This article appeared in Archetectural West magazine November/December 2007.

Simply Extraordinary
The Solution to the Turret Roof
by Lyla Lawry, marketing coordinator, MCA

Architects, designers, and builders have always wanted the look of an elegantly tailored, impeccably finished clay tile turret roof. These roofs give buildings an extraordinary appeal, but, in the past, they also posed many architectural challenges for the roofer and builder.

The hand cutting and fitting of turret tile roofs had to be carefully carried out. The costly and time-consuming venture frequently resulted in unattractive finished roofs. They became a popular “punch list” item, often being cited as incomplete, or requiring additional work to achieve an acceptable level of workmanship. Because the tile had to be graduated from larger tiles to sometimes very small tiles, they were labor-intensive. Installing a turret involved a lot of cutting and a lot of waste. The cutting involved posed health hazards to the roofers. These problematic roofs presented an architectural barrier to designers and builders. They were limited by size, design, and budgets, and were forced to settle for octagon-shaped hip roofs.

The solution arrived when MCA Clay Roof Tile introduced Turret Tile®. Located in Corona, Calif., MCA broke the architectural barrier by producing turret roof tile to satisfy any pitch and any dimension of any circular building. Provided the customer can supply the pitch, radius, and shape of the roof, MCA can quickly create an estimate of materials in a matter of hours.

With MCA’s Turret Tile, clay turret tiles are custom-made for each job to specification. The tile is graduated, with larger tiles at the bottom, medium tiles in the center, and small, tapered tiles at the top. The exact number of each size of turret tile is calculated using computer design. The tiles are made to fit the specific turret, in the color specified. The hand cutting and waste are eliminated. Then the pre-cut tiles for each course are packaged individually and labeled. Step-by-step installation instructions are included with every shipment. Now, any roofing contractor can achieve the distinctive, clean, slightly curved profile of a turret roof with Turret Tile.

Ironstone Bank in Solana Beach, Calif., is an impressive example of a flawless MCA Turret Tile roof. Hess Roofing, of El Cajon, Calif., installed the tile in the rustic San Marino Blend, just one of an endless array of colors available from MCA, including 33 “cool roof” colors rated by the CRRC. “The owner has received positive remarks on the turret and may make the turret a standard design on future projects,” says Bob Tomkiel, project manager, Hess Roofing.

“MCA’s Turret Tile is a huge labor-saver. They do the take-off and cut the tile so the roofer doesn’t have to. It’s the only way to go if you’re going to do a turret,” Tomkiel says. “The turret pieces are palletized and organized very neatly prior to shipping. The instructions are so easy to understand, it’s like putting together the pieces of a puzzle,” he explains. “With the cost and labor savings of MCA’s pre-cut turret tile, there’s no reason for a roofer to cut turret tile himself,” Tomkiel continues. “We wouldn’t do a turret any other way.”

With the help of modern technology and the innovations of MCA Clay Roof Tile, designers, builders, and homeowners are enjoying the freedom of design they always wanted. Approved Cool Roof products, and earning LEED® points, make MCA clay roof tiles a part of the growing green building trend.