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Putting A Roof On It

Posted by ProDave , 11 December 2015 · 1,881 views

Well tiling the roof at least.

In the new regime, it's just me and Kathy battling the Scottish Highland winter to try and get the roof tiled. And as we expected the progress is painfully slow.

Battening the front half of the roof went quite smoothly, it took us three half days, dodging the showers to get it all battened, and the dry valleys in place. Note at this stage we don't have the top pieces for the valleys. It worked out nicely on the front that we could keep the same gauging for the main roof and the front gable, which means the rows of tiles will line up at the joints. the whole roof is set to the maximum gauge for this particular tile at this pitch.

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Then we started tiling. That's relatively straightforward for the bulk of the roof. It's just the effort of getting the tiles up there. A two person process gets the tiles up the ladder (person 1) and stacked on the upper deck of the scaffold (person 2). Then we swap to tiling mode with me on the roof and Kathy on the scaffold passing me pairs of tiles.

So an easy end to start with and give a feel for how it will look, and each tile is fixed by both nails and clips, except where we are tiling over what will become roof windows where we are not fixing those tiles.

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Next detail to perfect is cutting tiles at the valley. It turns out my wet diamond tile cutter does a reasonable job of cutting the concrete tiles so here is the start of the first valley to get the hang of it.

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Now it is just a case of plugging away at it in between weather windows and work commitments. Yesterday we managed just half an our on the roof before the "showers" that were forecast merged into one constant heavy rainfall. And today, the scaffold was covered in a lovely layer of black ice, limiting me to about half an hour fiddling with verge details and not actually able to go up onto the roof. Such is going to be the frustration for a good while yet I think before we eventually get this roof finished.

I will add more to this blog entry as and when weather and time allows us to proceed.


Progress is slow, the freezing weather stopped us for a while, the final straw being when the water in the reservoir of the tile cutter froze. But now we have an unseasonably warm (if a bit wet) spell of weather we have been able to push on a bit.

So 2 weekends work and a few hours ad hock in the week, has got half of the front face of the roof tiled including the first valley finished. that's about 350 tiles on the roof so far out of an estimated total of 1500

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I'm held up now for the top valley sections so might have to start on the rear roof unless they turn up soon.

I have to say I'm very disappointed in the way the tiles are packed and palletized. We are finding a lot of tiles coming off the pallet broken. Thankfully with the amount of valleys we have to cut, most of the broken ones are being used for the valley cuts, but if we just had a long straight plain roof to do, there would be a lot of broken tiles going back to the merchant for replacement.

Another update:

Making use of a weather window, I have most of the front of the roof tiles now, including completing the front gable and it's two valleys:

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The few tiles left out in the top left corner is deliberate for now as I work out details of where the stack vent and wood burning stove flue will go. Being just plain tiles they are dead simple to fit when I am ready.

I have also now battened most of the rear of the roof, and fitted the first pair of valleys so will be starting on tiling the rear of the roof next.

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I have had a quick count, and I have so far used 3 1/2 pallets of tiles, at 240 per pallet that's 840 tiles. the back of the roof with 2 gable ends is going to take more, so that makes my estimate of 1500 tiles look a bit silly. I'm not even sure i have enough tiles presently to finish the main roof and I will certainly need more for the garage roof in due course.

Final update:

Finally the main roof of the house is finished.

It's hard to photograph the back of the house due to all the trees:

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It's taken almost 3 months to tile this roof, working with the constraints of the weather, and my availability. That is probably only about 30 days actually working on the roof. In the process I have saved about £3000 in labour costs by doing the roof tiling myself.

Some statistics:

The main roof has taken just about 1500 tiles. That leaves me 340 left over for the garage roof which I calculate should take 300 tiles. So we look to be okay on quantity, just. Of those 1500 tiles, there are about 150 angled cut tiles for the valleys, and 110 straight end cut tiles. I mentioned before about the high rate of broken tiles coming off the pallets, well all the cut tiles have been done from broken tiles, so that means over 250 tiles have come off the pallet broken, which is a rather shocking 14% breakages.

The tiles for this roof weigh in at a little over 6 tons. They have all been carried up onto the scaffold up a ladder 2 tiles at a time at an average climb of 10 feet. So that's 750 ascents of the ladder climbing 7500 feet. Allowing for all the other times up and down, I'll bet I have climbed 10,000 feet, or three munro's worth of ascent up that ladder. Then they have to be got from the scaffold up onto the roof. My knees know it.

The garage roof will wait until a bit later, but in comparison it is small and straightforward.

Looking good Dave. Hope you get some dry and yet relatively mild days.
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Do you nail every tile??
We just nail every third row.
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The weather is just awful isn't it? Funnily enough, we got out roof and floor joists for the upstairs delivered today. All the flooring ones are in the shipping container, hoping to get the roof ones up and on the steel, lashed to the frame and covered for a clear spell. I reckon we need a good two days to get the joists, ply and VCL on, and another 1-2 days to get the insulation and EPDM. We're off for three weeks now - checking BBC Weather every morning! http://theoldwaterta...ter-update.html
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declan52, on 11 December 2015 - 09:31 PM, said:

Do you nail every tile??
We just nail every third row.

I ordered a "package" for the roof. they sent 1500 tiles, 1500 nails and 1500 clips, so yes pretty well every tile gets a nail and a clip. Overkill perhaps.
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Maybe another difference in the building practices between the regions. Nailing every 3 rows is all I have ever known. All the tiles at the edges and valleys get nailed.
Have seen it done on sites that only one nail per tile was used. I nailed it through both holes on mine though.
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Regs have changed lately it's now every tile on verge and the next row in front the verge. I'm in a sheltered area so it could well be every tile there
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Just a bump to say I have added another picture of the tiling progress.
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23 Dec 2015 11:40 PM
Looks very neat, especially the valley...dead on parallel
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Just bumping again as I've added more photos of the latest progress.
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Just another bump to say the main roof tiling is finally finished and some more pictures added.
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