2003: Issue #3:
Glenridge Hall, Sandy Springs, GA
seen in the Slate
Roof Bible, 2nd edition!
Manuel Avila, crew foreman (left); Ron Stokes, owner
of The R.W. Stokes Co. (center); and Juan Avila (right),
re-slating Glenridge Hall.
Glenridge Hall slate roof restoration project is a good
one to shine the spotlight on for several reasons. First,
it was a difficult job, being a graduated, mixed Vermont
slate roof with rounded valleys and eyebrow dormers. Secondly,
the proprietor and resident of the building, Joey Mayson,
wanted the job done right and was willing to go the extra
mile to ensure that this is what happened. Thirdly, and
perhaps most importantly, the existing roof was an "economy
method" roof that had to be completely re-slated.
Glenridge Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places
and is privately nestled in the middle of 47 acres in
a business district just north of Atlanta, Georgia. The
roof on this 14,000 square foot Tudor style house is
made of Vermont slates of three color types: purple (30%),
sea green (35%) and unfading green (35%). It is installed
with copper nails on a 3/4 inch yellow pine deck in
a graduated pattern and is characterized by random widths,
graduating thicknesses and lengths, eyebrow dormers,
rounded (slated) valleys, large chimneys, hipped roof
sections, and some curved roof sections. It
is a complicated roof design with many penetrations,
planes, and obstructions.
The approximately 170 square slate roof was originally installed
in 1929 and could have been expected, under normal circumstances
(with proper maintenance), to last at least 150 years.
However, at 50 years of age, in 1979, some leakage developed
in the roof, probably in a valley area. At that time,
the owner was convinced by a local roofing contractor
that the entire roof had to be removed and then re-installed
in what has been termed the "economy" method,
even though the roof probably could have been easily
repaired. The "economy" installation technique
relies on felt paper installed over every course of slate
to keep the roof from leaking. All headlap is eliminated;
even side-laps were ignored during the "economy" re-installation
of Glenridge Hall in 1979.
Hall, front entrance (above), after the original slate
had been removed and stacked in the driveway and the
new felt installed. Re-slating is just beginning.
years later, the felt, which was exposed in the slots between
the slates, had deteriorated to such an extent that the entire
roof had to be essentially "condemned." The
existing slate was re-usable, however, and was removed
and re-installed using correct procedures in order to
preserve the look and historical integrity of this architectural
gem. The correct removal and re-installation of the slate
roof on Glenridge Hall, using the existing slate roof
as the primary source of roof slate, could be expected
to last perhaps another century. This project was successfully
undertaken by the R.W.
Stokes Company of Atlanta, Georgia,
in the winter of 2002.
Ron Stokes' crew foreman for this project was Manuel Avila
whose crew had to remove all of the slate on the entire
Hall, salvage it as best they could, then re-install
it back on the same building with proper headlap over
half-lapped 30 pound felt. The salvaged slates were used
on the front of the Hall first, in order to preserve
the historical look of the building. The front, however,
consumed just about all of the salvaged slates. New slates
of the same color mix and graduation scheme were installed
on the back of the building, supplied by Steve Yoder
of Classic Slate and Tile in Atlanta. The rounded valleys
and eyebrow dormers were fortified by 20 ounce copper flashing applied underneath each course of slates in
the curved sections. All of the remaining flashings on
the roof were replaced during the re-installation, again
using 20 ounce copper. This was a long, arduous project
delayed by a lot of rainy weather, but the R.W. Stokes
Company managed to complete it in the summer of 2003.
Hall (above). The finished roof is not only beautiful,
but also historically accurate. It can realistically
last another century.
is a moral to this story: In this case, the so-called "economy" method
of slate installation simply wasted a huge amount of money
($200,000.00 in 1979). It involved the entire removal and
reslating of 170 squares, all installed at that time in a
faulty, temporary manner, essentially a roofing time-bomb
waiting to go off twenty years later when the felt wore out.
It is obvious that calling this an "economy" installation
is a gross misnomer. It would better be called the "wasteful,
shoddy, very expensive, and even criminal" installation, one which
should be soundly condemned and avoided at all costs. There
is no economy in the economy method.
A tip of the hat to the R.W. Stokes Company and to Joey Mayson
for a job well done!
R. W. Stokes Company [contractor
profile] (Ron Stokes), 645 Spalding Drive, Atlanta,
GA 30328; Ph: 404-250-1571; Fax: 404-250-1572; www.rwstokes.com; Email
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