Colin and his wife, Carolyn recently completed a new extension to their heritage home located in Pymble on Sydney’s leafy north shore. The project also included a massive roof restoration involving a complex roof structure – a result of the many extensions carried out on the house, which dates back to 1902. The roof had several different pitches, valleys and even box guttering, increasing the difficulty level.

As Colin rightly said, it’s a privilege owning a heritage home, but one that comes with a certain amount of responsibility.

Though the couple had bought this house in 2001, they decided to co-ordinate their extension with the roof restoration, for which they chose Elemental Shingle tiles from Monier Roofing to recreate the look of the original slate tiles at a much more affordable cost.

Colin spent over three years researching the perfect solution for their roof before choosing Elemental.

“We have a low pitch and a high pitch roof, so there’re not many products that can do that,” he explains. “We wanted something that looks like slate and we liked the strength and lightness of the product.’

“I chose the Elemental Shingle in Midnight, which is the colour closest to slate,” he adds. “And I went for round gutters in Dulux’s Monument colour. The Elemental colour won’t change, but the gutters will fade slightly, so it’s designed to emulate each other.”

Given the building’s heritage, the local council wanted the homeowners to install slate tiles on the roof. However, with some persuasion from Colin’s designer, Anthony Maiolo from Luxitecture and builder, Brendan Deguara of BCD Building, the council agreed to Elemental as a substitute.

“Going down a Welsh slate option was not desirable,” Colin says. “Being next to a tennis court, it wasn’t practical – it is brittle, so you can’t walk on it, and because of the size of roof we have, the cost would be prohibitive.”

The reroofing was a large and complex job because of the age of the building, with the builders removing four tonnes of debris from the roof cavity and repairing the substructure at the same time.

Monier’s new InlineSOLAR was also installed during the reroofing project. These integrated panels create a beautiful low profile that blends with the new roofline. Plus, the multiple angles of the roof have allowed the home to have extensive solar coverage, as the panels are positioned on different sides of the building.

“I’ve used the angles of the house – and the engineers have worked it out perfectly – so I get solar now from about 6:30 am in the morning ’til about 6:30 at night,” says Colin. “I’ve got solar panels on four different roofs, so it’s following the sun. I’ve done it at different angles so, for different times of the year, I’ve got lower-pitched roofs picking up sun (which is more effective in summer), while the other side’s more effective in winter. This means you get more consistent power all the time throughout the day.”

5 tips for reroofing

1. Consider the house’s architectural heritage

Colin and Carolyn wanted a product that would blend in with their home’s heritage character, and therefore, chose the new lightweight Elemental Shingle tiles to emulate the look of traditional slate tiles.

2. Install solar power

Monier’s InlineSOLAR integrates seamlessly with the new roofline, creating an elegant appearance that doesn’t detract from the home’s beauty.

3. Go with trusted tradies

Brendan Deguara of BCD Building worked with Monier and Macarthur Roof Tiling, which has become a specialist in installing Elemental tiles. The complexity of the roof necessitated the skills and expert handling delivered by experienced tradespeople.

4. Think practical

When replacing a roof on a heritage building, make sure you allow sufficient time and budget to repair the roof substructure at the same time. It’s the perfect time to upgrade elements such as insulation, which may not be up to current building standards.

5. Take time to research your options

Colin spent over three years researching roof tiling solutions, and even visited an existing Elemental roofing project in Melbourne to see the product in person.