By Adam Cabrera.
In a recent episode of Roofing Road Trips®, host Heidi J. Ellsworth spoke with Mark McMillan, sales manager at Horn Brothers Roofing in Denver, Colorado, and Randy Miller, second generation owner of Allright Home and Remodeling in Milwaukee, about the ins-and-outs of working on historical roofing projects.
Navigating historical registries and designations is one of the most complex parts of these projects. Randy pointed out the importance of understanding the layers of regulations both local and national. "Ask good questions. Ask the homeowners exactly what they're looking for, and then the more inclusion you can get from the commissions, the better off you are," he said. In addition, homeowners in historic districts often do their homework and are keen on preserving the architectural integrity of their homes.
However, new materials like composite roofing are offering solutions that respect history while improving safety and longevity. "To still preserve that look and feel, but at the same time have the Class A assemblies that are required. The composite synthetic roofing is a wonderful product," Mark said. The materials offer benefits like fire resistance, lighter construction and increased durability.
One of the projects discussed was the restoration of St. John's Cathedral in Denver where DaVinci composite slate was used to replace the original roof. Mark noted that this required a high level of coordination with authorities like the Landmark Commission. "Every time we did that, we had to go through the Landmark Commission and the engineers to bring up our proposal of what we wanted to do," he said.
Both guests emphasized the importance of early involvement of landmark commissions to gain approval for the use of new materials. Randy summed up the evolving perspective on materials, saying, "They appreciate it and how it's changed because back in the day compared to now, and hopefully so do the other historical preservation committee members and associations also can appreciate that and change with the times as well."
Adam Cabrera is a writer and podcast producer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When he isn't writing about roofs he enjoys camping in the Rocky Mountains, going to concerts and playing music.
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