Stone World

Slate adds Old World charm

August 21, 2001
Old World charm dictated the design focus inside and out for an 11,000-square-foot custom home in the exclusive Denver, CO, community of Cherry Hills. To capture the authenticity that the homeowners desired for the residence's 9,000-square-foot roof, PetraSlate from Source Products Group, Inc. was chosen as the building material.

A variety of colors, including Plum, Oyster Gray, Pacific Green and China Jade, were selected by Lynn and Pam Harrison - owners and partners of Denver-based Harrison Custom Builders, Ltd. - to enhance the roof's Old World charm. The 16-inch slate pieces were imported from China.

Specializing in custom blending, Source Products Group created a pre-application mock-up utilizing its on-site warehouse of domestic and imported slate tiles. Mark Wennstedt of Source Products Group said the company's status as a direct importer and distruibuor "allows us to prepare mock-ups at the project site and change the colors at will until the blend is right for the builder/client," adding that this was the case for the Denver residence.

The supplier's ability to offer this service was invaluable to the builder. "Their personal attention is great," said Pam Harrison. "The typical custom home-buyer we design for demands a high level of service, which dictates that we require the same of our vendors."

According to the builders, PetraSlate was chosen for its longevity, quality and water-tight reputation. Kevin Grimes, owner of Platte Valley Roof Systems in Denver, and his lead man, Mike Herrman, were brought in to install the project. "This custom roof took almost four months to complete - unlike a tile roof taking three to four weeks," said Grimes. "With a 45-degree angle on this roof and a 12/12 pitch, this project was not for the weak at heart."

The project required 90 slate squares of 100 square feet in size. Additionally, the custom slate roof required a quality copper tradesman to patina the finish on the copper flashing. "That green tarnished look to copper requires a certain artistic skill and careful attention to detail in order to bring about the Old World effect," said Grimes. In addition to the 75- to 100-year durability, slate is also known for being leak-proof. To achieve this, exacting craftsmanship was needed to apply two distinctive underneath techniques. Before the slate was layered into 3-inch headlaps to secure dryness, two layers of Tamco UL listed 30-pound under-layment was applied with an ice and water shield.

Complementing the blended colors of the roof, the beauty of this historic themed home is a mixture of exterior brick and stone - where both materials came from a street in Denver in the late 1800s to early 1900s. "We tried to keep the authenticity as much as possible, as if the brick and stone belong there," said Lynn Harrison. "We wanted to create a timeless effect."