Slate fits into the Vermont climate

June 1, 2008
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A variety of Vermont slate was recently incorporated into the design of a 3,860-square-foot private residence in Central Vermont.

A variety of new and recycled slate was recently incorporated into the design of a 3,860-square-foot private residence in Central Vermont, providing the home with long-lasting, functional qualities, while still being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. And Slate Affair Inc. of Enosburg Falls, VT, not only supplied the material for the project, but the company also established the design and installed the material as well.

According to Liam Tower of Slate Affair Inc., the company had two primary goals in mind when designing the home. “We wanted to install a long-lasting, quality and functional slate roof and siding system, but at the same time, create an artistic design with natural slate colors for a long-life, natural ‘green’ stone finish,” he explained.

The client briefly considered the use of stucco and cedar, but after visiting a nearby slate-clad residence, they decided to use slate instead. Ultimately, New Strata Gray, Unfading Green and Red slate - quarried by Taran Brothers Slate Co. of Poultney, VT - were selected for the roof. Tower explained that the slate used for the siding was all recycled material chosen for its durability to withstand the cold Vermont winter climate, and for its ease of maintenance in comparison to having to paint clapboards or repair vinyl siding.

“The roof features 12- x 20-inch pieces of Strata Gray slate with a flower design, and diamond-shaped patterns on the walls were created out of Recycled Unfading Purple and Red slate,” Tower explained, adding that several different patterns and designs were formed using slate. “The house is sided with a variety of slate, from Recycled Red on the gable ends to Recycled Unfading Green on the back entry room, to Recycled Fading Green on the rest of the body of the house.”

According to Tower, the slate was installed with copper nails and flashing, and the installation was handled during the course of a six- to eight-month period. “These artistic slate installations are very labor intensive,” he said. “There were days where we were just trying to cut the slate to the right patterns, and there were also days of traveling to the quarry to get the right slate and color required.”

Construction on the home began in May of 2006 and finished in March of 2007. “[The homeowners] are so happy with the outcome of the project,” said Tower. “It was beyond how they ever thought the project would turn out. Many people even stop their cars to take pictures of the home.”

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