Looking for clay tile roof caps
September 1, 2009 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Flat Roof Filter - We're trying to get our garage roof replaced and are having problems locating a supplier for the clay tile end caps that run around the edge of the roof.

Here is a shot of the roof and here is a closeup of one of the edge caps that run around the parapet wall that surrounds the roof. We live in a designated historic neighborhood and by law need to keep the look of the house and garage the same (or go through a long hearing process with the historical review board). The two different roofers that we talked to both wanted to pull off those caps so that they could run the roofing membrane underneath it but can't guarantee that they won't break them pulling them off. Neither contractor knew where you could find these tiles and the one just wanted to put up metal flashing but I'm pretty sure that I'd never get away with that.

The tiles are 24" long and about 9" wide (three brick widths) and have a lip at the end so that they interlock. I've searched around the interwebs and so far have come up with nothing. If I can't find a supplier, how difficult and pricey would custom tiles be to get made?
posted by octothorpe to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
Have you talked to the folks at Construction Junction? They might know whether these tiles can be found, or how often they turn up. On the other hand, if they tend to get broken while coming off, then you might not have such good luck.
posted by chinston at 7:11 AM on September 1, 2009

Best answer: Clay Wall Coping
posted by JJ86 at 7:39 AM on September 1, 2009

Best answer: Btw, in Pittsburgh, Atlas Clay.
posted by JJ86 at 7:42 AM on September 1, 2009

Best answer: I know that this is a round about suggestion, but we used Barry Smith on our slate roof. http://www.smithslateroofing.com/ He did an amazing job repairing the damage done to our roof by roofers who had a non-preservation slant (tar, nails). While he was finishing up our roof, he got a call about a preservation conference that he could attend at the last minute, and was incredibly passionate about preservation roofing, talking to us in detail about the roof on our neighbor's house (those 1/2 circle clay tiles). We got the impression from talking to him that he had hoped to expand out into other kinds of "traditional" roofing, including the clay. (Though the pessimist in me wonders if his slate business keeps him too busy to expand out.)

I would suspect, if you don't mind going in a round about way, that if Smith couldn't do it himself, he could tell you someone who can. He's got a link to the Preservation Trades Network on his site, so he might have a network to call on - between that and his authoring in "Traditional Roofing Magazine." I know it's a long shot, but who knows?
posted by librarianamy at 7:58 AM on September 1, 2009

Response by poster: JJ86, those look like exactly what I'm looking for and the local supplier is just about a mile from my house. "Wall coping" is the phrase that I couldn't figure out. I was searching for "ridge caps" and never found anything close to what I needed. Now to find out how much they cost and since I'll need about 70 of them, I'm hoping not too much.

Amy, it doesn't look like Smith does flat roofing but I'll definitely contact him about other projects, the house has two shingle roofs (unfortunately not slate) and a tin porch roof.
posted by octothorpe at 9:35 AM on September 1, 2009

I think you want to steer clear of a roofing contractor who doesn't know how to work with these. Probably talk to Atlas and see if they can recommend contractors to place them and then have the contractor buy them. It probably doesn't pay to buy them yourself unless you plan on installing them.
posted by JJ86 at 11:22 AM on September 1, 2009

Response by poster: What we may end up doing is using one roofing contractor who knows how to deal with the membrane roofing material and then getting a masonry contractor who can re-install the wall coping.

Sigh, I'm really hoping that this will end up costing less than my new Honda that's sitting inside the garage.
posted by octothorpe at 2:00 PM on September 1, 2009

Kinda late, but Construction Junction seems to have these in stock semi-regularly. Might save some significant money that way.
posted by buttercup at 6:08 PM on September 1, 2009

Response by poster: As follow up we ended up finding a roofer (the forth one we talked to) who has experience with exactly the roof we have and will deal with the tiles himself. He knew about the supplier that JJ86 pointed to but already has a supply of salvage tiles in his warehouse.

Unfortunately, they did a core sample of the roof bed and found a layer of slate on the bottom that's tarred directly to the wooden underlayment and is going to take a sizable amound of labor to pull up. This roof is going to cost more than the car it's protecting.
posted by octothorpe at 2:24 PM on October 1, 2009

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