DaVinci Inspires Siding Contractor’s First Roofing Job
He never installed a roof before. But that didn’t stop Desmond Tse, aka The Siding Guy. A siding contractor with more than 20 years experience, when he saw DaVinci’s Province™ Slate composite roofing at the 2023 International Builders’ Show and fell in love.
“I had to have that roof on my home,” said Tse. “It’s the most realistic looking composite slate I had ever seen. I was so impressed with everything about the product. I knew it was time to transfer my siding installation talents up onto the roof.”
Roofing Installation Support
Tse, who lives in Alberta, Canada, is not your average contractor. In truth, there’s nothing “average” about him at all. A self-taught solo siding installer, Tse enjoys tackling tasks and sharing his construction site adventures on Instagram. His 169,000 followers faithfully follow him through daily projects, including his latest roofing challenge.
To prepare for his first-time roofing experience, Tse reviewed the DaVinci instructions and installation videos. He also video chatted with Eric Salvesen in the DaVinci Tech Department.
“There was plenty to learn and Eric was always there to help,” says Tse. “Since I’m a detail-oriented person, I was able to use my past skills to make it work.
“The easiest thing about working with the DaVinci tiles was definitely the ‘stack and nail’ process. This is one reason I specifically chose the Province Slate tile in the Castle Gray color. I found it installs very similarly to vinyl shake siding, but without the ‘click’ that I’m used to.
“The Province Slate is 12-inches wide with an 8-inch exposure. There’s consistency there with the single-width tile. It’s durable to work with and actually looks like real slate.”
Siding Contractor Turns Roofer
Even with roofing installation support from DaVinci, for Tse, the true challenge of the project was putting the whole picture together. Since he had never installed a roof before (and he had the pressure that this was going on his own home), he had lots to commit to memory.
“I needed to remember the layout, proper steps, how to cut a diverter notch in the valleys, snow guards, etc.,” says Tse. “As a first timer, these steps didn’t come naturally. However, after awhile it got easier and easier. There was a sigh of relief each time I accomplished another step. And, I kept going back to the directions. I would contact DaVinci to check in and make sure I was on the right track!”
Snow Guards Essential
Tse lives in Edmonton, an area of Canada that can get up to 48 inches of snow a year. Because of that, it’s important that he installed snow guards on the synthetic slate roof. The ST 9 snow guards he selected from Rocky Mountain Snow Guards will help prevent the accumulated snows from avalanching off the roof all at one time.
“We typically get our first snowfall around Halloween,” says Tse. “And the snows can last until May. So I know how important the snow guards are going to be. We need the snows to come gently off the roof, not in massive downfalls!
“However, I was so focused on getting the first areas of roofing tiles up that I completely forgot about installing the snow guards. Then I had to go back in and start over on the roofing. That’s really the only slip up I had during the installation. Other elements of the roofing project were challenging, but I was able to work through each step.”
Videos from the Rooftop
As each day went by, Tse’s followers were treated to “videos from the rooftop” on Instagram. Tse covered topics like snapping chalk lines and working on multiple row installations, working with starter blocks and installing ridge pieces. He also showed how the composite tiles easily handled his weight while walking on them. And, he took time to explain the benefits of synthetic slate to his audience.
“Now that all the hard work is done, I don’t think I’d change a thing,” says Tse. “I have absolutely no concerns regarding the product. That’s because DaVinci has been around long enough that I think it will hopefully last beyond my lifetime.
“The project itself seemed overwhelming at first. However, now that it’s complete, it was definitely in line with what I anticipated and expected. The drone aerial footage truly shows how fabulous the roof looks. No wonder I’ve had a dozen neighbors ask if I’d consider reroofing their homes!”