About Kathleen Ziprik

Kathleen Ziprik started Ziprik Consulting in Mills River, N.C., in 1996. The company provides all levels of public relations support, including media relations, writing, crisis communications and special events coordination.

Historic Fleur du Lac Estates Gets New Synthetic Shake Roof

Fleur du Lac Estates is now a private condominium development located on the shore of Lake Tahoe. The Yacht Club and Boat House were the first structures to be re-roofed with synthetic shake. DaVinci Roofscapes

A prime filming location for the 1974 movie “Godfather II,” historic Fleur du Lac Estates in California is now a private condominium development located on the beautiful west shore of Lake Tahoe. A Yacht Club and Boat House, 22 individual homeowner units and a variety of shared recreational facilities make the historic 1938 compound a much-sought-after retreat.

Years of harsh weather conditions had taken their toll on the real cedar shake roofs at Fleur du Lac Estates. Damage from repeated leaks, hail, ice dam issues, snow and other weather conditions recently convinced the board of directors it was time to invest in new roofs for the entire estate.

Homeowners at Fleur du Lac Estates looked for a product that would mimic the look of cedar, but bring them advantages to protect their homes and buildings from Mother Nature. After a comprehensive search, they determined that the Class A fire and Class 4 impact ratings of Bellaforté polymer shake tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes met their needs.

“We started with our two most valuable community structures, the Yacht Club and Boat House,” says Stewart Dalie, maintenance supervisor and project manager at Fleur du Lac Estates in Homewood, California. “Our plans are to re-roof all of the buildings in the Tahoe Blend over the next five to seven years. We did a tremendous amount of research to determine what roofing products would look realistic in this setting, meet the new codes required for roofs in our area, yet offer us superior qualities and a long lifespan.”

“Selecting the fire- and impact-resistant Bellaforté shake material from DaVinci Roofscapes means we won’t have to be concerned with the potential spread of flames should our area ever be touched by wildfires,” Dalie continues. “That’s a huge concern for our geographic area. However, not having to worry about wind-blown embers landing on a roof and then catching the building on fire is a tremendous relief.”

The Class A fire and Class 4 impact ratings of the Bellaforté tiles bring peace-of-mind to residents within the community. The durable roofing tiles have the appearance of natural hand-split cedar shake with slanted sawn edges and staggered lengths, but with the hassle-free qualities of a manufactured product. At a 1-inch average tile thickness, Bellaforté Shake roofing tiles remind many residents of jumbo cedar shakes prevalent in the Lake Tahoe area.

Safeguarding a Historic Setting

It’s not surprising that homeowners at the upscale Fleur du Lac Estates want to invest in the best possible roofing material. This is a mountain and lakeside homeowners association where every home has a deeded slip in the marina, resort-style services are the norm and aesthetics of the community are vigilantly upheld.

Owners chose the Bellaforté polymer shake tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes, which offered Class A fire and Class 4 impact ratings. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

Originally the summer home of famous industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, the 15-acre lakeshore site was constructed beginning in 1938. After Kaiser sold the estate, it went through a series of transitional uses from the 1960s to 1979, including serving as a private school and as the site for many on-location scenes for Francis Ford Coppola’s film, “The Godfather II.” Only in the 1980s did the current project begin to refurbish existing key structures and transform original homes on the property to individually-owned homes.

“Our community has always embraced the history of this setting while looking toward protecting its future,” says Lane Murray, general manager at Fleur du Lac Estates. “That’s one of the key reasons we wanted a roofing product that has the look of real cedar shakes, but with man-made advantages like resistance to fire, impact and high winds.”

Despite a variety of challenges with removing the old roofs and prepping for the new synthetic shake tiles, the team at Bruce Olson Construction has successfully tackled their first DaVinci Roofscapes installation project at Fleur du Lac Estates.

