After the roof of this home was damaged by a tornado, Precision Construction installed 22,700 square feet of slate and 3,700 square feet of standing seam copper. Precision Construction & Roof
The Preston Hollow neighborhood in North Dallas is known for its quality homes, but many of them suffered significant roof damage after a tornado pierced it in November 2019. Precision Construction & Roofing, headquartered in North Richland Hills, Texas, replaced nearly 27,000 square feet of slate and copper roofing in a residence.
According to CEO Eric Hunter, Precision Construction was perfect for the job. The company specializes in complex projects and storm restoration work. “When we started the company 12 years ago, we focused on high quality residential properties, mostly historic,” he says. “We do all types of roofs, but we focus on slate, brick and copper. We have been doing more and more commercial work over the years and plan to start a commercial division so we can do a lot more commercial work in the future. “
The company is known for its work on historic houses with Ludowici tiles. “We have been Ludowici Contractor of the Year for four years and we’ve won Ludowici Roof of the Year for five years in a row,” explains Hunter.
That slate and copper roof was one of the largest residential projects the company has ever undertaken. “It’s a monster,” says Hunter, “
The slate roof was a mix of North County Black Slate and Vermont Unfading Green.
The existing roof was made of copper plates and Chinese slate, which was installed by the client. “We tore that down – or should I say the tornado tore it down for us,” recalls Hunter. “It had extensive tornado damage. The copper standing seam that you see on top of the roof was completely gone. “
One of the company’s vendors found part of the copper roof two blocks away over a power line.
Precision dried in the damaged roof and completed roof replacement as part of an insurance claim. After the claim was approved and slate arrived, the actual installation took about six weeks from start to finish.
One crew worked on the slate cuttings while another did the copper work. “It was kind of a combined effort,” explains Hunter. “Of course we started with the slate, but there were parts of the standing seams that we had to do before we could proceed with the slate. I would say the slate was 85 percent done, and then we did all of the copper. We had to go back and actually put on the remaining 15 percent of the slate after the copper was done. There was a lot of coordination involved. “
Slate and copper
For the slate sections, the crews installed ice and water protection from PABCO along the eaves, valleys, hips and ridges as well as the privately labeled synthetic underlay from Precision.
The slate roof combined products from two different suppliers. North County Black Slate was mixed with a Vermont Slate Unfading Green. “I think North County Black is the most beautiful slate in the world,” notes Hunter. “It’s amazing stuff. We took that and mixed it with the Vermont S1 Grade Unfading Green. “
Slate can vary in color naturally, and proper mixing is essential. Hunter estimates that the mixing process took 60 man hours. “The mixture is all done on the floor,” he says. “We took a piece of slate from every single palette of the North Country Black and mixed it up. We did the same with the unfading green. That was all mixed up, and then we mixed the two colors together to get the percentages on the roof. When this slate was brought up on the roof and placed on the toe boards, it was brought up there to be installed in that order. “
The slates had been hand-punched with two nail holes in the quarry. Approximately 22,700 square feet of slate were installed using copper nails
Copper was the only option considered for the roof sections and low slope details. “In my professional opinion, copper – if not lead – should be used on every single slate roof in the country, no matter where it is,” says Hunter. “Copper is the only metal that can withstand freezing and thawing, the elements and the heat for hundreds of years. Lead isn’t popular in Texas because, believe it or not, squirrels love lead. It’s like a snack for them. “
Lightning bolts, gutters, downspouts and other details have been made from scratch. “Every slate or tile project we install, no matter what, has all of it in copper – drip, valley metal, step flashes, counter flashes,” says Hunter. “Each of the pipe jacks you see on this roof was handcrafted from copper. All gable vents, dormer vents and all other vents were made by us either on site or in our warehouse. “
Approximately 3700 square meters of double-lock copper plates were produced on the site. “These panels were included, and when changes needed to be made, we had our bender, crusher, and cutter on top,” notes Hunter. “We hand crimped and hand bent each of these panels up there on the roof. We made sure these double locks were nice and tight. It probably took two weeks to finish all of the copper. “
Hunter credits his experienced crews with their expert workmanship. “Where there would be a hip or a valley, everything was soldered,” he says. “Soldering is very time consuming. You really have to know what you are doing. “
Challenges included infamous Texas weather and steep terrain in the back of the house making it difficult to access. The slate could only be delivered in front and had to be carried to the rear. “This house was tough because the scaffolding in the background was three stories,” says Hunter. “There’s a deck in the back that actually drops a story.”
The crews were 100 percent committed to fall protection. “The roof is so steep that you have to be very careful and use all the safety measures you can,” says Hunter. “Those standing seam roofs are 45 or 50 feet in the air.”
The completed project demonstrates the craftsmanship that is the company’s hallmark, according to Hunter. “It was a very, very time-consuming job, but it wasn’t rushed,” he says. “Our motto at Precision is’ We build beautiful roofs. ‘It’s kind of common. People will say, “You’re the guy who builds those pretty roofs!” This has been our hashtag and motto for years. We are just very proud of our work. “
Roofer: Precision Construction & Roofing, North Richland Hills, Texas, https://precisionconstructionandroofing.com
Slate: North Country Black, North Country Slate, https://www.ncslate.com and Vermont Unfading Green, Vermont Slate Company, https://vermontslateco.com
Copper: Double-lock standing seam copper plates