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TAMKO® Heritage Woodgate® keeps history alive at Jasper County Courthouse

Jasper County Courthose - Construction
Phillip Camerer discusses the project with TAMKO representatives

The Jasper County Courthouse is more than an impressive historic building at the heart of Carthage, Missouri; it is a revered symbol of the historic pride of the region, a nationally recognized landmark and the second-most photographed building in the state, placing it squarely in the public eye. The three-story building with distinctive medieval features is also one of the most unique and challenging projects ever tackled by local roofing veteran Phillip Camerer of Phillip Camerer Roofing.

Camerer and his team’s charge was significant. They were tasked with preserving the critical historic design integrity of the building, while simultaneously delivering a thoroughly modern roof system that would help withstand the wear of intense weather. Camerer met the challenge with strategic planning, four months of strenuous labor and a roofing shingle that fulfilled both the historically-correct aesthetic and the contemporary demands for this unique job: TAMKO Heritage Woodgate.

Bidding for Success

Before his team could take on the complexities of this prominent roofing job, Camerer first had to win the bid. He knew he needed to be smart with the proposal, since, as a government job, cost would undoubtedly be a factor. Camerer recognized the winning bid would have to balance affordability with products that would meet the unique design criteria and perform year after year. To deliver on this need, Camerer specified TAMKO Heritage Woodgate laminated asphalt shingles, an ideal choice to replicate a period-correct wide wood shake appearance while providing durability. Leveraging his TAMKO® Pro Certified Contractor status, Camerer was able to submit an even more attractive bid that included an enhancement to the shingle’s 30-year limited warranty. This enhancement increased the full-start period from the standard 15 years to the full 30 years of the limited warranty. He also proposed using TAMKO’s Moisture Guard®, an ice and rain underlayment, as a means to help safeguard the roof from moisture throughout the roof deck. This judicious plan of action and the unique TAMKO products at the center of his proposal are what ultimately secured him the job.

Jasper County Courthouse - Cranes

The Shingle That Gives Contractors an Edge

The enhanced warranty was not Camerer’s only consideration when determining which shingle to include in his bid. The steep slopes of the courthouse turrets needed a shingle with a wider edge and the versatility for extensive overlapping. The patented TAMKO Heritage Woodgate shingle tabs, which are exclusive to TAMKO, are 10-12 inches wide — as much as three times wider than a traditional shingle cut. According to Camerer, the shingle’s dynamic profile would allow it to be manipulated around the radius of the many turrets without gaps. To go a step further, the TAMKO Heritage Woodgate shingle’s random-cut sawtooth design would assure one piece would blend seamlessly into the next, an attractive and functional feature given the mixture of hip and gabled roof styles.

When it came to color, Camerer selected Black Sage, one of the six different colors Heritage Woodgate is offered in. He knew it would be a striking contrast to the building’s stone exterior and would draw the eye upward the moment the courthouse came into view. “Given all the unique challenges and demands of the Jasper County Courthouse project, the Heritage Woodgate was the only shingle that could have fit the bill,” Camerer said.

Heritage Woodgate - Black Sage
Heritage Woodgate — Black Sage

Installation in Action

Jasper-County-Courthouse-Hip-and-RidgeWhen Camerer’s team began to tear off the existing roof, asbestos was discovered just beneath the surface. Camerer’s crew, trained and certified in asbestos removal, managed the safe disposal over the course of two-and-a-half months. During this lengthy process, it became clear that steps needed to be taken to safeguard the exposed roof during the remediation process. The solution was to apply TAMKO Moisture Guard, a self-adhering rubberized asphalt ice and rain underlayment, to more than 200 square feet of roof area. Though an unconventional approach to applying the underlayment – it’s typically only used on certain moisture-prone areas, such as valleys – Camerer chose to cover the full surface of the roof for added protection.

Beyond the asbestos remediation, the execution of the roof’s replacement brought its own unique installation obstacles for Camerer’s team. Careful steps would need to be taken to navigate around the roof’s unique landscape, especially when maneuvering cranes around the courthouse’s steep turrets. To complicate the installation further, the elements would offer another layer of difficulty. The roofers had to be prepared to work against fierce winds throughout the duration of the project, all while ensuring the landmark building was not damaged. Camerer and his team relied on the Heritage Woodgate’s elongated style to mold the shingle around the unique curves and high points of the turrets. This specific shingle not only allowed for easy application but a stunning visual appeal from all vantage points. Despite the challenging conditions, Camerer’s approach and shingle selection allowed him to finish the job safely and on time.

A Finished Roof for the History Books

Camerer recalled a time when he told a colleague he dreamed of roofing the Jasper County Courthouse. His statement was met with an emphatic, “You are nuts!” The challenge always appealed to him, and the results of the project prove that he wasn’t so crazy after all. TAMKO Heritage Woodgate shingles, coupled with Camerer’s strategic approach, delivered on every ask associated with this highly challenging project. They offered a premier product at a reasonable price that maintained the historical, period-correct aesthetic of the building, and set the stage for the future by utilizing the Mastercraft Limited Warranty Enhancement offered through Camerer’s TAMKO Pro Certified Contractor status.

In the end, the TAMKO Heritage Woodgate shingles added an element of grandeur to the structure and molded beautifully to the courthouse’s unique Romanesque Revival architectural style. Camerer and his team conducted their work under the watchful eyes of critical stakeholders, including not only the individuals who hired him but the community members who take pride in the courthouse and had a vested interest in ensuring its historical nature was preserved. In fact, the highest scrutiny came from Camerer himself. As a member of the local community who had always admired the architecture of the building, he refused to accept anything less than perfection. The result is not only a delighted client and happy community, but a breathtaking roof that will protect this treasured building and proudly define the Carthage skyline for years to come.

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