“The roofing surface for the Yacht Club and Boat House were in bad shape and very uneven,” says Taylor Greene, general manager of Bruce Olson Construction in Tahoe City, California. “We had to plane these into workable surfaces before getting started. Once we got started the product installed beautifully. We added flashing material to cover some valley locations which made the project look exceptional. To achieve the realistic look, gable end flashing that concealed the manufactured edge of the DaVinci product was added.”

The company, which does residential and multi-family new construction work in several states including Hawaii, has already started work on several additional roofs in the Fleur du Lac complex.

“The Bellaforté roofing looks amazing,” says Greene. “Best of all, these polymer shakes are perfect for this geographic area. Traditional wood shakes ‘hold’ the water from melting snow. Those saturated shakes weigh more and cause the freeze line to be a part of the shake. With the DaVinci product, the water is not absorbed into the tile, so snow melting is faster and more efficient. This can also help reduce the ice damming effect in many locations.”

Laughing at Mother Nature

Nestled amidst stunning mountain peaks and world-famous ski conditions, Fleur du Lac Estates can experience heavy snowfall during the winter months. The property is just five minutes from Homewood Mountain Ski Resort, and the area usually sees snow in excess of 180 inches total. That’s one reason why the community decided to have the Bruce Olson team incorporate snow fences and snow guards from Rocky Mountain Snow Guards into the structures.

Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

“In our area, it’s very common to use snow guards and fences to help keep snow from falling on individuals and property,” says Greene. “The previous structures at Fleur du Lac Estates didn’t have any type of snow retention system. We believe having these products in place now — which were very simple to put in during the polymer shake installation — will make life much easier for property owners no matter how much snow Mother Nature delivers each season.”

Rocky Mountain Snow Guards custom designed the snow retention system for Fleur du Lac Estates incorporating both their Drift III+ snow fences and the company’s Rocky Guard RG10 snow guards. The system was developed to handle the 180 PSF snow load that can occur in this geographic location.

“The snow guards are attached in a pattern above the snow fence that creates friction to hold the snow slab in place while the snow fence provides a barrier beyond which the snow slab won’t slide,” says Lars Walberg, president of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards. “Using the combination of snow guards and snow fences gives this project a balanced snow retention system that has the look the owners desired.”

For homeowners, the new Bellaforté roofs on the Yacht Club and Boat House are tempting reminders of what will come on their own homes within the community in the years to come.

“Now that the Yacht Club and Boat House roofs are complete, we’re hearing very positive comments from our residents,” says Murray. “Folks are eager for the work to continue in the common areas so that their individual homes can soon get these terrific-looking new roofs.”

Historic 1883 Barn Gets New Composite Slate Roof

This timber-framed Standard Pennsylvania-style barn was originally erected in 1883. When its slate roof deteriorated beyond repair, it was replaced with a synthetic slate roof manufactured by DaVinci Roofscapes and installed by Absolute Roofing.

This timber-framed Standard Pennsylvania-style barn was originally erected in 1883. When its slate roof deteriorated beyond repair, it was replaced with a synthetic slate roof manufactured by DaVinci Roofscapes and installed by Absolute Roofing. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

Back in 1883, a timber-framed Standard Pennsylvania-style barn was constructed with a real slate roof on the homestead of the Hartong family, located in the City of Green, Ohio. After more than a century of service, the worn-out slate roof—and the rotting wood structural support system beneath it—have finally received a facelift.

“The structure was deteriorated beyond repair and had been leaking enough to also adversely affect the wood batten nailers,” says architect Chas Schreckenberger, AIA and principal of Braun & Steidl Architects. “Because this was a historic structure, our first choice was to replicate the original slate. When costs wouldn’t allow that, we investigated more economical slate alternatives.

“After reviewing all our choices, it was easy to make the selection of a DaVinci Roofscapes Single-Width composite slate roof. The appearance of the synthetic slate, its lightweight composition, affordability and durability all made it the obvious choice for this project.”

The next step required gaining approval on the roofing choice by the City of Green, which owns the structure, and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, which awarded a grant to finance the roof’s replacement. Once approval was received, the project started. Christian & Son Inc. was brought in to replace the rotting timbers, and Absolute Roofing and Construction Inc. started the roof installation.

