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About Me


  1. I replaced the roof on my two-story house with concrete interlocking tiles and the dry ridge roofing system. I paid the local authority building control department to inspect the work and provide an approval certificate. The roofer left the scaffolding up, so the inspector could go up and check the work. The roofer was not on site when the inspector arrived. The inspector said he could not go up the scaffolding to inspect the work as the roofer had not left him a ladder. My next-door neighbor is a builder and I offered to collect one from him. The inspector declined to state it was not needed and he would inspect the work from ground level. Part of his view is blocked by the scaffolding boards. He went across the road and checked the front and side roof without using binoculars and said it was all ok. He told me he did not need to check the rear of the property as he had viewed it from the adjacent road where he had parked his car. He opened the loft hatch, briefly looked in the loft without turning on the light, and said it was ok. He walked under the scaffolding and said he could see from the gaps in the scaffolding that the new gutters, fascias, and soffits were all ok. He spent a maximum of l0 minutes, said he has completed the inspection, and passed the work. I repeatedly told him that I was concerned that he had not gone up on the scaffolding to inspect the roof closer, nor had he used binoculars for close-up checks. He told me not to worry and everything is ok. My friend involved the local authority inspectors who passed her roof last week. She tells me her inspector visited twice and each time, he went up the scaffolding and did a close-up inspection of the work. I am concerned that there may be snagging work or problems with the work that the inspector did not pick up. Is this the right way to inspect roof work? My son suggested I pay an Independent inspector to get a thorough report. Is that ok and will the roofer comply with that if additional work is necessary? The roofer left the scaffolding up from Thursday 14.4.2022 for the inspection and will take it down on Tuesday 19.4.2022 (due to the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend). As it is Easter Weekend I cannot contact the Local Authority till Tuesday. I paid the Local Authority £250 to inspect the roof which was costly to replace and I am very concerned.
  2. I am working with a structural engineer specialising in Traditional Timber frames to design a new build Wealden Hall House. Could anyone point me towards a person / company with a good degree of experience in efficient building design for traditional timber frames? Pursuing a truly historically-accurate frame design results in some specific cold-bridging issues (use of continuous timber posts / plates / joists through cross sections), that we are seeking mitigation strategies for. Thank you.
  3. There's a longer backgound story to this to do with embodied carbon - but keeping it simple.... We are contemplating alternative roofing materials for our new build and need to know if/what the impact on the design of the construction of footings and structure will be if we have to use tiles over our choice of seamed metal. The metal roof covering weighs about 2 tons the tiled roof more like 22 tons. We are planning to use a timberframe construction too. Do we need beefier footings = more concrete and beefier timberframe = more timber? At this stage we'd prefer not to pay a structural engineer to actually work it all out as the design is still a bit fluid and hope we can get an idea from yourgoodselves! Comments gratefully received. thank you
  4. Hi there, I would be grateful for any ideas please as we are struggling to come up with a suitable resolution. We are planning a two storey extension which would ideally project 2m beyond the rear wall of our neighbours house, as shown in the photograph. We were intending on having a shared valley gutter with eaves the same height as the higher section of their roof. However there is currently a high level hallway window in place, as shown on the photo. Our architect has advised that if we build on the party wall, past this, it wouldn't comply with building regulations because water could ingress back into the bottom of the window. Clearly the window would not comply with building regs in it's current form, because the lead flashing isn't high enough. If we lower our eaves to the height of the lower roof, we lose a lot of head room. Struggling to find an alternative design. Any help or ideas would be most appreciated! Many thanks!03 - Proposed elevations.pdf
  5. I'm having a condensation issue with our "mid-60s built" garage made of precast concrete walls and metallic roof When outside air temperature drops below 10°c the walls are literally "sweating" and the roof "showering" everything stored underneath (the 2 last pictures are taken in a hotter day so it is dry inside). Worth also noting that there is an air gap between the roof and the walls, running on each side of the garage and at the rear From what I've read online the most efficient way to fix this condensation issue might be by improving the insulation, I have a limited budget and DIY skills so I'm looking at something not too pricey and fairly easy to do. For now I was considering to glue some aliminium bubble insulation foil similar to this one :https://www.amazon.co.uk/SuperFOIL-Garage-Door-Insulation-6sqm/dp/B01ENLVTBA or some polystyrene insulation boards. (Right now I'm more lining toward the aluminium foil as I'm worried about the durability of the polystyrene). Am I going in the right direction ? ? I would be really interested to have your thoughts about it ?
