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Engineered Slate and Shake Roofing Systems
Engineered Slate and Shake Roofing Systems

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The Only Roofing That Weathered The Storm - An Inspire Case Study

The tranquil township of St. Albans, Missouri, is a scenic community of upscale homes, including breathtaking multi-million-dollar estates, located near St. Louis. With its towering bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, nature-rich St. Albans blends refined outdoor living with easy access to urban amenities.

The ultimate in Midwest luxury living, St. Albans’ subdivisions showcase prestigious homes that bring architectural integrity and beauty to the landscape. But with this picturesque setting comes the region’s sometimes severe seasonal weather, which can damage houses, particularly roofing—unless builders and homeowners choose exterior products wisely.

Fortunately in 2013, Aspen Touch, local residential roofing contractors and exterior restoration experts, introduced St. Albans to Inspire® Classic Slate Roofing from The Tapco Group®, an industry-leading provider of premium building solutions. Brian Teipel, Aspen co-owner and seasoned contractor, installed Inspire Classic Slate on two St. Albans’ houses.

“All of the real slate, wood shake, and asphalt roofs were damaged by hail, but our Inspire Classic roofs weren’t even nicked.”

Little did the homeowners know that the next year, they would be the envy of their neighborhood—and not just because Inspire Classic Slate created splendid aesthetics that enhanced their homes’ architecture. It was the extreme spring weather that made them the talk of the town—and Inspire Classic’s incredible durability.

In April 2014, a high-powered storm system swept St. Albans and the surrounding St. Louis area. Tornados, torrential rains, high winds, and golfball-sized hail pummeled the region, cutting a swath of costly damage. In St. Albans, one of the hardest-hit towns, home roofing was ravaged by the storms.

Amazingly, the two Inspire Classic Slate roofs were he only two in the subdivision left unscathed. Despite being hit just as hard as neighboring homes by what Brian described as “racketball-sized hail,” Inspire Classic weathered the storms with grace. The homeowners and neighbors were astonished. Brian soon received calls from other residents requesting Inspire Classic Slate to protect and enhance their homes.

“Inspire Classic Slate is awesome. It installs faster than natural slate, is unbelievably durable, and has a beautiful clean look. It stands up to anything, and stands apart from the other roofing in the subdivision where we installed it,” said Brian Teipel. “All of the real slate, wood shake, and asphalt roofs were damaged by hail, but our Inspire Classic roofs weren’t even nicked. Classic is a harder, thicker material that holds ice’s weight more than other roofing too, a big benefit for weather extremes.”

Working closely with Midwest-based Arrowhead Building Supply, not only did Brian thrill the two homeowners, he gained local jobs as word spread that Inspire Classic Slate defied mother nature. Brian promoted Classic Slate’s benefits even more after the tumultuous storms, knowing he stood behind an unrivaled product that could handle the toughest elements.

Brian added “When St. Albans’ bylaws changed to allow composite slate roofing, not solely composite shake as before, it gave homeowners more great choices. With Inspire Classic Slate, you get top-tier roofing plus the backing of Tapco, an innovative leader who will be here for the long-haul. I looked at four companies before picking Inspire Classic Slate. I was so impressed by its composition and on-roof aesthetics.”

Brian’s first Inspire Classic Slate job for a $3-million St. Albans home had majestic results, despite its challenging turret which required tapered tiling. By enlisting Aspen Touch’s Florida crew who had extensive experience installing Inspire Classic Slate, plus using Inspire’s self-training DVDs, Brian ensured the job’s success—from rooftop to turret tip. The homeowner was happy, and the rest is history in the making at St. Albans.

Thanks to Inspire’s brawn, durability, and eye-catching allure, business is burgeoning for Aspen Touch in St. Albans and beyond. Over the last two years of working with Inspire Classic Slate, Brian has also discovered the value of its design and installation versatility, which allows it to work seamlessly with any style home. It also offers broad, distinctive color palettes.

“Everyone loves Inspire Classic Slate, contractors and homeowners alike. You get the aesthetics of real slate with far greater durability. The diverse color choices are striking too,” said Brian. “Classic Slate protects houses better than any other roofing product I’ve worked with. Its Class A fire rating, 110-mph wind uplift rating, plus Class 4 hail and hurricane protection provide peace of mind. It’s the best roofing product, bar none.”

Distributing Tapco’s Inspire Roofing Products as an integral element of their “Outside Elegance” brand, Arrowhead Building Supply has sold roofing since 2002 and grown to include an array of outdoor living solutions during their 17 years. The largest wholesale supplier of residential roofing in the St. Louis region, Arrowhead aims to provide easy-to-install, low-upkeep solutions. Inspire Roofing fits the bill according to Rick Pogue, Chief Management Officer (CMO) and Principal of Arrowhead, a vertically integrated company with top-quality products and 4,000 customers—2,500 of which reside in the St. Louis area and are mainly contractors.

“Arrowhead believed in the Tapco Inspire Roofing brand before we even went to market. We selected it based on its track record of superior quality and their reputation for outstanding customer support. When we launched ‘Outside Elegance’ last year, Inspire Roofing Products took off and are living up to their promise,”said Rick Pogue.

