The Roof Shout

Building a custom home is a really big and exciting part of our clients’ lives. Here at Alloy we like to acknowledge its importance by marking key milestones with meaningful ceremony.

Other than the day we turn a new home over to its proud owners, the most exciting moment for most people is the point at which the roof goes on and the structure of the house is complete.

Throughout the world, this moment is traditionally marked by ceremonies of different sorts: In France, it is customary to place a bouquet of flowers on the chimney. In the Netherlands, a flag is hung once the highest point of a building is set in place. It stays there until the owner of the building provides free beer to the workers, after which it is lowered.

In Scandinavia, a tree or branch is placed at the top of a new building. Some say it’s a religious rite to appease the tree-dwelling spirits that were displaced during the construction of the building. To others it’s considered a celebration of the building’s "soul" – to be acknowledged only after its "bones" are complete.

At Alloy Homes, we figured this was a great tradition to perpetuate. Our own interpretation of this celebration is the “Roof Shout”. This is considered an essential part of the homebuilding process in New Zealand, from whose shores hailed our one-time design manager, Julia Mercer. She’s returned to the Land of the Long White Cloud but the tradition lives on.

In New Zealand, to “shout” means to “treat” or buy something for your mates. It’s usually used in the context of buying a friend (or group of friends) a drink in a bar as in, “this one’s my shout!”.

At a traditional Roof Shout, there’s a big party with lots of food and drink provided by the homeowners to thank the framers and roofers. Everyone has a great time and raises a glass (or a few) in a communal toast to the newly-created home.

So how do we celebrate this moment at Alloy? We’ve borrowed heavily from the traditions of Julia’s homeland, but with one important difference – the wine and cheese is on us! It’s our way of thanking our clients for their support and marking this significant moment in our grand collaboration.

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