"when quality and experience matters" 


RVG Roofing has been working with the Harvey Thatch product for the past nine years. The product can be installed in one-of-two ways. The tiles get either installed over the thatch of an existing roof or the existing thatch gets stripped and only a 40 mm layer cape reed is installed on the gum pole structure. Both these installations have advantages and disadvantages. 

The following section will go into detail on exactly how this is achieved:

Re-Roof (Over Thatch)

This process is the easier of the two processes because the existing roof is retained and the tiles get installed over the existing thatch roof. Holes are drilled through the gum poles and 50 x 38 pine “rafters” get attached onto every gum pole using 8 mm threaded rods. Counter buttons (38 x 38 pine) then get nailed onto the “rafters” using 75 mm round wire nails. The tiles then get attached onto the “branderings” using Harvey Clout Nails.


  • There is very little (if any) disruption of the interior of the   building.
  • The insulation of the traditional thatch stay in place (150 mm thatch grass) and is very good. The temperature is controlled very well
  • The installation is much cleaner, as the removal of the existing thatch is huge logistical challenge. This process is definitely the easier of the two processes.
  • 30 year MACSTEEL factory guarantee






  • The dust and pieces of seed that falls from the roof remains in place.
  • It is difficult to repair the “ceiling” of the thatch on the inside if not 100% in place
  • The 150 mm of thatch grass remains a fire risk on the inside of the building, and insurance companies still see this as a risk. They do give a 30% discount (from traditional thatch) as 50% of the risk from the outside is removed.
  • Even though the aging process is stopped (no more exposure to nature elements), the effect of the old rotten pieces of grass over a long period of time unknown. The roof can brief through the tiles and we believe that old moisture can escape through the tiles

New Roof or Clean Gumpole Structure 

This is the process we use either on a New Roof structure or where we strip the old thatch grass from an existing roof.

Process from Structure

Install or Repair 40 mm cape reed. If there is cape reed on the inside of the roof, the grass is stripped up to the cape reed and is patched-and-repaired, otherwise new cape reed get installed onto the gum pole structure.

On houses, rondavels, chalets or closed lapas, single sided “DURAFOIL” is rolled out over the cape reed. 50 x 38 pine trusses are nails over the “durafoil” onto each gum pole (by using 150 mm round wire nails) to be used as rafters and to keep the “durafoil” in place. On lapas or open area roofs NO DURAFOIL is installed. The durafoil is installed as an extra insulator.

38 x 38 buttons are then nails onto the rafters using 75mm round wire nails. Depending on the type of roof installed we then use either 50 mm, 100 mm or 135 mm pink aerolite as sisulation between the “durafoil” and tiles. The rolls get cut according to size and then it’s rolled out between the branderings.


  • 30 year MACSTEEL factory guarantee
  • The complete installation is a very clean solution. No dust, flower bits or untidy roof on the inside
  • The cape reed acts only as a ceiling and offers a very low fire risk. Some insurance companies regard this installation as a standard roof and offer 100% discount on the traditional thatch premiums
  • All the old rotten grass is removed from the structure. No old pieces of grass fall from roof
  • The Durafoil and Aerolite offers an extra fire retardant and acts as an insulator for temperature
  • No more maintenance
  • No lightning pole or fire treatment required




  • Logistical challenge to strip and remove all the thatch grass. The amount of grass that’s on the structure will fill the structure on the inside.
  • A huge disruption to daily household activities during the installation process
  • Precautions need to be taken to ensure that no damage (rain or personal) occurs during installation
  • Longer installation process
  • More expensive – extra labour for strip and removal of grass, installation of cape reed, extra costs for durafoil and aerolite