Hot Tin Roof

I’ve come across more and more metal roofs on residential properties as of late. If you had asked me only a few years ago, I would have told you that a metal roof would probably look far too industrial for a house. I can only laugh at how little I knew back then. After coming across several metal roofs, they quickly rose up to the top of the list as my favorite type of roofing material. If you have never seen one in person, let me assure you it looks much better than you would imagine. They look sleek and modern, and unlike the cheap sheet metal roofs you find on storage sheds. Typically, residential metal roofs are made with long beams or sheets resembling tile or shingles. Often times, it is hard to tell the difference between metal and other roofing materials from the ground.

That leads me to my favorite aspect of metal roofing – they are much cooler than many other traditional roofing materials. And yes, I mean that in regards to temperature, not social status. This fact surprises many people I’ve talked to. We all know how hot metal can get when it has been sitting out under direct sunlight. However, many metal roofs have high reflective properties. This means that they do not absorb heat energy from the sun. Because of this, they help to keep your house cool during hot summer months. Metal roofs are extremely energy efficient for this reason. In addition to their durability and ease of maintenance, this has made them among one of the most growingly popular types of roofing materials available.

Before any folks who live in cold weather climates write off metal roofing though, you should know that they work just as well when it comes to absorbing heat and keeping your house warm during the winter. How? By choosing a darker paint color, your roof will absorb the energy from the sun rather than reflecting it. It works both ways, making metal roofs a versatile solution for any region.

Now before I scare you off by continuing this sales pitch on metal roofs, let’s talk about something else. I returned home yesterday to hear some bad news from my roommate. During a recent gutter cleaning, he found a worrisome amount of shingle granules in our gutters. We were hit by a big storm while I was away, and this may have caused some severe wear on our asphalt shingle roof. I’ve called my trusty roofing contractor to come take a look, but I’m prepared for the worst. Working around so many roofs, I’ve learned a thing or too and I know excessive shingle granule loss is a big problem that may come with a hefty repair or replacement bill. If a roof replacement is necessary, then I am seriously considering installing a metal roof. That’s how enamored I’ve become with them.

Tile Roofs Are Not For Climbing


This week, I decided to travel down to Southern California to visit a friend. She lives in a gorgeous gated community filled with custom built homes. That usually means that there will be some interesting roofs for me to photograph. Many custom homes use less common roofing materials such as stone or slate. It’s rare for me to see them outside of affluent neighborhoods, since the cost and building requirements of the material are prohibitive for your average homeowner. I always love to see the creativity and character of custom architecture that is missing from many housing developments these days. Cookie cutter houses just seem boring to me.

I was greeted warmly by my host upon arrival at the airport. After a quick lunch, I wanted to get to work right away. I was eager to take some beautiful pictures under the high noon sun. There wasn’t a single cloud in the sky that day, and the weather was warm and not too windy. There couldn’t have possibly been a better time to climb on a roof with a camera (for those who are into that sort of thing).

My host lives in a Spanish villa-style house with red clay tile roofing. All around me I could other tile roofs, slate roofs, and even a few contemporary metal roofs. I couldn’t wait to get started. We decided the best way to get up to the roof would be through a top floor window. (Did I ever mention art is kind of dangerous?)

There were no problems there. My climbing skills have improved greatly over the past few years. However, the minute I stepped on to the roof, I knew something was wrong. The first tile I stepped on immediately broke despite that fact that I had been very careful. I motioned to my friend who was coming up behind me to stop. Trying my best to turn back around without breaking any more tile, I quickly made my retreat. Unfortunately at least 3 tiles were broken in the process.

As it turns out, one should never walk on clay tile roofing. While they may be one of the most durable, weather resistant materials out there (and fire resistant to boot), they are not designed to be walked on. Not even if you are a small woman that weighs barely over 100 lbs. Whatever you need done up there, hire a qualified roofing contractor to do it. That is my advice to you as a professional roof photographer.

Luckily the broken tiles can be replaced easily enough, although the roofing company did seem curious as to why we were trying to climb on the roof in the first place. It made me feel like a foolish child again to receive a lecture on safety and the dangers of walking on clay tiles. I’ll admit though, we giggled our heads off afterwards. Unfortunately I will have to search for a different vantage point, I guess.

Melinda Holly Court Art

Art has always been my life. I could tell a story through pictures well before I could express the same thoughts in words. I like to joke that I was born with a paintbrush in my hand. As long as I can remember, I’ve always loved drawing and painting. There was never anything else that gave me as much joy and satisfaction as a canvas and some watercolor. It never crossed my mind that this would be something I could make a career out of. Everyone always told me it was one of those longshot dreams, like becoming a professional athlete or an A-list actor. I never doubted them, but I also should’ve never doubted myself.

Through the years, I explored all forms and mediums of art – photography, writing, even dance and music. But ultimately I am a visual person. I can look at a scene or an image, and replicate it paper or canvas. During my travels, I particularly enjoyed taking pictures of cityscapes. I especially loved the way a city looks at night, lit up by countless of little lights. In the daytime, I focused on rooftops. I loved taking pictures from an angle that just glances over all the roofs in a quiet neighborhood. When I look at those images, I feel like a curious bird floating above the houses, musing at a suburban landscape.

I’ve spent so much time photographing roofs that I can usually tell what part of the country a picture was taken in just by looking at the types of roofs found there. My fascination with cityscapes and architecture eventually set me down my current path. It turns out that many enjoy the feeling evoked by my unique choice of perspective – freedom, lightheartedness, and whimsy. I have received many requests for prints of my photographs and paintings from acquaintances who have seen my work on social media.

I am pleased to be launching an official website where you will be able to order any of my art in the near future. It is still a work in progress but I promise it will be up and running soon. Until then, please follow this blog for more information and updates about my travels, current projects, and random thoughts.

For now, I’ll be continuing my journey around the country looking for new cityscapes and interesting rooftops to inspire me. It’s amazing how something so seemingly mundane can be so beautiful when captured from the right angle in the right light. Maybe it’s that simple, unexpected pleasure that draws people to my art.

Anyways, stay tuned for more good news and interesting posts to come! Thanks for checking out my blog, and I really hope to be able to share more with you soon. I appreciate all the support and encouragement I’ve received. This all wouldn’t have been possible without your influence and inspiration driving me.