“The DaVinci slate tiles we specified enabled us to retain the historic character of the barn, even to the point of recreating the large ‘1883’ date on the roof,” says Schreckenberger. “The final outcome exceeded our expectations and everyone involved is extremely happy with the results.”

Roofer’s Perspective

The challenge of recreating the 1883 date on the roof, plus detailing the entire roofing job for the Hartong barn, required a great deal of collaboration between the team at Absolute Roofing and Braun & Steidl Architects. Started in the spring of 2016, from start to finish, the roof frame reconstruction and tile installation took about six months.

The 45-foot by 90-foot timber-framed barn is part of the Levi J. Hartong homestead, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

The 45-foot by 90-foot timber-framed barn is part of the Levi J. Hartong homestead, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

“There were two significant challenges in this project,” says Chris Kamis, president of Absolute Roofing. “First, we were working alongside the framing team to make sure the structure was secure and ready for the roof installation. Second, we had to configure the 1883 date carefully.”

Recreating the numerals was a challenging task. “The DaVinci product was slightly different in dimension from the original slate, so it took several layouts to accurately recreate the date,” Kamis notes. “The original date on the roof had been very faded, so we had some guidelines. In the end, the roof looks terrific with the 1883 date in Evergreen tile colors showing up beautifully against the Slate Black tile background.”

The completed roof project received the Contractor of the Year Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry in 2016 in the commercial specialty category.

Historic Homestead

Recreating the 1883 date on the roof was a challenge, and it took several layouts to achieve the original look. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

Recreating the 1883 date on the roof was a challenge, and it took several layouts to achieve the original look. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

Reflective of the Pennsylvania German heritage of the Hartong family and the community in the 1880s, the 45-foot by 90-foot timber-framed barn rests on a tooled sandstone foundation. Finished with vertical wood boards, the barn is part of the Levi J. Hartong homestead that includes a farmhouse, summer kitchen, milk house and other outbuildings.

“The city purchased the property more than a decade ago and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007,” says Sarah Haring, community development administrator for the City of Green in Ohio. “It’s located in the City of Green’s Southgate Park and since that time, the Summit County Mounted Unit has stabled their horses at the barn.

“The farmstead represents patterns in agriculture and architecture from the 19th century in our area. We’re excited to have the new roof overhead that so perfectly replicates what we believe the original roof looked like in 1883. The finished product is stunning and everyone, including visitors to the farmstead, are impressed with the look of the roof.”

TEAM

Architects: Braun & Steidl Architects, Akron, Ohio, BSA-net.com
Framing Contractor: Christian & Son Inc., Burbank, Ohio, Planexus.com
Roofing Contractor: Absolute Roofing and Construction Inc., Absoluteroofing.com

MATERIALS

Composite Slate Roof System: DaVinci Roofscapes, Davinciroofscapes.com

Synthetic Shake Roof Helps Hotel Fit in Mixed-Use Area of Biltmore Estate

Village Hotel, Biltmore Estate: Asheville, N.C.

The four-story, 130,000-square-foot hotel was designed to ensure it fit comfortably within the Antler Hill Village and Winery area of the Biltmore Estate.

The four-story, 130,000-square-foot hotel was designed to ensure it fit comfortably within the Antler Hill Village and Winery area of the Biltmore Estate.

Nestled on 8,000 acres of pristine land in the mountains of western North Carolina, Biltmore welcomes more than a million visitors each year. Facing increased demand for additional on-site lodging, the new Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate was commissioned.

“The task of designing the four-story, 130,000 square foot hotel to ensure it fit comfortably within the Antler Hill Village and Winery area of the estate fell to PGAV Destinations. Antler Hill Village was intended to look like a series of buildings that belonged together but maintain an individual identity through the use of different roofing materials and trim treatments,” says Emily Pelcak, director of practice and innovation for PGAV Destinations. “With the Village Hotel, we wanted to continue that story. We specified DaVinci Roofscapes synthetic shake roofing to complement the general aesthetics of the area but also to create a distinctive personality for the hotel.”

