Title:
Facing unit construction
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A facing unit construction is adapted for mounting facing units on a structure, such as a roof or a wall. The facing units can comprise various suitable materials, including slate, wood, tile, metal, concrete, ceramic and plastic. Center channel spacers are mounted on the structure and provide outwardly-projecting ribs for positioning the facing units and inwardly-open channels for draining water from underneath the facing units. Clip assemblies are also mounted on the structure and include flanges for capturing the facing unit upper edges and hooks for receiving the facing unit lower edges. The hooks can also extend through receivers in the facing units and can be provided with snow guards. The clip assembly base clips can be configured for automatically aligning nailing equipment. The facing units, spacers and clips form courses on the structure, which overlap for gravity discharge of water.



Inventors:
O'neill, Kevin M. (Overland Park, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/251410
Publication Date:
04/20/2006
Filing Date:
10/14/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C2/34
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LAUX, JESSICA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAW OFFICE OF MARK BROWN, LLC (Shawnee, KS, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A facing unit construction for a structure, which includes: a plurality of spacers each having inner and outer faces, opposite side edges and opposite ends; said spacers being adapted for mounting on said structure; and each said spacer being adapted for positioning a pair of facing units on said structure.

2. The construction according to claim 1, which includes: each said spacer having a medial rib protruding from said outer face and extending between said opposite ends in spaced relation inwardly from said side edges; each said spacer being adapted for positioning a pair of facing units on opposite sides of and adjacent to the medial rib thereof; a plurality of clip assemblies each including a base clip and a hook connected to the base clip and extending therefrom; and said clip assemblies being adapted for mounting said facing units on said structure by engaging said facing units with said hooks.

3. The construction according to claim 2 wherein: each said spacer includes a drain channel open at its inner face and extending between said spacer ends.

4. The construction according to claim 3 wherein each said spacer includes: a pair of side ribs projecting outwardly from its outer face on each side of its medial rib and extending between said spacer ends; and a receiver adapted for receiving a mechanical fastener for attaching said spacer to the structure.

5. The construction according to claim 2, which includes: a plurality of courses extending in generally parallel, overlapping relation along said structure; each said course including a plurality of said spacers, clip assemblies and facing units; each said underlayment strip having alignment marking thereon for positioning said spacers and clip assemblies on said structure; and each said course overlapping the course below and/or being overlapped by the course above.

6. The construction according to claim 1 wherein: each said base clip includes a receiver adapted for receiving a fastener for mounting said base clip on said structure; each said base clip includes top and side flanges with respective notches for alignment with a nailing device; each said base clip further includes a bottom flange adapted for overlying a respective facing unit upper edge.

7. The construction according to claim 6 wherein each said clip assembly includes: said hook having a proximate end; said base clip having a retainer engaging said hook proximate end and mounting same on said base clip; said hook having a hook-shaped distal end forming a receiver adapted to receive a facing unit lower edge; and said hook having a shaft extending over said base clip bottom flange.

8. The construction according to claim 1 wherein said facing units comprise a material chosen from among the group consisting of: slate; stone; saturated felt composition; wood; tile; concrete; ceramic; plastic; and metal.

9. The construction according to claim 2 wherein each said facing unit includes a receiver adapted for receiving a respective hook distal end.

10. The construction according to claim 2 wherein each said hook includes a snow guard mounted on its distal end.

11. A facing unit construction for a structure, which includes: multiple facing unit courses extending in generally parallel relation on said structure; each said course including a plurality of facing units each having inner and outer faces, opposite side edges and upper and lower ends; each said course including a plurality of spacers each having inner and outer faces, opposite side edges, opposite ends and a medial rib protruding from said outer face and extending between said opposite ends in spaced relation inwardly from said side edges; each said spacer being adapted for mounting on said structure and for positioning a pair of facing units on either side of and adjacent to said medial rib thereof; each said course including a plurality of clip assemblies each including a base clip and a hook connected to the base clip and extending therefrom; and said clip assemblies being adapted for mounting facing units on said structure by engaging same with said hooks; and said courses overlapping on said structure with said facing units being overlapped by the facing units of the course above and/or overlapping the facing units of the course below.

12. The construction according to claim 11, which includes: water-repellent underlayment strips positioned between overlapping courses.

13. The construction according to claim 12 wherein each said underlayment strip includes alignment markings corresponding to the locations of respective facing units and indicia for identifying the facing units to be installed thereat.

14. The construction according to claim 13, which includes: said construction comprising a predetermined pattern of different-sized facing units configured to cover a portion of said structure.

15. The construction according to claim 11, which includes: each said base clip having a top flange and opposite side flanges; each said flange having a notch; and said flanges and notches being adapted for aligning a power nailing tool head.

