April 17, 2024 Summit Construction Group

Slate Roof – West St Paul, MN

Our project Manager Andy Sanford was working in this neighborhood with a number of clients, and when he was at the neighbor’s property he couldn’t help but notice the beautiful slate roof on this home, but also that there were missing tiles, many cracked and while the property was beautiful the roof had also seen better days. Eventually, Andy met the owners of this property and they were able to discuss the roof and other things to potentially address in regards to their exterior.

This home was located in West St. Paul, nestled next to Highland Park Golf Course. It was a fairly complex exterior project, requiring scaffolding, lifts, and a number of various crews performing multiple trades at the same time. Summit’s staff Field Supervisors were on site to oversee, assist, and coordinate. Multi-system projects like this can be tricky as things need to be installed in a certain order so that each system ties together correctly

We replaced the slate roofing and used all copper accessories to match the original look. The tiles used were Vermont Slate Cupa 14, which is a grey/black colored tile and was mined by the batch upon order specifically for this home. The color these tiles show varies depending on the time of day and the direction of sunlight. Ranging from a mid grey to a light-medium black. The Slate roofing portion took roughly 4 days, during that time we had metal workers, a gutter crew, and a siding crew on site at the same time doing different portions of their respective trades so that each system tied together perfectly.

We replaced both copper standing seam eyebrows on the front of the home as well as six flat seam copper half barrel roofs on each of the dormers. The copper flat seam is a great product and is used in places that otherwise would call for rolled asphalt or rubber roofing. Copper sheet metal is cut to size and soldered together to create an extremely durable roof as well as one that’s great to look at as well!

The eaves on the upper story had built-in copper high back gutters which were built into and hidden behind the crown molding fascia. It’s very rare to see detailed design features like that on modern home builds, but 100 years ago built in gutters were a fairly common feature found on higher end properties. Seeing all the copper work, crown molding, and built in gutters can’t help but bring your imagination back in time to days when master carpenters and metal workers weren’t just blue collar laborers, they were also artists. Sweating over every little minor detail to get things just right. The craftsmanship that was so commonly seen in the early 1900’s has faded in modern times in order to accommodate for cost cutting and high production volume, but the old masters left their mark.

Prior to the project starting the client told us of a leak coming inside and entering somewhere on the back side of the roof. We decided to perform a water test by climbing up on the rear rubber slope with a hose and targeting one area at a time to try and isolate the problem area. Finding the source of leaks can be very tricky sometimes. Eventually, we found that the short dormer poking just above the roofline on the rear-right facing slope was the culprit. After getting a closer look we saw a hole had rotted in the crown molding on the left side of the arch. We filled it with expansion foam as a temporary fix until we could build the project and then that area was fully re-flashed, trimmed, and sealed.

There were two large sections of EPDM (rubber) roofing on the left side of the home, and the back right side. Both sections were replaced. The 1st story had copper K-style gutters which were also replaced to keep with the copper look on the rest of the house.

There were two large dormers standing about 5′ above the upper story roof line, these were both fully re-sided and re-trimmed with new crown molding, PVC trim, and vertical panel LP siding. On the taller dormers, we had to cut back siding near the roof line to install new step flashing so rather than patch new into old we advised replacing everything was a better option and would give a more pleasing finished look. The rear facing dormer had an old barn sash to cover an attic vent so we ordered and installed a new barn sash as well which was done after the pictures were taken.

Once we were near the end, the clients decided to have us contact our painters to do a re-fresh on the outside and inside of the home as the last phase of their project. We enjoy bringing the vibrance of the people’s homes back and getting to watch homeowners delight in the finished look and the sense of pride that comes with it. When the clients recognize the value we bring to them as well as how hard we work to make a project like this happen it is very appreciated on our end. High end, custom exterior jobs are the types of projects that Summit loves to do and has built our name on. This was another fantastic project for an amazing family and with their new Slate roof and copper metalwork they should be all set for the next 80-100 years!