The Slates Start Going on in Typical Cumbrian Weather



We have a lot of roof and the only planning condition we have, is that we use local slate, 18 tonnes of it at a cost of £22k.


So here’s the front roof of the house.



And the rear roof of the house.


A total of 18 separate roof planes in all! Why oh why did I let the architect talk me into this design?


Once the Timber Frame company left a local roofer started to batten our the roofs for our random width, diminishing course roof. Everything was going swimmingly, however he complained of feeling dizzy whilst on the three storey section, so i sent him to the doctors.


He’s very old school of farming stock and would probably be more comfortable going to the vets! 


The upshot is he was signed off sick and needed hospital tests. The doctor has told him no more roofs. So that’s it, he’s told me to find someone else! 


I’ve  wished him a speedy recovery, he is a really nice local guy and I’m gutted for him as he’s no pension, so relies on local roofing and small building jobs.


He’s irreplaceable, but somehow I had to find a replacement. If only I had a magic wand, I’d wave it for him.




Went to seek the advice of a neighbours regarding good local roofers.


The upshot being, I’ve was told to hunt down a guy known locally as “Old Fruit”. I asked the neighbour “don’t you know his real name” the answer, “NO” I’ve only ever known him as Old Fruit” So I have no phone number and only a vague idea where he lives.


As luck would have it, the third house I tried was Old Fruits parents house. So I now know he’s called Chris and having looked at the job and agreed an hourly rate, he’s start battening the roof out.


Fast forward a couple of weeks and he’s back and this morning the slates started going on in the pouring rain, Old Fruit is keen to get on with the job! More to follow........






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"A total of 18 separate roof planes in all! Why oh why did I let the architect talk me into this design? "


I feel your pain...

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Wowzers thats a big old roofing job ! The style is very different from how I did my roof, I think because so many of your slates are wider than they are longer or laid in “landscape” rather than “portrait” it kind of goes against what I am comfortable with.....  it also looks like they are diminishing slightly to quickly but this may be just the angle of the photo. My problem is I have  a very specific (and limited) concept of what works visually for me....... having spent nearly my whole life being both the designer and builder it’s sometimes hard to grasp there are other ways of doing a job ! ....... I am sure when it’s all done it will look a million dollars and I will be wishing I had done my roof the same as yours. I look forward to seeing it as it progresses. I have included a couple of pics of my roof to show how regional styles vary dramatically, I do honestly think that regional style variation is a good thing but admit to being a bit short sighted or somewhat biased towards what I am familiar with...... anyway great stuff well done old fruit !  




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Looks like quite a thick local slate or is that a trick of the light, how many mm thick?


In my party of the world a Collyweston slate is common.

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That looks great he’s clearly on the ball even with that micro example picture you can see a random pattern but never a gap meeting a gap


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Looking good.


Like original nick names.


I remember last summer going up and down the ladder with a handful of slates. From your pictures it would appear to be 'ladders'.


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On 31/05/2019 at 18:35, Cpd said:

it also looks like they are diminishing slightly to quickly but this may be just the angle of the photo. 

I checked this out with the roofer. He’s diminished the courses faster than normal, as this is a short roof plane next to a long roof plane. He tells me that once the scaffold is removed and you can see both roof planes side by side, “ they will look right”.

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Great stuff, sounds like he knows his job, I look forward to seeing the finished product. 

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So the roof of the tower is nearly complete, the slates are in and all we need now is the lead man to do the hips.



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