Roofing the House. Part 1.

2015 is the year that the Cross House gets new shingles, and the built-in gutters get relined. This is good as the roofs and built-in gutters are scary:





After MUCH debate, I have settled on asphalt shingles. Quite pedestrian, yes, but I have no desire to return to the original wood shingles “dipped in hot oil”. Part of the decision is cost. In a house which needs, well, everything, I cannot spend a fortune on the roof. I have also seen numerous historic homes with asphalt shingles which look quite well. And sometimes not.



Here is a very historic house with e TERRIBLE new asphalt shingle roof. The color and flat texture do nothing for the architecture. This is too fabulous a house for so poor a roof. Where, damn it, is my magic wand?



But with the right complementary color, and some texture, asphalt shingles can look stunning.



I picked these up today. And was not impressed. Tomorrow I will try some green. What do you suggest?


  1. amyheavilin on February 24, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I’ve always liked green! Something dark and foresty I think. I have some leftover slate in my back yard if you need it from our new roof!

  2. Zoie on February 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Maybe a richer chestnut brown?

    • Ross on February 25, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Hummm, good idea!

  3. ken on February 25, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    I would go with a shingle that looks as close to a shake as you can get.. I am afraid that any with green in it might distract or take away from the beautiful house colors.

    • Ross on February 25, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      I suspect that you are right! See next post on the subject!

  4. Gail M. on February 21, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Finally you are getting to the roof! I’ve been binging on your blog all weekend and saying to myself, “but what about the roof? Please please please replace that roof!”. I expect it’s already done and my anxiety will be lessened as I read on. Congratulations on a fabulous projects and a fascinating blog. I am enjoying it immensely.

  5. Jhofffman on September 16, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Rarely does a brown or tan asphalt shingle do an older home justice. Brown shake? Sure, but who can afford to insure that? Green is the way to do and I’m so with you on the texture, can’t wait to see what you picked

  6. Dorothee on March 12, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    The horrible asphalt shingles being made today will show streaks of mold in a couple years, they’re all doing that now. Please splurge on that tower’s roof. How about metal or cement roof tiles? You don’t want to keep sending workers up there to fix it.
    I’m probably posting this opinion after the job’s already been done. oh well

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