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

The owners of a historic home in Evergreen, Colorado, made a stone-coated metal shake roof system a key part of their renovation project.

The owners of a historic home in Evergreen, Colorado, made a stone-coated metal shake roof system a key part of their renovation project.

In the Colorado Rocky Mountains just west of Denver lies a town called Evergreen. At an elevation of more than 7,000 feet, the community of about 10,000 people is awash in the beauty and serenity of the mountains while still being close to booming metro Denver and all its urban attractions.

It’s easy to see why many would consider Evergreen a perfect place to call home. For Jay Jackson, a local resident who grew up in Evergreen, there were plenty of reasons to stay. The views and the fresh mountain air are hard to walk away from. Even sweeter for Jackson was the fact that the historic house he had long considered his favorite in Evergreen went up for sale, and he was able to buy it and make it his own.

The house was a classic and a cornerstone to the history of the town. Its design hearkened back to Evergreen’s roots as a popular resort town in the 1920s and 1930s. The house was built next to the luxury Troutsdale Hotel, which was a magnet for high-end guests in the old days.

Although beautifully designed and filled with history, the house definitely needed some work. Still, Jackson and his wife, Corinne, really wanted to be respectful to its original intent while bringing it up to modern living standards.

Expert Help

The roof was a major part of the renovation that needed to take place on the house. The original wood shake roof had begun to warp and was showing some leaks. The Jacksons knew it needed to be replaced, but they wanted to do it in a way that is respectful to the home’s legacy and history.

To tackle a project of this magnitude, the Jacksons turned to Denver-based Horn Brothers Roofing, a full-service roofing company that specializes in roofing systems for homes of all sizes, as well as commercial buildings, restaurants, churches and HOAs. The firm does a lot of work in the mountain communities near Denver and was given a convincing referral by someone close to the owners.

“We were contacted by the homeowners because we had a great reputation in the Evergreen area and had installed a stone-coated steel roof on the owner’s parents’ house several years prior,” recalls Matthew Williams, territory sales with Horn Brothers Roofing. “The parents were extremely pleased with their roof, so we got the call.”

Fire and Ice

Living in the mountains means dealing with all manner of elements, from wildly changing temperatures; high winds; and the harsh, UV-filled sunlight found at high elevations. For example, having a steep-slope roof at this elevation means controlling snow and ice buildup is vital. An ice and water shield was used over the entire roof. But the element that was perhaps most prominent on the mind of the Jacksons was fire.

The stone-coated metal roofing system is designed to give the appearance of wood shake but has a Class A fire rating, a 2 1/2-inch hailstone warranty and a 120-mph wind warranty.

The stone-coated metal roofing system is designed to give the appearance of wood shake but has a Class A fire rating, a 2 1/2-inch hailstone warranty and a 120-mph wind warranty.

Wildfires are a scary reality in the mountains, and the fact that the home’s remote location makes it difficult for firefighters to access was definitely on the minds of the Jacksons and the renovation team. This is multiplied by the fact that Jackson had actually worked as a wild land and structural firefighter. “The homeowner is a fire captain and the home has a very narrow bridge for access, so a Class A fire rating was vitally important,” Williams says. “Access for emergency vehicles is limited and the location in the mountains makes the home susceptible to wildfires.”

Through firsthand experience, Jackson knew the damage that wildfires can wreak on wood shake shingles. A Canyon Shake stone-coated metal roofing system was chosen to stand up to the elements and protect against fire. This type of roof gives the rustic appearance of wood shake but has a Class A fire rating, a 2 1/2-inch hailstone warranty and a 120-mph wind warranty.

Photos: Heather Lyons Coffman

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A Florida Home Educates Homeowners and Building Professionals and Green Building and Energy Efficiency

Many people visiting Shalimar, Fla., don’t want to miss one of the town’s attractions: a sprawling European-style waterfront estate on Lorraine Bayou. Featuring a 4,000-square-foot main house; 1,600-square-foot carriage house; and 1,200-square-foot guesthouse, the estate offers luxurious finishes and phenomenal views all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

The EcoSmart Demonstration Home in Shalimar, Fla., is built for durability and energy independence. It features a Gerard Roofing stone-coated barrel-vault metal roofing system that slashes energy costs and adds visual appeal.

The EcoSmart Demonstration Home in Shalimar, Fla., is built for durability and energy independence. It features a Gerard Roofing stone-coated barrel-vault metal roofing system that slashes energy costs and adds visual appeal.


