Duval Roofing

Slate Roof in North Reading

After renovations to Ken Duval’s home were completed in 2013, he decided to install a new slate roof. Using GAF TruSlate shingles, and working evenings and weekends on his own, Ken completed the roof and other architectural details in about a year.

The result is a showpiece of roofing artistry and a testament to his craftsmanship. The roof cresting shown in the photo below and the hammered copper elements shown further down are decorative elements that date back to the last century. Because they require labor-intensive handwork, these roofing decorations aren’t often seen today.

Slate shingles are not nailed, but are locked in using special battens and hangers, which you can see in the image below. Ken’s long history in the roofing industry included a stint working for a slate roof company when he was just out of high school, so he had the specialized training to do the work himself. Still, he had to haul all those shingles up on the roof and secure each one individually, a labor-intensive and time-consuming process.

In addition to the slate roof, Ken installed copper gutters and other architectural details such as the standing seam turret shown below. The copper panels were sealed manually using a hand seamer to make them water tight, and then riveted to stay in place.

Copper is a popular (if expensive) choice for high end architecture because it is beautiful and lasts forever. Ken added the diamond-shaped ornaments to the gutters for decoration.

Ken was able to form his gutters using Duval Roofing’s gutter machine, which works as well with copper as it does with the more traditional, and much less expensive, aluminum.

Soffits were also made of copper. To create the hammered copper effect shown, Ken took a ball-peen hammer and manually created each indentation, working from the center out since copper spreads as it gets thinner. It took about an hour for each 3 ft. section. In the center is the soffit vent which allows air to flow up to the ridge vents to improve ventilation and prevent ice dams.

Another standing seam turret has windows and a view that create something similar to a captain’s “bridge” for the house. The triangular skylights on the turret were custom made by Velux.

An apron over the garage doors is also covered in standing seam copper to reflect the architectural elements above. Copper fascia completes the look.

Another sign of Ken’s artistry with this house is that no detail was too small. He created the dentil molding shown on the leader box below by shaping pieces of PVC and then molding the copper around it.

Similar decoration was added above the windows

Even the downspouts were handmade to fit with the exterior décor. Ken found a fiberglass mold of a dragon, bent and hammered the copper around it, then removed the fiberglass for installation. When it rains, the dragon’s tongue wags up and down – a feature his young children particularly enjoy!

A roof can be much more than just a protective covering for a house. Ken’s artistry led from a slate roof installation to an entire aesthetic for the exterior of his home in North Reading.

The time, craftsmanship, and sheer physical labor Ken put in to the roof of his own house aren’t typical for roofing contractors. If you are looking for professionals who care about the quality of their work, contact Duval Roofing.

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