“Inspire Classic Slate Roofing is a smart product and easy to sell. It turns people’s heads, and it’s a breeze to install and maintain. It’s incredibly strong, affordable, and has a terrific warranty. Classic Slate is perfect for houses that aren’t designed for real slate’s heavy weight, yet it offers slate’s aesthetics for one-third the cost—without the hassles inherent to slate roofing. Classic Slate has also proven it can weather the toughest hail storm and stay as stunning as the day it was installed.

”Rick concluded “When you’re dealing with something as essential as residential roofing, team work and synergy are critical to product success. Working with Tapco and Inspire, we’ve created that. They help us provide optimum customer service, which is why contractors continue coming back. They’re confident that products, such as Inspire Classic Slate, will enrich and protect houses and that homeowners will be delighted by the results.”

Bobby Nichols, Branch Manager for Arrowhead’s operation in St. Peters, MO, took the original initiative of sending Inspire Classic Slate samples to Brian Teipel, and the St. Albans project was soon underway. Because they believed it was the perfect roofing for residents’ high-end homes, Bobby, Rick, and Brian collaborated closely to bring Inspire Classic Slate into St. Albans.



They knew people desired the look of genuine slate without its problems and that they also wanted impact-resistant roofing with the fortitude to endure beautifully for decades, come heavy rains, hot sun, and hail storms. Low waste factor is important too. Real slate has high waste of 20% or more, so Arrowhead and their customers were very pleased that Inspire Classic Slate yields such low waste at less than 10%, improving job efficiency and economics.

“Tapco’s innovative Inspire Roofing brand is steadily growing in our distribution regions—it has a bright future in St. Louis and the surrounding communities, where products such as Inspire Classic Slate fit in naturally and ensure more jobs for our contractor partners,” said Bobby Nichols.

“Tapco and Inspire have provided highly responsive service and support every step of the way. They’re different from other companies—they truly stand behind their products. They’re excellent at problemsolving, and everyone loves their innovative solutions. Inspire Classic Slate Roofing is in a class by itself,”concluded Bobby.
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Michigan Restaurateurs Take Reins In Restoration Of Historic Inn

A 164-year-old Michigan restaurant is soon to be reborn, thanks to the inspired, never-say-die efforts of a husband-and-wife restaurateur team.

In restoring The White Horse Inn, an ancient equestrian-themed eatery in Metamora, Michigan, the pair profited from the untiring efforts of local craftsmen who viewed the restoration as a personal challenge, a timely mix of grants and tax credits and a truly distinctive roofing product manufactured by a Michigan manufacturer at its Metamora facility. The story starts with the decision of Victor Dzenowagis and his wife, Linda Egeland, to shepherd the inn’s restoration.

The White Horse Inn had been the Wolverine State’s longest-operating restaurant before closing in late 2012. The logical folks to revive the eatery were Victor and Linda, who were not only 24-year Metamora residents, but also own and operate five upscale dining restaurants in the Detroit Metro area.

"It had fallen into disrepair and had been seriously neglected over the prior 20 years,” Dzenowagis says. “Given the magnitude of the renovations necessary to bring back The White Horse, we weren’t initially interested in taking on the challenge. After five months of watching the building sit idle, and the village decline, we began to look into ways to get some financial support so as to make the massive investment. What it all came down to was that old saying, ‘Somebody ought to do something, and that somebody was us."

Once they’d taken on the task of restoring The White Horse, Victor and Linda came face to face with the many challenges that effort would involve.

“Getting the financing together was difficult,” Dzenowagis says. “We needed grant money. We needed community financial support. We needed to come up with money of our own. And we needed to convince our bank that this was a bankable project. Fortunately, we were able to do all that.”

After a lot of hard work, the couple was able to garner enough grant funding to make the project feasible from their standpoint. Still, Victor says, “This is more a labor of love than it will be a financial windfall.”

The total budget, including property purchase, is $2.5 million. Funding includes a State of Michigan grant for job creation of $570,000, a Metamora Downtown Development Authority grant of $300,000 and a Federal Historic Tax Credit of $80,000, with the remainder from private money and a bank loan.

A big hurdle was creating a building design that kept the 1850s character of The White Horse, but blended in modern amenities like working bathrooms and a large kitchen to handle expected overflow weekend crowds.



“The deterioration of the original building was, and still is, a big challenge,” Dzenowagis says. “The foundation is failing, the wood siding is rotten in many areas, the original windows are in tough shape.


“It is in the kind of condition you would expect from something built over 160 years ago. Dealing with structural problems within the scope of a historic renovation has been time consuming and expensive. “But it’s just part of the challenge when one signs on to a project like this.”

One of the serendipitous early occurrences that helped smooth the process was the discovery of “the perfect architect for the project,” Victor says.

Architect Charlie Veneklase and his architect wife own a Royal Oak, Michigan boutique firm called Von Staden Architects.

