Getting the roof restoration right on a heritage-listed property

Heritage listings are important as they ensure that notable buildings are protected for future generations, providing an invaluable ‘living’ reference point and insights into the cultural and architectural roots of our cities and towns. It may be that the building offers a strong example of an architectural style, or because of its location as part of a suburb where the streetscape accurately represents an outstanding example of a bygone era. 

For owners of these period properties however, a heritage listing, or overlay, can dramatically regulate any building or renovation work that can be undertaken on the building. In some cases, the restrictions can affect even the smallest details, such as colour palette if repainting, fence styles or the appearance of roofing, in the case of a reroof or new verandah restoration taking place. 

Many examples of early Australian buildings featured steel roofs in a corrugated profile. Lysaght was one of the first companies to import this corrugated steel material to Australia in the 1880s, before beginning its own local manufacturing here in 1921. ‘ORB®’ as the product was known, was a corrugated steel sheet that had been ‘hot dipped’ galvanised, a process that gave the sheeting protection in demanding Australian conditions. 

The stringent nature of heritage listing requirements means that in many cases like for like (or as similar as possible) materials should be used during any restoration process. While some authentic building materials are difficult to source, this is not the case when it comes to steel roofing. Lysaght continues to manufacture this traditional style product with its CUSTOM ORB® corrugated cladding, and it’s available with an optional galvanised finish. 

Lysaght offers a range of finishes that meet the rigorous expectations of Heritage home restoration, including Heritage Galvanised1 steel that features a generous Z600 (600 grams of zinc per square metre) zinc coating, rather than the typical Z450 (450 grams of zinc per square metre). The higher zinc content results in a larger, more prominent spangle (the visible crystallites on the surface of galvanised sheets) and delivers enhanced performance life more aligned to today’s roofing products such as ZINCALUME® steel and COLORBOND® steel. 

This Heritage Galvanised1 finish provides an authentic appearance that closely matches the galvanised corrugated roof sheets of yesteryear in a way that modern unpainted ZINCALUME® steel cannot, therefore helping to meet the building’s heritage requirements. To create authentic curved finishes such as those that might be applied to bullnose verandahs, Lysaght also offer CUSTOM BLUE ORB® – this profile provides extra ductility, which allows easy curving without distorting or damaging the profile. 

  1. Availability varies by region. Contact us for more information. a Jump to reference b Jump to reference