Roofing Options for Historical Homes

Roofing Options for Historical Homes from Republic Roofing. Historical homes are treasures that reflect the architecture and craftsmanship of bygone eras. When it comes to roofing these unique structures, there’s a delicate balance between preservation and aesthetics. Choosing the right roofing material is crucial to maintain the historical integrity of the home while ensuring its longevity. In this article, we’ll explore roofing options for historical homes, considering both preservation and aesthetics.


Roofing Options for Historical Homes

Preservation and Historical Accuracy:

Preserving the historical accuracy of a home is paramount for owners who appreciate its heritage. Here are some considerations when choosing roofing materials for historical homes:

Research and Documentation: Begin by researching the history of your home and its original roofing materials. Old photographs, architectural plans, and historical records can provide valuable insights. Understanding the original design and materials will guide your choice.

Local Regulations: Check with your local historic preservation authority or heritage board. They often have guidelines and regulations regarding the materials and styles that can be used for roofing on historical properties.

Matching the Original: Whenever possible, try to replicate the original roofing material. This may involve using similar materials, such as slate, wood shingles, or clay tiles, to maintain the home’s authenticity.

Period-Appropriate Styles: Consider roofing styles that were common during the era when your home was built. Victorian, Colonial, Craftsman, and other architectural styles each have roofing materials that are historically appropriate.

Aesthetic Considerations:

While preservation is essential, aesthetics play a significant role in roofing choices for historical homes. The roofing material should complement the architectural style of the home and enhance its visual appeal. Here are some aesthetic factors to keep in mind:

Color and Texture: Choose roofing materials that match or closely resemble the original color and texture. A mismatched roof can detract from the overall appearance of the home.

Architectural Style: Consider the architectural style of your historical home. For example, Spanish Revival homes often feature terra cotta tiles, while Colonial homes may have cedar shingles. The roofing material should align with the home’s style.

Curb Appeal: Roofing materials can significantly impact a home’s curb appeal. Select materials that enhance the visual appeal of the property and blend seamlessly with the surroundings.

Roofing Material Options for Historical Homes:

Slate Roofing: Slate is a classic choice for historical homes. It’s durable, fire-resistant, and can last for over a century. Slate roofing comes in various colors and textures, making it suitable for a wide range of architectural styles.

Wood Shingles or Shakes: Wood shingles or shakes provide a charming, rustic appearance and are commonly found on Colonial, Cape Cod, and Craftsman-style homes. Cedar, redwood, and cypress are popular wood choices for historical roofing.

Clay or Terracotta Tiles: Clay or terracotta tiles are often associated with Spanish Revival, Mediterranean, and Mission-style homes. They offer a timeless and distinctive look that adds character to historical properties.

Metal Roofing: Metal roofing, such as copper or zinc, can be an excellent choice for historical homes. It’s durable, long-lasting, and can mimic the appearance of traditional materials while providing modern benefits.

Asphalt Shingles: While not typically associated with historical homes, modern asphalt shingles are available in styles that can mimic the look of wood or slate. They provide affordability and ease of installation.

Synthetic Roofing Materials: Some synthetic roofing materials are designed to replicate the appearance of natural materials like slate or wood while offering enhanced durability and longevity.

Maintaining Historical Roofing Materials:

Preserving historical roofing materials is essential for maintaining the authenticity of your home. Here are some tips for maintaining different types of historical roofing materials:

Slate Roofing: Regular inspections to identify and replace damaged or missing slates are crucial. Keep the roof clean and clear of debris to prevent moisture retention.

Wood Shingles or Shakes: Wood roofing should be treated with preservatives and stains to protect against decay. Regular inspections for loose or damaged shingles are essential.

Clay or Terracotta Tiles: Clay tiles may require occasional replacement due to breakage. Regular cleaning and sealing can help protect the tiles from moisture and discoloration.

Metal Roofing: Metal roofing, especially copper or zinc, can develop a natural patina over time. Periodic inspections for loose fasteners and corrosion prevention are essential.


Preserving the historical integrity of your home while enhancing its aesthetics through proper roofing material selection is a delicate but rewarding endeavor. Take the time to research, consider local regulations, and consult with roofing professionals experienced in historical preservation. By carefully choosing and maintaining the right roofing material, you can ensure that your historical home remains a beautiful and authentic piece of history for generations to come.

For more information, contact Republic Roofing at 901-437-5278. We service Arlington, Cordova, Bartlett, Somerville, and Collierville, TN areas.