Veneklase grew up in a 250-year-old house in Connecticut, has an affinity for historic buildings, and a love for challenges like marrying an authentic look with up-to-date functionality. “Beyond that, we spent a lot of time doing period research to come up with architectural elements, such as lighting and furniture – that work in the realm of our renovation,” Dzenowagis says. “Next, we sought out true craftsmen who wanted to work on this project, who either live in the area or are passionate about retaining historic buildings, to help with the restoration.”

If this tale were part of a movie, there would now be a montage of short shots of trees being felled in a nearby forest, being hauled away by horses, being milled by fifth-generation community sawyers and finally, the resulting beams, columns and floors being hammered into place throughout The White Horse.

Other historic touches have been just as ingeniously incorporated. Victor and Linda hired a third generation mason who is using stones reclaimed from a nearby 1880s barn foundation to create the massive, real wood-burning fireplace.

Floors are being hand done by a nationally-renowned artisan and fellow Metamora resident named John Yarema, who has worked for the Kennedy family estate. “He has been helping with all the woodwork – floors, beams, columns – and at a price a fraction of what he would normally charge,” Dzenowagis says. “Craftsmen who are as passionate as we are about this project [are] the key to making this all come together.”

Speaking of serendipity, another fortuitous happenstance took place around the time Dzenowagis and Egeland were convening on the topic of the roof of The White Horse with their builder and architect.

They discussed cedar shake, standard three-tab shingles, standing seam and slate. “Our preference was slate,” Victor recalls.

“The characteristics of slate really fit with what we are doing here. Slate is substantial, historic and fits the materials we are using. Slate, though, is expensive, hard to install and relatively high maintenance. Kind of dejectedly, we were resigned to using standard three-tab shingles.”

Not two days after that meeting, the roofing product manager from a Michigan-based building products manufacturer, introduced himself to the general manager at the Moose Preserve in Bloomfield Hills, one of the couple’s other restaurants. He told the G.M. that the Inspire brand of composite slate and cedar shake roofing products is manufactured in a Metamora factory and that he was interested in supporting the project.



Dzenowagis soon met with him, and was shown Inspire Aledora™ Slate composite roofing, and immediately fell in love with the product. When he handed a section of Inspire Aledora™ Slate to Victor, he braced himself for the heavy weight he knew was coming.

“When he let go of the product sample, my hand flew up in a counter motion because I thought it would be heavier than it was,” he recalls. “It was really amazing. It had the authentic look and the feel of real slate, but without all of the inherent negatives of slate. I was concerned that it would be difficult to install. He showed me how it was done and that it was fool proof because of the way the tiles are scribed and marked. I was concerned about performance and durability, and he just started laughing. He said if it was installed properly, the roof would likely be there for the next generation.”

How did Inspire help maintain the historic look of the building? “It looks like real slate,” Victor says. “Roofs don’t get more historic than that. People will probably not believe it isn’t real slate.”

“The engineered variability in the edges makes it look real. With a historic building, we don’t want the roof to stand out and take center stage, but we don’t want it to disappear either. We want it to fit with all other architectural elements of the project: the wood, the stones, the fireplace and others. And Inspire not only fits in seamlessly, it looks just as natural as the original pieces of the restaurant.”
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Colorful Roofing Redefined

Once a spot where legendary characters of the Old West convened, McKinney, Texas has grown from its roots as one of the oldest towns in North Texas to become the site of a world-class, cutting-edge community. In this growing, affluent area just north of Dallas, Craig Ranch is a 2,200-acre New Urbanism community that embodies comfort, luxury, innovation and wellness.

An active, outdoor lifestyle is integral to the master-planned mixed-use development. The Ballfields at Craig Ranch is a 14-field baseball and softball facility. There are nearly as many soccer fields. Sections of the regional hiking and biking trail wind through. And a stroll around charming homes, tree-lined green spaces and pedestrian- friendly roadways brings you to the soft rush of cascading waterfalls and vibrant bronze sculptures inspired by western life.

Third-generation custom builder Sheldon Robinson, owner of Sheldon Robinson Custom Homes, is making a mark at Craig Ranch with standout houses. French influenced style, rugged sophistication and vibrant materials are hallmarks. Details include wrap-around balconies, distinctive weathervanes and finials, interior beams, and the rare North Texas basement.

Lining a street billed as the ‘most romantic’ in the region, one of Robinson’s homes even creates that ambience with six sets of French doors on the home’s façade, with accompanying shutters.

A unique key to Robinson’s romantic homes is the bold color used to create innovative roofs. It’s common for these roofs to feature five or more colors. Robinson uses InSpire Roofing Products as his exclusive composite slate material, which is available in a broad palette of 25 colors.

“With the product I previously used, we were very limited with colors. With InSpire, we mixed a variety of different patterns together to come up with what we believe really represented the look we were after,” Robinson says.

“I think a lot of people don’t even realize that option’s available. The multi-colors were a desire of ours. I wanted to do it for our houses because when people pull up to see a home, it just presents a whole different look. When people see that roof, they’re just – pardon the pun – inspired. It delivers more of an authentic slate look.”

