A Historic Mountain Home Gets a Modern Roof to Resist the Elements

“First and foremost, the homeowner needed a roof that wouldn’t burn,” Williams says. “The elevation dictated the need to address long-term snow and ice buildup. The homeowner also wanted a lifetime roof that would hold up to the Colorado elements while maintaining the rustic look of the home.”

Safety First

The experience and expertise that Horn Brothers brought to the project was valuable because there were many considerations and potential snags to doing a reroof of this magnitude. In business since 1984, and with upwards of 7,000 roof installations under its belt, Horn Brothers has a reputation for excellence. The firm is known to specialize in steep roof installations like this one.

Denver-based Horn Brothers Roofing had installed a stone-coated steel roof on the owner’s parents’ house, and the company got the nod for this project as well.

Denver-based Horn Brothers Roofing had installed a stone-coated steel roof on the owner’s parents’ house, and the company got the nod for this project as well.

“The roof size and slope, as well as the location and landscape presented a series of unique challenges,” Williams explains. “The 9,400-square-foot roof sits 40 feet above Bear Creek. And the pitch is extremely steep, varying from a 16:12 to a 24:12.”
The steep angles of the roof meant that extra attention had to be paid to safety. Crew members needed to be tied off at all times during the project. They were essentially rappelling around on the roof to get the job done.

Special attention was even paid to the environment around the house. Temporary fencing was installed for the duration of the project to make sure that nearby river and mountain ecosystems were protected from construction debris. There was even a dedicated crew member on the ground at all times to protect the river and natural landscape.

“The proximity to the river and the abundance of wildlife dictated that we take our time and calculate each step of the reroof process,” Williams explains. “Because of the complexity of the roof and all the access issues, we had to load everything by hand. The whole project took about a month.”

Historic Look

While building a modern roof that can stand up to fire, snow, ice and wind was a primary consideration, it was also extremely important to preserve the historic aesthetic of the home. Part of the reason that a stone-coated metal shake system was chosen was so the roof could maintain its original look. In addition, custom flashings were fabricated to complement the timbers and beams that are part of the overall look of the house.

The pitches on the roof vary from 16:12 to a 24:12. The steep angles of the roof meant that extra attention had to be paid to safety.

The pitches on the roof vary from 16:12 to a 24:12. The steep angles of the roof meant that extra attention had to be paid to safety.

Stone-coated metal roofs possess a unique ability to resist fading, even in the brutally harsh sunlight common to high elevations. UV light is very intense in the mountains, and many other types of roofing can fade very quickly. However, stone-coated metal can endure for many years without losing its looks.

When finished, the Jacksons were extremely happy with their new roof. They can rest easy knowing it carries the high fire rating they desired and it pulls off the look they were hoping for. Jay and Corinne have noted that, from the road, their stone-coated metal shake roof looks even better than the traditional wood shake roofs of many neighboring homes.

The project was also a feather in the cap of Horn Brothers, which submitted its work to the Colorado Roofing Association in 2015 to be considered for its top roofing project award. It was the first time in its long and storied history that Horn Brothers had gone after the award, which is judged on complexity and value. Their work on this project was good enough to earn them a win on the team’s first try.

The project team and owners are all proud of the work that was done on the reroofing job. As with any mountain, the steeper the climb, the more rewarding the peak.

ROOF MATERIALS

Canyon Shake Stone-coated Metal Roof: Gerard USA Metal Roofing
Moisture Guard Ice and Water Shield: TAMKO
PVC Roof Membrane: IB Roof Systems

Photos: Heather Lyons Coffman

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About Allen Barry

Allen Barry writes about architecture and sustainability from Chicago.

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