Specifying shingles

Your last issue of Metal Roofing Magazine was the seventh edition of “the idea book, An Architectural Design Resource.” Each year, the quality of “the idea book” is carried by the strength of its projects. Thanks to an array of great products from manufacturers — and the top-notch work of installers like you — we were able to publish another strong issue, one to keep on the shelf.

Many of these impressive roofing projects also require the imagination and skill of an architect — an architect that appreciates the versatility and beauty, as well as the sustainability, of metal.

Education and awareness have created opportunities for the manufacturers and installers of metal roofing and in more and more cases, metal shingles. Metal has reputation as a durable and sustainable product. When you couple that with the aesthetic versatility of metal shingles, architects (and installers) are able to meet the needs of an expanding variety of projects — commercial, institutional, new construction, retrofit and even historical restoration.

The Waupaca, Wis., train depot, featuring a new stone-coated metal roofing product from Metro Roof Products and installed by John Golke Construction.

In Waupaca, Wis., the former Soo Line train depot building, abandoned for more than 40 years, was purchased by the city’s historical society in 2004. The restoration is progressing slowly, but steadily. Some of the first major work was tearing off the 103-year-old clay tile roof. Mike Kirk, the depot project manager, specified 50 squares of Metro Roman Tile in Mission Red.

“We went with the metal because we couldn’t afford the clay tile,” says Kirk. “I knew John Golke had installed a similar roof on a home out on the lakes, so I called him.

“For what we needed, it looks great and it’s about one-third the price of tile. Some of the clay tiles were damaged by vandalism, someone throwing rocks up there. I don’t think we’ll have that problem with the metal roof. Plus, it’s a 100-year-old building, built in 1907, and one of the eaves is sagging and the metal is a lot less weight than clay.”

Golke Construction

The original tile roofing (foreground) was removed and recycled.

Golke, owner of John Golke Construction, LLC, got the job because he was, “the dumbest one to put in the lowest bid,” he laughs. “There was a bit of a learning curve because we’ve never worked with Metro Roman Tile before.”

Most restoration projects provide unique challenges. The Waupaca depot is located near a foundry and Golke says there was 2-3 inches of dust and dirt from the foundry under the clay tiles. Some of the old roofing boards had to be replaced and topped with Titanium underlayment before the roofing could be installed on battens.

“The Metro product is a little easier to work with,” Golke says. “And it’s got great curb appeal. We worked with Jack Rabedeaux of A.H. Bennett and Jack would bend over backwards to help you. Once we felt comfortable with what we were doing, it went fine. I think the guys were happy with it when we finished.”

You have to be lucky or proactive to land projects like this, especially if an architect is involved. You can’t always count on luck. With metal shingles you can offer a durable, yet lightweight, roofing product that replicates many looks: shake, tile, slate, even asphalt shingles!

For advice on reaching out to architects, see the sidebar that starts on CLICK HERE.

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