Historic Wisconsin church gets a new crown with Matterhorn® Slate from CertainTeed

Until recently, the roof of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, had seen better days. After about 30 years of wear and exposure to high winds, the church’s asphalt roof had started to fail.

“The building itself was built in 1956, though the congregation was established in 1885,” said Gary Tillman, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church. “The old roof was installed 25 to 30 years previously. There began to be problems with shingles coming up, causing water leakage and damage.”

The church wanted to put a little more money into the roof replacement project, so that they wouldn’t have to replace it in another 30 years. That’s when they turned to CertainTeed’s Matterhorn metal roofing line and Steve Sawvell of Sawvell Roofing and Siding, a local roofing company that specializes in metal installations.

“It’s kind of a historical building in the area,” said Sawvell. “It’s in good taste to use products that are going to be around for a long time.”

According to Sawvell, the church roof replacement had several architectural and environmental challenges, including fierce winds that batter Oconomowoc on a regular basis. He said CertainTeed’s Matterhorn Slate was used for the project because it was ‘architecturally correct’ for a church roof, and strong enough stand up to the area’s harsh weather conditions.

“On average, there are probably one or two wind events there a month with winds of more than 40 miles per hour,” said Sawvell. “[Matterhorn Slate] is durable. It’s done really well through the winter and survived several recent wind events.” 

Tillman said that prior to this church roof replacement project, his only experience with metal roofing was childhood memories of the tin roof on his grandfather’s home.

“Sawvell gave St. John’s a recommendation for CertainTeed’s Matterhorn roofing and gave us samples,” said Tillman. “Carpenters in the congregation recommended metal roofing as well. The church did some research into the system and loved the color and quality of Matterhorn.

“The parishioners have made nothing but positive comments,” Tillman added. “They love that they don’t need to worry about the roof in the high winds the area receives. They also love the color and design of metal.”

Since installing the new roof on St. John’s Lutheran Church, many in the church’s congregation have said they would like to see Matterhorn roofing on their own homes, according to Sawvell.

“It’s nice to be a part of a project that is going to stand up to time and be a part of the community,” said Sawvell. “It’s a cleaner look and it’s more durable. It’s kind of a work of art.”

To learn more about CertainTeed’s Matterhorn metal roofing products—also known as Presidio in some parts of the country—including information on Shake and Tile profiles, visit https://www.certainteed.com/residential-roofing/.