Editors' Picks: Repairing and Restoring an Old Roof

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Our editors highlight new and classic articles, along with favorite products and current bookstore sales. This week, show some love to the roof over your head.When they're looking and working as they should, we don't give much thought to roofs and their components. But when they're not? It can be downright painful, whether the problem is a leaky ceiling in the kitchen or a previous owner's re-shingling job that mars the home's historic character.

Deep shadows and shades of gray are the essence of slate roofs, and the appearance manufacturers emulate with asphalt shingles. Using multiple layers of laminated asphalt shingles in convincing slatelike shapes reinforces the impression.

The breezy days of spring are the perfect time to take another look at neglected roofs, and we've got some stories that can help. Find out how to get the look of slate at a fraction of the cost and weight, get answers to some common gutter questions, and discover sources for a host of fanciful roof ornaments (dragon-festooned chimney pot, anyone?).

Slate Roof Stand-Ins: A buyer’s guide to man-made substitutes for natural stone.

Gutter Talk: The different kinds of gutters on old houses present some confusing maintenance questions, but the answers are common-sense and simple to perform.

Ornamenting the Roof: Checking in with makers of finials and filigree, weathervanes, chimney pots, and fancy shapes.

New This Week

How to Install Kitchen Cabinets: A carpenter’s own kitchen install offers tricks for hanging cabinets that are plumb, level, and square—in rooms that aren’t.

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Hardware in Context: Hand-worked, wrought-iron thumb latches and strap hinges recall the charm of a distant American past. But in what settings were these evocative pieces used, and where do they fit into homes today?

Texas Stone House: Architect Michael Imber draws inspiration from a rocky woodland site for the design of this San Antonio new old house.

Products & Services Directory

Chimney Pot Dragon
From ChimneyPot.com


ChimneyPot.com offers a variety of--you guessed it--chimney pots, including a selection of dragons and gargoyles. You can order the Guardian Dragon from "Ornamenting the Roof" or this fearsome Chimney Pot Dragon #K from the catalog, or customize one to suit your home.

View all Roofing & Siding in the Products & Services Directory.

Bookstore Sales

On sale until May 31!
Check out these sales and other great deals in our Old-House bookstore!

This book serves as a useful introduction to kitchen design, and an inspirational visual reference for homeowners considering their own custom projects.

Editors' Picks

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Products of the Week

A pendant light over the door adds a stately touch to the ubiquitous Victorian porch; Brass Light Gallery’s London Lantern mimics the design of 19th-century streetlights.

Brass Light Gallery

Interior and exterior architectural lighting for your home and garden, in styles from Victorian to '30s Modern. Select from 15 finish options. Made in USA since 1974. They also have a vintage/antique lighting department, and offer expert restoration services.


Unico System

A central heating and cooling system using "aspiration" technology to warm and cool homes evenly and quietly with flexible small ducts that weave through ceilings, walls, and even floors.