Project Profiles: Historic Renovation

Maine State House Dome Restoration, Augusta, Maine

Team

COPPERSMITH: The Heritage Co., Waterboro, Maine
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Consigli Construction Co. Inc., Portland, Maine
ARCHITECT: LEO A DALY, Minneapolis
ENGINEER: Becker Structural Engineers, Portland

To remain proportional with the larger building, a new, higher copper-covered dome was built to replace the original cupola.

To remain proportional with the larger building, a new, higher copper-covered dome was built to replace the original cupola.

Roof Materials

Working 200 feet in the air on elaborate staging, carpenters, coppersmiths, engineers and other construction workers replaced more than 7,000 square feet of copper on the dome. The existing unique, curved copper components were carefully removed and saved to serve as models for the new components.

A full sheet-metal shop, consisting of an 8-foot brake, 52-inch jump shear and benches, was set up onsite at the 63-foot elevation mark, along with five cases of 20-ounce copper (about 12,880 pounds). Each copper component was carefully measured, cut and bent onsite, and then installed.

The compound curving components were made in The Heritage Co.’s “home” shop, using a shrinker/stretcher machine and an English wheel. Then, the copper was handformed over custom-made wood forms. Care was taken to exactly match the size and configuration of the existing components, as well as the seam layouts that were prevalent in the original copper work

Approximately 15 to 18 percent of the copper was waste because of the curved nature of many of the components. The waste was made into copper clip stock for the roof installation or recycled.

COPPER MANUFACTURER: Revere Copper Products Inc.
COPPER SUPPLIER: Beacon Sales Co.

Roof Report

The Maine State House was originally designed by renowned architect Charles Bulfinch in 1832. The dome was added in 1910 as part of a major remodeling and expansion project that ultimately created the building’s current appearance based on designs by G. Henri Desmond.

The original façade was preserved during remodeling, though the length of the building was doubled to 300 feet by extending the north and south wings. To remain proportional with the larger building, a new, higher copper-covered dome was built to replace the original cupola. The new dome rises to a height of 185 feet and is topped by a gold-clad copper statue, called “Lady Wisdom”, designed by W. Clark Noble.

Over time, weather damage and holes caused by hail strikes on the top of the dome caused leaks in the building. The seams between the copper sheets also caused problems for the underlying steel and concrete structure of the dome. The work included the installation of expansion joints, repairs to prevent water infiltration and restoration of the cupola (located between the top of the dome and Lady Wisdom), using a highly durable paint system. Lighting upgrades, copper repairs and the restoration of the gilded Lady Wisdom statue located atop the dome were also part of the project.

The dome’s structural system and framing were analyzed by Becker Structural Engineering one year in advance of dome construction, so Consigli Construction could create a 3-D model for staging to eliminate interior shoring.

Overall, this project restored one of Maine’s most significant historic landmark buildings, returning its signature copper dome and gilded Lady Wisdom sculpture to their original intended conditions.

PHOTO: Consigli Construction Co. Inc.

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DaVinci Roofscapes Celebrates National Curb Appeal Month with Tips for an Impressive Roof

Can a roof affect the resale value and curb appeal of a home? Absolutely. That’s why DaVinci Roofscapes is celebrating National Curb Appeal Month in August by sharing information and tips on creating an impactful and impressive roof.

“The roof plays a major role in creating curb appeal because it can be up to 30 percent of what you see as you approach a home,” says Kate Smith, president of Sensational Color. “Homeowners should make a conscious effort to blend the color of their roofing material with other elements of the home exterior to create an overall cohesive look.”

Smith, who has authored the free online FRESH Home Exterior Colors and FRESH Color Schemes for Your Home Exterior guides, spends a good deal of her time advising homeowners, remodelers and builders on selecting the perfect colors for the exterior of the home.

“For curb appeal it’s all about creating ‘top down’ color by working from the roof down through the different elements of the exterior such as siding, windows, trim and doors,” says Smith. “For example, a colonial style home with a warm Autumn Blend polymer shake roof could be ideally matched with a home exterior in a neutral stone color. Then, for adding ‘pops of color’ for curb appeal, chocolate brown frames could be added on the vinyl windows, shutters and trim around the home. A stand-out color like pine green or marine blue could be added to the entry door to add personality to the exterior.

“However, it’s important to remember that it all starts on the roof. When you’re working ‘top down’ with unlimited color options from a company like DaVinci Roofscapes, a homeowner has an open palette for designing the perfect home exterior.”

How important is curb appeal to homeowners? More than three-quarters of U.S. homeowners* (78 percent) report that their home’s curb appeal is either “extremely” or “very” important to them.

According to the 2011 DaVinci Roofscapes’ Homeowners Exterior Preferences Study conducted online by Harris Interactive©, 61 percent of homeowners say that when house hunting or designing their home, the most attention-grabbing exterior feature was the style of the home, followed by how the house looked on the property (43 percent).

And, when it comes to adding curb appeal to a home, color counts. Fifty-nine percent of homeowners place a lot of emphasis on the role that color plays when they think about replacing major exterior home features. Color availability is so important to homeowners that a majority of them (54 percent) are influenced to buy a specific brand of product based on the color options available from that brand.

“This study shows us clearly that color influences homeowners’ buying patterns and decision processes when it comes to exterior home features,” says Smith. “People want their home to be appealing from the street and they’re looking for colorful key products — such as the roof, door, trim, siding and windows — that will help them create the impression they wish to convey on their home.”

While color is important to homeowners, don’t expect pink, orange or purple houses to pop up in neighborhoods anytime soon. According to the study, homeowners prefer neutral colors for their home’s exteriors.

“The majority of homeowners (67 percent) report that they prefer earthy, calm colors such as beige, tan, white, gray or brown as the dominant color on their home’s exteriors,” says Smith. “You’ll find these colors are very popular for sidings and in different combinations for roofs, while homeowners like to have ‘bursts of color’ on the outside of the home in smaller portions (such as on doors and trim) to add to the structure’s curb appeal.”

National Curb Appeal Month has been launched by Fypon® starting in August of 2014. The comprehensive and colorful online guides created by Smith are available for free download.