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Joseph Jenkins

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The Slate Roof Bible, 2nd edition
by Joseph Jenkins   

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Books by Joseph Jenkins
· The Humanure Handbook, 3rd edition
· Balance Point - Searcing for a Spiritual Missing Link
· The Humanure Handbook - 2nd edition
· The Slate Roof Bible, 1st edition
                >> View all



Publisher:  Jenkins ISBN-10:  0964425815 Type: 


Copyright:  Oct 1 2003 ISBN-13:  9780964425811

Barnes &
Joseph Jenkins, Inc. Bookstore
Jenkins Publishing

An expanded, revised and updated, full color version of the award-winning Slate Roof Bible, including 7 new chapters, 361 photos, 229 other illustrations, index, and the world's most complete Industry Resource Guide.

WRITERS NOTES BOOK AWARD - Reference Category winner, 2004: "The Slate Roof Bible was the first book to grab our attention and hold it. It's more than just a handbook. It's a great read and a thorough reference volume in one."

Foreword Magazine Architectural Book of the Year Finalist, 2004: Honoring Excellence in Independent Publishing

2004 Independent Publisher Book Award Finalist, Reference Category

Honorable Mention: 12th Annual Writers Digest International Self-published Book Awards: Reference Category

Published November, 2003, ISBN 09644258-15, 316 pages, 229 drawings, 361 color photos.

The first edition of this book was the winner of the 2001 National Roofing Contractors Association Gold Circle Award for excellence in the roofing industry! The second edition is greatly expanded, updated, and revised, in full color, with seven new chapters. 
Slate roofs are the world’s finest roofs. They’re fireproof, waterproof, natural, will last centuries, and have a track record that goes back thousands of years and spans the entire Earth. They are beautiful, simple roofs made of rock on wood — ingenious, effective, and fabulously successful. Yet, in the United States, they have been under intense and relentless attack for decades, destroyed by the thousands, cast away and forgotten. The culprit, in a word, is ignorance. The following conversation illustrates this point:
The telephone rang. “Hello,” a lady said, “Are you the guy who buys used roof slate?”
“Well, I have enough for a whole roof, and you can have them all if you want them.”
“Where are they?”
“They’re on my house!”
“They’re still on your roof?”
“Yes! And you can have them for nothing if you’ll take them off.”
I paused for a moment, then asked, “Why do you want your slate roof taken off?”
“Because it leaks. We’ve already bought fiberglass shingles to replace the roof; they’re sitting in the driveway. We just need somebody to take the old roof off.”
“Well, ma’am, the reason I buy roof slate is because I repair and restore slate roofs professionally. Maybe I should have a look at your roof before you take it off.”
There was a pause at the other end of the line. I could almost hear the thoughts racing through the lady’s head: What? I can repair my slate roof?
“But we already bought the shingles.”
“You can return them and get your money back if you don’t need them, which you may not. What kind of slates do you have on your roof?”
“What kind? I didn’t know there were different kinds.”
“Slates generally fall into two categories—hard and soft. If you have hard slates, they should last the life of your house and you won’t need to replace them. If you have soft slates, then you may not have a choice — you may have to replace the roof. I can tell at a glance what kind of slate you have and whether the roof needs replaced or not.”
The next day I stopped to look at the roof. The slates were hard Vermont “sea green” slates with a general life expectancy of 150 or more years. The house was about eighty years old. There was one slate missing from the roof — one slate! — and the roof had a small leak at the spot where the slate had broken off. Otherwise, the roof was beautiful. So I offered to repair the roof for a small fee, explaining that the roof should never have to be replaced in her lifetime. The lady accepted, I did the hour-long repair job, she saved both her roof and several thousand dollars, and I haven’t seen her since. This is a true and typical story.

Professional Reviews

From the Publisher
Introducing the:
Slate Roof Bible — 2nd edition —
Understanding, Installing and Restoring the World’s Finest Roof

316 pages, indexed, ISBN 0964425815 • 8.5”X11” • softcover • $40.00 US
361 color photos • 261 added illustrations • Jenkins Publishing, Grove City, PA

by Joseph Jenkins

When Joseph Jenkins began researching the first edition of the Slate Roof Bible in 1993, he didn’t expect the book to span three continents ten years later. But then, he should have known — slate roofs encircle the planet as do the people who admire them.