16. The construction according to claim 15, which includes: each said base clip having a bottom flange adapted for overlying a respective facing tile upper end; and each said clip assembly having a pair of said hooks extending over said bottom flange and having outwardly-convex prebent configurations adapted for deflecting inwardly upon installation of the next course above.

17. The construction according to claim 11, which includes: each said facing tile including a hook receiver extending between its inner and outer faces; and each said hook extending inside a respective facing tile inner face below a respective facing tile upper edge and through a respective hook receiver.

18. A facing unit construction for a structure, which includes: multiple, overlapping facing unit courses extending in generally parallel relation on said structure; water-repellent underlayment strips positioned between overlapping courses and including alignment markings corresponding to the locations of respective facing units and indicia for identifying the facing units to be installed thereat; each said course including a plurality of facing units each having inner and outer faces, opposite side edges and upper and lower ends; each said course including a plurality of spacers each having inner and outer faces, opposite side edges, opposite ends and a medial rib protruding from said outer face and extending between said opposite ends in spaced relation inwardly from said side edges; each said spacer having a drain channel open at its inner face and extending between. said spacer ends below said medial rib; each said spacer having two pairs of side ribs extending between said spacer ends, each pair being located to a respective side of said medial rib and protruding from said spacer outer face; each said spacer being adapted for mounting on said structure and for positioning a pair of facing units on either side of and adjacent to said medial rib thereof; each said course including a plurality of clip assemblies each including a base clip and a hook connected to the base clip and extending therefrom; and said clip assemblies being adapted for mounting facing units on said structure by engaging same with said hooks; each said base clip having a top flange and opposite side flanges; each said flange having a notch; said flanges and notches being adapted for aligning an automatic nailing tool head; said courses overlapping on said structure with said facing units being overlapped by the facing units of the course above and/or overlapping the facing units of the course below; each said base clip having a bottom flange adapted for overlying a respective facing tile upper end; each said clip assembly having a pair of said hooks extending over said bottom flange and having outwardly-convex prebent configurations adapted for deflecting inwardly upon installation of the next course above; and said construction comprising a predetermined pattern of different-sized facing units configured to cover a portion of said structure.

19. The construction according to claim 18 wherein each said hook distal end includes a snow guard comprising a bent-wire loop adapted for engaging a respective facing unit lower end for retaining said facing unit in position, said loop lying in a plane generally perpendicular to said hook and extending above said facing unit upper surface and adapted for restraining snow thereon.

20. The construction according to claim 18 wherein each said hook distal end includes: a facing unit hook receiving a respective facing tile lower end; and a snow guard positioned distally from said facing unit hook and comprising a bent-wire loop lying in a plane generally perpendicular to said hook and extending above said facing unit upper surface and adapted for restraining snow thereon.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/619,482, filed Oct. 15, 2004, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to construction, and in particular to a system for constructing an exterior surface, such as a roof or siding, with individually-mounted facing units.

2. Description of the Related Art

A wide variety of construction materials are available for accommodating the requirements of particular structures and building sites. The considerations involved in selecting, designing and specifying such materials include aesthetics, material cost, installation cost, weather resistance, maintenance, thermal resistance and availability. Surfaces of structures are often covered with decorative and protective facing units, which typically provide weather protection on exterior walls and roofs. For example, facing units used for roofing materials include composition shingles, wood shingles, wood shakes, cement tiles, clay tiles, metal panels and slate. A well-known technique for achieving positive, gravity drainage on sloping roof and vertical wall surfaces is to overlap the facing units. For example, each course of facing units can overlap the course directly below it. In this manner the upper facing unit edges are covered. Facing unit installation patterns are commonly laid out to achieve sufficient overlaps to provide adequate moisture protection. Moreover, the weight of the facing units can be used to advantage for holding down the courses that they overlap, whereby uplifting wind forces are resisted.

In addition to roof constructions, the same or similar facing units are commonly used for vertical wall surfaces. Exterior walls can be finished with materials having similar characteristics to roofing materials. Such dual-purpose construction materials can be used for achieving desired aesthetic effects, such as matching roof and exterior wall surface appearances.

