Functional or Decorative, Ornamentals Make a Great Addition to Your Roof

AAR Podcast with Alina Bosack
September 9, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

By Dani Sheehan. 

Learn about the history of ornamentals and how you can add beauty to your home. 

Ever wonder what roof ornamentals are and why you might be interested in adding them to your roof? In a recent AskARoofer podcast episode, Megan Ellsworth and Lauren White sat down with Alina Bosak, president of Chicago Metal Supply to get down to the brass tacks. They discuss the history and popularity of them, as well as some of Alina’s favorite types of ornamentals. 

Alina defines what a roof ornamental is, saying, “It specifically refers to products like finials or cupolas, weather veins, something extra that’s added to a roof for decorative purposes... [People add them] because they’re investing in the artwork of their roof or their building.”  

Sheet metal ornamentals have been in the U.S. since the 1830s in Cincinnati, Ohio. Alina explains, “It actually started by some stone cornice that crushed two men because it fell off of a building and then a sheet iron worker said, ‘Oh my gosh, we got to come up with something lighter and cheaper than stone or wood and something that can bend easily.’” Metal and copper became popular materials and were profitable first in the Midwest and then along the east coast. It was only with the depression that the market noticed a decline, when metal was needed to support war efforts. 

Chicago Metal Supply is a family owned business that specializes in architectural sheet metal manufacturing and fabrication for both commercial and residential markets. However, they also specialize in historical restoration and preservation. “We’re able to recreate something that once was there and is damaged, or maybe you just have a picture of it, and you saw your block 50 years ago and you want to recreate something that was on your building.” It’s a great way to celebrate the history of existing structures.  

Listen to the full episode to learn more about roof ornamentals and how you can jazz up your home!

Have a question? AskARoofer.

Find your local roofing contractor in the RoofersCoffeeShop® Contractor Directory. 

About Dani

Dani is a writer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When she's not writing or researching, she's training for trail races and working on her yoga teaching certification.

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