ScottK

"In Keeping" with the original roof.

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My neighbour has had a roof repair (semi house, slate roof), ignoring the fact that the contractors have damaged part of my roof in the process.

I need some guidance on this patch, alternative slate has been used which is a different colour and texture which may never fade into invisibility.

My concern is that it will forever looking awful, and an obvious repair. Am I too concerned?

The slates are lifted, giving me concern for wind lift and weather getting blown in as well as the perpendiculars now not lining up, which means the original slate has been moved.

Building control talk about 25% minimum coverage before their rules apply based on appearance but they do have a statement of "in keeping" with the original roof and "like for like", any suggestions gratefully received. My neighbour is claiming historical damage and is happy with the patch, any comments

Alt Slate.jpg

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If I was your neighbour I wouldn't be too happy with the look/fitting, but it is their roof.

 

What is the damage to your roof? I would probably focus my energy there

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Are we looking at your half of the roof? I don't mean to be rude, but it has to be said that it is in pretty poor condition anyway. I think the patch is the least of the problems. There are a lot of broken, cracked and clipped slates there. I couldn't say how long that can be kept watertight, but realistically, it will need re-slating in the near future. There may also be a good reason why the new slates are not sitting down properly - if the existing battens are in poor shape, for example.

 

It may be hard to conclude other than that the builders did the best they could with a roof that is already in poor condition. Perhaps it wasn't so much that they damaged your roof, but that any disturbance to the old and fragile slates inevitably resulted in needing to replace some of them.

 

As it's a semi, you will need the co-operate with your neighbour when re-slating, so making enemies of them is not recommended - ideally, you'll do it as a joint effort.

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The work was done on my neighbours side, their contractors damaged the downpipe trough by splitting the lead and also our lead valley. Slates were dislodged and left in the trough from the side that they had done, professionals wouldn't leave the job that way? They deny all knowledge and stoically defend their contractor, claiming historical damage, leaving me with a £1900 repair bill only £500 of that being for joint repairs. My biggest concern is that they won't challenge their contractor or contact the roofing federation and I'm left with the bill and no recourse. They didn't even give us prior notice, if they had I would have taken photos prior and after as they accessed the roof over a joint area. Their contractor states the damage was already there but I thought they would have taken photos as proof but haven't supplied any. I have historic photos from when the chimney stack was removed of the original slates lying flat. It looks obvious as "like for like" slates weren't used and it won't ever fade in, causing concerns to any potential purchasers. My expectations is that an invisible like for like slate tile repair would have been the normal approach. I fully understand the builders did their best but I'm left with a nearly two grand bill for damages for a job I didn't commission and wasn't made aware of.

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44 minutes ago, ScottK said:

... leaving me with a £1900 repair bill only £500 of that being for joint repairs. ... I fully understand the builders did their best but I'm left with a nearly two grand bill for damages for a job I didn't commission and wasn't made aware of.

 

Who's billed you £1900?

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I would get a solicitor to send them a friendly letter asking how they propose to rectify the damage to your roof

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No one has billed me £1900 yet, that is the quote for repairs should I want it repaired by my roofing contractor. About a third is the damage to joint ownership and 2/3rd for damage to my side only and replacing the ripped lead gully/valley. I've used this roofer recently, I had the quote from, and although he's not the cheapest, his work is 10/10. Old fashioned, takes pride, takes pictures, turns up on time, cleans up afterwards etc.

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Is that your damaged roof and lead valley in the photo?  If so I would not have expected the neighbour's contractor to carry out the works to your roof without your consent.

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Did they have reason to work over your side where the damage was caused ? Did they walk over it etc?

 

Hows the breakdown of £1900 come about ? to re-lead a valley a £1000 sounds a lot.

 

Yes the new tiles stand out like a sore thumb but that roof is crap anyway.

 

May want  to get in touch with your house insurers as you may have cover, ask next door for the  contact details as you will be passing onto your insurance company.

Edited by Dave Jones

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On 16/08/2021 at 09:25, ScottK said:

... and I'm left with the bill and no recourse.

 

You have recourse through the legal process. First, you have to give your neighbour the chance to rectify or pay damages you find agreeable. Assuming they won't pay your £1900 quote, they either need to pay someone to rectify, or they need to take it up with whoever did the work.

 

You don't get to choose the contractor at this point, and if you insist on using your guy, then you'll almost certainly have to pay out of your own pocket.

 

If your neighbour refuses to play ball, then you'll need to go down the legal route if you don't want to pay for it yourself.

 

It's an unfortunate situation, and I'm gobsmacked that your neighbour would instruct repairs to your roof without your input, but you do have recourse.

 

Incidentally, I don't know how you think someone could do a "like-for-like" repair job on this roof. As others have said, it's on its way out - I can't think where you'd even source slates of that quality. 

 

Also, there's already been replacement of a significant portion of the roof in the past - see sections 1 and 2 (which might all be one section - hard to be sure).

 

image.thumb.png.70bb3ae53e6a1623a933619505a4634b.png

 

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I think there is another option before recourse to law, though Jack is right that if you do go down that route, it is your neighbour that you would have to take action against, rather than the contractors. If you do this, I would guess that there is very little chance of you co-operating together when you need to replace the whole roof - or indeed any other problem with a shared interest.

 

Put the £1900 (regardless of who should pay that) towards the cost of a complete re-slate, at least of that side of the roof. This should be an equally shared cost, but it will solve all the problems of a mismatched patch, damage, and a roof nearing the end of its life. Perhaps more importantly, it will prevent you spending the rest of your life at daggers drawn with your neighbour, even if it does mean using some diplomacy at this stage. You may even need to swallow hard and forget whose 'fault' this is in the first place - your only aim is a satisfactory outcome, and if you both benefit from that, then that is the best out come.

 

If things go to law, that has the potential to work out far more expensive than a new roof, and the only real winners then will be the lawyers.

Edited by Stewpot
typo
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@ScottK Isn't this just a case of asking your house insurance company for their advice.

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Thank you all for your replies. Jack and Stewpot, especially. Jack section 2 was the original front chimney stack that was removed, section 1 is original and section 3 has been pushed up and along by the alternative slate. The roof is 1930's but sourcing reclaimed slate around here is not hard, there's loads of slate. The valley damage was created by the downpipe bowl having too much weight put on it, splitting it (joint asset) and the bottom of the valley being stepped on causing the split to the valley. The contractors that did the repairs on the neighbours side, left slipped slates in the damaged trough from the side they were fixing and from ours. The neighbour has had contractors on the roof, joint areas, without prior notice twice and you would imagine that a decent contractor would have taken pictures of pre-existing damage to cover their liability.

Building Control have rules about "In keeping" with the original, I was hoping that someone had experience or advice. Stewpot you're right only the lawyers will win in the end but I'd like to think that I might not have to live the eye sore as a reminder of how strangers damaged my home.

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1 hour ago, ScottK said:

Building Control have rules about "In keeping" with the original

 

No they don't.  This could be a Planning matter if the building is listed or in a Conservation Area but of no concern to Building Control.

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