  6. I'm trying to work out where the flashing and cavity trays will sit on a roof abutment. I don't have the rafter to put in place and measure off, but I do have a drawing of the bay window roof exterior surface. I need to work all this out so I can get the positions of the stepped cavity trays correct as they get built in to the wall now. Their corners align with the corners of flashing, so it's lead me to try to understand this (excuse the pun). I can see NHBC recommend at least 85mm (some of their docs have 65mm min) between the roof surface and water line which defines the positions of one set of corners of the flashing. What I can't work out is what sets the position of the other set of corners. Is it just set by the height of courses and drawing a line perpendicular to the roof slope? I've seen something that suggests they sit on a line 150mm from the roof slope. I have attempted to draw this below with the lead shown in grey and the reference lines at 85mm from roof slope and 150mm from roof slope. The red rectangles show coursing and would be the positions of stepped cavity trays. Wider lead flashing or moving it off the roof slope slightly (so up the soakers a bit) would create a tighter angle on the 'saw teeth'. I imagine these must never result in the cut line sloping the other way. Is there a minimum amount of overlap on each step? Finally, can you stop when the lead goes past being vertically above the end of roof slope or is there a minimum amount it has to go past the end of roof slope. In the example below, could I have stopped one brick course higher at the bottom? Lots to understand so thank you if you made it this far.
  7. Hi, I’m looking for some advice please. We have had our roof re-slated and this is how they have done the turret. We are worried that water can seep in as the slates don’t seem very flush. The scaffolding is still up so we could push them to fix it, but they are saying that it’s normal and to do with the slope of the turret. Would be good to have an expert opinion on if it’s ok to leave like this?
  8. Hi all Hoping for some advise regarding a garage roof. In short, both ends of the garage ‘bow upwards’, and I would like to understand if this is normal, expected, and if it’s in/out of acceptable tolerance. Attached is a pic, which shows the final top tile pointing slightly upwards, and the corner of the bottom tile pointing upwards. In addition to this, the edge of the roof is mortar and doesn’t have a ‘cap’. Is this expected? None of this looks right to my untrained eye, so some input from people more qualified would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance
  9. The builder is taking a rest... I've lost trust and am checking everything as it's all down to me now.. The rafters are 200mm. The original spec of the vaulted being was 200mm of sheeps wool, BUT we had to then change to F1 bituminous roofing membrane, non breathable, because of the bats and so was encouraged to change to PIR 150mm and a 50mm gap. Fair enough. However, I need to understand the detailing. On the SE diagram the steels are outside the thermal envelope, except for the one resting on the internal wall. (NB the vaulted ceiling will be the whole area, the diagram is slightly wrong as the design was amended, it seems to me that the vertical steel could go in or out of the thermal envelope). See photo: the steel is bolted to the wooden ‘beam’ of the roof ridge. This means non breathable membrane stops at the top there, so the gap is not contiguous with the ventilation things in the ridge tile. Unless I’m missing something, there’s an 50mm air gap but no actual air circulation. There’s nowhere for the air to be drawn in at the top. Surely non breathable membrane and 'plastic' insulation are a potential problem, even if there is a vapour barrier in the plaster board? I feel it needs air to be drawn over it somehow and not being able to inspect it bothers me. Do I need to change tack and think of a breathable house as its a conversion with all the associated compromises? Steel detail.pdf Steel in situ.pdf
