Zinc Tiles Make Roof the Focal Point of Historic Residential Renovation

Originally built in 1853, this historic residence was recently renovated. The 1,870-square-foot cottage was designed to offer a highly contemporary flair while retaining many of its historic elements. Photos: RHEINZINK

Prior to its near-total reconstruction, the Jett Residence was an overgrown structure hidden in a grove of trees in Iowa City, Iowa. The strikingly renovated cottage now serves as a retreat house for its owners. Originally built in 1853, the residence retains a significant portion of the original, locally made red brick. An original, vaulted stone root cellar — rumored to have been part of the Underground Railroad — also remains on the property.

The owners were deeply involved in working with Neumann Monson Architects, Iowa City, in planning the renovation, according to co-owner Bobby Jett. The interior design of the 1,870-square-foot cottage offers a highly contemporary flair within the historic setting.

The most prominent feature of the exterior is the roof. “Everyone loves the roof,” Jett says. “They’ve never seen anything like it.” Approximately 2,500 square feet of RHEINZINK Square Tiles were utilized. The 0.8mm prePATINA blue-grey Square Tiles were installed in a diamond pattern.

The selection of the tiles was inspired by an old black and white photo of the house taken more half a century ago. “At that time, the roof of the house had diamond-shaped shingles. We wanted to replicate that look,” notes Jett. “The architect suggested that RHEINZINK could provide the look and durability we wanted.”

“We definitely wanted to replicate the roof’s visual pattern that we saw in the old photo but obviously wanted it to have more permanence and durability,” says Tim Schroeder, vice president at Neumann Monson Architects. “We’ve worked with zinc before and thought it would be a good complement to the dormers that would provide a nice crisp appearance. The RHEINZINK was definitely a nod to the historic element but provided a progressive look as well.”

Fabrication of the Square Tiles was done by RHEINZINK systems partner Sheet Metal Supply (SMS), headquartered in Mundelein, Illinois.

The restored roof is comprised of approximately 2,500 square feet of RHEINZINK Square Tiles, which were installed in a diamond pattern. Photos: RHEINZINK

Installation of the RHEINZINK Square Tiles was performed by Natural Metal Associates, Mont Vernon, New Hampshire. The owner of Natural Metal Associates, Lou Rondeau, has extensive hands-on experience with zinc fabrication methods and techniques. “I knew this was a unique project and I really wanted to be a part of it,” Rondeau notes. Rondeau was accompanied by an apprentice and personally did the hand-cutting and folding associated with detailing the valleys and edges. The work also included installation of the RHEINZINK half-round 5 ½-inch gutter system.

The installation was completed in nine days, according to Rondeau. “Zinc is a premium material that’s a real pleasure to work with,” he says.


Architect: Neumann Monson Architects, Iowa City, Iowa, www.neumannmonson.com
Metal Fabricator: Sheet Metal Supply (SMS), Mundelein, Illinois, www.sheetmetalsupplyltd.com
Metal Roof Manufacturer: RHEINZINK, Woburn, Massachusetts, www.rheinzink.us
Roofing Contractor: Natural Metal Associates, Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, www.facebook.com/Natural-Metals-Associates-228362561021655/

Project Profiles: Education Facilities

Maury Hall, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md.


Roofing Contractor: Wagner Roofing, Hyattsville, Md.
General Contractor: C.E.R. Inc., Baltimore, (410) 247-9096

The project included 34 dormers that feature double-lock standing-seam copper and fascia metal.

The project included 34 dormers that feature double-lock standing-seam copper and fascia metal.


Wagner Roofing was awarded the complete replacement of all roof systems. These included an upper double-lock standing-seam copper roof system, a bullnose copper cornice transition, slate mansard, 34 dormers with double-lock standing-seam copper and fascia metal, eight copper hip metal caps and a continuous built-in gutter with decorative copper fascia. Each of the dormers also had a copper window well.

