Saturday, June 11, 2011

The New Roof

One of the unexpected and significant expenses of this extension is the complete replacement of our roof. When John and Robert demolished the kitchen, they discovered they were being rained on. Inspection revealed that the tiles were at the end of their lives, after 65 years. The builders tell me that the hot sun gets them in the end. I also wonder if wartime production restrictions might have produced lower-quality terracotta.

Last Monday, the tilers started work. They started tossing the old tiles off before breakfast...

...and were finished by the time we were ready to leave for school.

Then they had to remove the old battens for the sarking. Most older houses in Australia do not have sarking, but it improves insulation slightly (R=0.5) protects the house from leaks if a tile shifts, and improves the wind resistance of the roof. For those who aren't familiar with the term, it's another Scottish word that has made its way into Antipodean English. In Scotland, "sarking boards" sit on the rafters, and slates are fixed to them. In Australia and New Zealand, we put a moisture-resistant layer of fabric on the rafters, and hold it down with the tile battens. This is what it looks like from underneath:

Sarking and tiles are both visible below. The reason is a bit embarrassing. Apparently you don't ask Wunderlish for X amount of tiles: you tell them the area you need to cover and they send you the tiles. Except that they were short by two pallets, so the tilers had to wait a few days for delivery. I am sure they would have been finished in two or three days otherwise.

When I came home after shopping on Friday morning, the tilers weren't there. I wondered if they'd gone off for lunch, but no -- as I was unloading, the truck pulled up with another pallet of tiles! Either someone's measurements were out or Wunderlich's formula isn't that good! By the end of the day they were all finished and gone, and I was admiring the result:

Then the rain started, just in time to test the new roof!


Merewether Life said...

Looks so neat and clean!
Amazing the tiles last even 65 years when you consider the unrelenting heat of summer.
Good to get the roof on before all the rain sets in.

Chookie said...

Nice to meet you, Bwendo! Yes, we have lost very little time to weather delays, which is amazing in a La Nina!

Adam Waterford said...

Good thing you were able to finish all the work before the rain started! The base of the roof looks tough enough to resist any harsh weather effect. It's been two months now, how's it going?

Unknown said...

Having a new roof is a good investment. With those new roofs on, your house looks fresh and new! It was a relief that everything was already done just before it rained! Don’t forget to have your roofs regularly checked for maintenance.

-Joann Winton

Joanne Barragan said...

How was the roof when it rained? Even though the roofers had to wait several days for the additional pallets to arrive, from the looks of the roof, they really did a magnificent job! It’s really good to have a fresh roof again after 65 years. That way, you won’t have to worry of the roof suddenly breaking down on top of you.