Tuesday, February 15, 2011


So now I am obsessing about the roof, again!  I'm thinking about adding shallow hips to flank the central gable.  Why?  I don't know why, god knows you won't really see them once the house is perched high on its future shelf.  I'm OCD, remember?  Don't judge me. Truth be told: the flat roof has begun to gnaw on me for whatever reason.  My architectural hero (and the inspiration behind Merriman Park), namely: Thomas Jefferson had the same dilemma with some of his buildings.  He loved the look of a classical, flat roof, but hated the dreadful impracticality that a flat roof provides. Leaky ceilings are such a bore!

Karin Corbin has already convinced me of the complete  travesty that a vulgar, verdigris copper roof  would have been, had I  foolishly installed one on Merriman Park. On the other hand, Karin is absolutely poetical about the supreme elegance, divine sublimity not to mention the utter, unparalleled ton of a weathered, lead roof and honestly I can not disagree with her.  What could I have possibly been thinking?  Why, a verdigris-copper roof is so positively garish by compare.  Like a drag queen in head-to-toe Versace showing up at a DAR luncheon where everyone else is in St John.

So she sends me over to Richard Stacey's website to shop for lead,  and this of course only opens up the can of worms of: real lead, vs faux.  A real lead roof would undoubtedly be gorgeous, if not terribly heavy, expensive and a possible environmental hazard.  (Though Karin, in her subtle wisdom, points out that if I have safety concerns I could always warn my guests that Merriman Park is not a gingerbread house --so kindly do not help yourself to the cornice, thank you very much).

But having a false, painted "lead" roof with genuine lead flashing seems --well, tacky.  I mean, you don't see the Queen of England mixing the Crown Jewels with the Joan Rivers Collection from QVC, do you?

I didn't think so.

 Here I folded a large envelope into a shallow hip roof.  Obviously, the "actual" roof would meet at the pediment gable, but you get the picture.  I suppose the chimneys will have to be higher. *sigh*

Lead wasn't the only roofing material that caught my attention over at Richard Stacey.  He also sells slate roofing, both real and faux, which I daresay would appeal even to the discriminating eye of Ms. Corbin.  

Decisions, decisions!


Karin Corbin said...[Reply]

I think a faux lead roof is perfectly suitable and it is friendly to the environment. It is only the flashings where I would use real, thin lead. And there only because it is so easy to form around corners and over ribs.

The hip roof sample looks good. The flat roof is good too.

Your house, your choice. You will do a great job whatever choice you make.

Karin Corbin said...[Reply]

I make my own miniature real slate roof tiles.

Over the years I had tried splitting them with no luck but last year I finally found a tool that works for the task. I won't post a tutorial on the subject because I don't want the liability issues of someone removing a finger.