Sunday, 26 June 2011

Week 17 - More roof tiling

Sunday - a very hot day for roofing! After finishing off all the valleys it was time to get the ridge tiles all in place.  We're using a dry ridge system instead of bedding all the ridge tiles in with mortar, it is simpler and neater to install but more importantly it vents the roof space and allows you to meet the building regs with a lower spec roofing felt which is significantly cheaper. The product didn't really do a grat job of joining the ridge tiles together and required a fair bit of fettling to get it looking right. Below, Kai sticking the ridge felt to the top tiles.


The ridge tiles in place on the projecting roof. It looks really neat and should look even better once all the verges are grouted in.



The finished roof - view from the field:

 And view from the road:

We have quite a lot of tiles left over because the supplier delivered half a pallet too many. We have a small projecting roof over the front door to build and tile, and then the spares will have to be sent back...

We'll be glad if we never have to see a tile ever again, in all it's taken 4 long days to tile the roof spread over a couple of weeks and we've been hampered a bit by the weather. It's the sort of monotonous job that is best done quickly with 3-4 people, that way you can have a couple on the roof and a couple on the scaffolding which saves all the moving around up there.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Week 16 - Roof tiling and windows

A huge thanks to Colin, who was back to help out on Monday and Tuesday. After finishing off battening the front of the roof, Monday's job was to 'bump' the stacks of tiles up onto the scaffolding and distribute the piles across the roof. We hired a 'Bumpa Hoist' which is a nifty conveyor belt for tiles. Colin loading at the bottom and Kai unloading at the top. The machine has three settings - fast, very fast, or aaaaaarrrgggghhhhh! Colin showed no mercy loading the bottom, leaving Kai running around the roof whilst the machine spat tiles off the end of the belt. Needless to say at the end of the day Kai was 'beat'.

We had seven pallets of tiles in total. Each pallet is nearly a tonne, and Colin+Kai took thirty minutes to get each pallet up there.


Below, the tiles all bumped. This helps to get the roof to settle under the load. If you start laying tiles while the roof is not equally loaded, it might all go a funny shape...

Starting to lay the tiles. Not all of them have to be nailed - just every fifth row, and the the edge tiles. We're choosing to nail all the edge tiles and one adjacent for peace of mind. That's only about two thousand nails...

Put to the test!

The valley areas are annoying to say the least. It slows you down to about half the speed, having to mark out and cut each valley tile. You have to be quite accurate getting the cut at the correct angle, otherwise it looks rubbish from a distance.

There were heavy showers on Saturday so Kai worked inside fitting the windows. It wasn't long ago we were doing the same thing whilst renovating a Victorian terraced house - and boy that was a lot harder. Newbuild = straight lines, right angles, precise measurements, secure fixings. Five windows and one set of French doors took Kai about 6 hours to fit and glaze.

It's a lot quieter inside the house now that the windows are in, they block out most of the road noise from the front.

Much better weather on Sunday so it was back to laying roof tiles. One or two more good days next week should complete the tiling, but there are an awful lot of small finishing details to be done - grouting edges, soffits and fascia boards, rainwater goods....


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Week 15 - Roof felting and battening

We spent Thursday and Friday finishing off the gables, cutting blocks to fit the angle of the roof took ages. Many thanks to Steve for coming to help out! 

The finished gable ends look really neat now. The white plastic stuff in the cavity is called a fire sock, it's filled with mineral wool and designed to stop fire spreading into the roof space.


After working out what spacing is required for the tiles, we started felting and battening. Battens are required at 100mm centres for plain tiles (a bit like slates) which means an awful lot of nails and hammering, and aching hands for Kai at the end of it... Next time we'd go for large format interlocking tiles which cover a lot more area and need a lot less battening! They wouldn't look nearly as nice as plain tiles will though.

One side all finished, ready to get loaded up with tiles.

The windows arrived on Friday morning, and we had just enough time to fix and glaze the big French doors which will lead from the kitchen out to the decking.


Sunday, 5 June 2011

Week 14 - Roof structure

This week the trusses arrived, so we spent Saturday getting the roof structure up and braced. A huge thanks to Kai's dad, Colin, for helping out. It was a mammoth task getting the trusses up onto the roof by hand! Like the floor joists, they are incredibly floppy individually, and getting the temporary bracing fixed was very difficult to do safely. The roof gets much more rigid as you add in the permanent bracing, and in the end it feels nice and secure to walk around up there.

We spent quite a long time making sure the trusses all lined up in every plane, so that the tiled roof will look flat from whichever angle you look at it. It was especially tricky getting the projecting roof to meet the main roof,getting the valleys and the ridge to all line up. Any mistakes here will show up really badly once the battens are on, and would be a lot of work to rectify. It's all too easy to rush it, but it's worth taking the time to get it perfect.

It looks like a proper house now!

 With the cavity closers in position the windows look a lot tidier. The windows and doors will arrive next Friday, and shouldn't take more than a day to fit.

Couldn't do much on Sunday due to the inclement weather, but Kai managed to get the felt support trays and over-fascia vents in on the rear of the roof. Ten years ago plastic products like cavity closers and roof accessories weren't commonly available, and you would have had to make do with bits of timber. The plastics are cheap, very quick and easy to put in, and finish off the edge detail very neatly.