New England Colonials were named for the region where British settlers originally built the home styles between the early 1600s and mid-1700s. The homes typically combine rustic simplicity with medieval Europe-inspired accents. Features include combinations of brick and wood siding, a large centered chimney, and simple windows accented with diamond shapes over the panes. A saltbox roof, which has a shorter segment in front and a steeper sloped longer rear section, tops off the structure.
If you own a New England Colonial home that needs a new roof, the visual style of the home and the architectural style of the roof can help determine the best materials. Keep these style-specific questions in mind when discussing potential choices with your roofing contractors.
Does the Sloped Roof Segment Receive Direct Wind?
The saltbox roof features a shorter, lower-slope front segment that rises to a peak then gives way to a longer, steeper portion on the rear of the house. The steeper segment's angle means that direct wind can speed up when hitting the roof surface and potentially damage lightweight roofing materials.
You might want to avoid asphalt shingles if the rear of your home takes on direct wind due to an open field or large yard behind the home. If the home has other homes or dense woods behind it, which would act as natural windbreaks, you don't have to worry as much about the potential wind damage.
Unsure of how much wind your home receives from the rear direction? Call your roofing contractors for a consultation and evaluation.
Do You Want to Match or Mimic the Siding Materials?
The broad front of a New England Colonial shows off the siding materials whether your home still has the original wood or brick or you have updated to vinyl over the years. If your home still has the original or restoration siding inspired by the original, you might consider using the siding materials to influence the roofing material.
Wood shingles would pair well with wood, wood, and brick, or brick siding due to the natural hues and textured appearance that blend well with brick. You can opt to match the stain color closely to the siding or choose a coordinating shade for extra dimension. Choose wood shakes, which are cut thicker than shingles, if you want to make the saltbox roof a more prominent part of your home's front.
You could also consider slate roofing, which roofers can install in a brick pattern, but know that the material costs much more than wood. The height of your home, shape of the roof, and relative flatness of the slate also mean the material isn't highly visible from the ground.
Talk to a business like Chinook Roofing for more help.