Another important milestone was reached today with the installation of the last slates and ridge stones of the roof.
The slate work started at the end of September with amazing weather. The contractor made really good progress for the first three to four weeks before hitting a standstill because of really bad weather. When the temperatures hover between 2 and 5°C and the Northerly wind blows, it is almost impossible to stay and work on the roof. Luckily, the rain and the wind eased off about 7 days ago providing enough of a window for the slate workers to finish up the roof.
Let’s hope for a few more days of nice weather so the macons can finish filling in the gaps between the slates and the top of the walls. The gutters and the covering of the second chimney with zinc sheets will also be done within the next few days, weather permitting.
As for the roof of the garage which will also be covered with slates, it will have to wait until next Spring. Since it is a much smaller area, it should not take more than two weeks to complete.
The installation of the slates continues slowly but steadily. According to the contractors, the slates we had bought and recycled from an old farm 6 years ago are very good quality and some of them unusually large. They have just laid down a 1.6m-wide slate which is very rare.
Unfortunately, there will not be enough slates, especially the large ones and we are going to have to purchase more from a different source. Because the North side of the roof is fairly large and particularly long, larger slates are better, especially at the bottom of the roof where there will be a higher volume of water to drain.
The contractors had started to install the slates on the front of the house and recently switched to the back. The back has a North-exposure so starting on this section would avoid having to work on it later when the temperature cools and the winds start again.
Today was one of those memorable days of the construction: the first slate was laid on the roof 🙂
If a slate roof is well made, it will last over 150 years. Traditionally, the wooden roof structure or the wall structure will require repairs before the roof does.
As for the slates per se, they can last almost for ever. The slates we are using on the roof were recycled from an old farm whose roof was ‘de-slated’ to be re-laid using tiles. Unfortunately, slate roofs are very expensive to make these days and there is still very little subsidies available to help owners maintain this type of architecture.
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