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Historic Homes: Your Guide to Choosing the Right Roof

Written by Clark Roofing & Siding on .
Living in a historic home is a gift. These spaces are teeming with history, character, beauty, and charm. But the experience also comes with many responsibilities. After all, it may be difficult to maintain your home’s functionality in a modern world without sacrificing its history.  Clark Roofing & Siding is honored that you would choose us as your go-to guide for roofing. And the fact that you are here tells us everything we need to know about your dedication as a historic homeowner. We applaud your willingness to put thought and care into the remodel decisions you make in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach or Elizabeth City.  We’ve outlined all of the details you need to know about choosing the right roof for a historic home to make the process easier for you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. 

Start with an Assessment

Schedule an assessment before you purchase any materials or start any work. That way, you can become fully informed on the needs and demands of your home before moving forward with the project. A reliable roofing contractor will tell you how extensive the project needs to be. If there are areas of leaking or underlying damage, the contractor will identify them.  To perform an accurate assessment, the contractors may also need to remove a piece of the existing roof. This will enable them to inspect the attic and determine what is happening under the surface of the roof. 

Choose the Right Materials

Once you have a good idea about the scope of the project, you’ll be ready to pick your materials. We recommend one of these quality roofing products for historic homes:

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are available in a wide array of colors, styles and sizes, making it a great roof choice for many homeowners. They first appeared on the market in the 1900s. And they are sought-after by Virginia Beach residents for being durable and affordable. The most popular asphalt shingles are three-tab shingles, laminate shingles, and premium shingles.

Types of Asphalt Shingles

To better assist you with choosing the right roof for your historic home, here is a breakdown of these favored roof materials: 
  • 3-Tab Shingles
    • Also known as strip shingles
    • Affordable price
    • Name derived from the creation and installation
    • Expected roof lifespan of 18-20 years
  • Laminate Shingles
    • Other popular names are dimensional shingles or architectural shingles
    • Its double-layer makes it heavier than the 3-tab shingles, but provides more durability
    • Roof lifespan usually ranges between 25-28 years
    • Typically comes with a manufacturer’s warranty
  • Premium Shingles
    • A.K.A. luxury shingles, they are the most durable and most expensive type of asphalt shingles
    • Provides a multi-dimensional look
    • Extremely weather resistant – a huge benefit for hurricane season! 
    • Can last up to 30 years


Metal roofs are often associated with modern and contemporary homes. The truth is, copper sheets and rolls have been used on roofs since the 1700s. Although a metal roof may be more expensive upfront, its beauty and durability will make it well worth the investment. 

Trust an Experienced Roofing Team

The best advice we can give you for your historic home roofing upgrade is this: choose reliable roofing contractors. Clark Roofing & Siding has been in business since 1997, and we respect the integrity and history of every home we work on without sacrificing efficiency. Call (757) 485-1000 today to speak to an expert. 
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