Ask a Tradesman
Should i seek a second opinion regarding the standard of a slating repair to a victorian house?
I have just had a repair carried out by a roofing contractor. My roof hatch needed adjusting on its hinges, I had a minor leak likely caused by chimney sweeps feet on slates near the chimney stack and a couple of slipped slates. The house was built in 1865 and has purpley tinged welsh slates, overall the roof looks to be in good condition. it is in a conservation area.
After asking for an inspection of he roof, the hatch to be fixed, leak fixed and the rhones etc to be checked, I agreed to a quote of £550 to have, in his words, 'everything' done.
My first concern was that the contractor turned up with thicker, blacker Spanish slates saying that there were no Welsh slates available and he then fitted some of these. I objected noting that they stuck out like a sore thumb because of both thickness and colour/shininess. The contractor then stuck some scraps of welsh slate on top of the Spanish slate with silicone saying that would make it look better for me.
I since noticed that a couple of slates have already slipped into the gulley next to the chimney and i observe that the area now has a mixture of spanish slates, broken stuck on welsh slates and what looks like a heavy scotch slate in the repaired area around the roof hatch as well as some broken doubled up slates on the high ridge of the roof. There are also horizontal gaps between the slates and visible bits of shiny grey felt sticking out in places. The new slates were fitted without any visible lead straps/ tingles? or anything like that. I am generally worried that they are properly secured. It looks like the slates may all have been siliconed in place.
After complaining about the state of the roof, to the chap's credit he is now saying that he will come back in the new year to put things right. He was putting pressure on me to pay him and as it was Christmas coming up I have.
The biggest issue is that I have lost confidence, the old roof was in good shape and now the bits that look the most suspect are the bits i have had repaired. What should I do? Wait for him to come back and see or seek a second opinion? I'm assuming that it's not too much to ask that slating can be repaired with similar slates of the right size so that uniformity is maintained?
As a roofer I can get welsh slate any were in the uk but this guy has rushed it and sounds a bit steep in price
Answered 26th Jun 2017
Firstly, unless stated that you would like the slate repaired like for like, most roofers will use new slate, probably Spanish or Chinese, whichever is easily available. Welsh slate is available usually from the local re-claim yard if it is to match.
Secondly sounds like he has siliconed them into place rather than using lead or copper ties.
Thirdly would not have paid him till I was happy with the condition of the roof, this would have given him the incentive to correct his mistake, now he has no incentive whatsoever to return.
Personally do not think this roofer will correct his mistakes, hope he does for your sake.
Good luck Alex
Answered 24th Dec 2013