When a German slate geologist informed Jenkins (in Germany at the time) that he first saw the book in China, the author realized the need for a new edition, one that better reflected the global nature of the “world’s finest roof.” The first edition, essentially an American “Slate Roof Bible,” sold all 10,000 copies, but instead of reprinting the book, Jenkins instead reworked, expanded, revised, and transformed the book into an exciting new incarnation: The Slate Roof Bible, 2nd edition: Understanding, Installing and Restoring the World’s Finest Roof.

How is this new book different from the first edition? First: color. Slate roofs are versatile, colorful and multi-dimensional and cannot be done justice in black and white. The new edition of the Slate Roof Bible is printed with full color throughout. The original material in the book was also re-edited, revised and up-dated, then seven additional chapters were added to the new book, bringing the total to 316 numbered pages.

What is this new material? One new chapter is “International Slate,” which explores where roof slate is coming from and what it looks like, what the mines are like, and what sort of slate roofing history each region boasts. This is not a comprehensive analysis of all of the slate of the world, which would be a book unto itself, but it does delve into France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, the UK, China, Spain, and even Ireland. A companion chapter is “International Slating Styles,” which reveals various age-old methods of installing slate as practiced by different nationalities.

There is also a new chapter on “Roof Inscriptions and Designs,” which is richly illustrated with color photos of slate roofs adorned with dates, names, words and patterns, including a schematic of the entire alphabet that one could use as a template if one would like to create a roof inscription.

Also added are separate chapters for “Recycling Slate Roofs,” one for “Chimneys,” one for “Valleys,” and a catch-all chapter including such things as clay tile roofs, asbestos roofs, and soldered-seam metal roofs, including repair instructions for all three of these.

A host of new illustrations are included in the new edition totaling approximately 361 color photos plus 229 line drawings, charts, graphs, maps and other illustrations. Step-by-step line drawings now illustrate how to fabricate lead plumbing-vent pipe flashings, how to re-flash a variety of different chimneys located on different areas of slate roofs, how to replace valleys on both slate and tile roofs, how to replace step flashings, how to rebuild chimney tops, how to install slate roofs and how to repair and restore them. Just one of these illustrated sequences could be worth the price of the book alone as this sort of information cannot otherwise be found in print anywhere, certainly not at a reasonable price.

Finally, the Slate Roof Bible, 2nd edition, also contains the most comprehensive and up-to-date industry resource listing available anywhere in the world, including sources of new roof slate, sources of salvaged roof slate, sources of new and salvaged clay tiles, sources of slate tools and equipment, sources of flashing metal, and sources of nails, rivets and slate hooks. At $40, there is no other book that even comes close at this price (the National Roofing Contractors Association Roofing and Waterproofing Manual is $280.00, for example, while Etals 208 page Slate Book is $79.95). There is certainly nothing else in print that is as informative or comprehensive regarding slate roofs as the Slate Roof Bible, 2nd edition.

Order copies online at or call them directly (toll free): 1-866-641-7141 (direct orders are signed by the author at no additional charge). Order 24/7 from the distributor, Chelsea Green Publishing, 1-800-639-4099, or order a discounted copy online (try and get a 30% discount). Or write to Joseph Jenkins, Inc., 143 Forest Lane, Grove City, PA 16127 USA.

Fine Homebuilding, July 1998
“The Slate Roof Bible is a fine book, filled with fascinating information about slate: its history, the industry, and the way to work with it properly....I’ve been working with slate for a long time; still, I learned from this book some valuable hints and techniques that I’ve been able to put into practice."

RCI (Roof Consultants Institute) Interface, September, 2001
“With over 30 years experience working with slate roofs, Joseph Jenkins has written a book so comprehensive in both historical and technical information that it is a definite must-have for any roof consultant’s library. Rarely does one read a book expressing such personal enthusiasm and technical knowledge as that written by Mr. Jenkins. He masterfully blends technical and historical information with personal anecdotes in a style of writing that presents a book that is simply enjoyable reading. For those with no experience in slate roofing (or even for those with experience), this book will develop in the reader an appreciation and understanding of roofing slate and slate roofs. Jenkins has provided the roofing community with a definitive, single-source manual for slate roofing. Should a question arise concerning a slate roofing project, this book will undoubtedly provide the answer.”

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