Roofing a chateau

Burns & Scalo Roofing restores the mansard roof on The Chateau Lafayette in Pennsylvania


  • The Chateau Lafayette’s new roof under construction
  • Workers divided into three crews to tackle the reroofing project.
  • Workers install new synthetic slate
  • The old slate
  • The mansard roof during construction
  • The teams worked on one side of the chateau at a time, so the upper floor hotel rooms weren’t entirely blocked off.
  • The new mansard roof
  • An aerial view of the roof under construction

Situated on 2,800 acres in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains, Nemacolin Resort is a four-star, family-friendly luxury hotel in Farmington. Founded in 1968, the resort provides guests with year-round activities, including hiking, horseback riding, championship golf, bowling, bike rentals, fly-fishing, 12 wildlife habitats, a casino, a Zen Garden and skiing on Mystic Mountain. The grand, European-inspired property features an outdoor pool complex with a waterslide, spa, tearoom, 17 upscale shops, an art collection, and 10 dining and drinking outlets, including the award-winning restaurant Lautrec.

Inspired by the Ritz Paris Hotel, The Chateau Lafayette at Nemacolin Resort is visible over the treetops from Pennsylvania’s historical National Road. The five-story building is one of the largest structures sheathed in fiberglass-reinforced concrete, according to the Society of Architectural Historians. Tinted to mimic limestone, the architectural details were poured into molds to achieve the decorative and aging effect of carved stone with drip edges added to protect the material from water runoff.

Located next to Mystic Rock Golf Course, designed by famed American golf course designer Pete Dye, The Chateau Lafayette has a private infinity pool, indoor and outdoor dining, 24-hour butler service and grand stairs covered with red carpet that lead to an extravagant white mansion. The chateau’s scenery has been used as the backdrop for The Bachelor television show.

Five years ago, The Chateau Lafayette underwent a $30 million renovation that included new furnishings, carpeting, bedding and new décor colors. In 2020, the chateau’s mansard roof system was replaced by Burns & Scalo Roofing Co. Inc., Pittsburgh.


PROJECT NAME: The Chateau Lafayette at Nemacolin Resort
PROJECT LOCATION: Farmington, Pa.
PROJECT DURATION: March-May 2020
ROOF SYSTEM TYPE: Synthetic slate
ROOFING CONTRACTOR: Burns & Scalo Roofing Co. Inc., Pittsburgh
ROOFING MANUFACTURERS: CertainTeed LLC, Malvern, Pa.; DaVinci Roofscapes LLC, Lenexa, Kan.


A vertical roof

The Chateau Lafayette 180,000-square-foot reroofing project originally was scheduled to begin in October 2019. However, a schedule change delayed the start of the project a few months.

“The Bachelor was being filmed the same time we were going to work on the roof,” says Ryan Wachter, project manager for Burns & Scalo Roofing. “It was thought we could work in unison, but the director of the show did not agree, so we had to take the scaffolding down and delay the job a few months during filming.”

“The Bachelor was being filmed the same time we were going to work on the roof,” says Ryan Wachter, project manager for Burns & Scalo Roofing. “It was thought we could work in unison, but the director of the show did not agree, so we had to take the scaffolding down and delay the job a few months during filming.”

Another schedule change occurred when the project started up again March 29, 2020.

“We wanted to hit the job from all angles to maximize production and finish as soon as possible,” Wachter explains. “But resort management asked us to work on one side at a time so the entire upper floor wouldn’t be blocked off, preventing the hotel from renting those rooms because of roofing work.”

To remove the slate from the mansard, the team divided into three crews.

“First, we erected scaffolding and removed the slate one by one,” Wachter says. “We also had team members working from a man-lift, and we used a swing stage on the rear of the chateau. All the debris was moved to the top low-slope roof to be removed later by a crane.”

To ensure the crews’ safety, various kinds of safety equipment were used. The team working on scaffolding used safety railings; workers on the man-lift used retractable fall-arrest systems; and workers on the swing stage used fall carts. In addition, the team assembled perimeter warning lines on the top low-slope roof.

Halfway through the project, the resort owner wanted the project completed by Memorial Day.

“So, we ‘huddled’ as a team along with staff at Nemacolin Resort to determine the best way to efficiently attack the issues,” Wachter explains. “We then pulled our workforce resources with minimal notice to ramp up production work full steam.”

After the slate was removed down to the 3/4-inch-thick plywood deck, the three crews simultaneously applied self-adhering CertainTeed WinterGuard® underlayment followed by DaVinci Bellaforté Slate, a composite material made from virgin resins, ultraviolet and thermal stabilizers, and a fire retardant, in slate black.

“When all was said and done, we made the deadline early, which made our project manager and the team involved proud and happy,” Wachter says.

A new backdrop

Despite scheduling challenges, the Burns & Scalo Roofing team finished the high-profile project in May 2020—one week ahead of schedule.

“Guests stayed at The Chateau Lafayette during the project’s duration, so all eyes were on us,” Wachter says.

“It was a large, challenging project that turned out great and will be seen by thousands of people each year. Most of all, the client was extremely happy with how the project turned out, both in quality and speed, and that was our most important mission.”


CHRYSTINE ELLE HANUS is Professional Roofing’s associate editor and an NRCA director of communications.

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