Folk And Stick: Best And Worst Roofing Materials For The More Rustic Victorian House Styles

Hearing the words "Victorian home" might bring to mind some stately, overly elegant home with a high degree of ornamentation and higher material costs. But Victorian homes come in many shapes, sizes, and décor styles. Two such styles – the folk and the stick-style – have an almost rustic quality that combines the nobility of a Victorian with classic countryside charm.

If you own one of the more rustic styles of Victorian homes and need a new roofing material for repairs or restorations, there are a few different materials that work best for each style. Discuss the options with your roofing company during your next meeting.

Folk Victorian

Folk Victorians have simplified floor plans thanks to the structure's simple, symmetrically geometric shape. Most of the ornamentation comes along the home's wide front porch, which has decorative woodwork lining its eaves. The main roof of the house has a pyramid shape with four equal, low-pitched sides slanting upwards to meet at a soft peak.

The pyramid roof has a larger surface area, which can drive up the costs of your roofing remodel project. But the simplicity of the Folk Victorian means you can use a lower cost roofing material like asphalt shingles without worrying about contrasting with the house.

Asphalt shingles are durable, thin, and fabricated with baked-in dye and textures that can make the material look higher-end. The lightweight nature of the shingles can cause a problem on higher-pitched roofs, where the asphalt can become loose or removed in wind, but this isn't a problem with the pyramid shape of the Folk Victorian.

If you want to go with a fancier roofing material, stick with wood shakes or shingles. The textured cedar pieces come in several stain colors and can add even more rustic charm to your Folk Victorian. The material, which hits about the mid-range in material pricing, does require some occasional maintenance due to potential warping from hot and cold weather cycles.

Steer clear of slate or clay tiles for a Folk Victorian. The materials cost far more than other roofing materials and the elegance of slate, and European influence of the clay tiles, don't match up well with the rustic simplicity of the Folk home.

Stick-Style Victorian

A Stick Victorian gets the name from the long wooden beams that trim the sides of the home. The beams are most often decorative aspects but can also sometimes serve a functional purpose as support structures. The homes share a geometrical shape with the Folk Victorian, but tend to have more structural accents such as turrets and dormers.

The roof on a Stick Victorian tends to have one or multiple gable roofs with steeper pitches than the already steep traditional gable. These steep sides mean that wind can hit those slopes pretty hard and fast, so you want to avoid using a lightweight material like asphalt shingles, which can tear up or become otherwise damaged under the wind force.

Due to the prevalent wood siding and stick ornamentation on this home, wooden shingles are an obvious choice for a roofing material. Make sure the wood stain doesn't completely match the siding, or you could make the house look dull. You can match the wood shingles to the ornamental beams, however, to bring more attention to that unusual detail. Contact a roofing company for more info.


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