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  • Writer's pictureRainy Day Exteriors

A New Roof for your Historic Home | What you Should Consider

Restoring and maintaining an older or historic home can be a labor of love, and when it comes to replacing the roof on your historic home, you will want to get the details just right. Gig Harbor, Port Orchard, and Tacoma especially are filled with historic homes, and if you’re lucky enough to own one, you’ll have to make a few additional considerations when it comes time to replace your roof.

And we must mention, if your home is on the historic register, please be sure you follow all necessary guidelines.


The aesthetic of your new roof will be the most important consideration. This is because your preferences need to be in line with guidelines put forth by your city or town’s planning commission. Cities and towns will likely have strict guidelines as to how to best re-roof the property, especially in historic districts.

You might be required to replace the roof with like materials, as the city will likely want to keep the home within the style parameters of the rest of the neighborhood. You may even be asked to investigate if the roof can be repaired rather than replaced.

The good news is that roofing materials have come a long way and offer additional options. For example, there are now asphalt shingle products that mimic the look of a stone roof while delivering modern benefits such as cooling and energy efficiency.

You’ll have to do a little more research and planning, and you will need an experienced roofer on your side. We are very familiar with local municipalities and their guidelines, so give us a call. We would be happy to help you brainstorm the best options.


To discover the history of your roof, you will need to do your research. Your existing roof is a good indication of what the original roof was, but it might not, so detailed research will help you best identify the original roofing material.

Some larger cities, like Tacoma, have an inventory of historic homes. You can check it out here. Sites like these are a good start if you know little about your home.

Other helpful and reliable resources include your local library, Chamber of Commerce, historic society, or the State Historic Preservation Office.


The roof on a newer home is placed on a plywood deck that is protected with underlayment.

The roof on older homes, however, are likely built on slats.

Changes in how roofing materials are attached to the roof will likely require you to reinforce your roof with a more structurally sound and durable deck and underlayment

Good Ventilation

We are passionate about roof ventilation. Just check out a recent blog here. Proper ventilation ensures that any excess heat and moisture is not an issue in your home. Heat and moisture buildup cause problems like mold, deterioration of your insulation, and issues with your roof and shingles.

Historic homes are good at allowing air to escape but don’t often have an efficient way to ensure good air intake.

Most older homes are prone to gaps, but when replaced with a more efficient material those gaps disappear and ventilation becomes more challenging. This is why we encourage homeowners to maintain continuous intake through vented soffits, and continuous exhaust via ridge vaults.

Historic homes are a joy, and a new roof can be an exciting upgrade. If you need help replacing the roof on your historic home, give us a call today!

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