Mark Kimrey, president of MK Custom Roofing, is Robinson’s Craig Ranch roofing contractor and originally recommended InSpire. “I liked it because it has great variety – more than just basic green, brown, black and grey. You can mix InSpire’s premium, standard and blended-colors.”

Kimrey remembers first exploring out-of-the-box possibilities. “Sheldon isn’t afraid to roll the dice,” he says. “Normally, when you do a mixture, you do three or four colors – not seven. I was very nervous when he approached me on that. I said ‘okay,’ and we sat down and I brought all these different colors. We laid them out on the carpet and started doing the mixture. And I said ‘you have seven colors here, and I actually think it’s going to work.’ It was very surprising and it really turned out great.”

One home’s roof even has a spectrum of eight different colors, including Red Clay, Chestnut Brown and Stone Black. Three out of the four distinct grey hues that InSpire produces are also used on that roof. With an eight-colored roof, says Robinson, “that’s not necessarily something a client even thinks about unless he sees what’s available. We can lay out a pattern and show him, and say ‘here’s the concept, here’s what’s interesting,’ as opposed to a typical all-black or grey roof.”

To generate ideas like this, Robinson says one of the things he likes to do with clients is simply sit down and get to know them through an interview “It’s not just about what they necessarily want in a house, but what is their lifestyle? What do they enjoy?”

This allows for both functional, beautiful exteriors and interiors. For a hunting-enthusiast, Robinson built a climate-controlled storage room and a hidden room for firearms and trophy mounts. For those who love to cook, he may put in a full-galley, professional kitchen. On the flipside, it could be a very small kitchen or one separated from the home for a client who might have cooking staff.

The desired result is to make a striking and enjoyable difference. “With our multi-colored roofs, I don’t think most people would look up and say ‘look at that roof, it’s incredible, I can’t believe how many different colors they have.’ I think most people would just look at that house and say ‘wow that really is an awesome-looking house.’ And that’s our goal. The average homeowner who walks into the house may not even understand why it’s different, but he’ll just know it’s different,” Robinson says.

The builder has received many comments on his roofs. “A lot of people think it’s actually real slate because of the color and how authentic it looks. InSpire really shines for us,” Robinson adds. “In communities that require a slate or slate-type product, it’s very desirable. The people at InSpire were willing to go above and beyond to get us all the different samples and color ranges. They really worked with us.”

The builder also appreciates In- Spire’s green factors, including the lifetime warranty. The tiles themselves contain recycled content, and are crafted of compressed limestone and virgin resins.

“Green building is something people are definitely interested in. It also helps clients understand how you build a whole home and your concern in taking the time to use more green-friendly products,” Robinson notes. “On sites, we’ll even have different dumpsters. Wood is separated from regular trash and ground up for mulch. Concrete and masonry product are ground up for road base.”

InSpire’s efficiency also contributes to sustainable construction. “Slate weighs about a thousand pounds a square, whereas InSpire weighs just like you’re putting a 30-year product on your house,” Kimrey explains. “You don’t have to do anything special. With slate, you’ve got to beef up the roofing system, which adds more to the framing pack.”

In 2008, two of Robinson’s Craig Ranch homes had slate roofs and six had InSpire. “When you break down the cost of material and labor, InSpire is less than half the cost of natural slate. It’s just enormously easier to use. Slate tiles are brittle, fragile and heavy. Just cutting and fitting them is a big difference. With InSpire, the installers can do big houses considerably quicker.” One reason Kimrey recommends InSpire is because you don’t have to blend it. “Typically, when roof tiles are delivered, if you have four or five palettes on the ground, you’d have to take one bundle per palette and shuffle it like a deck of cards to put it on the roof. If you didn’t, you’d end up with darker spots on the roof where you could actually tell the difference,” Kimrey says. He also notes InSpire’s Class 4 hail rating and the fact that many homeowners are interested in that protection. “With some composite shingle brands on Class 4 roofs, I’m not really sold on them withstanding a Texas storm,” says Kimrey. “I’m the kind of guy that sticks my nose into things. With InSpire, you can take that product and you can bend it from end to end. If you did that with other composites, they would break. If you could break a brand new shingle now, you have to ask ‘what will it do in a year,’ after it’s more brittle? I’ve broken other brands over my leg, products with a 50-year warranty. I know InSpire is very durable. As far as a Class 4 product, I truly believe in InSpire being impactresistant against a Texas hailstorm.“ Kimrey notes another durability factor with color. “We did two houses in the same area, the first with a different composite before InSpire was available. The later one was with InSpire. About a year after, we went to the first house, and it was a duller-looking color than the original - a chalky-looking color not as attractive as first installed. When you go to the InSpire product a year later, it looks like we just put it on the other day. I don’t know how they do it, but it doesn’t lose its color.” “A big reason why I recommend it is because it’s a lifetime roof,” adds Robinson. “Once you put it on, you’re done.“ With 15 years in the roofing industry, Kimrey ultimately cites the number zero when he talks about InSpire. “I haven’t had any callbacks. As far as discoloring, or fall-offs, I just haven’t had any callbacks since I’ve been installing it,” he says. “That’s a lot fewer than other brands, and that’s always a factor to a roofer and builder.”
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Our Composite Slate Elevates The Beauty Of A Grand Mountaintop Home

The contours of the land around this 8,800 sq. ft. mountaintop home in eastern Pennsylvania’s Upper Saucon Township were an integral factor in its impressive design. Sixty miles north of Philadelphia, this affluent community is set in the rugged and scenic terrain of the Lehigh Valley, steeped in tradition and history that dates to the early 1700s.

