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Traditional standing seam copper roofing - Lyons Contracting

Traditional standing seam copper roofing

We installed this new standing seam copper roof on a house in Old Town Alexandria in November. The house was built around 1743  and at one point in it’s life had a metal roof; while getting a permit for the roof replacement I had to do a little research to find what type of material would be architecturally appropriate for the house. I found a permit from 1920, it was permit # 160 and in loopy script writing it mentioned a new metal roof and a total project cost of $75.00; the roofers name was John. W. Padgett. Mr. Padgett would have a heart attack if he saw what the new roof was going cost.

I was thinking that sometime around 2138 or 2140 someone is going to see my name on the permit when it comes time to replace this roof again; at that point the house will be almost 400 years old.

Before: the rear roof was asphalt shingle and the front was really old cedar shake.





I made the copper roof panels in the shop with the red and white machine you see in the back of the shop.

standing seam copper roof panel machine

I made these panels on the red and white machine you see in the back.



flashing for standing seam copper roof
flashings for chimney


To save time in the field I took precise measurements of the roof, the chimney and all the pipes that penetrate the roof. I made new copper flashings for all the penetrations in the shop a few days before we started the job.copper pipe flashings


all parts of a standing seam copper roof

all parts of the copper roof custom made in the shop before the job starts


custom made copper roof furnace flue flashing

this is the collar that will surround the furnace flue pipe in the rear of the house





copper flashing for furnace flue pipe
copper flashing for furnace flue pipe being made to fit the slope of the roof and diameter of the pipe
copper pipe flashings
after the pattern is formed you can see that it will rest evenly on the roof



We removed the old roofing and installed new underlayment to protect the building from weather while installing the new copper panels. Once the copper panels are on the roof the underlayment you see serves no purpose whatsoever.

standing seam copper roofing
you can see I’ve turned the panel ends up the wall, this detail require no solder or caulk and will last the life of the roof.
standing seam copper roof wall flashing detail
When the copper roof panel ends are turned up I double lock the seam ends and fold them flat against the wall; this will leave room for the copper apron flashing.

The chimney flashings are all double locked and require no sealant or solder and will easily last 100+ years.

standing seam copper roof chimney flashing
the flashing for the chimney was made to fit the chimney exactly and to match the slope of the roof. The double seamed



standing seam copper roof wall detail
panel ends turned and locked on a wall wall transition
copper roof flashing
apron flashing installed on wall; you’ll notice the sag in the 120 year old structure on the left.
copper flashing for flue pipe on standing seam copper roof
copper flashing for flue pipe on standing seam copper roof, the flashing is double seamed into the copper roofing panels on all four sides
copper flashing for chimney on standing seam copper roof
The completed flashings on the chimney will never leak.


We finished the copper roof first and then waited for a few days for the house to get a fresh coat of paint. After the painters were done we came back to install new copper gutters and downspouts.

The clover shaped brackets you see on the standing seams are cast bronze snow guards; the guards are mounted to the seams and will prevent ice and snow from sliding off and damaging the gutters or anything below. The snow guards hold the ice back until it melts or breaks the ice up into small harmless pieces.

copper gutters on standing seam copper roof
The last bit of the project is to install new copper gutters and copper downspouts
new copper gutters
New gutters with hidden lag bold hangers. These gutters will last as long as the roof will, 100+ years.
new round copper downspout
new downspouts to carry the rain water into the drains



Finished standing seam copper roof
This is the best view of the copper roof from the street-


If you like what you see call anytime and ask for Tom

(703) 299-8888

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