A facing unit construction should facilitate installation, minimize the dead load of the resulting faced structure, be cost-effective, provide weather protection and utilize the facing unit materials efficiently. Heretofore there has not been available a facing unit construction with the advantages and features of the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the practice of the present invention, a facing unit construction is provided, which includes an underlayment subsystem, spacers mounted on top of the underlayment subsystem and clip assemblies for securing the facing units in an overlapping configuration. The spacers include longitudinally-extending ribs for aligning the adjacent facing units. The clip assemblies comprise base clips for engaging the facing unit upper edges and wire hooks for retaining the facing units. The construction is adapted for facing roofs and walls with various facing units, which can comprise different materials, shapes and sizes. The construction can be preconfigured for desired aesthetic results, including random and other layouts with different sizes of facing units. Different configurations for the spacers and clip assemblies can be utilized as needed to accommodate particular constructions with various facing unit materials.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a facing unit construction embodying the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view thereof, showing a roof construction application.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged, perspective view of a center channel spacer.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, perspective view of a clip assembly.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a facing unit construction comprising an alternative embodiment of the present invention

FIG. 6 is a perspective view thereof, showing a roof construction application.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view thereof, showing a roof construction application.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged, perspective view of a hook thereof.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged, perspective view of a spacer thereof.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a facing unit roof construction comprising an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a facing unit roof construction comprising and alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a facing unit roof construction comprising an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 13 is an enlarged, perspective view of an alternative embodiment clip assembly with a snow guard.

FIG. 14 is an enlarged, perspective view of an alternative embodiment clip assembly with a snow guard extending from a facing unit hook thereof.

FIG. 15 is an enlarged, perspective view of an alternative clip assembly with double hooks.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

I. Introduction and Environment

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience in reference only and will not be limiting. Said terminology will include the words specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof and words of similar meaning.

Referring to the drawings in more detail, the reference numeral 2 generally designates a facing unit construction embodying the present invention. Without limitation on the generality of useful applications of the invention, the construction 2 shown in FIG. 1 would be useful for constructing a roof or a wall. Suitable underlayment strips 4 can be provided as appropriate for the particular construction, taking into account environmental and building code considerations. For example, building paper comprising felt saturated with asphalt or a similar waterproofing material is commonly utilized as a secondary moisture barrier, with the external facing units comprising the primary moisture barrier. Various materials can be used for underlayment, including elastomers, PVC, HDPE, rubber, etc. The underlayment strips 4 can optionally be printed with suitable alignment marking 6, which can assist in properly aligning the adjacent underlayment strips 4. Indicia 8 can be printed thereon to indicate, for example, the sizes of facing units to be installed at particular locations. For example, slate facing units are commonly available with approximate widths of 8, 10 and 12 inches. The entire roof or wall can be preconfigured, e.g. with a suitable CADD (Computer Aided Drafting and Design) system, from which the underlayment can be printed with the appropriate alignment markings 6 and indicia 8. Various aesthetic effects can thus be preplanned and achieved.

Center channel spacers 12 (FIG. 3) are mounted with suitable fasteners, such as nails 14, staples or other mechanical fasteners at predetermined positions, which can be located by the alignment markings 6 and the indicia 8. The spacers 12 are generally perpendicular to the underlayment strips 4 whereby the finished construction 2 will repel water with gravity. Each spacer 12 includes: inner and outer faces 16, 18; upper and lower ends 20, 22; opposite side edges 24; and fastener receivers 26. A medial or center rib 28 extends between the ends 20, 22 approximately midway between the side edges 24, projects outwardly from the outer face 18 and forms a drain channel 30 at the inner face 16 for directing water out from the facing unit construction 2. Each spacer 12 includes side ribs 32 at the outer face 18, which space respective facing units 10 slightly above the spacer outer face 18 and further provide longitudinal rigidity for the spacer 12 in conjunction with the medial rib 28. The ribbed configuration of the spacers 12 thus minimizes moisture retention and facilitates air circulation for drying the facing unit construction 2.

Each facing unit 10 can be secured by one or more clip assemblies 34 (FIG. 4), which can be generally located on the alignment markings 6 between respective spacers 12. Each clip assembly 34 includes a base clip 36 with top and side flanges 38, 40 having notches 42, and a bottom flange 44. The base clip 36 can be fabricated, for example, by sheet metal stamping or by another suitable fabrication technique and includes retainers 46 and locating bosses 48 for attaching a wire hook 50 at a proximate end 52 thereof. The hook 50 includes a shaft 54, which can be pre-bent outwardly for compression by the facing units 10 upon installation thereof. Each hook 50 terminates at a distal end 56 forming a hook-shaped receiver. Suitable fasteners, such as nails 14, can be utilized for fastening the base clips 36 in place. The base clip top and side flanges 38, 40 and notches 42 are adapted for aligning the head of nail coil gun with the base clip 36. For example, the base clip 36 can be configured to engage the nail gun head whereby a mounting nails 14 can be quickly and accurately driven through a base clip receiver 60 and into the underlying structure in order to expedite rapid installation of the clip assemblies 34. The base clips 36 can also be preprinted with suitable alignment marks for use in visually locating a nail gun head in proper position on the base clip 36.

