Wooden Houses of Anatolia
An Overview of Traditional Safranbolu House Roofs and Suggetions for the Rehabilitation Problems
Roofs are particularly critical because they protect the rest of the house
from rain and weather. Once the roof starts to leak, the rest of the house will
be damaged substantially in a very short time. Therefore, it is imperative to
correct any deficiency promptly.
If we look at the types of Safranbolu houses three types of roofs can mostly
be seen. The most common one is the four-sided-pitched roof (80%), the second
one is the three sided (12%) and the last one is the three sided ((12%) and the
last one is the gable type roof (%8). Generally high slope roofing (20% slope)
has been used in Safranbolu houses. Some of them have gable dormers and
generally have 30% slopes. As roof coverings we can usually see wood shingles or
tiles. Unfortunately roof sheathing is not usually applied under tile coverings.
The Most Common Construction Problems of Roofing Applications:
1. Inappropriate use of nails: Corrosion resistant nails add slightly
to the initial cost but reduce maintenance costs. Use of galvanized or other
rust-resistant nails reduces the need for frequent treatment or refinishing.
Stainless steel or aluminium nails are necessary for siding having natural
finish. In areas of severe winds, using metal strapping may be beneficial.
2. Careless and insufficient wood joinery applications: Care should be
taken with the proper angle cuts of the rest on the top plates of exterior
3. Insufficient roof coverings and insulations: A wide variety of roof
coverings are available today, and most of them can be used for the
rehabilitation in the same manner as for new constructions. In most houses, the
roof is a major design element, so the covering material must fit the house
design. Using heavy materials such as tile or slate, the roof framing must be
strengthened to support the additional loads.
An underlay of 7 kg or 15 kg. asphalt saturated or roll roofing can be used
in moderate and lower sloped roofs covered with slate shingles or tile roofing.
With proper flashing and ventilations, we can also eliminate the formation of
ice dams and even excessive moisture.
Nowadays, the modern world faces a very serious shortage of high quality wood
for construction, and new ideas and products are needed to supply this high
demand. Instead of using solid wood we can now use engineered materials such as
laminated veneer lumber, laminated strand lumber, parallam, glulam etc. Studies
show that engineered wood materials have equal or better strength values than
solid wood. Therefore, the rehabilitation of old houses would be more efficient
and reliable by using engineered wood materials.
Roof systems are generally made of either the joists-and-rafter systems or
trusses. Joists-and-rafter systems are usually found in most buildings
constructed before 1950. However, engineered trusses reduce site labor, uses
less material and can span greater distances without intermediate support, thus
eliminating the need for load-carrying interior roof partitions. Instead of
using common nails, metal plate connectors have become a popular means of
joining, especially in trussed rafter and joists.
Wood has been a preferred material for home constructions and its popularity
reflects its availability, moderate cost, attractiveness, high suitability for
numerous uses in house construction and high durability.
A well built and properly maintained wooden house will maintain its strength
and structural properties for hundreds of years as it can be seen in traditional
Prof. Dr. Ramazan ÖZEN
President, Zonguldak Karaelmas Universiy
Research Assistant, Bartın Faculty of Forestry