• What’s the Best Material for a Victorian Roof?

  • whats the best roofing material for a victorian house

    Tall ceilings, grand entryways, and ornate woodwork all make Victorian homes appealing to historic home enthusiasts. Walking into a Victorian home feels like going into a time machine. We’re captivated by its beauty but sometimes overwhelmed by its less than practical or modern needs. We’re lucky to have so many Victorians in Alameda and Oakland.

    Especially, if a Victorian roof needs to be replaced. Replacing a roof is one of the most expensive home maintenance costs any homeowner will face. But, a Victorian homeowner must also find a way to retain the Victorian’s historic charm in the process. 

    So, what’s the best roofing materials for a Victorian home? And, is it possible to restore the home to its former glory using modern materials?

    Read on to discover the best materials to replace a Victorian roof to retain its historical integrity. 

    Current Roofing Material

    Depending on the materials used on a Victorian roof, there’s a good chance it’s still the original. The best way to restore the Victorian roof to its former glory is to match the original roofing materials to modern roofing materials. The color, material, shape, and size of the roofing must match as closely as possible to the original. 

    During the Victorian period, many different types of roofing materials were used. Some were less durable than others, like wood shingles, but modern enhancements make restoring a Victorian roof possible without compromising longevity and protection. 

    There is no one-size-fits-all roofing material for a Victorian home, but using your current roof as a guide will be the best indicator of what materials to use. If you want to make sure your Victorian roof is 100% historically accurate, speak with a historian or Victorian home expert. 

    Slate Tiles

    Slate tiles began to rise in popularity during the end of the Victorian period. Slate tiles are extremely durable, resistant to fire, and environmentally beneficial. They also last much longer than some other roofing materials, but these added benefits also come at a cost. 

    Slate tile can be expensive, and installation requires a knowledgable and specialized roofing contractor. 


    Wood roofing was used primarily for early Victorian homes. Wood is cost-effective and visually appealing, but it is not a long-lasting material. This is because wood is susceptible to rot, insect problems, and damage. Since this time period, however, wood roofing has evolved and is now made to be more resistant. 

    Clay Tiles

    Clay tiles were also used as roofing materials in early Victorian period homes. Clay roofing is durable and long-lasting, but it’s important to match clay tiles with the Victorian period. Spanish clay tiles, for example, won’t be a good match for a Victorian period home. 


    While asphalt roofs weren’t used during the Victorian period, they can be made to resemble Victorian-style roofing, such as wood shakes or slate. Asphalt shingles can also come in varying shapes and sizes for added Victorian appeal and durability. For example, asphalt shingles can come in scallop, diamond, and zig-zag shapes.

    Ready to Replace Your Victorian Roof?

    The beauty of Victorian homes makes finding the best Victorian roof material a worthwhile endeavor. It may take some time and patience to find the best material for your Victorian home, but retaining its historical charm will be well worth the expense and effort. 

    Interested in replacing your Victorian home’s roof, and live in the San Fransico Bay Area? Call now at (510) 521-7334.