  10. Hi, I have a problem with persistent damp coming through my chimney breast. I had two sides of chimney stack re-pointed a few years ago, and the lead has also been replaced. Unfortunately the problem has not resolved and has slowly deteriorated since. I've attached photos. Could it be that the top plate needs replacing? The Chimney is not in use. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  11. Hi – I’m trying to organise a few quotes for a complete re-roof. My house is a Victorian building with Staffordshire Blue clay tiles. With the new roof, I believe there are two main types (but please forgive my total ignorance here), dry-ridge (likely more expensive upfront but saves on ongoing maintenance costs) and mortar-based (likely cheaper upfront but will have ongoing maintenance costs). Is someone able to answer my questions, below, as I’m getting really confused about what is best? Dry-ridge – will it be possible to keep the traditional look of the roof whilst using a dry-ridge system? This is the most important thing for me as I don’t want to make the house look silly with a Victorian building and “modern” looking roof if it would look “modern”. Mortar-based – how often are we likely to require maintenance on a mortar-based roof? Especially bigger jobs that will require scaffolding. Can small issues be fixed by climbing a ladder, or will scaffolding be required in all instances? As you can imagine, I’m just trying to gauge what the likely ongoing costs are going to be. I've had a couple of quotes already. One roofer mentioned it would be hard to get the traditional look using dry-ridge and the other said it would look fine with dry-ridge. Thanks in advance. Jpcamps
  12. Hello, We’ve recently had a loft conversion and originally we were going to keep the old roof and tiles but they suggested we had new batons and felt for extra 2k to make it watertight. We agreed to this but if you look in the pictures the roof seems to bow inwards? They said they have corrected it and done what they needed to do but to me it still doesn’t look right - please advise?
  13. A apex roof has been constructed with Klober breathable underlay that has been fixed to the outside of the roof. Do I need another layer inside the rafters between the insulation and the sarking, or vapor control layer? The roof will be fitted with 150mm thick insulation (Ecotherm PIR, or Actis Hybris) Note the roof is built on a 800mm thick cottage rock wall (granite)
  14. Hi Folks, My first post here. I have so far put down an elevated concrete pad (30cm high) and have also built the walls out of solid dense 7.3N concrete blocks.Aas it stands the height of the highest block is 2.73m high including the concrete pad height (front of build). The problem is once the single-pitched roof is on the building height will be roughly 3.10m high. I have since been doing some digging and it seems the building may be too high? I have attached an image below so you can see the plan. I know people who have buildings just as high and some higher! that actually touch the boundaries of their neighbours and have been passed by the local council (Norwich, UK). So I'm confused as to what is ACTUALLY permissible and what's not, given the information online and the contradictory reality. Can somebody help? Also is there anything else I need to think about given the size of the building. Thanks
  15. Hi all, New member here! I was wondering if anyone could please offer some advice for some potential solutions: we are having issues with rain water coming down onto the wooden windows, sills and the door and rotting the wood. Could anyone suggest what could be done about this? I think guttering around the roof would be a solution, I don't really want to add a canopy to the door as I don't think this would look great. Please see the images attached! Thanks
  16. I'm blessed with a 70s bungalow with a low pitched roof. Around 20m x 8m. I'd like to create an upside down house, leaving the current layout pretty much as is and create a large open plan space upstairs. The idea is to replace the roof trusses with 45 degree attic trusses or equivalent ridge beam and SIPS panel roof. If the foundations can take it, what are the gotchas over adding a roof to a new build? One issue I thought may be upsetting the current ceilings, but Moduloft seem to be able able to keep these intact. Thoughts greatly appreciated!
