Shingle Style Roof Rakes

Shingle Style Roof Rakes

January 16, 2014; 11:34 am by Neal Adamiak

A few years ago, Woodmeister Master Builders had the pleasure to work on a house on the coast of Maine. It was a late sixties built two-story ranch that we renovated into a modern day adapted “shingle style” vacation home. We worked in collaboration with Interior Designer Anthony Catalfano on developing the overall look of the home, as well as all the architectural detailing.

In the design phase, we wanted to make sure that a lot of the exterior architectural detailing was authentic and in keeping with those traditional details found on typical shingle style homes. One of those architectural details I will focus on in this blog post is what I will call the “shingle style roof rake”.

Over the years, I have worked on a lot of houses of varied styles with deep roof overhangs but not all in the shingle style. So, it was nice to be able to take a different approach as to how to address this style and palette of detailing.

A lot of times, you see roof overhangs, especially gable ends and returns built up with traditional mouldings, some built-out with flat stock, some with bed mouldings and/or crown and some with a combination of these.

For this house, we increased the trim detail palette a little, to not only have a combination of traditional mouldings, but to also include the cedar shingle siding and use these shingles as the actual detail to dress up the gambrel and gable ends of the roof forms. The only challenge to this idea was the fact that we had three different roof types (gable, shed and gambrel), as well as different gable end depth conditions to contend with!

After yards and yards of trace paper and weeks of playing with different details, we decided to use the white cedar wall shingles and angle them at several different pitches within different roof overhang depths along the roof rake. In all…we ended up having four different details (rake and return) and roof overhang depths.

For the gambrel roof overhangs. at the two story larger structure (which included the Garage and Master Suite above) (click to see the South Elevation — ‘A’ Detail). we went with a deep overhang of approximately 12”… and angled the shingle rake to approximately 45 degrees. Custom-made solid cedar corbels were used to pick up the upper 1/3rd of the gambrel roof, reminiscent of typical shingle style accenting. We supported the shingles with blocking and finished the rake detail with a combination of cedar crown moulding and flat stock (click to see A – Gambrel Roof Rake and Eave Soffit Details ).

On the 2nd Floor Master Suite Bathroom gable roof – (see North Elevation — ‘B’ Detail ) we reduced the depth of the roof overhang a little for a subtle change in the roof depth (total depth of approximately 6”). We also reduced the shingle angle to approximately 14 degrees to keep the scale and proportion relative to the entire house (see B — 2nd Floor Gable Roof Rake and Return Details ).

For the West Elevation — (‘C’ Detail) on the larger two-story gambrel structure, we used the 12” roof overhang with 45 degree shingle rake as mentioned above, but on the gable end structure, where the Living Room faces the ocean (what was left of the original ranch home), we dropped the roof overhang roof depth by a couple of inches. (see C – Main House Roof Rake and Return Details ).

And than lastly, for the 2nd floor shed roof dormers (see East Elevation — ‘D’ Detail ), we minimized the roof overhang down to approximately 6” and installed the shingle on “the flat” parallel to the exterior wall without having a pitch at all. (see D — Shed Roof Rake and Return Details )

Each roof overhang condition and rake detail needed its own unique approach in order to stay in proportion with the overall roof mass. These architectural details also allow for interesting shadow lines and roof definitions.

From a point of view seeing a lot of what I do that is sketched on paper and drawn on the computer, it’s important to note that as a company, we pride ourselves on having a talented execution team with great attention to detail. It takes a lot of patience, teamwork, and especially craftsmanship from those in the field to successfully execute and finalize all the complex details for project like this.

Working on the exterior detailing of any home can take time and that old phrase “the devil is in the details” is so often true. However, nothing can make a home much more complete or a project so rewarding than having the details complement the overall architectural style of the home.

Be sure to click on the links provided above to see all the drawings illustrating the roof rake details and elevations.


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