Our next structure will probably be a roofed dome, so we need to decide what’s the easiest and best way to roof a conical or dome shaped roof. Top choices include durable wood or metal shingles. I like the look of wood the most, although metal would probably be easier to install, best at sealing joints and lowest maintenance. Metal shingles are resistant to rot and insect damage, fire resistant, won’t crack, and are lightweight and easy to install. But steel shingles would tend to rust in humid climates such as ours. Coating the metal with paint could poison the water with chemicals. Likewise, the zinc coating on galvanized metal taints drinking water, so it may pay to use more expensive rustproof metals such as aluminum or copper. That’s one of the advantages of building small – you can use higher quality materials and still not break the bank (or even borrow money from a bank). Using recycled aluminum cans, either crushed flat or cut into shingles is feasible. They’d be rust proof and 100% sustainable. In fact, you could even recycle the aluminum again in the future. But honestly, my girlfriend probably wouldn’t like the idea of covering our dome with beer and pop cans. A more realistic option for us might be quality metal shingles with baked on coating. They would be extremely long lasting – possibly 40-50 years or more.
One thing is for sure, I’m way too busy to make my own shingles. That’s just not a good use of my time right now. One option is to pay someone to make shingles in their spare time – say, from scrap aluminum, but what if the quality is off? It might be best to buy from a reputable supplier.
Image credit: ScrapHouse.org