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More roofing options for an old-house renovation

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Joanne Ciccarello/Staff/The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) Alexandra Marks and her finacé Martin Sheridan are renovating a hundred-year-old farmhouse in an environmentally responsible and cost-efficient manner. They may have to compromise on a roofing material, because each has different preferences.

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My preference for putting an energy-efficient standing seam metal roof on Sheepdog Hollow, the creaky old farmhouse we’re restoring in what we plan to be a green and cost-effective manner, has tentatively been shot down by my loving fiancé Martin. He says they’re just ugly, and he’s put his foot down.

I respectfully disagree, as did Thomas Jefferson, who eventually put a tin roof on Monticello, but who am I to make comparisons or drop names? And like almost all things, relationships, too, require compromise.

And so, I’ve undertaken a quick course in energy-efficient roofing as part of my education about green renovation. One of the first things I learned was that energy-efficient roofs are not necessarily “green roofs,” while “green roofs” are, by definition, energy efficient.

Now, please forgive this digression into the semantics of the green renovation movement, but to me it’s an important indicator of its rapid growth and complexity. If, like me, you simply go to Google and type in “green roofs” you’re not going to find much about slate made of recycled tires and old plastic bottles or highly reflective metal roofs designed to look like cedar shakes.

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