Sitting on three acres, the home features an angular floor plan, bending to fit the shape of the land. The rear of the home offers a dramatic drop-off and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. “It’s a completely unique design that also brings in a lot of crossover style. The home has a bit of European influence, but also a very contemporary look with the main gable,” says the home’s designer, Chuck Harrison, AIBD and VP Architectural at design-build firm Blair Custom Homes of Bethlehem, Penn.

All the rooms on the first floor, including the kitchen, breakfast area, family room and study, and most of the second floor, face the scenic vistas at the back of the house. The walkout basement, adding another 3,500 sq. ft., also leads to the picturesque view.

Building incredible first impressions

“I anchored the home’s aesthetics through the large gable that runs from the entryway through the back of the house. The roof is an integral part of the first impression as a person drives up,” says Harrison.

The soaring gable, along with several other gables and hipped sections that make up the roofline, feature InSpire™ Roofing Products’ composite slate, manufactured by The Tapco Group™. The deeply textured tiles complement other exterior materials of stone veneer, stucco, cedar posts and PVC trim. Since the homeowners wanted a traditional slate look, Pewter Grey was the color chosen for the roof. Pewter is one of four shades of grey InSpire provides in a comprehensive 25-color palette of traditional, vibrant and unique blended colors.

Having worked with both natural slate and composite slate in the past, John Blair, President of Blair Custom Homes, says the degree of InSpire’s authenticity is impressive. “I’d be hard-pressed to bring a lot of people by that house and have them know the difference from real slate as they looked at it from the street. They’ve done a great job with its authenticity.” “The look is absolutely amazing,” adds Harrison. “There have been people that pulled up to the jobsite and made comments thinking it was actually real slate. I’ve had that happen several times. They’ll say ‘wow, that slate roof must have been really expensive.’”

The true-to-life realism of InSpire is achieved by using various molds cast from natural slate, producing richly-detailed edges and surfacing. The tiles are crafted from compression-molded limestone and virgin resins. InSpire’s technologically- advanced materials and processing result in a Class A fire rating and a limited lifetime warranty. Unlike slate, the tiles won’t delaminate, lift or break, and they stand up to harsh conditions such as sea-spray and wind-driven rain.

Timeless style for today’s homeowners

While America’s first commercial slate mine was actually operated in eastern Pennsylvania, slate’s reign as the most expensive roofing material makes it cost-prohibitive for many, even in the historical northeast. Blair Custom Homes is noticing an increase in client demand for composite slate.

“Slate has become a boutique item, not just because of the expense with the material, but also because of the structure itself that you have to prepare for with slate,” Harrison explains. While InSpire weighs just a fraction of natural slate, it can be installed five times as fast while yielding five times less waste.

“InSpire is a great alternative because it achieves the look you’re trying to get with these projects,” notes Harrison. “It offers very clean roof lines, but also a warm, charming look. We’re in this indigenous area with a lot of tradition around us, and it’s just a perfect fit for that.”

Beauty backed by innovation

Before it began using InSpire, Blair Custom Homes literally experienced mixed results with other composite roofing - it showed unsightly patches of color. “Since then we’ve learned a lot, about the quality of the material, what’s key and what to look for,” Harrison says. “InSpire’s innovation influenced the product decision very much. From the install, to the quality of the product, to the homeowners’ viewpoint, it’s really a good product.”

Efficiency innovations like large nailing guides, alignment tabs and pre-cambering of the tiles did not go unnoticed by the design-build firm.

The pre-cambering delivers cost-savings, while also accounting for downward pressure allowing for InSpire’s 110 mile-per-hour wind uplift rating. “In- Spire is very accessible and incredibly easy to install – that’s one of its biggest benefits,” says Harrison. “And when you get to the caps, they’re all pre-shaped so there’s not a lot of cutting there.”

John Blair offers a simple way of measuring InSpire’s efficiency. “It never crossed my desk,” he says, “which always means it’s a good thing. Installation went very smoothly. We hope to use InSpire again, and I can see it becoming an exclusive product that we would use for clients who want premium roofing.”

In sync with the environment

Sustainability is also a consideration in selecting InSpire. According to Harrison, environmental factors are among the top several reasons to choose it. The tiles contain recycled content and are themselves completely recyclable. “Sustainability is becoming a bigger key in building materials decisions, and I think it’s going to become automatic when it comes to composite roofing,” Harrison says.

