Repairing the Main Roof

Research & Collections

Because the duPonts removed major timbers from the roof’s framing in order to convert the garret into a servants’ living area, the restoration carpenters had to fabricate and install new rafters, purlins and braces to replace the missing timbers. Additionally, major areas of rot were discovered on sections of the plate and beam that ties the Portico to the main block. After the framing was restored, new sheathing and nailing laths were installed on the roof. Cypress shingles were then nailed to the sheathing and lath using stainless steel nails.

Images of the Main Roof Repair

The carpenters first had to peel away the existing copper roof to expose the Madison-era framing. After the framing was exposed, repairs were made to any damaged or deteriorated timbers.

A roofer installs the shingles at the intersection of the main roof and portico roof. Evidence for the specific shape of the shingles that run down the roof’s valleys was found entrapped behind duPont-era walls in the duPont attic.

The finished roof.

The finished roof.

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Montpelier Restored

Restoration of the physical structure of Madison's home was deemed officially complete on September 17, 2008 - Constitution Day.