Terracotta tiles from Monier Roofing were specified for the re-roofing of a 130-year-old grand homestead in NSW’s Southern Highlands. The Federation style home was originally built with terracotta roof tiles; the choice of Monier’s Marseille tiles respects the original aesthetic and honours its heritage.

Annie Thomas has owned the house for 10 years, and says it was so well preserved when she bought it that she hasn’t had to do much work on it since.

“The inside had been renovated, which was great,” she says. “One of the bathrooms is original, which I loved. It had a new floor bath and a new vanity and things like that, but the original tiles are still there.”

Adding a separate wing to the house to accommodate guests is the only change Annie has made since she bought it. She also loves the home’s beautiful garden setting as well as the Southern Highlands climate, which allows her to enjoy all four seasons.

When it came to re-roofing the heritage home, Annie was careful about her choices – both in the products specified as well as the tilers chosen to install the roof. The terracotta tiles on the house were mostly original, which demonstrated the product’s longevity. Indeed, the colour had remained just as strong as when they were first laid, proving that terracotta outlasts any other roofing product in this respect.

She decided to stay with the same product, choosing Monier’s Terracotta Marseille tiles in Earth colour to reflect the original aesthetic and style.

Though the house has a new roof, it doesn’t look any different – just a little fresher and tidier.

“Terracotta is always good. And even if it weathers a bit over the decades, it's still lovely. I loved the old roof. But it does have to be replaced eventually, although 130 years is pretty good.”

Interestingly, the original tiles were still in relatively good shape, says Annie and might have been fine for a few more decades, if it wasn’t for the local possums that lived in the roof and had started cracking the tiles.

Annie also chose Monier’s new Elemental Slate product on a side awning. Their slate-like appearance stayed true to the heritage theme without dominating the main roof.

Annie chose Michael from Tim and Terry Tilers for the work, as they work exclusively with Monier Roofing and had just the expertise she needed for such a delicate job.

Five ways to respect a heritage home

1. Stick to the original materials, whenever possible. Annie chose the same style of terracotta roof tiles used by the original builders, ensuring that the home respected its history.

2. Cater for the four seasons in your garden – in the Southern Highlands, Annie gets to experience winter frosts, spring bulbs and gorgeous autumn colours as well as a sunny January.

3. Potted colour. Annie has touches of potted citrus throughout the garden, which provides a pop of colour even through the winter months. She added a rustic touch by using old barrels for containers.

4. Timber shingles. The house was clad in timber shingles, which Annie painted in a dark charcoal to give it a modern touch.

5. Elemental Slate. An awning at the side of the house was updated with the Elemental Slate roofing solution in Inkstone, reflecting the look of the original slate tiles.