Siding, Shingles & Roofing


A look at the different styles and materials for siding, shingles and roofing for old houses, including Clapboard, Dutch Lap, and novelty siding; wood, metal and tile roofing; roofing ornamentation, such as finials,  weathervanes and  chimney pots.

SEE ALSO: Conservatories, Gazebos & Sheds | Exterior Lighting | Exterior Painting | Garden Design | Porches | RemuddlingWindows, Doors & Shutters

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The Original Green Roofs

Sod or turf roofs are an ancient Scandinavian vernacular form.

pitched roof

Historic Roof Types

In its massing, pitch, and material, a roof indicates house style.

Architect Sandra Vitzthum designed this farmhouse addition using traditional clapboards, square column supports for the farmer’s porch, and wood roof shingles.

Best Bets for Exterior Building Materials

New old house designers and architects reveal their top picks for authentic exterior building materials.

Bungalow with horizontal siding

Horizontal Siding Guide

A survey of basic millwork patterns and their installation.

fancy-butt shingles

Decorative Shingling Ideas

By getting creative with your shingling you can add flare and character to your house.

Ornamental roof cresting

Ornamental Roof Cresting

They still make ornamental roof cresting.

clapboard illustration

Clapboard, Dutch Lap and Other Novelty Siding

Names of wood siding types varied over time and by region.

Finished double entry doors

The Formal Facade Improved

Double entry doors restore elegance to a Brooklyn row house.

finished roof

New Century for a Wright Roof

The complex repair required multiple solutions.

stone veneer

Stone Veneers for Old Houses

Stone veneers have become popular as a residential finish, appearing on fireplaces, chimneys, and foundations.

A variegated tile roof adds character to a building at the Moravian settlement in Old Salem, North Carolina.

The Best Roofing Materials for Old Houses

The right roof can be your home's crowning architectural statement.

Timber framer Arron Sturgis lent his expertise to iFarm, an extensive restoration project in Massachusetts.

Traditional Trades: Timber Framing

A New England timber framer revives an old Massachusetts barn.

The studio, now led by Anthony Holand, was started decades ago by founder Travis Tuck.

Traditional Trades: Historical Weathervanes

A passion for three-dimensional expression led one sculptor to become America’s premier weathervane maker.

chimeny pots for old houses

History of Chimney Pots

For most folks, the business end of a chimney is the hearth that throws off the warmth and the mantelpiece that grabs center stage in the room. For architects and builders, however, almost as important is the chimney top.


Expert Advice: Adobe Buildings

How to handle adobe building maintenance.

Tiles could often enhance other architectural details, as on this green-accented Mission Revival with curvy roof parapets and coping.

Clay Tile Roofs 101

Tile roofs are defining features on many old houses. A little background can help keep yours looking good as new.

Rows of different designs often exhibited different colors, like the square and round cuts here on the Hale House at the Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles.

Shingle Patterns for Queen Anne Houses

One of the hallmarks of the Victorian era was a desire to be noticed. It's a theme that repeated itself on every aspect of home furnishings of the day. Furniture was dripping in ornament, hardware was intricately incised, and buildings were adorned with every manner of attention-grabbing detail—from gingerbread trim to stained glass windows to seductively turned porch rails. Even exterior walls vied for attention through rows of patterned shingles, a technique with the funny- and formal-sounding name imbrication.

Sandoval is a perfectionist when he works, creating walls of stone that appear as if they’ve always been part of the landscape.

The Art of Building Stone Walls

Dry-stacked stone walls offer beauty and borders in the new old garden.

clinker bricks, arts & crafts brickwork

Guide to Clinker Bricks

A short history of clinker bricks.

faux slate roof

Slate Roof Stand-Ins

A buyer's guide to man-made substitutes for natural stone.

Old-fashioned static lightning machine

Guide to Vintage Lightning Rods

Much has changed since the early days of lightning protection, when it was widely believed that the glass balls adorning lightning rods were an indicator of whether the rods were functioning properly. We now know that the glass balls were purely decorative—in fact, the balls' different patterns and colors were how installers advertised their businesses.

Miles Redd's Little Italy town house. (Photo: Martyn Thompson)

Town House Façade Facelift

G. P. Schafer Architect refreshes a New York City town house façade.

The stupendous Guardian Dragon custom pot in painted clay is by

Ornamenting the Roof

Add a decorative touch to your roof with finials and filigree, weathervanes, chimney pots, and fancy shapes.

House with copper gutters

Gutter Talk

Four common gutter questions answered.

Restoring exterior paint and woodwork

Farmhouse Siding Repair

How one homeowner found a second set of siding hidden underneath vinyl.

Products of the Week

crown point kitchen

Crown Point Cabinetry

Crown Point Cabinetry offers custom cabinets for period style kitchens, baths, offices, laundry rooms, home bars and more. Styles include Shaker, Arts & Crafts, Early American, Victorian and Transitional.



The finest quality in Shaker, Arts & Crafts, Early American, Victorian and Transitional styles.