  17. Does anyone have any advice when it comes to reviewing the roof truss design? We are having attic trusses.
  18. Weebles

    We have a leak

    Thought I'd add this to the blog but would be very grateful for some advice. Some construction background: MBC timber frame, flat roof, pumped insulation in roof void. Make up of roof is Sarnafil (hot welded) laid on a felt base, on top of 22mm OSB roof (with a slope), on top of 22mm OSB roof deck (flat - slope provided by battens to create the fall), then 400mm pumped insulation between the roof joists, air tight membrane, battens, 12mm plasterboard and skim. Roof lights on the flat roof (including a lovely round one, subject of another blog post). Yesterday we had some drips coming through the finished ceiling, about 700mm from the edge of our circular rooflight. We cut away some plasterboard to see what is going on. Plasterboard soaking wet, batten soaking wet and looks like the insulation is soaking wet. There is some water damage closer to the rooflight too, visible in the photo, but we started our cut at the plasterboard edge which is where the water started seeping through - the low point I guess. Have contacted roofing supplier and rooflight supplier (both of whom fitted their product). What shall I do next? I can't help feeling that without detecting the source of the leak neither supplier is going to help us. Any thoughts? Cut away our ceiling until we find the edge of the problem? (as we get nearer to the rooflight bit of course we are 7m off the floor ☹️)
  19. LSB

    Warm or Cold

    This maybe down to personal preference. But, what are the good / bad / ugly of warm roofs versus cold roofs and with flat roof (slight pitch) what do people think is better Thanks
  20. Hi all, I'm looking for recommendations on the best way to fill gaps in my exposed eaves and soffits. There are gaps of around 3-10mm around each rafter where is meets to soffits under the roof. This is letting in a draft and could also be a space for bugs to get in. I was thinking of using expanding foam in some of the larger gaps then mastic over the top with some external flexible mastic. I can then paint over the top. Does this sound ok or is there a better way? Cheers!
  21. How much weather can roof trusses withstand before they should be covered. As we are doing a DIY self build and we have a huge roof we are worried about how long this will take. We are having a metal roof so this can't be put on partially as it is sheets. So, how long is too long.
  22. Another week of not really achieving anything. Due to our class Q PD planning we have to keep the dimensions exactly as they are, well I guess we could be smaller, but definitely not bigger. This is up, down and side to side. I have been looking at the roof, the main one as we have 2, which is huge at 24m x 10m and a single roof, i.e. not a pitch. This is how the barn looks now, we want a zinc or at least metal roof, but the minimum pitch is 8 degrees and I hadn't realised, and obviously neither did the architect, that the current roof is only 2-3 degrees. If I slope it more for the roof then the pitch is 34cm higher than the max we are allowed of 3.015m. My brain has had a real stretch this week working on tangents, sines and co-sines to try and get a solution. As the back wall is already rather low at 2.075m it's not feasible to reduce that to increase the pitch as we will lose too much liveable space. So, I guess I'm going to have to go back to planning and ask for either a higher max ridge of say 3.5m or change to a pitch roof which isn't converting as it is. The other option is to have part of the roof flat, I quite fancy sedum, but hubby won't hear of that, he is worried that a roof 24m x 5m runs the risk of too much weight with sedum and if we every get snow. Last weekend we also have a groundworker out as we need the floors levelling which means digging out some raised bits which are just floating on the main floor, I'm not sure why the farmer put them there originally. This is also causing concerns around foundations. Anyway, he took one look and then came the sharp intake of breath and "That's a huge job". Of course when I said we would look for someone else then he decided it wasn't too bad, but to get a quote I need to measure and photograph what needs doing and send to him, which I haven't done yet. He did come recommended, so it will probably be even worse getting someone blind. We have been let down before with shoddy workmanship, rising costs and unreliable timing so I'm planning on being more careful this time. It is so much easier to build from scratch, but the LPA have said that despite having conversion planning meaning there will be a house on site they would never agree to a new build. Hubby is threatening to take it down wall by wall dig deeper foundations and build it back up with a lower floor to give more roof height. I pointed out to him though that this would involve BC inspections and they would realise that it's not part of the plans. We do have one 18m wall that needs building from scratch. This really is one of those times when it is tempting to get in the estate agent and sell the plot, but as it is in my field I don't think I could bare to see someone else doing it. I'm sat in my 'site office' AKA' the caravan with the dog, who keeping passing very very smelly wind ? This doesn't help my brain either. Maybe this week will be the one where I make some progress on getting plans ready for structural drawings.
