Living and Building a home in the heart of France
18th October 2005
Old house, new roof
The house we're living in while the new house is being built, henceforth known as the gîte, has had a leaky roof since before we moved in. It's only a problem during the heavy rainstorms we get here, and the solution has involved plastic sheets and strategic buckets. The two high quotes we had from local roofers prompted us to do it ourselves with builder mate Matt.
The short chimney is redundant - it used to serve a stove in the kitchen - so that's going, and we're replacing the old grey asbestos-cement corrugated sheets with red asbestos-free fibro-cement sheets. And we're adding roofing felt for the belt-and-braces principle. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
Of course, we don't know how big the job is until we find out what's under the old panels. The house was built in 3 stages, each with a different structure.
The roof over the last third has dropped 1cm, creating the gap that caused most of the leaks. We filled that gap temporarily with the white mastic you can see here. The levels are corrected now with roofing battens.
The first new sheet goes on.
They have to take off a few old sheets at a time so as to have something to stand on, add wooden battens where there are only iron beams, lay the felt then screw down a new sheet into the battens or wooden beams.
Having postponed the job for 2 days because of the bad-weather forecast, they got on well until day 2 afternoon when torrential rain stopped play.