Monday, 27 January 2014

Renovation Project - The roof comes down!

Renovation Project - The roof comes down!

We have woken to no rain and the weather forecast says we have two days, so we get to work on the barn roof.

We knew this was rotten but like the porch we had no idea just how bad it was, john starts to remove the slates, we plan to do this carefully so that we can save the slate and hopefully sell it, but as seems to be the norm nothing goes to plan.

The slates come off in clumps, many still attached to rotten bits of wood, they then proceed to disintegrate when we try to remove them from the wood.

This job is going to be much quicker than we planned.

We also realise that parts of the barn roof are held together by the ivy and cobwebs and not by the wooden beams; thank goodness John had already built the new floor inside it as he would not have been able to stand on anything original.

Once the slates are removed from one side he starts on the other side and again most just fall off, we give up on the idea of selling the slate and just start to pile them up, I’m sure we will be able to find a use for them somewhere, after all we have lots of pathways to install in the garden and broken slate always looks nice!

Once all of the slate is removed John starts to remove the rotten beams, some of which only need a slight push to come down. It is amazing really; we have managed to take down an entire roof using no more than a normal hammer!

 We were hoping to be able to use the oak beams within the house but the majority are not even good enough to burn on the fire. John has a bonfire in the garden to get rid of a lot of this rotten wood as we do not want this next to our good wood.

The new flat roof already has a coating of waterproof on it, but the edges are not covered as we could not get to these with the old roof in place.

This needs to be made water tight before the rain starts again. John asks me to pass him some tools to scrape away the dirt and as I stand on the edge to get on the roof I feel it slide beneath me, bugger I’m going to go through!!!! Is john concerned? Of course he isn’t, he just says don’t stand on that bit, I need that in place! He can be a real arse at times!!!!!!!!

The edge of the old wall (this is where the wall met the old roof) is cleared and secured, I also now know not to stand anywhere near this edge! And it’s time to start making the cement to secure everything into place.But first I have to remove all of the rubbish, there has to be at least a tonne of debris that all has to be removed by hand!

Some friends had said that they had a cement mixer, but John said that we were ok and didn’t need to use one, no of course we don’t, because we have me!!!!! I hate mixing cement it’s dirty, heavy and I have to put up with john saying is the next bucket ready yet, no it’s not ready, does it bloody look ready???????

My back is breaking and I have had to move 40 kilo bags of sand and then the rain starts, so it needs to be done even more quickly, I could easily cry at this moment in time, I hurt and ache all over, it’s raining, I’m cold and wet and I have cement in my hair, I don’t ever remember seeing this bit on the TV programs, all those happy smiling faces, this is the reality, sad wet faces and the rain getting heavier before the job is finished!

We have to call it a day, the weather won, but most of the cement is in place and the last bit is covered with a piece of roofing felt, this will put the new roof to the test and I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow but now I am going to get a shower and lie down, how I wish we could order some take away food now because the idea of cooking just makes me want to cry even more!


  1. Been there and almost cried like you. Now I don't work on renovation for as long a time as my husband. Before the job is finished I say I am going to get the food ready. Then he is still working while I cook and we sit down together to eat. The thing that got me was that we worked together then he sat down and rested while I cooked. Once I worked out this timing I found I could cope with the holes in the walls and the mud and dust.....

    1. ha ha ha that sounds about right, John goes to grab a shower and I cook! but to be honest I usually start a bit later, but sounds like a plan. Where is your renovation?

  2. It sounds like you're in for a big project, but it's very exciting to follow! Now that the roof is down are you working to replace it and will the replacement roof be made of slate as well? I'm considering getting slate roofing done on my home in Hawaii soon.

  3. Hi there Jenny!
    Just got here through a really old post you posted on the Better Blogging Network ( which you probably won't remember by now! )
    Reading through your latest blog really makes me want to encourage you a bit.
    It looks sooooo hard to rebuild the building!
    But I'm sure you would be able to do this! Working against the rain and all.

    With all the best wishes,
    cecilia. ☺♥

    1. Hi Cecilia, thanks for the encouragement, I don't really use BBN any more, think this blog is quite different to those on that site, but so glad you found me.
      If you want to add you blog to my list of reads please do :)

  4. How's everything now, Jenny? It's a lot of work, yes, but the quality of your house will be so much better when you finish the project. Make sure to have enough rest and if you can, have a couple of friends to come over and help. Good luck! I wish you all the best, and may you finish this project sooner than expected.

    James Oakley