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Sleek, sophisticated slate look.

When the owners of this Hunter Valley residence decided to build the house of their dreams they were pretty clear on what they did and didn’t want. They wanted a house based on traditional architecture, but with a contemporary feel.

The owners had always wanted a house that was integrated around a swimming pool, that was spacious and that had the neighbouring houses not too close by. They owned the block of land for about 5 years and during this time had done many sketches and much research.

When the owners of this Hunter Valley residence decided to build the house of their dreams they were pretty clear on what they did and didn’t want. They wanted a house based on traditional architecture, but with a contemporary feel
Eventually a house design was settled upon that melded two traditional styles of architecture that they loved – French Provincial and New Hampshire.

They also wanted to build a home that would stand the test of time. Material choices were important. It had to be something that looked solid, as though it would be here for the next 200 years. A granite base was chosen, to ground the house. The fašades are rendered brick mixed with weatherboard to give shape and texture.

When it came to the roof they were very definite about the style of roof wanted. It had to be high pitched in the New Hampshire tradition, with different shapes and planes occurring across the roof line. It had to be a dark, grey-black coloured roof that was definitely not corrugated. They really wanted the look of slate.

“The last thing we wanted was a tin roof on the house. We don’t like them. They don’t float our boat. We wanted something that looked as though it would be here for 200 years, not 20 years.”

So why didn’t they go for slate? Well, according to the owners and the builder of the house, Neil Albert of Stibbard Homes, if you go for slate these days, it comes from China and is considerably more expensive than roof tiles. It was thought also, that for this house it looked too thin, which is OK for an old house, but here, it would look as though this big, strong, beautiful house; robust gracious and flowing had been built; and then a thin veneer was put on top.
It would look out of place with the structure. They found that with the Monier Cambridge roof tile, it complements the house perfectly. With the Cambridge roof tile you get the beauty and traditional look of slate, its classic, sleek and sophisticated look, but with all the benefits of a modern day material and roof tile production. And best of all – at a lower cost than natural slate.

What we’ve got is exactly what we wanted. We can’t say any more than that. This is exactly the look we wanted. We love the roof. Love it. We stand there looking at it because we love the shape and colour.”

“The Cambridge roof tile fulfills everything we wanted, it ticks every box. It looks robust. It looks solid. It’s the colour we wanted. It’s not too dark. It’s not too light. It’s not shiny. It’s flat and not corrugated. It just complements the house perfectly. It’s lovely. We wouldn’t swap it for anything.”

Another important requirement for the owners was quality. They wanted to build something as good as it could be built, which meant finding someone that could turn their sketches, designs and dreams into reality. Various builders and architects were considered before they came across Stibbard Homes, a local builder with a strong reputation for design capability and quality. Neil Albert, the MD and head designer at Stibbard Homes was briefed and they found that the first design iteration that came back was basically spot on. There were a few little changes along the way, but Neil and Stibbard Homes fully understood what they wanted.

For Neil, the Monier Cambridge roof tile was something he’d used before. He likes the matte Soho Night colour and flat surface of the tile. He had used Cambridge on another large house with varying roof planes and it just worked nicely. For him they look natural and they’re a product that he feels comfortable with. Stibbard Homes have been building using Monier roof tiles for 25 years.

“In the building industry you build relationships and it’s about who gives you the best service and who you enjoy working with.”

As Neil says, “Roofs are always very important in everything I’ve designed. They’re important in any house, because they are a very dominant feature. And when it comes to the roof, it really comes down to the look that you’re trying achieve – the design and what best suits that house. With a more traditional looking house, like this one, they wanted a flat, slate look that is solid and grounded. A look that is smart and sophisticated and will stand the test of time.”

You can achieve the beauty and traditional look of slate with its classic, sleek and sophisticated look with a range of Monier’s ‘slate look’ profiles. In addition to the Cambridge profile, used on this Hunter Valley house, there are also the Georgian, Madison and Nullarbor profiles. They all combine the aesthetic beauty of natural slate with the benefits of modern materials and production. And… at a lower cost than natural slate.”