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Tom King

This is a Real roof

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Beautiful roof. Now, even copper gutters & downspouts are prohibitively expensive except for the most high-end homes.

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Looks great!

Some houses in my mother's neighborhood had their copper downspouts and gutters stolen a while back.

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7 hours ago, Tom King said:

I built this house in 1990/91.   We were by there today, so I took this picture with my phone.  When I bought the copper, it was 90 cents a pound.  It took seven  one thousand pound rolls.  Total cost was $6300 for the copper.  Today, that would be about $70,000.   

I hired a guy to come with a roll forming machine that turned up the edges into shapes that could be folded together.   Everything else was done by hand with specialized tools.   This was my first ever standing seam roof.

I was never afraid to tackle something that I hadn't done before, but rather enjoyed the new puzzle.

Estimated life remaining is another 600 years, maintenance free.  It just recently started to turn green. 

This is the "road side" of the house.   I always had to design houses I built myself, because a lake house needs two fronts-a lake front, and a road front.  You may be able to buy plans like that now, but way back when I first started, I gave up looking for plans, and ended up designing them myself.  That never changed as long as I was building new houses.

copperroof.JPG

As a Financial guy I probably should only this but don't care about commodities..

 

I'd the huge price increase a byproduct of the price of copper? I can't think of anything else a functioning economic reason that wouldn't have fixed itself by now.

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4 hours ago, Brendon_t said:

As a Financial guy I probably should only this but don't care about commodities..

 

I'd the huge price increase a byproduct of the price of copper? I can't think of anything else a functioning economic reason that wouldn't have fixed itself by now.

Supply/Demand.

Demand is up because the 3rd world is developing incredibly fast and adding power lines and buying electronics, etc.

Supply is down (at least in the US) because copper mining is terrible for the environment.

@Tom King Beautiful work. But, are there no architects or even drafters in your area? The design looks better than most I've seen.

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Joseph,  The only thing I ever hired other people to do, after I wasted so much time waiting for subcontractors to get there on my first house, was to put in the HVAC units.   I knew there would be callbacks on those sometime in the future, and I didn't want to get sidetracked to go work on them.  Some builders build with a telephone.  Some use hammer, and saw.   I don't even answer my phone when I'm working, unless it's my Wife because I know it would be an emergency, or the clients I'm working for, who know they are paying me by the minute for being on the phone.

I'd start a house in the Fall, finish the inside over the Winter, finish up the outside in the Spring, sell it at the beginning of  Summer, and take the Summer off other than thinking about what I was going to do next.  I only had to please myself, and could take advantage of any deals I found along the way.  By finding deals on materials along the way, and doing all the work myself with a couple of helpers, I could sell a house, not including the lot, for a little over double what it cost me to build it.

Hiring someone else to draw it would have taken more time (not to mention money) than it took me to do it like I wanted, so it makes no sense to think about why I would want someone else to do it.  I did not care about high production of houses.  I only wanted to build one a year.  I preferred any profit to go into my pocket.

No blueprints were required.  I don't think I ever made any copies after the first drawing.  It may have had a lot of erased lines on it, but it didn't matter. Once I got the floor framed, and the bottom plates marked off, I didn't need the drawing any more.  

In 2007, it looked like the rest of the building industry had outsmarted me, so I went to working on historic houses full time.  I wasn't worried about selling a house.   I never kept one for longer than 2 weeks once I put a price on it, and didn't price one until I was ready to sell it.  But in 2007, I was worried about what was going to happen to house prices, so put a high price on my work by the hour, and since then, the list of people who want me to do work only gets longer.

This page shows the lake front while it was under construction.   Sorry about the text errors.  My website has accumulated a bunch of formatting errors over the years, and I have not bothered to take the time to fix them.  Pictures are before handrails were even up on the porch.

http://historic-house-restoration.com/roofing.html

I already had pictures of the handrails in here.  They are mortised into the posts.  Even though they were spec houses, I never cut corners other than the best way I could figure out how to.  I never slowed up to take pictures when we were working.   Most of the pictures of my work were taken by someone else.  Most houses I built never had any pictures taken at all.  There was a guy building a house himself, next door to this one when I was working on it, so the pictures are by him.  He was the guy that left me all his tools.

post-14184-0-62400100-1380340826_thumb.jpgpost-14184-0-72826700-1380340845_thumb.jpg

 

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7 hours ago, JosephThomas said:

Supply/Demand.

Demand is up because the 3rd world is developing incredibly fast and adding power lines and buying electronics, etc.

Supply is down (at least in the US) because copper mining is terrible for the environment.

@Tom King Beautiful work. But, are there no architects or even drafters in your area? The design looks better than most I've seen.

Jt. I've got the supply demand issue down.  

The time issue is what I have issue with. In our capitalist environment, If the demand was there, a supply would be found.  

I'm more wondering if this is a linear trend in pricing over that 28 year Gap, or if that style (copper roof) is getting more popular causing a demand Spike the supply hasn't been able to flatten yet. 

For the record, I've never even heard of a copper roof 

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Copper is a component in brass alloys. Every military action with increased delivery of ordinance has spiked copper prices. It is easily recycled and so holds its value well. 

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Almost no demand for a copper roof now, I'm sure because of price.   Copper is a commodity, and the price goes up and down all the time.   It doesn't matter what is made from copper, the cost of the raw material would be the same whether for pennies, copper pipe, cooking utensils, or sheet metal.   I just happened to catch it at a good price when I checked back then.

Having bought copper flashing a number of times since then, I would say that price increases have been pretty linear.

