A 1935 cottage in Essex, Mass., is the feature of a “This Old House” episode that aired January 19. The house, owned by John and Julie, was renovated inside and out with a focus on functional upgrades, low maintenance, weatherability and rustic design. Meeting these criteria is the home’s new metal roof from ATAS International, Inc.
“We were excited to learn that ‘This Old House’ was interested in using an ATAS metal roof because the show is well respected and provides quality craftsmanship for homeowners,” says Jim Bush, vice president of sales for ATAS. “Not only was metal the right choice for this retrofit project, but the installation could educate other homeowners for future projects that metal is a viable option for residential roofing.”
The roofing installer, Gannett Construction, Essex, has worked with ATAS in the past. The company recommended using ATAS products to the show, and the architect — Sally A. DeGan, with SpaceCraft Architecture Inc., Lexington, Mass.—agreed.
The previous asphalt shingle roof was replaced with 3,275 square feet of 0.032-inch aluminum 1-inch Field-Lok panels in Slate Grey. Field-Lok with a 1-inch-high seam is a non-structural double-locked roof panel. It has passed industry performance tests for resistance to high winds, which is an important consideration for the Massachusetts area. The panel system is installed with either a sliding or fixed clip. DeGan, principal with SpaceCraft Architecture, said the design team was impressed with metal’s ease of maintenance, long lifespan and clean look. Like other homeowners, John and Julie required some education about metal roofing. For instance, DeGan noted that the couple wondered if rain hitting the metal roof would create loud noises. They were taught that average rain falling is no more noticeable than rain drops on other roofing material. An insulation system will further dampen sounds throughout a house, and this home features open-cell foam insulation.
John and Julie bought the cottage for Julie’s parents, who moved to the area to be near their grandchildren. The design concept focuses on restoring the cottage’s original charm while adding features for an older couple, such as a new kitchen, a four-season porch, and master bathroom and bedroom on the first floor. All this is connected by an open-floor plan with wheelchair-accessible doorways, cupboards that open with a touch, a wider kitchen to allow wheelchairs or walkers to easily pass through, and outside walkways that are raised to eliminate tripping hazards. The second floor includes two bedrooms and a bathroom for guests. DeGan explained that the key to designing for an older couple is simple. She said: “Don’t let them think you are designing for an older couple. Good design makes sense for any age and any ability or disability.”
Tom Silva serves as the general contractor along with Norm Abram, master carpenter; Richard Trethewey, plumbing and heating expert; Roger Cook, landscape contractor; Thomas Draudt, director; Deborah Hood, senior series producer; and Kevin O’Connor, host.
The episode, “The Essex House: A Cottage in the Woods,” aired Jan. 19. More information is available at www.thisoldhouse.com. Please check your local listings for repeat episodes.