The upper standing-seam roof was removed and replaced with 24-inch-wide, 20-ounce copper coil rollformed into 1-inch-high by 21-inch-wide continuous standing-seam panels that matched the original profile. The eave bullnose, which also served as the mansard flashing, was removed and returned to Wagner Roofing’s shop where it was replicated to match the exact size and profile.

The 34 dormer roofs were replaced with 20-inch-wide, 20-ounce copper coil formed into 1-inch-high by 17-inch- wide continuous standing-seam panels. The decorative ornate fascia of the dormers was carefully removed and Wagner’s skilled craftsmen used it as a template to develop the new two-piece copper cornice to which the roof panels locked. The cheeks and face of the dormers were also re-clad with custom-fabricated 20-ounce copper.

The oversized built-in-gutter at the base of the slate mansard was removed and replaced with a new 20-ounce copper liner custom-formed and soldered onsite. The replacement included a specialty “bull-nosed” drip edge at the base of the slate and an ornate, custom-formed fascia on the exterior of the built-in gutter. The decorative copper fascia included 85 “hubcaps”, 152 “half wheels” and 14 decorative pressed-copper miters. The original hubcap and half-wheel ornaments were broken down and patterns were replicated. Each ornamental piece was hand assembled from a pattern of 14 individual pieces of 20-ounce copper before being installed at their precise original location on the new fascia. The miters were made by six different molds, taken from the original worn pieces, to stamp the design into 20-ounce sheet copper.

In all, more than 43,000 pounds of 20-ounce copper was used on the project.

Copper Manufacturer: Revere Copper Products


Maury Hall was built in 1907 and was designed by Ernest Flagg. Flagg designed many of the buildings at the U.S. Naval Academy, including the Chapel, Bancroft Hall, Mahan Hall, the superintendent’s residence and Sampson Hall. His career was largely influenced by his studies at École des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Examples of Flagg’s Beaux-Arts influence can be found in the decorative copper adorning the built-in gutter on building designs.

Maury Hall currently houses the departments of Weapons and Systems Engineering and Electrical Engineering. The building sits in a courtyard connected to Mahan Hall and across from its design twin, Sampson Hall.

PHOTO: Joe Guido

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Tile Roofing System Is Made of Lightweight High-strength Steel

Roser Cleo Tile

Roser Cleo Tile

The Roser Cleo Tile will give your home a fresh and radiant appearance while leaving you in the comfort of protection that only a stone-coated steel roof can offer. The beautiful appeal of classic tile with the performance of lightweight high-strength steel, resistant to fire and hurricane-force winds, is an ideal choice for any homeowner.

The roofing system includes:

  • Clear acrylic over-glaze protective coating
  • Roofing granule coating
  • Adhesive basecoat
  • Protective surface coating
  • Aluminum/zinc coating
  • Commercial-grade steel core
  • Aluminum/zinc coating
  • Protective surface coating

The Stone Coated Steel Roofing System, manufactured by Roser, offers the advantage of high-strength steel with a look a variety of traditional and innovative architectural styles. When compared to asphalt shingles and concrete roofing products, which can weigh 350 to 1,000 pounds per square, the Roser Stone Coated Roofing System, at only 150 pounds per square, effectively reduces the overhead weight on the house structure. This provides for a much safer building during an earthquake, fire or a hurricane. While the standard shingle and shake roofs naturally deteriorate over time, the Roser Roofing System will continue to maintain its beautiful appearance and requires the least amount of maintenance in the roofing industry. An eco-friendly Roser roof will increase the resale value of your home not only with its elegance, but also with its proven durability.

About the Roser Roofing System:

  • Installs direct to deck or over battens.
  • Stone surface resists fading and provides for a quiet roof.
  • Fastener design features a confirmed and a locking profile.
  • Low-maintenance roof system with water-shedding performance.
  • Storm driven engineering design is proven throughout the world.
  • Includes the stringent Miami-Dade Approval.