The sprawling 209-room hotel is tucked next to restaurants, shops and a winery that all have real or simulated shake roofing. Each of the structures has a natural, rustic feeling, inspired by the eclectic mix of cottages and farm homes original to the estate that opened in 1895 belonging to George Vanderbilt.

“The look of the DaVinci shake roofing is convincing as a shake shingle, which is a traditional building material in western North Carolina,” says Pelcak. “Their ability to create unique blends so the hotel could have subtle color shifts across the building roof was a key reason the DaVinci shake roofing was specified.”

To ensure a distinctive look to the roof, Pelcak and her team worked with DaVinci to gain samples of multiple color blends of Bellaforté Shake tiles. The final decision was to create and install three unique color blends with the predominant colors including a range of Tahoe colors (Light, Medium Light, Medium and Dark), plus Dark Chesapeake.

“The color selection was an arduous process since we wanted a subtle variation across the roof to blend with the adjacent existing structures and complement the main exterior facade treatment,” says Pelcak. “We’re proud of this project and pleased that The Biltmore Company is happy with the look and performance of the DaVinci product. Based on their feedback, we may specify these tiles again on future projects throughout the estate.”

The sprawling 209-room hotel is in a complex with restaurants, shops and a winery. Each of the structures has a natural, rustic feeling, complemented by a real or synthetic shake roof.

The sprawling 209-room hotel is in a complex with restaurants, shops and a winery. Each of the structures has a natural, rustic feeling, complemented by a real or synthetic shake roof.

Roof Report

With the design work complete, the installation task for the massive roof system fell to Benton Roofing. From start to finish, the project took nine months to complete, with 45 days dedicated to installation of the synthetic Bellaforté Shake roof.

“The multiple roof lines on the project give the hotel an appealing look,” says Caleb Benton, president and owner of Benton Roofing. “The project went smoothly and the roofing material was easy to install.”

“These roofing tiles are the perfect fit for this hotel since they’re impact- and fire-resistant, plus they’re basically maintenance-free. This was our first time installing DaVinci products and we were impressed.”

Although the Asheville area is not known for large amounts of snowfalls, the hotel designers took extra caution to specify snow guards be installed on the roof in key public areas. Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, the snow guards on the Village Hotel help prevent any collected snow from sliding off the roof in large pieces onto walkways.

Now open for more than a year, the Village Hotel provides easy access for visitors to the estate’s gardens, 10 shops, 15 dining venues, winery, equestrian center and outdoor activities. The main feature of the estate, Biltmore House, has 250 rooms with tours available daily.

Photos: The Biltmore Company

Polymer Roofing Stands Up to Wichita, Kan., Weather

The morning of April 2, 2015, started out clear and sunny for residents at the Harbor Isle community in Wichita, Kan. By evening, a powerful microburst with winds reaching up to 100 mph destroyed a bulk of the roofs in the subdivision——except polymer roofs installed by Heiland Roofing and Exteriors, Wichita.

Polymer roofs installed by Heiland Roofing and Exteriors, Wichita, received very little if any damage during the microburst.

Polymer roofs installed in the Harbor Isle subdivision by Heiland Roofing and Exteriors, Wichita, received very little if any damage during the microburst.

“The majority of concrete tiles sustained very serious damage with many others demolished,” says Mike Heiland, president of Heiland Roofing and Exteriors. “Of the three composite roofs we installed in this community, one home had zero damage, another home had one missing ridge cap, and the third home needed approximately 10 feet of ridge replaced. That’s absolutely nothing compared to the devastation that all the other homes in that neighborhood experienced.”

According to homeowner Paul Dugan, roofing debris littered the entire Harbor Isle community after the storm. “Concrete roof tiles were thrown through neighbor’s windows, into vehicles parked along the streets and in driveways,” Dugan says. “A couple of the homes that had been recently reroofed by Heiland Roofing with polymer shake roofing tiles had every single tile in place and no visible damage to the property. I was very impressed and called Heiland Roofing the next morning.”

