Gothic Revival homes were romantic, ornamental structures favored among architects in the American Northeast in the mid- to late-1800s. Distinctive features of the style include pointed Gothic-style windows, wooden ornamental trim and visible support beams, and a steeply pitched roof that's either a single gable roof or two gable roofs forming a cross gable.
If you have a Gothic Revival home, choosing the right roofing material can help cement the overall look of your home while also providing the best protection. There are a few roofing materials that can provide the best – or worst – fit for a Gothic Revival home. Here are some materials to discuss during your next residential roofing contractors meeting.
Gothic Revival homes have abundant wood trim, ornamental accents, and visible bracing beams that help define the look and the lines of the home. It makes sense, then, to continue the wooden materials on to the roof in the form of wood shingles or shakes.
Wood roofing comes from cedar trees that are cut thickly to form shakes or thinly to form shingles. Both types of roofing are textured and can be stained a variety of warm- or cool-toned wood shades. Wood roofing adds a cottage or storybook look to any home, which works nicely with the overall look of a Gothic Revival home.
Wood roofing can be rather higher maintenance than some other roofing materials due to the fact that wood can warp with frequent temperature changes and can suffer insect infestations. But maintenance and occasional repairs can keep these problems at bay and the visual look of the roof might be worth the added effort.
Gabled roofs typically aren't good matches for slate due to the fact that gables tend to lack enough bracing to support the heft of slate tiles. But Gothic Revival homes tend to have more bracing under the roof particularly when a cross gable is involved. You will still want to have your roofing contractor double check to make sure the bracing is there, or able to be added, before you order your slate tiles and end up with a collapsed roof.
Slate is low maintenance and durable with pleasing natural colors that can compliment the wooden elements of the home. Slate is one of the higher priced roofing materials so project costs can get steep, particularly with a cross gable, but that's only a concern if you need to stick to a strict budget.
Gable roofs have steep pitches, which mean the sides of the roof are great for accelerating oncoming wind. The wind can then pose a damage risk if you use asphalt shingles, which are one of the lightest weight roofing materials around. You could end up with broken, ripped, or removed shingles.
If you have a single gable roof and a lot of windbreaks around your home, and need to stick to a strict budget, you might be able to use asphalt shingles with a smaller risk of damage. But cross gable roofs or single gable roofs without windbreaks are much harder to protect and you should really only use asphalt if your current roof is shot and asphalt is the only material you can afford at this time.
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