The construction 2 can comprise multiple courses 58, which is typical of facing unit construction techniques. Each course 58 can comprise, for example, an underlayment strip 4, center channel spacers 12, clip assemblies 34 and facing units 10. The construction 2 of the present invention facilitates installation course-by-course, starting with the lowermost whereby each successive upper course overlaps the one below it in order to facilitate gravity drainage. FIG. 2 shows a facing unit roof construction 2 constructed according to this technique. The roof 62 includes sheathing 64, which receives the underlayment strips 4. A starter board 66 can be provided adjacent to an eave 68 for properly positioning the first (lowermost) course 58. The underlayment strips 4 can be installed course-by-course, or the entire surface of a roof or wall can be laid out in advance. The spacers 12 and the clip assemblies 34 can then be installed and the facing units 10 placed thereover by inserting lower edges 70 thereof in respective hook distal ends 56. Side edges 72 of the facing units 10 can be placed against the spacer center ribs 28 for proper spacing and alignment. The next course 58 retains the immediately preceding course 58. Specifically, the base clip top flanges 38 overlie upper and edges of the facing units 10, capturing same in conjunction with the hooks 50.

The finished construction provides a uniform, finished appearance with the clip assemblies being concealed except for the hook distal ends 56 and the center channel spacers 12 being concealed except for the center ribs 28. The exposed parts of the facing unit construction 2 can be suitably finished for aesthetics and compatibility with the facing units 10, which normally dominate the finished appearance of the construction 2. For example, the spacers 12 and the clip assemblies 34 can comprise various plastics and metals, which can be tinted, painted, anodized and otherwise finished in order to achieve the desired visual effect.

FIGS. 5-9 show a facing unit construction 102 comprising an alternative embodiment of the present invention, which is likewise adaptable for roof covering, wall siding and other structures. Alignment markings 106 with indicia 108 are provided for guiding the installation of hooks 110. Spacers 112 can be installed over the hooks 110, for example with mechanical fasteners such as staples 114. The facing units 10 are captured by the hooks 110 and by the overlaps of the next-higher courses 116.

FIG. 10 shows another alternative embodiment facing unit construction 122 with spacers 124 overlying hooks 126, which are fastened to the underlying structure along alignment marking strips 128.

FIG. 11 shows another alternative embodiment facing unit construction 132 with modified clip assemblies 134 including modified hooks 136 including hook-shaped distal ends 138, which are received in hook receivers 140 formed in modified facing units 142. FIG. 12 shows another alternative embodiment facing unit construction 152 with mechanical fasteners, such as nails 14, placed within fastener receivers 156 and attaching the facing units 142 to the underlying structure. The fasteners, i.e. nails 14, are substantially concealed whereby this construction is particularly advantageous for siding and roofs wherein concealed fasteners are preferred. The faster receivers 156 can be prefilled with a suitable caulk or sealant 158, such as an elastomeric or silicone-based compound.

FIG. 13 shows an alternative embodiment clip assembly 162 with a combination hook and snow guard 164, which functions to minimize snow and ice masses sliding along the finished roof.

FIG. 14 shows another alternative embodiment clip assembly 172 with a snow guard 174 mounted on the end of a hook 150, such as that described above.

FIG. 15 shows another alternative embodiment clip assembly 182 with a pair of hooks 184. A base clip 185 includes top and bottom flanges 186, 188 and side flanges 190. The top and side flanges 186, 190 included notches 192. The clip assembly 182 is adapted for placement approximately midway along a respective facing unit upper end 74. The modified clip assembly 182 accommodates installation of the facing units 10 with a single clip assembly 182 on each.

One or more layers of underlayment can be provided for protection from the elements. For example, the underlayment strips 4 can form a continuous layer and between-course underlayment strips 76 can be provided in addition for overlapping placement between respective courses 58 (FIG. 2).

It is to be understood that the invention can be embodied in various forms, and is not to be limited to the examples discussed above. Other components and configurations can be utilized in the practice of the present invention. For example, although the constructions described above are particularly suitable for constructing slate roofs, wall siding and other constructions utilizing various facing unit materials can be constructed according to the present invention. Alternative facing units include shingles, shakes, tiles and panels, which can comprise wood, concrete, ceramic, plastic, metal, etc. Still further, various fasteners including nails, staples, screws and adhesives can be used for mounting, securing and attaching the various components of the facing unit constructions. Suitable sealants, caulks and adhesives can be utilized in the receivers, around fasteners and between the different components as necessary for achieving a weatherproof construction.