rest of the roof.  While aluminum doesn't rust, it does get very brittle over time, and really can't compete.  The visible copper really adds to the roof, and is enough of a distraction that the eye doesn't immediately realize the shingles aren't slates. 

There was one complication to using these shingles that no one anticipated however, and that was the tower roof.  Our roofer (Deluca Roofing for the locals, and highly recommended) was familiar with cutting individual shingles to accommodate the curve of the conical roof, but there was no real way to cut and lay these shingles properly since they vary in shape and are layered as you can see in the above photo.  The front of the tower looks fine, and the inconsistencies are mostly hidden on the back.  It's a relatively minor disappointment, but something to consider if you're planning a similar project. 

I also restored the last antique weathervane which is mounted on the tower peak.  It's nowhere near as exceptional as the schoolhouse weathervane, but I deliberately chose something that wouldn't compete with the original spire on the main tower roof.  Not to mention the price was right, and it had it's original mount, which can be quite difficult to find. 

All that's left is installing copper gutters and downspouts.  I'm sure the price on the radius gutter will be nothing short of heart stopping, so we'll kick that can down the road as long as we're able.  If anyone's interested in the planning behind the roof check out the posts from this year.  There was a lot of head-scratching involved in both the products used and the construction. 


  1. I think we used GAF shingles on our new house too and had exactly the same problem with the turret. I had them redo it twice and on the third time I just gave up. It BUGS me every time I look at it. lol

    I envy you the copper gutters. We had to let that idea go when we found out the cost. :(

    1. Looking at the shingles I definitely think it was them and not the roofers. Still, I wish it had occurred to the roofers that there might be an issue... It'll be a long time till we get around to the gutters, the porch roof is just so in your face I think I'll hate anything else.

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  4. Not that it should be put out of the roof after the storm, flying bricks in the front with gouges or customers. Binoculars or a bow on the ladder maybe.

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