This Old House And That New Roof: Should You Replace Or Restore?

15 May 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Having a beautiful old house means you have a lot to consider when the roof needs to be redone. Most historical societies understand that original roofs cannot last forever, especially on homes that are more than one hundred years old. If your historic old house needs a new roof, should you replace it with modern materials, or restore it with fresh materials similar to what the roof currently has? Here is how to decide.

Ask the Historical Society for Guidance and Advice

If your home is already on the list of historical homes in your city, you probably need to ask the historical society what you should do about the roof. They often have very strict guidelines for repairs and restoration work on your home in order to maintain its historical status. They will tell you what materials are acceptable, and which roofing contractors are best for historical accuracy in restoration projects like this one.

The Expense

Restoration on a roof to maintain historical accuracy is not going to be cheap. You will probably have to use hand-cut wooden shingles or slats, and that takes extra time and money to make and seal or paint. If your home is not yet on the historical list, you still have the option of not restoring it to gain membership and preservation perks. If you choose not to pursue membership in the historical society for your home, you can use whatever type of roofing material you want for the cost you can afford.

Replacing the Roof

If you have decided to simply replace the roof and skip restoration, you can use metal roofing, solar panel shingles, asphalt shingles, rubber roofing, etc. Then you can replace the entire roof according to your own needs and preferences. Of course, if you change your mind later and want to actually restore the home for historical accuracy, you will have to rip off this new roof and replace it with the proper roofing material of the period.

Making Your Decision

If you have a lot of other things in the house that you would prefer to update rather than restore, then you should just replace the roof. Once you have removed much of the original wall coverings, flooring, or cabinetry, the house is no longer what it once was. In that case, you would have three times as much work and expense trying to restore it with accuracy rather than just replacing things that need to be replaced.

Check with places like MW Roofing LLC for more information.