Copper Roofing in the Bahamas

One of my first commissions when I started touring in 2015: This medieval-inspired copper standing seam in Lyford Cay. This material is 22oz annealed and was formulated specifically for the extreme conditions in the caribbean.

In progress: showing the pleated valley/wall pan.
each seam is down-folded and intersects the hip seam. A process that is at least 1200 years old.

Solo slating: on location

In 2016: I was contacted by Fayetteville, AK entrepreneur and self-taught builder Andrew Marks to spec, design, and install this 80-plus square slate and copper roof. Andrew and his wife Karen were building this home almost completely alone! They sourced a framer, masonry, and mechanical contractor but they were doing most of the work themselves.

Slate roof with inscription, copper standing seam details.

Self-builds are the best way to a traditional building. This client in Titusville, PA had the building framed by an amish crew using an archaic method: ballon framing. This means the “shell” or outer walls run from the foundation all the way to the roof plate, and the platforms are “notched” into the walls rather than the modern “platform framing” method where they sit one box on top of the next to create multiple floors. The traditional baloon frame method allows the wall to breathe since each floor does not interupt the cavity. It also isolates the interior platforms from the load bearing elements of the structure, rather than sandwiching them in between platforms.

You would have a hard time convicing most “spec” builders to create something this unorthodox without exhorbinent expense, even though it’s a very traditional folk pattern. Many of the woodframe buildings in this region we built just this way, and are still providing return on that initial investment 100 years later.

I was called to design and install the roof, and snow aprons. The client had been stockpiling salvaged slate for many years. The first task was to modify the framing to accept 4 skylights that were not framed in when the building was sheeted.

Training: HKC Roofing Cincinatti

I was contacted by Henry Mitchel of HKC roofing in Cincinatti to provide some up-training to their roofing crews. They are growing their historical and crat roofing operations and felt it was time to add some traditional seaming knowledge to their toolkit. 5 crew leaders were pulled off their regular duties to spend a week with me on this install. They learned fillet eaves, sweep seams, corner pockets, and ridge intersections.

first sweep performed by the new trainees

One week is a bit of a crash course, and they will need some self-study and more intense sessions to “graduate” but they are well on their way to becoming fully fledged seamers!

We decided to go all out, and they kept me there after the crews had returned to their regular duties to perform the first ever pipe-on-seam completed in america. This detail as with all folded roof details have about 1200 years of precedent.

Contact us to schedule on-site training for permanent roofing details and bring your standing seam roofing game to the next level.

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