  23. I'll start with the GRP roof but I'll dedicate this whole blog entry to which I will deem the God-awful Rubbish Period. This probably seems like I'm over exaggerating but there's just been a lot of things combined with work, personal etc and I have really been feeling the pressure. Intially, as they started laying the fabric the GRP looked OK but, despite what I would say is perfect conditions for the GRP going on from what I know through reading on here we, were appalled by the quality of the work. Without bombarding this blog with pics unless you really, really want to see them, just take my word for it, it was bad! I believe I this was subcontracted but as we have not been on site I think it's been done by the builder themselves. Needless to say I was not happy so met with the builder who muttered something about weather and acknowledged it was poor. There has been some improvement but I can't say I'm entirely happy but I believe this will be rectified, hopefully. I also raised the issue of the rooflight upstands not been GRPd to the roof and something is happening with lead flashing so I'm hoping that will be rectified too. Here is the current GRP as it stands, comments welcome because I don't know if I'm being over picky but I want to be prepared for meeting the builder this week so please give me your opinions. Roofing aside, thanks to the people that contributed to the thread on our ASHP and solar @PeterW and @ProDaveothers as I really feel I would have had a complete meltdown. For some reason the idea of fitting a PV immersion controller seemed to cause all sorts of issues and it's literally blown my mind trying to explain to people that should know more than me how to do it and what is needed. And my final rant, how is it despite giving delivery drivers instructions they still turn it in an articulated lorry the size of a double decker bus.... er no you will not that over a canal bridge! Took delivery of a bathroom suite after it was pump loaded over the bridge with the lorry blocking the farm who were not happy and finally unpacked it to find the whole lot was damaged. Can't get the same items now as they are out of stock but in some good fortune the bathroom company decided it was far too much hassle to collect them again so let us keep them and refund the money so we can flog them to try and pay for an alternate suite. We did finally get all our 12 panel GSE 3.84kw PV system and immersion controller for under £2300 which has now been delivered which is a relief. If the builders make as much of a dog's dinner of fitting this as they did of the GRP I'll have an absolute breakdown ?
  24. Ever since we moved in we have always been asked "is it two bungalows or one?" Weirdly it was designed exactly like the main picture (which was the start of our build as they were doing the footings). I think it was all a bit of a ploy. Roll back to early 70s when it was some sort of large vegetable patch. Planning permission was refused for two bungalows, various amendments and someone designed the bungalow as it is today, one bungalow suspiciously looking like two bungalows separated by a flat roof. I think they planned to build it and then attempt to get it split into two bungalows but it never happened. We have always wanted to somehow 'connect' up the roof and to be honest it's all been a bit vague on how this would be achieved. Mid build architect and builder got together, another £200 for some more beam calcs and over yesterday and today it is all looking a bit more like one bungalow. This pic is from the scaffolding and you can finally see the roof joining with the large flat roof extension. From the canal/bridge it now looks far more connected though this pic doesn't do it much justice (yesterday). And from the garden looking into our kitchen: What we really like is our ensuite, which, in the absence of any external walls will have a nice fixed rooflight on the flat roof just above our toilet/sink vanity unit which will be slightly raised from the ceiling (not the best pic).
  25. We have an existing 3m tall garage/workshop which sits alongside the house but partially in front of the principle elevation. It is war-time era (probably built before the house in fact which is a 1960's bungalow) and constructed from concrete block walls with Asbestos roof sheeting.....yes I know the 'A' word!. For this reason as well as the fact it leaks and is an eye sore, we are looking to replace the roof with new trusses and tiles. Under permitted development we have read that, provided the various criteria is met, any outbuilding if fitted with a dual pitch roof can be 2.5m at the eaves and 4m at the peak. This is what we should like to install as the replacement, but we are unsure how PD applies to existing outbuildings and although we meet all the remaining criteria there is the issue that some of the garage does sit just in-front of the main dwelling. Has anyone had a similar scenario & have any useful knowledge they could share with us please?
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