Installing a steeple

I am working to install a fiberglass steeple with a wood frame built inside. I am tempted to build a wood frame that sits on the roof (as the frame for the steeple does not stretch to the bottom of it) and attaches to the wood frame inside the steeple.

However, the steeple installation instructions say to just sit it on flashing directly on the roof. I feel that that would be a big problem in future roof replacements. Flashing would have to be done on the outside, and I think that would look lousy.

I plan to build the wood frame to sit the fiberglass steeple a half inch to an inch off the roof, so we can flash underneath in the future. I plan to set the frame back from the steeple a quarter inch or so, so we can slide the flashing up the inside of the steeple.

This may be impossible to understand, but I would love to hear any comments on this, as I do want it right, of course. Thanks for any help.

That’s how I’d do it Gary. The frame idea is right on.

Sounds like a good idea.

Much easier than having to lift the steeple off the roof later slateandcopperroofrestoratio … metal.html to re do the flashing.

Dennis, I have always liked that one…

These are pics of one we recently replaced. As you can see the steeple had a broken frame and the steeple had fallen over.

We replaced it with a very similar one from a steeple manufacturer.

We had to add laminated beams inside the building to bolt the new steeple to.

Basically since we had a metal roof with 3/4" high ribs, we built a steeple base of 1" thick plywood that was maybe 1" bigger (in both directions) than the actual steeple base , and then put a solid sheet metal sheet (actually 2 pieces) over the entire plywood base plate, then we drilled holes (for the four 5/8" threaded rods) through the sheet metal, 1" plywood, roof deck, and laminated beams to bolt the steeple too.

The sheet metal base stuck out 4" all around the steeple base and was 1" higher than the deck so it was easy to flash the metal roof too since the panels would slide right under the 4" flange.

I think the solid sheetmal base is better than trying to flash under the steeple base after it is set because if the steeple ever leaks it still can’t get inside the building.

[quote=“dennis”]Sounds like a good idea.

Much easier than having to lift the steeple off the roof later slateandcopperroofrestoratio … metal.html to re do the flashing.[/quote]

Wow, Dennis, that is a beautiful project. I dream of jobs like that. Maybe some day…

About the only similarity to that work of art is that I do not have a four-sided steeple (we have a six sided steeple). Do I step flash the four sides with a sort of v-shaped step flashing? Then use a traditional bottom flashing over the top of the shingles?

FYI, this steeple weighs 250 pounds before I build the wood frame extension I mentioned inside.


I got a little lost on the plywood base and all. I am contemplating pressure treated 2X4s for my base, but I have an existing shingle roof, not a metal roof.

You hit on another question I have. You used laminated beams to reinforce the roof framing, as I read it. Will this 250 pound steeple likely require interior support additions? I had planned to use 2X6 cross rafters parallel to the ground to reinforce the existing 2X6 rafters that are 2 feet on center. I had planned to add 2X6s in between the rafters near the steeple, too.

FYI, we will be taking out a permit extension on this, as we already replaced the roof under a permit.

That copper steeple is a beauty!!!
Gary- 250 pounds is not a lot of wait. Regardless, I would header off the lower sections to help carry the added weight. Whether you use laminated beams or whatever your rafter size will allow. But lam beams sound like overkill for your application. Even though nowadays it seems like the building department wants lam beams everywhere.
Best of luck

the steeples I have dealt with have steel frames and anchor bolts and are much heavier than what you are describing.

To describe the base detail better…basically we have an existing solid flat deck under the steeple. We need a 1" raised deck where the steeple goes because we have 3/4" high ribs on the metal roof.
We want a solid one piece sheet of sheetmetal that coves the entire steeple base (under the steeple) so we used 2 pieces of 1/2 plywood to make a 1" thick plywood base that was just slightly bigger than the steeple base. The solid sheetmetal base sheet goes on top of the new plywood and extends 4" around the base so that it covers the metal roof 4" beyond the steeple base.

Now what we have is a little 1" high roof assembly that is 4 " bigger in all directions than the steeple.

The steeple sits on top of that, and the 4 anchor bolts penetrate the roof and we caulk those holes inside the steeple base.

I’m not sure your framing is adequate enough to hold the weight of the new steeple, but it sounds ok.
Since you have shingles, I would maybe go with a 7/16" plywood base under the your steeple and then cover that with ice and water shield, and sheetmetal and then set your steeple on top of that as the manufacturer says to do it.
The 7/16" plywood will hold your flashing up enough to get your shingles under it.

You are not suppose to use pressure treated wood as part of roof assemblys now.