Raising the bar

While it’s not unusual for a Blair home to cost millions, John Blair notes that his company’s homes aren’t about price. The design-build firm does everything from renovations to substantial developments. “We could be doing a small project, but everything we do is going to be quality-oriented. I don’t have any problems doing a smaller house, but it’s going to be a well-built smaller house.

“Our attention to detail is second to none. It’s just about raising the bar, that’s the way we do things. We’re focused on serving clients interested in that level of quality,” Blair says.

As the firm works with The Tapco Group, says Harrison, he is appreciative of the quality of the relationship. “It’s been a good experience working with them. The people behind InSpire are very helpful and informative.”

Factors of quality, aesthetics, durability, and providing a great fit for historically influenced homes, are all reasons Harrison offers for planning to specify InSpire again. “InSpire delivers complete distinction. It sets a home apart from those with asphalt or fiberglass roof shingles,” he says.

“It’s just simply the beauty. The homeowners of this project love the roof. Their son happens to be in the building materials business, and even he commented that he was very impressed with it.”
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A Church’s Unique Roof Soars With A High-Profile Rejuvination

With its distinctive bell shape rising to a height of 85 ft. and a long, steep roof that ascends to vertical, the Kirkwood United Methodist Church near St. Louis is a dramatic structure. When it came time to replace the church’s 45-year old roof, InSpire™ Roofing Products’ composite slate was chosen to add charm, texture and color.

“InSpire transformed the building and made it look 110 percent better,” says Bill Broeker Sr., owner of Old Style Roofing, the project contractor. “The whole building is essentially roof, and it really improved the appearance. The people at the church are just amazed. They really love it.”

Project designer Jim Diehl, Vice President of J & S Roofing Technologies, says the church’s eye-grabbing silhouette now has even further standout appeal, thanks to the added dimension and the vibrancy of the four InSpire colors selected by the client: Slate Grey, Charcoal Grey, Red Cedar and Forest Green. “The original roofing was very basic, and didn’t have any pattern to it, or multiple colors,” says Diehl. Now, you have the contrast, you have the texture, you have a roof system that just stands out among others. With multiple colors like these, the result is a beautiful building.” A 4’ x 8’ mock up with the various colors sealed the owner’s selection.

The roof’s design and its size – with a length of 140 ft. and a rafter length over 50 ft. – were a formidable challenge. A crew ranging from six to ten men worked on the job, removing the old, cracked shingles, then installing 140 squares of InSpire Roofing over a new 3-inch vented nail base along with new copper gutters and brass snow guards.

“We’ve done roofs that steep, but not that big. We tackle a lot of innovative and unusual projects, this being one of them,” Broeker says. “This is one of the more difficult roofs that I’ve done in more than 40 years of experience – not a job for a faint-hearted man.”

The efficiency of InSpire’s InFlex™ tile design was a deciding factor in the selection of the product. “The pre-curving in the tile is a big benefit and why we liked it for this roof. We figured it would hug the curved roofline better, and it did,” Broeker says.

“It saved on labor,” notes Bill Broeker Jr., Vice President of Old Style Roofing. “Just on shuffling and handling before the installation, it probably saved 20 percent. When slate tiles come out of the mold like that, it’s the absolute best way to do it. If they’re not pre-arched and you bend them on site, they don’t stay. With InSpire, we didn’t have to worry about having to make sure each one was arched.”

For the complex installation, Old Style Roofing Superintendent Kirk Bregg had to come up with a number of ideas. “We actually attached ladders to the roof deck with walk boards stretched between and we also used an aerial lift for some of the installation. To transport the roofing, we devised a ramp system to get material up and over the snow guards,” Bregg says. The project’s large scope and the fact that the Kirkwood United Methodist Church has long been a recognized symbol around St. Louis, created a lot of interest in the job. “People would be driving down the road and they’d stop to look and watch. It caused traffic jams,” says Bill Broeker Sr.

While the church was Old Style Roofing’s first InSpire installation, the roofing has quickly become a preferred product. “We plan on using InSpire again,” he says. “InSpire is priced right and it’s a quality product. I don’t see a reason to use anything else unless it’s specified that we have to. It’s very attractive.”

As Broeker’s company was finishing work on the church, it also sold InSpire on a 50-square job for two structures on a large private estate, and also had plans to bid it on another large commercial job.

Bill Broeker Jr. says InSpire surpasses other composite slate with qualities including its durability and authenticity. “InSpire is a great-looking product. You can’t argue with the realism,” he notes. “It’s easy to install, and it is what it says it is. With other manufacturers, I can show you jobs that are five years old, but look like they’re 40 years old.”

Jim Diehl also cites InSpire’s value, good looks, warranty and pre-bending as considerations for future projects. “InSpire’s authenticity and aesthetics are excellent. It’s also competitively priced,” Diehl says. “Pictures really do not give the Kirkwood church justice. It’s gorgeous.”

With the many historical homes throughout Kirkwood, the church’s new roof is a good fit for the community, according to Bill Broeker Sr. “The importance of a roof is overlooked quite a bit, especially in
a building of this nature. The roof is everything as far as the appearance of this building.” While commercial roofs make up two-thirds of his business, he says the look that InSpire brings will also make an enormous difference in enhancing residential curb appeal.

