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Unless your roof is leaking or clearly showing signs of aging you don’t think about it much. The same goes for most New Haven roofing companies. But for those who have a real passion for the trade, all the various forms and shapes influenced by architectural styles over time, make roofs a pretty fascinating subject. Call us odd, but at Maumee River Construction, we’re that passionate about roofs.
The story of roofing New Haven and of roofing throughout the world actually begins about 10,000 years ago, when early man began to venture from their natural shelters, like caves and cliff overhangs, to pursue food sources as nomads or wander the lands to find fertile areas to practice early agriculture. A single invention allowed them to set up a fine shelter wherever they stopped temporarily or decided to settle in–THE ROOF!
The first “roofs” were most likely simple lean-tos. A bunch of branches, twigs, and thatch or animal skins angled against an upright surface, such as a cliff face, a lean-to makes for a workable shelter for a night or two. For nomadic people, a shelter had to be light and easy to transport. During New Haven’s prehistory, native peoples had no horses to haul anything around. Most of what they needed or wanted they carried on their backs or used dogs to pull sleds loaded with whatever items were necessary. Shelters also had to be easy to assemble and disassemble, as they rarely stayed in one place while away from their permanent settlements. But, when they developed roofs, giving them a practicable means to establish homesteads wherever they pleased, they moved out for caves permanently and took up residence in desired hunting grounds or fertile agricultural areas and evolution of Man accelerated.
Fast-forward to New Haven roofing companies in the 20th, and 21st centuries… The many styles of roof structures that roofers New Haven, like its finest one–Maumee River Construction– build or service with roof repairs and replacements, preserve the interesting architecture of north-central Indiana. Here, in the Great Lakes’ and upper midwest region of the county, weather can be punishing and a good roof with sound water-shedding capability is the key to comfort, energy efficiency, and safe, dry living. Strong roofs that can withstand the weight of snow and ice, while moving it off the roof in a timely manner, are also critically important to maintaining the comfort and safety of a home or building.
Back in the early 1800’s, the upper midwest was enamored with an architectural style known as Greek Revival. This style remained popular for decades and many of these well-built homes have stood up to the test of time–proof of the fine craftsmanship and roofing skills of the era. The architectural style featured gabled roofs and heavy pillars as signs of homeowners’ wealth and pride in achieving success during America’s rapid economic growth, which played such a big part in Indiana history.
Germans arrived in Indiana during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many early German settlers were lured by the farmland in Indiana. Others came because they had special skills such as furniture making. By the end of the 1890s, about 70 percent of Indianapolis residents reported having German heritage. In Fort Wayne and Evansville, the percentages were even higher. Their Dutch Colonial style houses were often characterized by double-pitched roofs–roof slopes that changed angles and featured little dormer windows. Dutch Revival homes in New Haven IN can be identified by their steeply pitched roof, flared eaves, bay windows, and wood shingle siding.
Fancy wood filigree accenting rake edges of a roof provide a clear hint that you’re looking at an example of New Haven’s gothic architecture. Back in the 1800s, New Haven roofers called the style Carpenter Gothic, crediting the beauty and intricacy of these decoratively trimmed roofs to the skilled craftsmen who carved them.
Most Hoosiers are familiar with Tudor style homes, and New Haven roofing companies, like Maumee River Construction certainly are. With their timbered facades the high pitched roofs of Tudor homes commonly have side gables and dormer windows. Tudor style’s popularity in Indiana emerged at the turn of the 20th Century and the style is still very popular today.
As Indiana closed in on the 1900’s, Queen Anne-style architecture began popping up around New Haven. Queen Anne-style is fairly ornate sporting a variety of interesting roof features – gables, dormers, and turrets or towers. It’s the kind of architecture that gets a New Haven home qualified fir an Historic Renovation Grant!
Some of us older New Haven IN residents may recall a time when Sears was the dominant department store,sort of what Amazon.com is today, only in a less technical, brick-and-mortar sense! For a period of time, Sears even sold home designs and delivered the materials to build them. Aladdin and Sears were innovative companies that marketed prefab home kits during America’s Arts & Crafts Movement. The American Craftsman home or Craftsman Bungalow was a quaint, affordable way to acquire all the building products and plans needed to erect a beautiful little home on a plot of land. Craftsman style houses can be found in abundance throughout Indiana. Roof configurations on Craftsman homes include front-gabled, cross-gabled, side-gabled, and hipped roofs.
Just a little over an hour’s drive north from New Haven, in Southbend IN, is the Mossberg House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Samara House is another fine example in West Lafayette. Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique style is known as Usonian. These sleek, modern homes and buildings frequently sported flat roofs and large cantilevered overhangs.
You see them throughout New Haven and the rest of the United States, each one distinctive thanks to the caring stewardship of hardworking homeowners–ranch homes. Ranch style homes are lovely and simple structures, so often graced with colorful landscaping and manicured lawns. Ranch style homes have gracefully sloping roofs and overhanging eaves typically topped with asphalt shingle or tile roofs.
Reflects the unique home styles of the 1970s, the Mansard roof is quite a distinctive style of roof design. It’s often found on Neo-Victorian, Neo-Tudor, and Neo-Colonial homes. A Mansard roof is characterized by two slopes on all the four sides where the lower slope becomes steeper than the upper slope.
We don’t mean to be sarcastic, in fact, owners of spacious, modern, multi-story houses reflecting the taste of the “nouveau riche,” live a lifestyle to be envied, do they not? These big newer homes featuring palladian windows over an accentuated foyer, multiple faux chimneys, dormers and a variety of other gratuitous details are sometimes referred to as McMansions. This style became popular in the 1980s. They are often a fascinating amalgamation of different architectural styles.
One-story ranch-style houses can be converted to multi-story dwellings with a simple raising of the roof, and this form of conversion is not unusual for folks here in New Haven–often, it’s upwardly mobile, dual-earning households with growing families who find they simply need more room, but don’t care to uproot their kids from school and friends. Two- and 3-story conversions required lots of skill by New Haven roofing companies which can “pop the tops” off 1-story dwellings in order to create more striking, elegant, and family-friendly homes.
For new builds in the New Haven area, builders, architects and homeowners want to express themselves, and roof materials and colors are part of that self expression. Asphalt shingle, metal roofing, ceramic tile, solar shingles, slate and shake roofing…the choices run the gamut. Maumee River Construction can help you realize the roof you want at a cost you can manage, so give Maumee River Construction a chance to bid on your roof repair or replacement project! You won’t be sorry, as we are passionate about roofing, how it emerged over time and how it has become such an integral part of your comfort, protection and energy-efficient lifestyle.
New Haven homes range in style and age, and so do all the roofs covering them. Your roof is your first defense against these elements. With proper maintenance, a roof can withstand serious weather events year-round. Maumee River Construction performs superior roofing work on northern Indiana home and commercial properties and we’d be delighted to serve you.