P.I. Roofing

Thatched Roofing: The Comeback Kid

The Hunter-Gatherer Age

From 5000 to 1800 B.C., the hunters and gatherers were learning how to domesticate animals, cultivate plants, and use the sea as a source for food. In order to protect themselves from the elements as they traveled where the food went, they required lightweight housing that was easily broken down and built back up. However, farmers and cattle-breeders required something more durable and long lasting. These men replaced hides and branches with reed, logs, grass sods, and sticks. The first signs of thatched housing showed up in what is today Schleswig-Holstein, Germany and southern parts of Denmark. These houses consisted of one triangular-shaped roof with a fireplace located in the middle of the floor. The house was constructed in a way where smoke could escape through a gable peak. Some drawbacks were breathing difficulties, soot, and blackened clothes and furniture.

Middle Ages

From 500 to 1000 A.D., towns began to spring up as centers of political and economic life. Space within city walls was limited, thus the multi-story building was designed and constructed. Monasteries, town halls, and wealthy citizen homes were constructed of brick or quarry stone. Farmhouses were made of timber, reed, or clay. In the city of Flensburg, it took 382 years to completely cover the city with stone roofing after a bill was passed stating that all new developments be built with stone roofing. Thatched roofing slowly disappeared. 6000 years of thatching knowledge with its unique qualities has slowly been lost.


Or has it? An Irish journal on business claims it’s making a comeback in Europe! Think it could make its way to popularity in Central Arkansas roofing? For the article, pictures, and video click here.

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