“In many cases, homeowners don’t know what color their roof is until they go out and take a look,” Broeker says. “When they want a new roof, they often put a 20-year or 25-year roof on and don’t think anything of it. That’s until a neighbor puts on a nice architectural roof, then they say ‘wow, wish I’d have done that.’”
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Breathing Life Into A 173 Year-Old Ohio Historical Building

Until very recently, the Richard Howe House in Akron, Ohio was a neglected, blue-painted eyesore. The former mansion built in 1836 had been the home of the resident engineer of the Ohio & Erie Canalway, whose transportation project transformed northeastern Ohio into a bustling commercial center critical to many areas of a young America. Over subsequent decades, the Howe House took various turns, being home to an antique shop, grocery store and even a tattoo parlor. Thanks to a painstaking renovation, it is now a restored architectural showpiece that sits two blocks from its original location.

On June 30, 2008, the fragile three-story building, weighing 400 tons, was precisely raised onto a fleet of remote-controlled eight-wheel tractors and slowly rolled the two blocks to its new site. The three-hour spectacle fascinated hundreds who watched the building crawl along its way, taking up the width of the closed four-lane roadway. From there, the on-site rehabilitation of the building lasted 16 months. Unseemly pale blue gave way to vibrant red brick and a glimpse into history.

“The Howe House had been forgotten, but it’s been turned into a jewel in downtown Akron,” said Dan Rice, CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition (OECC). “The community is very surprised, even somewhat shocked to see how beautiful the house is.”

A partnership between the OECC and City of Akron allowed the $2.2 million project to come to fruition. The home, one of only two remaining historical high Federal style structures in the city, was in danger of being demolished to make way for new development. With the risk of losing the building to history, the coalition, which was committed to restoring the house and moving its offices there, decided to pick it up, re-site it and rehabilitate it. The OECC engaged Braun and Steidl Architects.

“Our design process included researching the architectural style in order to restore or duplicate features that would have been part of the house during the year 1886,” said Phil Steinberg, AIA, CSI, of Braun and Steidl Architects.

Significant time was spent restoring the floor plan. “Basically, two thirds of the first floor walls were missing from the original building because there had been multiple additions over the years. This included designing temporary structural shoring systems to support those openings where they had put the additions on so that restorations could be completed,” Steinberg explained.

In addition to load-bearing elements, the Federal style stone lintels and door surrounds were restored along with historical dentil trim and double-hung windows. Foundation stones from the home were salvaged and used as exterior veneer.

For the structure’s roof, Braun and Steidl spec’d The Tapco Group’s InSpire Roofing brand. The composite slate is often used on historical projects and was already familiar to the firm. InSpire tiles carry an authentic slate texture, but in a sustainable blend of limestone and virgin resins.

“There was slate roofing added at some point in the home’s history during the selected time period we were trying to comply with. We used a historical color blend for the roof as well as the other colors on the façade to match the 1886 appearance,” Steinberg noted. “InSpire really does a wonderful job of complementing the historical renovation of this structure,” Rice added.


A mix of three roofing colors was used; 40 percent Slate Grey, 40 percent Pewter Grey and 20 percent Dover Grey. InSpire’s 25 colors include a full range of historically-sensitive shades such as Charcoal Grey, Plum and Emerald Green, along with exclusive blended-color tiles that feature grey color mixes. The ratio of grey hues used was a joint recommendation from Braun and Steidl and In- Spire. “We sat down with the InSpire people and had extensive conversations on historical aesthetics,” Rice said. “We clearly recognized the need to rely on their expertise.”

To install the new roofing, general contractor Welty Construction turned to USA Roofing, Inc. of Twinsburg, Ohio, a company specializing in commercial shingle roofing on structures like large churches, hotels, banks and school buildings. “When I stand across the street, I can’t tell the difference between this composite and natural slate,” said Dusty Basmagy, project roofer with USA Roofing. “The InSpire roof looks good. If I had a 150-year old house, I would consider installing it.”


Nationally, InSpire is installed on museum buildings, historical churches and other landmark structures. It is also used to discern homes of various architectural styles, from a Queen Anne mansion in Beverly Hills to a massive mountaintop estate in the slate-heritage area of eastern Pennsylvania.

“You wouldn’t know that those tiles are a synthetic product with recycled content. They are very, very beautiful,” said Rice. “We have several other historical projects that we’re working on and we hope to partner with InSpire again.”

Below the revitalized slate roofline, more choices and challenges had loomed. Braun and Steidl had to find a matching brick similar to the handmade brick of the 1836 façade. They also had to analyze the composition of the home’s lime putty mortar to restore the original brick walls.
Because a particular section of the building could not be moved, there was also a need to recreate an historical addition to the home. Now, that addition sits just off the water’s edge of the canal, with doors opening to overlook the project that Richard Howe spent so many years on.

