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Interesting Roof


Brad Manor
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Some friends of mine have been asked to replace the roof on this 1927 home. The house carries some historic significance: it was once owned by Paul Martin Sr. who was, at one time Canada's finance minister. His son later went on to become finance minister, then Prime Minister.

The house was recently sold and is being renovated.

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The plan for the new roof is to form cedar shingles to the roof deck.

-Brad

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Originally posted by inspecthistoric

It was designed and built to have a thatched roof.

Installing cedar shingles would be an insult.

Bill--

While this is not directly related to the issue at hand, you might appreciate this given your knowledge of historic methods. There was a local newspaper columnist here for a few decades who had a great way to deal with telemarketers who called trying to sell him metal siding. When they asked about his home, he simply told them his home was made of clay and wattles.

Shut 'em up every time.

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Originally posted by inspecthistoric

It was designed and built to have a thatched roof.

Installing cedar shingles would be an insult.

Some time back, I'm sure I saw photos of such roofs covered with shingles, which were steamed and bent to fit the contours of the roof. Was that a bad practice, or has that practice ended? I'm just curious...

And wouldn't the owners have to get a real enough English thatcher to thatch that roof?

No thatch in Nashville,

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Originally posted by Bain

It may be insulting, Bill. But how does one locate a thatched-roof installer? Do they have them in PA?

They have them close by. I remember reading about a young fellow from Ireland who lives in Virginia and has a business travelling around the country to install and/or repair thatched roofs. If memory serves, his biggest difficulty is finding the proper kind of thatch.

Bill,

It looks like a solid deck; weren't thatched roofs installed over skip?

Is it possible that it was originally built to have a roof that mimics a thatched roof but with locally grown materials; namely cedar shingles? We have a couple of those here. They might have looked pretty cool when they were built back in the 20's and 30's and the roofs were cedar shingles; however, since then, some nimrod owners have swapped out the cedar for comp and to my eye's they are an eyesore.

Here are a few companies that do the cedar roof "insult" thingy; the first two are the same company - they actually do thatch roofs in addition to the insult roofs. Check out these portfolios:

Huber #1

Huber #2

Cedar Roof Design Inc.

Ganser Company

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by Bain

It may be insulting, Bill. But how does one locate a thatched-roof installer? Do they have them in PA?

I highly recommend Colin McGhee. He's from VA, but has thatched throughout N. America. I've had the pleasure of reviewing his work. He's a true master thatcher.

www.thatching.com/portfolio.shtml

Also, here's where home inspectors can learn about spars, liggers and wadds:

www.thatchedhomeinspector.co.uk/

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Originally posted by hausdok

Bill,

It looks like a solid deck; weren't thatched roofs installed over skip?

Is it possible that it was originally built to have a roof that mimics a thatched roof but with locally grown materials; namely cedar shingles? We have a couple of those here. They might have looked pretty cool when they were built back in the 20's and 30's and the roofs were cedar shingles; however, since then, some nimrod owners have swapped out the cedar for comp and to my eye's they are an eyesore.

I don't know what the existing thatch is over. The right way is to secure maple sapplings to the rafters as purlins/battens. I'd bet anything that the cottage was designed and built to have a thathed roof.

Why put on a 20 year cedar roof when it deserves 70 year thatch.

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I've had the pleasure of hoisting some Smithwicks with Colin, He's quite a character. He put a thatched roof on an Irish bar in NJ owned by a friend. The bar is named after him: Thatcher McGee's. That roof would probably take him well over a year to complete; it's a slow process.

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Ah, I've finally have a curiosity settled. I drive by a thatched roof several times a week. I've always wondered who crafted it.

There is an unusual house in Tyringham, Massachusetts that has an asphalt shingle roof that is designed to mimic a thatched roof. It was built by sculptor Sir Henry Hudson Kitson:

The most striking feature of Kitson's studio is its 80-ton, asphault shingled roof. Originally, Kitson had envisioned created a rolling, thatched roof similar to the traditional thatched-roofs in his native Britain. He enlisted the help of several local farmers to grow a crop of Rye for the thatching, but the crop went bad, and he turned to asphault shingles to create the effect he desired. Each tile was hand-cut to a wave-like shape, and then was laid in thick layers of different-colored shingles. The whole project took three workers twelve years to complete.

I couldn't find any really good pics of it on the net. I have a postcard that shows great detail, but of course, I can't find it.

Roof

Santarella

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