The roof was a cheap and nasty MDF slate affair. The original tiles that covered the cottage, which would have matched the neighbouring cottages and houses, were lost. The roof had not weathered the years well. Repairs had been bodge jobs, and it leaked, so the walls on the first floor suffered from damp. This meant that we couldn’t plaster or paint them, because they’d be ruined in six months by water damage.
We decided to replace the cheap pseudoslates with the real thing, and to have the front porch and bay window fitted with proper mini-roofs as well. (I think of the bay window roof as a hat.)
The scaffolders arrived at 8 AM on a Monday morning.
The old roof, from the back, post-scaffolding and pre-roofing.
The old roof, from the front, post-scaffolding and pre-roofing.
On day two, the roofers began stripping the slates from the front of the house.
By the end of the day, all the old slates were gone from the front.
By day four, the back of the roof had been completely covered in new slates.
The side of the house facing the canal. The roofers built an overhang into the new roof, seen only on the back bit because the new slates aren’t on the rest of the roof. It didn’t have one before, which was just silly. Note also that there is no scaffolding on this side of the house. This is because the Canal and Rivers Trust went all 'elf and safety' on us when presented with the prospect of scaffolding next to the towpath.
Back of the roof, day ten.
Front of the roof, day ten. I didn’t realise these photos were blurry until I downloaded them. Am a bit sad now, but I was so busy that I had literally 30 seconds to run outside and take these on the day. You can just see that the porch is being re-roofed.
Closeup of work on the porch and the bay window.
Looking out our bedroom window at the porch roof.
The new bay window hat! I’m especially fond of this bit.
They finished the job quickly once the problem of constructing the hat had been solved, and the scaffolding was taken down at 8 AM last Saturday morning. (The baby ran a temperature of 39+ on Friday night and we were up most of the night. I was Not Happy to see them since they were supposed to come on Monday. The bloke made them coffee. I didn't dare go outside lest I throw it over them instead of handing them the cups politely.) The hat is still not quite finished - the contractors had to order special little narrow ridges to join the three sides together and they haven’t arrived yet.
Back of the house, completed. New guttering and downpipes! Flashing on the chimneys!
Front of the house, almost completed. New guttering, fascias and downpipes! Flashing on the chimneys! Proper drainage for the porch guttering! Flashing on the porch and the bay window hat!
Side of the house. Drainage now set up for the valley between the two halves of the roof.
Now that all this is is (almost) done, we can feel confident about redecorating and repairing the interior of the house, as well as repainting the exterior. And once we’ve recovered from paying the bill (yowch), we can think about Phase 2: Converting the conservatory into a livable room.
In conclusion, responsible home ownership is ruddy exhausting. Also, expensive. Also also, why was it so exhausting even though all I did was organising the contractors, make a lot of coffee and answer questions about what I wanted?
At least it looks nice! I think? Reassurance would be most welcome.
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