Photo of today

Comrade Igor Gabro brings us a stunning roof undergoing repairs to some sections with the remaining ones staying in place. Organic roofing at it’s best!


Reader questions: Seaming a pipe-boot

I’ve been meaning to update the site with better organization. Robert’s question and this discussion about seamed pipe boots was the motivation I needed… There are a lot of videos on Youtube, but they are mostly in foreign languages and even alphabets, making a search for trad roofing techniques very difficult for english-speakers. I’m starting to compile the best videos on a new page here:

Here’s our discussion from the Trad Roofing forum and the video another member of the group submitted to help with his journey:

Photo of today: from Ukraine

Comrade: Aidas Danisevicius‎ shares photos of his boyhood home? The post includes video of a roof tour, and up-close photos of the joinery. They claim the house is from 1600. I have my doubts that the roof is original, but it’s very early: at least and century and a half, maybe two from my experience surveying similar old roofs in america on aged structures.

Photo of today

This shot does a great job of showing process and finish in the same photo. Every region has unique styles but they all follow the rules of trad roofing: full joinery. I’m a big fan of the transverse seams on the valley intersection.

Why is this superior?

  • There is no lap, anywhere. The entire functioning surface is fully in view. Just like a membrane.
  • If any individual piece is damaged: in can be removed and replaced without disrupting the remaining assembly.
  • All intersections are fully seamed, twice over.

Photo of today: Traditional Roofing in Virginia

An old roof I captured while in Virgina.

This roof is nearly 100 years old, has fully seamed details and is still functioning perfectly. How many times did their neighbors pay for asphalt re-roofs over the years as this proud roof continued to give a return on initial investment?

This is a wholly transcendent system: I can’t image why any honest roofer who assess their conscious could imagine doing anything other than this: every time.

Learn to fold metal roofs: Pinch (standing) seam intersection at 90

This is a foundation seam. With this technique you can construct standing hips, bread pans (the alternative to z strips), curbs, or any place where you want or need an alternative to a lay-down seam.

With some drafting/pattern making knowledge you can use the seam in the video to construct lots of unique intersections.