I wanted to do a standing seam roof.  At that time most standing seam roofs were Terne coated steel (now gone out of business thanks to snap together).  You had to paint that.   The break even point for the difference between copper, and Terne coated crossed at the second time the Terne tin needed to be painted.  I think it was about 2,500 less for the Terne coated metal, and I didn't want to paint it anyway.

as an aside:   Most people call it "turned tin roof", but it was really Terne tin.  The Terne coating was a proprietary coating of tin, and lead, by the Follansbee Steel Company.

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We do copper all the time out here. It is generally just a feature item. Cupolas, porches, or single small gables often are what we are covering. Copper is often the flashing choice for slate or false slate systems. We also prefer copper for a variety of custom pans and window box liners. You are right though, I don’t know of a whole copper roof here. 

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The only copper roofs I know of around here are that one, a bank in town, and a boathouse.   All were done at about the same time.  None before, and none since, even on multi-million dollar houses.  The family that owns that house is very proud of it.

I use it all the time for flashing on old houses.  The last roll I bought was $1,000 for a hundred pound roll of 20 oz., as seen here:

http://historic-house-restoration.com/chimneyflashing.html

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On 9/1/2018 at 7:07 AM, Brendon_t said:

Jt. I've got the supply demand issue down.  

The time issue is what I have issue with. In our capitalist environment, If the demand was there, a supply would be found.  

I'm more wondering if this is a linear trend in pricing over that 28 year Gap, or if that style (copper roof) is getting more popular causing a demand Spike the supply hasn't been able to flatten yet. 

For the record, I've never even heard of a copper roof 

My bad I didn't know they were teaching you finance guys about supply/demand these days. :ph34r:

Copper roofs were the thing on lots of historical buildings..did you mean for residential builds? Definitely less common. This wiki page runs thru lots of cool architectural uses of copper over the last millennium or so https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_in_architecture

 

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6 minutes ago, JosephThomas said:

My bad I didn't know they were teaching you finance guys about supply/demand these days. :ph34r:

 

Learned more down range, back when they were issuing us 2 cases of Rip It cans ( branded as an energy drink, but hit like s can of liquid amphetamine) a week per truck team.  Motor T top gunners became drug Lord's : )

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On 9/2/2018 at 10:11 PM, Brendon_t said:

Learned more down range, back when they were issuing us 2 cases of Rip It cans ( branded as an energy drink, but hit like s can of liquid amphetamine) a week per truck team.  Motor T top gunners became drug Lord's : )

Rip it must be a marine thing? An old co-worker that was a marine drank that stuff. I've seen it on the shelves of menards around here as well.

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I was given a cough medicine in the Army. A doctor later told me it was called GI gin. I have tasted gin in days gone by and I would have to be desperate to drink that stuff.

I recall my father telling me of a fellow in Florida who was saving pennies. He was going to sell them for scrap as they were more as scrap than money. I think there is a federal law regarding this. Around here, wiring, copper pipe and heat pumps are a target for the copper. New constructions are a big target. We have a scrap yard that records your driver's license number and takes a thumb print when you sell scrap.

FWIW, the Georgia capital building in Atlanta has a gold dome. The gold was taken from the gold strike in Dahlonega, GA.

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13 hours ago, Chestnut said:

Rip it must be a marine thing? An old co-worker that was a marine drank that stuff. I've seen it on the shelves of menards around here as well.

I was only with Marines and Corpsmen, but when we went by the big bases, we loaded up on monster.  I would be surprised if it was the exact formulation they were given to us out there man to be quite honest I doubt the FDA would approve it to be used as battery acid, they also had KFC and Green mountain coffee, subway and Baskin Robbins.... On the base US Military instillations in a way zone......

No political statement, just statement of humans..

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A number of years ago the Gold leaf on the Georgia Capitol needed to be redone. Only 3 companies seemed to be qualified. 2 of them showed little interest and their prices were high. A Greek family was quite quirky but got the job. The Legislature wanted Georgia gold to be used. The Greeks said we need " x" number of ounces of 24k gold to make the leaf. They refused to use commercially made leaf. They gave a hand written receipt when they picked up the gold. The ladies of the family made all the gold leaf. They would show up unannounced and proceed to climb all over the building which freaked security out. They handed over a paper bag full of those plastic ID badges, but refused to wear them. They took their own sweet time doing the work ,sometimes not showing up for weeks. When they got done questions were asked about a warranty. "We've been doing this for over 100 years, if it fails we will fix it. " But refused to put anything in writing.  It was quite entertaining to follow the story in the  local newspaper . The reporter seemed to get a kick out of them refusing to be pushed around by bureaucrats.  

I'm not sure but I think the dome is covered in sheet copper and the gold leaf is applied on top somehow. It's beautiful when the sun hits it.

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I'm sure it was different for the people doing the gilding, in opposition to what it appeared to the average person.  On any metal roof, it can be too hot, too cold, too windy, or dew stays on well into the day for whatever reason, and other hindrances that I'm sure I'm forgetting right now that can keep you from working on a metal roof.

Once you get to a shiny roof, other things come into play.   It was early Winter when we started putting on that copper roof, but even then it was so shiny that when the Sun came up high enough, it could get too hot to stay up there, or the glare could be so intense that it was intolerable if the sky was clear.  We would start at first light, if there was no dew, or frost, and would have to go do something else by 10 in the morning a lot of days.

I would imagine that for gilding, the wind threshold is a Lot lower than for even lightweight sheet roofing, temperature window probably narrower, and the glare factor could be even worse than the fresh copper.  So understanding all those things, I can understand them taking their own sweet time to do it.  I would have taken mine too.

Those are most of the reasons that I charge double my normal rate for working on a roof.  Sometimes you might lose half the time you could be working if conditions were suitable.   I don't charge double if there are other things inside that we can be working on, but if it's just a roof, I'm not going to sit down half the time, and not get paid.  If you're not working, you're watching, and waiting.

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