Inside the rejuvenated Howe House, the first floor entryway contains a visitor’s information center with a main exhibit space and an area for exploring the heritage of Richard Howe, “whose canal-building mission is the very reason for why Akron came into being,” Rice noted.
“The Howe House was in very sad shape, really deprived due to a lot of deferred maintenance. We’ve been able to turn a local eyesore into a regional destination,” Rice said. “It’s very exciting to see the ideas and dreams that people had for this structure realized.”

“Our vision was to restore the Howe House to a recognizable historical structure,” said Steinberg. “We’re very pleased with the way it has come out and happy that we could restore the building back to its 1886 appearance. From the state it was in before it was moved to the new location, you would never have recognized the beauty that was hidden inside.
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Until very recently, the Richard Howe House in Akron, Ohio was a neglected, blue-painted eyesore. The former mansion built in 1836 had been the home of the resident engineer of the Ohio & Erie Canalway, whose transportation project transformed northeastern Ohio into a bustling commercial center critical to many areas of a young America. Over subsequent decades, the Howe House took various turns, being home to an antique shop, grocery store and even a tattoo parlor. Thanks to a painstaking renovation, it is now a restored architectural showpiece that sits two blocks from its original location.

On June 30, 2008, the fragile three-story building, weighing 400 tons, was precisely raised onto a fleet of remote-controlled eight-wheel tractors and slowly rolled the two blocks to its new site. The three-hour spectacle fascinated hundreds who watched the building crawl along its way, taking up the width of the closed four-lane roadway. From there, the on-site rehabilitation of the building lasted 16 months. Unseemly pale blue gave way to vibrant red brick and a glimpse into history.

“The Howe House had been forgotten, but it’s been turned into a jewel in downtown Akron,” said Dan Rice, CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition (OECC). “The community is very surprised, even somewhat shocked to see how beautiful the house is.”
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Inspire Roofing Products, the Next Generation of Synthetic Roofing Products, offers realistic replications of natural slate and natural shake products without all of the demanding maintenance that comes with the real thing. Each tile is made with an advanced composite polymer blend with ‘UV’ inhibitors, blockers and absorbers and uses 100% virgin resins for a consistent finish. Inspire backs its products with a 50 year Limited Lifetime Warranty with the protection and durability you’d expect from a premium composite roofing product. Inspire has 15 Standard color options, 6 Cool Roof options, and 5 Standard Color Mixes. Additionally, our custom mix program allows up to six different colors to create your unique, personalized color mix. Our color palette will rival those of any slate quarry or natural cut cedar shake, North America and abroad, no matter what color you select!
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Do you love the look of slate but hate the problems that come with it? We do too. That's why we created an alternative to slate with our synthetic slate profiles, Aledora Slate and Classic Slate. Not only do these profiles mimic the look of authentic slate, but also the color.

The best part about the realistic looking colors is that you can customize your roof and choose the colors you want to mix on your synthetic slate Inspire roof. You can now create a roofing color palette that is uniquely yours.

This program is available for Inpsire Aledora Slate and Classic Slate profiles. It allows you to choose as many as six different colors for an Aledora mix and five different colors for a Classic mix.

With Inspire mixes, there is never any need to shuffle tiles from multiple bundles prior to installation. Each bundle from Inspire Roofing Products comes factory-sorted and ready for application.

Choose from some of our favorite standard color mixes or choose your own!
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Citizens of Erath County have put their heart and souls into preserving the Texas area's cultural heritage and history with the Stephenville Historical House Museum.

At this museum, you can learn from the educational exhibits and tours, participate in events, and rent it out for a wedding!

Like most areas, new developments are going up everywhere. Although new developments are great, they can also have some negative effects such as the destruction of a historical home. Luckily for the Oxford House, the home was donated to Stephenville Historical House Museum at the threat of destruction.

After the museum received the support of the community, they were able to use the donations to move the entire house. This required moving the house in 11 pieces.

Once moved to the museum grounds, the process of restoring and repairing the home began.

Built in late 1890's, it was important to maintain the charm of a house built during that time.

"The Oxford House is a dramatic example of the late Queen Anne style and represents the largest house remaining in Stephenville with these types of Victorian attributes." (-Stephenville Historical House Museum website)

The project began in 2011, and one of the first things to be replaced was the roof. In order to avoid losing the Victorian attributes, an Inspire Roof was installed on the historical home. At first glance, you might think the Oxford House received an average woodshake roof, but an Inspire Roof is anything by average.

Inspire Roof Products offers a variety of profiles including a synthetic wood shake product, Arcella Shake. This product was chosen to be installed on the Oxford House due to the ability to replicate the rustic appearance of cedar shake. Here's the best part... it looks just like real wood shake but it will last much longer! This statement is even backed by a 50 year warranty.

This allows homeowners to have the look of a wood shake roof without all the downsides. It won't rot, crack, split, warp, or need wood's chemical upkeep.

Everybody knows that the goal of restoring a home is to avoid losing the characteristics that come with the year the home was built. For the Oxford House, installing an Arcella Shake Inspire Roof added to the 1890's Victorian look of the home while offering protection at the same time.
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