Roof gives new look to Lookaway Hall

A crew from Wiliams Roofing faced a high-profile job over the past few days, completing a task atop one of North Augusta’s best-known historic houses.

Lookaway Hall now has a fresh roof over the main building.

“I think it catches your eye and it certainly beautifies the building that much more,” said Kelly Combs, co-owner of Lookaway and Rosemary Hall, two buildings associated with the family of James U. Jackson, North Augusta’s founder.

The result, he said, is “a beautiful old building with an attractiver but historically accurate-looking roof.”

Research has shown that Lookaway, at 103 West Forest Ave., originally had a metal roof, according to Kelly and his wife, the other co-owner, Diana.

She noted, “We think it was red, because we can see part of it, where it was painted, but we had to go with a weathered, galvanized color, just in order for it to match the courtyard’s rooms, which eventually, down the road, we hope to re-roof, too.”

The courtyard’s rooms are topped with a “green-gray composition roof, so the red would have been horrible next to it. We would have looked like a Christmas house,” she said.

Plans are for the work to be completed this week. “I’m real pleased with it,” Diana Combs said. “We still have other structural issues with the roof, but we just spruced it up and cleaned it up.”

“It catches your eye when you drive up Georgia Avenue,” Kelly Combs noted.

A more noticeable difference will arise once the gable is finished, Diana Combs said, noting that the house’s integrity has been a prime concern. “High quality deserves high quality.”

Kelly noted that a Jan. 30 storm, with wind and rain, was particularly unfriendly to the roof, “and that next day, one could pick up shingles all over the property and beyond. You could find them in the street.”

The back part of the structure suffered only minor damage, but the overall experience helped force the issue to replace the roof once and for all, he said.

Diana Combs added, “To do a brand-new, manufactured-looking roof a brand-new, colored roof would have looked ... not true to the house, kind of like putting hip-hop gear on a grandma. It just wouldn’t have gone.”