But these qualities only hint at its uniqueness. The structures are built to be highly secure against intrusion, resistant to storms sweeping off the Gulf and able to create their own electricity. All interior lighting, exterior lighting and dock lights are LED lighting fixtures using minimal electricity.

The crowning touch is a stone-coated, barrel-vault metal roofing system that not only resists 170-mph winds, but saves energy, as well. No wonder the electric bill for this three-structure estate is $47 and its gas bill is $14 per month.

Model Estate

This estate, the EcoSmart Demonstration Home, is about 50 miles east of Pensacola. This is the second eco-friendly showcase house I have built; the first eco-friendly showcase house was built in nearby Destin. The Shalimar home is open to visitors as a working educational model of an entirely green residence.

It’s a home but actually set up as a business. I can educate people about the top green products, teaching them about how they work and the benefits of saving energy and money. The demonstration home is designed to allow us to educate people first, and then talk about products.

The crowning touch is a stone-coated, barrel-vault metal roofing system that not only resists 170-mph winds, but saves energy, as well. No wonder the electric bill for this three-structure estate is $47 and its gas bill is $14 per month.

The crowning touch is a stone-coated, barrel-vault metal roofing system that not only resists 170-mph winds, but saves energy, as well. No wonder the electric bill for this three-structure estate is $47 and its gas bill is $14 per month.


Located at 781 Boulevard of the Champions, the EcoSmart Demonstration Home is set near the water on a “point lot” overlooking Lorraine Bayou with extraordinary waterway accessibility to Destin, Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The home is perfect for the site because we have views of everything. On the point, there are barges and sailing clubs coming up. We’re looking behind the bayou to Destin, and behind that is the Gulf. We have great breezes off the Gulf and bayou. We get the trade winds up here; that’s the great thing about this part of Florida.

EcoSmart aims its sustainable products message not just at industry professionals but environmentally minded homebuyers, as well. We’re teaching industry professionals, like architects, probuilders, residential and commercial developers, and consumers interested in eco-friendly construction and sustainability. We also teach university and school groups. We have had officials and executives of Southern Company, which is called Gulf Power here, come by several times to advise us. They’re very excited because the home is green.

Visitors aren’t required to pay an admission fee, but there are requirements to touring the EcoSmart Demonstration Home. It’s open by appointment only to people who have a current project and aren’t just looking. We ask people to bring their builders and architects with them because if we’re educating all of them at once, we’re saving time. We’re getting them started and thinking along the same lines.

Building the Home

Before construction commenced on the EcoSmart Demonstration Home in2009, my team undertook a full year of site work. That endeavor included the installation of an 11-foot-high, 210-foot-long seawall and stepped-down concrete footers 2-feet wide and 2- to 4-feet deep for security purposes.

PHOTOS: Gerard Roofing

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Headwaters Inc. Acquires Metals USA’s Stone-coated Metal Roofing Products Business

Headwaters Inc., a building products company dedicated to improving lives through innovative advancements in construction materials, has acquired the assets of Metals USA’s roofing products business (“Gerard”). Founded in 1981, Gerard is the second largest manufacturer of stone coated metal roofing materials in the United States. Gerard sells seven primary metal profiles, including classic tile, barrel vault, and canyon shake. This niche roofing product combines aesthetically pleasing profiles resembling tile, shake, or slate with a fire proof material and a low lifetime installed cost.

“One element of our business strategy is to increase the number of products that we provide to our core customers,” said Kirk A. Benson, Headwaters’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The $2.6 billion specialty niche roofing market is of interest to our core customers and is an area of focus for Headwaters. With the addition of Gerard, we now have three product categories in niche roofing, including composite, concrete, and metal which we believe will open up opportunities for cross selling as well as bundling a complete roofing system, including our Tag & Stick underlayment product.”

Gerard fits Headwaters’ strategy to pursue building product opportunities where we can enjoy strong market share and top quartile industry margins. “We are excited about the combination of our metal roofing products with Headwaters’ composite product,” said Ron Anderson, President of Gerard. “We strongly believe in the sales synergy associated with marketing both products with Gerard’s national sales force, creating opportunities for roofing contractors to pull more product through distribution. There is an upside opportunity to expand our sales internationally, as our metal products are well received throughout the world.”

“The $28 million transaction will be immediately accretive to earnings. We are funding the transaction with existing balance sheet cash, and of course, will benefit from financial leverage as the operating returns significantly exceed the cost of our debt,” said Don P. Newman, Chief Financial Officer. “Our net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio will increase slightly with the use of cash, but we remain on track to achieve our desired leverage ratio in 2015.”