Historic homes come with a lot of charm and history. In the past, homes were built differently and often used materials that are not readily available today. While historic homes do offer up a lot of charm, many homeowners also want modern comforts. Renovation is one way to get the best of both worlds. However, it can be difficult to maintain the old world charm of a home while adding modern amenities. This is especially true when it comes to roofing. Here are three roofing tips to consider when renovating a historic home.
Look For A Contractor With Experience
In any area across the US there are often hundreds of roof contractors available to choose from. However, when it comes to historic homes, experience is key. A historically accurate roof may require special skills and experience that can only be found with contractors who regularly work with historic homes. If the home is designated as a historic property, either at a local, state, or federal level, there may also be certain restrictions on how much work can be done to the roof. An experienced roofing contractor will be able to navigate these restrictions and obtain the proper permitting as well.
Roofing Materials Are Important
Nothing ruins the look and curb appeal of a historic home quite like a roof that doesn't match the style of the rest of the home. While it may be tempting to add a modern asphalt roof in order to save money, it can take away from the historic appeal of the home. Homeowners who are replacing the roof on their historic home should consider more traditional materials such as wood shingles, clay tile, slate, and metal. The cost can vary greatly depending on the material, with wood shake costing between $12,600 and $18,900 for a new roof, metal can cost anywhere from $5,100 to $22,000 for steel to over $40,000 for copper, and a slate roof can run up to $120,000 for a large home. For homeowners who do not want a roof renovation with such a large price tag, there are roofing products that mimic these materials at a fraction of the cost.
During a renovation, it may be tempting to completely replace the roof on the home. However, the roofs on historic homes are often made of incredibly durable materials. The roof may be in better shape the homeowners realize and roof repair may be the better option. A roofing contractor can help determine whether repair or replacement is the better option. Often repair is less expensive and can be a great option. For slate roofs, if 70 to 80 percent of the roof is still in viable condition, repair is often the recommended option.
Historic homes have a lot of great features, but they also come with quite a few hassles. Roofing in particular can be difficult. When renovating a historic home it's important to seek out a roofing contractor who has experience with historic homes. Choosing traditional materials that match the home's style can also help preserve its historic charm. Also in some cases, roofing repair may be a better choice than a full roof replacement.