Roof knack

With the recent downturn in the weather, it looks like the roof on my house might be a bit bolloxed.

It’s been on the cards for a while but I don’t think I can put off either some major remedial work, or perhaps a whole new roof.

It’s most probably the original roof (1902) and there is no insulation at all between the trusses. The original slates look mostly sound, although there are a few gaps starting to appear.

Some of the trusses may well be rotten which may well make it simpler to replace the lot.

What’s the typical price for a roof on a large-ish 4 bed property, re-using the original slates where possible?

The price might well depend on the complexity of the roof. The roof on my house is as simple as you can imagine - just two slopes - one facing forwards and one back. The roof on my sister’s house is smaller but is hipped at the corners, clips into the bedroom ceilings where it meets the walls, has lead-lined valleys at the junctions with the semi next door and with the extension and also has a complicated junction to a flat leaded section over an upstairs bay window. I’ve been up into the roofspace there a couple of times and there are hardly two pieces of wood the same, and many of them are cut at compound angles to make the joints. It’s a masterpiece of carpentry but heaven help her if it ever needs major work. Whereas every rafter in mine appears to be identical (except where they’ve been cut and trimmed at the back for Velux windows).

EDIT - It might be worth talking to your local council building inspector. When I last worked on my roof (admittedley the best part of 20 years ago now) he gave me free, impartial advice and was also prepared (strictly off the record of course) to comment on the workmanship of local roofers.


Do those type of specialists still work for the council ? Or do they contract all that stuff out ?

Give Rick a shout, he would probably guesstimate maybe?

Not sure - see if you can work it out The Service charter though mentions free preliminary advice.


Looks like some internal allied to contracted services. Good to know.

Here are some rough prices.

You may find new slates are cheaper, a mate of mine did in that there London. Still cost him £35K though for a five bed Victorian.

We had a quote on ours, a 4 bed Edwardian terrace with a lot of roof! It was much like yours in terms of condition and by way the cheapest was new Indian slate with new felt. Five grand including scaffoldings and disposal of old slate. If we wanted to use Cumbrian slate then nigh on double the price. To re use existing made no difference on price as extra man-hours eats that up. Also when re using, the roofers reckoned on scrapping fifty percent. They would then re use original to front elevation and new slates to the rear. These prices were last year.

This was just slate work, no timbers.

I’m looking at changing tiles back to slate next year. Cumbrian prices look better than London. Haven’t got any quotes yet but I was expecting c£20k. Will be part of a bigger project so hoping to save some money that way.

Hi Mark,

Hope you’re well mate?

I’ve been out the building game & your village for over 15 years now, So have no idea of todays prices etc. There was a really good & well respected Roofer that lived there. I’m sure he’d be happy to give you advice & or quotes.

If the Buttercross magazine is still a thing have a look for a David Sheppard & Sons, if not I could probably find a phone number for him.

He along with his sons used to do a lot of work for The Crown properties in the Vale of Belvoir & worked with a lot of reclaimed slate too. He might well be a good starting point.


What about Tesla tiles then?

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Probably cost more than my house!

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But think of the returns!

Eventually :grinning:

If you can, definitely try and get a good local guy to you that is reputable. A lot of shysters in the roofing game.

They seem to rely on the fact that it is diffcult for customers to get up and inspect.

May cost a little more but well worth it.

Generally speaking, I detest roofers.

That sounds unbelievably cheap.


My quotes came in c£24k inc vat. Using good Spanish slates

Yup, that’s nearer what I would expect. I stripped and reslated our house a couple of years ago (3 bed semi) and it cost me £3K in materials, skips and scaffolding. That was using Eternit (cement fibre) slates which are far cheaper than any natural slates.

Don’t forget, it is in Barrow. There will be nobody over the age of 12 working on the job…

Plus, the slates were probably nicked from the local church


True dat😀

Also it was a terrace not the Brighton fucking Pavillion!

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