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Choosing the Right Roof for Older & Historic Florida Homes



Posted On: September 08, 2022

With a historic or older home, choosing the right roof is an important aspect to maintain the historical and structural integrity of the home and to ensure you maintain its value. So how do you go about choosing the right roof for a historical or older home? Keep reading for tips!


Find an Experienced Roofing Company

Looking for the best roofers in your area should be a primary goal. You want a contractor who has experience! That means looking for and talking to contractors and other experts. Ask them what their experiences with historic homes and what materials they use. With materials like tile, slate, metal, and wood, you’ll find that all of them require various kinds of support systems and procedures for replacement.


If the contractor you choose has experience with repairing older roofs, ask them for pictures of any projects they’ve done in the past. You can ask for references concerning their work with roofing, too.


Roof Inspections

Before you start any repairs, ask for a professional inspection of your roof. There may be extraneous repairs that need to be done before replacing any roofing materials. A licensed roofing company should do the inspection, which can involve removing a portion of old roofing, inspecting the attic space, and figuring out what’s happening underneath the protective barrier. With an older roof, any inspection should be done with care in mind and the right equipment.



In extreme cases, a historic roof repair or replacement may take a bit of research. Once the roof inspection is done, your roofing contractor may have to consult with architects who understand the roofing materials needed. Their research may go further by looking at the house plans, pictures, building details, and any background information from other owners.

Roofers will attempt to go along with the original roof’s layout, but many times the tools or materials may be outdated, which means they will have to turn to more contemporary options. When this happens, the roofing contractor will work to stay within the homes’ initial style and appearance.



Without the proper materials used with the original roof, a roofing contractor will have to locate the right substitutes. Materials may vary depending on the extent of repairs needed or if the contractor suggests a complete replacement. You can work directly with your roofing contractor to decide which materials to use to ensure they keep the historical appearance accurate.



After the repairs have been made, you will need to document the work that was done. This is important, as you want to make sure that the repairs are covered by your insurance.

You should also keep a record of the receipt from the roofer, as well as any warranties or guarantees that they offer. This is important, as you may need to refer to them in the future.

The roofers are legally obliged to document their work for future generations. This means that the restoration process isn’t complete until every detail has been properly accounted for in writing or photography, and any photographs taken should show all areas of interest during this time period.


Choosing a New Roof for a Historic Home


The materials you select should not only be appropriate for the home’s architectural style but should also offer unmatched reliability and safety. Let’s look at the most commonly used materials for historic home roofs:


Wood shingles: Wood shingles are natural, rustic-looking products that look great on a variety of historic home styles. They also boast of a long lifespan of between 25 to 30 years.

Slate: Slate roofing is ideal for European, French chateau, Victorian, and Colonial homes. Slate roofs can last up to 100 years. They are also highly resistant to fire.

Metal: Metal roofs are ideal for cabins, cottages, and bungalow-style homes. Metal is also quite durable and can last for up to 60 to 70 years. A popular metal material for historic homes is copper that can last up to 100 years.

Clay tiles: Clay tiles are ideal for the mission and colonial styles of 20th-century homes. Clay tiles are popular due to their fireproofing qualities, thus suitable for areas experiencing frequent wildfires.


Are you looking for an experienced roofing contractor to replace or repair your historic or older homes’ roof? Contact our team of professional roofers at Johnson Roofing Solutions! Johnson Roofing Solutions provides free estimates AND financing to homes and businesses across the panhandle of Florida with clear and honest expectations for every roofing job. We have offices in Panama City, Chipley and Graceville with our service area expanding from Tallahassee to Pensacola. We are fully licensed and insured, family owned and operated and prepared to take on any roofing project from minor repairs to complete replacements or even new construction. Contact us today and let us be your solution!


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