Thatched Roofs in Europe

During a recent trip to Holland, I was amazed to discover that thatch roofing is still widely used on homes. Made of dry vegetation mixtures of straw, rushes, heather or water reed, this type of roof is known for its thickness.

Through a layering process, these popular roofs can reach eight or more inches in depth. And, when the roof starts to deteriorate over time, homeowners simply have more thatching put over the existing layers to increase the depth!

As my tour guide explained, one of the more interesting aspects of thatched roofs is when the homeowners have enough money to make their roofs look "prestigious" by shaping the thatching into a "bell" with tile showing through. Whether in The Netherlands, United Kingdom or Ireland, this unique look symbolizes the wealth and style of the homeowner.

As a person used to all the advantages of the polymer Bellaforté Slate roofing tiles on my own home back in the United States, I couldn't imagine dealing with the maintenance, fire hazards and general concerns of a thatched roof — but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate seeing these interesting roofs scattered throughout the countryside!

 

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