HOA Selects Polymer Roofing

A distant relative to a tornado, the National Weather Service, Washington, D.C., defines a microburst as sinking air (or a downdraft) in a thunderstorm that is less than 2 1/2 miles in scale. A microburst can develop as a result of cooling beneath a thunderstorm cloud base or because of mid-level dry air entrainment.

Wet, dry and hybrid microburst distinctions exist. With each of these, significant straight-line wind damage can occur, resulting in snapped power poles and tree and roof damage. There can also be a loss of power and potential hail. In Wichita on April 2, all these factors occurred when strong straight-line winds hit the area before a bow echo thunderstorm. With an appearance like a comma—a round head on one end and a tail on the other—a bow echo thunderstorm moves rapidly. Generally, the atmosphere is unstable during these moisture-laden storms and wind shear is present, making bow echo thunderstorms very dangerous.

a powerful microburst with winds reaching up to 100 mph destroyed a bulk of the roofs in the subdivision

A powerful microburst with winds reaching up to 100 mph destroyed a bulk of the roofs in the subdivision.

Kansas residents are no strangers to severe weather. Located in Tornado Alley, most homeowners, like Dugan, understand their state is subject to unusually strong weather during the course of the year. That’s why many people, like the residents of Harbor Isle, seek out durable building products to help protect their homes and families.

“When constructed about 18 years ago, our community had wood shake and concrete tiles used for roofing,” says Dee Manning, president of the Harbor Isle I homeowner association, which consists of 59 homes. “As the years went on, the wood shakes were wearing out and, at the same time, they became harder to get insured. We wanted an alternative that was realistic looking but lightweight enough to be installed over the existing roof trusses of the homes in our community. We did our research and found a polymer roof tile that was a realistic alternative to natural cedar shakes. Our community started offering polymer products three years ago as an option for homeowners looking for replacement roofing.”

Polymer Roofs Gain Foothold

After the microburst, the homeowners’ association received notice that 15 to 20 roofs, plus a variety of decks, were damaged.

“Nothing will protect a home from Mother Nature if a tornado is sitting right on top of you,” Heiland says. “But if you’re on the outskirts and just getting pounding hail or strong winds, at least a manmade polymer roof will give your home a fighting chance.”

For almost a dozen years Heiland and his team have recommended and installed imitation slate and synthetic shake roofing products. “The look and durability of these imitation slate and synthetic shake shingles is simply incredible,” Heiland notes. “For our geographic area—and any part of the country that can get severe weather—the impact resistance of these products is a tremendous asset. In the many years I’ve been installing polymer roofing, we’ve never had one of their roofs totaled by hail.”

Fifteen to 20 roofs, plus a variety of decks, were damaged during the storm.

Fifteen to 20 roofs, plus a variety of decks, were damaged during the storm.

Made of 100 percent recyclable virgin resins, the polymer tiles installed on the Harbor Isle homes are engineered to resist fire, impact, insects and algae. The products are Class A-rated for fire retardance, have achieved a Class 4 impact rating and passed the TAS-100 certification test for wind-driven rain. The durable products have also passed the maximum of 110 mph in the ASTM D 3161 Standard for straight-line winds and achieved very high design pressures in TAS-125, a test to demonstrate wind uplifts and acceptability to be installed in High Velocity Hurricane Zones.

“After the microburst in April, there are at least 10 homes ready to commit to the polymer tiles to replace their destroyed concrete tile roofs,” Manning says.

Dugan was one of the homeowners ready for change. “I now have a [polymer] roof that looks exactly the same as the concrete tile roof but has the highest impact resistance in the industry,” he says. “The impressive interlocking system allows for installation with securing the tile in all four corners so we’re not going to worry about tiles peeling back and blowing away in future storms.”

Roof Materials

Bellaforté Slate from DaVinci Roofscapes

PHOTOS: DaVinci Roofscapes