Archives for posts with tag: roof repairs

With the roof works almost finished, we’re thinking about insulation. I recently discovered that the spare room/lounge part of the house, which sticks out from the main part of the house, was not insulated at all. This explains why the spare room is noticeably colder than the rest of the house. It’s also the first bit of the roof that’s finished properly, so that’s where we’ll start with the insulation.

I read up on insulating an old house using a Historic England document called Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings: Insulating pitched roofs at ceiling level-cold roofs. A snappy title for a very interesting read if insulation is your new obsession. It was clear that we needed a breathable insulation that wasn’t the existing pink fluff. Enter sheep’s wool.

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There are a few places that make sheep’s wool insulation and we went for CosyWool by Thermafleece, made in Cumbria. We got three pallet loads of it to insulate to 300mm depth, which is the biggest, thickest blanket I will have ever seen.

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To insulate the sloping ceilings at the front and back of the house (where the slope of the roof cuts into the upstairs rooms) we have some wood fibre sheets to apply from the inside. They are 60mm deep, which will give some benefit and still be relatively easy to handle.

The Historic England document has lots of excellent diagrams showing how we’re going to install the insulation.


The roofers finished the back roof, including a new skylight.

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The original skylight was cast iron and leaked a lot, so we’ve got a new velux above the bathroom.

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We’ve finally got round to arranging work on the roof. The roofers have stripped off the old tiles, felted the roof and laid one row of tiles so far.

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You can see we moved the chickens to the back for a little more shelter though their run is not ideal while the scaffolding is there.

The roofers are salvaging any slates they can for reuse on other jobs and leaving us with a pile of ruined slates and horse hair to use. The horse hair is the original felt; we’re now using it as a mulch in the veg patch. We’ll use the slates as dressing for pots and as hardcore in the drive, amongst other things (maybe we’ll have enough to reroof the garden shed).

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The work on the roof has been continuing thanks to the largely dry if windy and cold weather. The eastern side of the house has now had most of its guttering repaired and repainted, the fascias replaced and the chimney stack repointed.

We have also had the unused chimneys capped to reduce draughts and we are hoping the flashing will be finished today so that the scaffold can then be moved to the western side of the house for more of the same. Verdict from the roofer, Scott Bendall, is that the damage is not too bad. One chimney – in the connecting room – was letting in quite a lot of water and that room certainly seems to have the worst water damage so pretty much tallies with what we thought. I took a few pictures while work was going on.

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A bit of the fascia not yet replaced.

A bit of the fascia not yet replaced.

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Final post of the day. As you might have gathered things have gathered apace here and the scaffolders have also just arrived to put up the structure for the roof repairs. Most exciting of all though is the final decision making for the kitchen.

Local cabinet maker Ian Cameron-Smith will be making it for us in stages but we first have to decide on the materials. He popped over with samples last night. The plan is for oak block worktops and oak cupboards painted in Edwardian White with cast iron knob handles and a belfast sink. Hoping the budget will stretch to the cabinets by the sink and cooker and an island unit initially with a dresser to follow later but we shall see. It should be in in time for Christmas and means we have to get on with cleaning and sealing the stone floor and the wonky walls before it is installed. I love a deadline.

NookWhile Iris was at school, Granddad was keeping himself out of trouble in the kitchen, removing the old cupboard and revealing the innards of the inglenook. We have someone from a local wood-burning stoves company coming on Thursday to discuss the possibility of installing wood-burning stoves with boilers to generate enough heat to warm the whole house and our hot water. At the minute all our hot water (except the ancient Miralec Supreme shower) is provided by the Rayburn. There is an immersion heater but it’s not currently connected up.

We’ve also got another roofer coming out to quote tomorrow. The roofing quotes have been really high so we’re changing tack and asking what can be done within the budget we have, rather than how much doing everything will cost. Looks like we’ll need to do patch repairs to the roof and concentrate the budget on the urgent issues highlighted in the survey and some easy fixes – gutters and fascias.

We also gave away the old carpet underlay today via Gumtree to another Laura who is renovating an old manse in Buittle. She’s just had woodworm treated too but is finding the bare boards draughty!inglenook_flue