Historic Home Gets 21st Century Roof

When Irene Darocha relaxes in her West Chester, Pa. home, she’s not alone. History surrounds her. Built in 1860, her historic home sits on land deeded to the original property owner by William Penn.

“We’re really caretakers of this home,” says Darocha. “We’re just the fourth owners of this house in the last 150 years, so it’s a responsibility as well as a blessing. We live on land that was part of the first three counties established by William Penn in 1682.”

After moving into the three-story home 20 years ago, Darocha immediately started to restore the property, including the roof overhead. “We believe there was slate on the original home, but over the years that was replaced with wood shakes,” says Darocha. “When we purchased the home in 1992 we reroofed with cedar shingles, but they wore out quickly and were a maintenance hassle.”

This past summer Darocha hired Dean Mainardi with Only The Best Builder LLC to replace the worn-out cedar shingles. “I’ve learned a lot in the past 20 years about what I did not want on my roof,” says Darocha. “After doing extensive research, I selected DaVinci’s single-width Slate polymer tiles. They return the original historic look to the home, but because they’re made out of polymer they won’t be as much trouble as the previous roof. This product looks authentic to the original house, but resists rot, impact, fire and insects, so it’s virtually maintenance-free.”

Mainardi and his team took extra care with replacing the roof on the historic home. “We used a man-lift with a moveable basket to work on the roof,” says Mainardi, owner of Only The Best Builder LLC out of Medford, N.J. and a member of the DaVinci Masterpiece Contractor program. “Along with installing the DaVinci roofing, we also did the siding on the dormers and added in all of the copper valleys, gutters and downspouts. This was a labor of love and the finished product is outstanding.”

Darocha chose to create a custom blend of colors for the single-width Slate roof, combining the Milano blend of dark purple plus light, medium and dark gray slate tiles with black tiles.

NEW_0759_B-300×199“I wanted the black added in to the roof so it would gain more attention,” says Darocha. “The unique mixture of the five color shades looks terrific and very historically accurate on the structure. I wanted those specific colors so they could complement the natural shading in the original serpentine stone exterior of the home that came from a local quarry 148 years ago when the original structure was built.”

Mainardi, whose company services southern New Jersey, Delaware and the Philadelphia market, found the single-width Slate products easy to work with on the project. “This was my first time installing the DaVinci products, but it definitely won’t be the last,” says Mainardi. “I’ve already recommended these polymer tiles for other projects. Installation went very smoothly and the finished look is incredible. This was a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved.”