Archives for posts with tag: roof

I have been laying the insulation over the spare room and building a framework for boards. It’s been quite fun except for the large number of scratches I’ve got on my baldy head. It looks like I’ve been chewed on by a miffed tiger. Most of the scratches have come from the nails holding the slates into the roof. I’ve got some particularly bad ones from cracking my head on rafters and other large beams.

More than one person has suggested a hard hat, but if I wore one of them, I’d run out of space to move around. You can see it’s fairly cramped as it is. I actually considered using a bike helmet the other day. I’ll see if I remember next time I go up there.

P1040339 (Large)

The photo shows all the stages of the project. The insulation is laid in three layers, two between the joists and one perpendicular to the joists. I’d attached posts to the ceiling joists to hold the framework for the boards above the top layer of insulation. The white sheet is a breathable membrane, which will keep dust and debris out of the insulation.

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.

P1040312 (Large)

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.

P1040313 (Large)

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.

P1040092 (Large).JPG

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

P1040093 (Large).JPG

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.

P1040081 (Large).JPG

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).

P1040082 (Large).JPG


A sparkling, frosty morning today got us all off to a good start. I restocked the house with wood and planted the herbs we rescued from our old allotment in the rain this weekend, plus a plant given to us by Fiona.


The herb garden is now growing nicely and we will have to carve out more beds if we want to add more. It is on the west of the house, outside the side door into what will be the kitchen. Thankfully deer and rabbits tend to steer clear of aromatic plants so less pest-proofing was needed!

As tomorrow is November 5th we have invited the neighbours over for a bonfire and are constructing a small pyre in the middle of the lawn. This time of year always puts me in the mood for proper parkin and I can’t have people over and not bake. It struck me as I went through the familiar measurements and process that this was the first time I have made it since my Nana (whose recipe it is) died. I think she would be pleased with the slab of sticky gingerbread sponge that resulted.

Finally, an update on the trades – the scaffolding has begun to go up but had to be halted halfway as longer poles are needed to avoid the electricity wires coming into the house. If the weather holds the scaffold should be up and work start on the chimney stacks this week.

All the tiles are now down and sealed in the shower room ready for grouting tomorrow.