Getting ready to raise the (new) roof

Hopefully there is just a week to go before the new roof will be fitted onto our conservatory. (I say ‘hopefully’ as anything to do with builders is – in my experience – liable not to take place exactly when planned due to all sorts of unforeseen circumstances.)

So far my wife and I have cleared a lot of stuff out of the conservatory, but now we on the last lap, and this involves removing the larger items such as furniture and fitted units. The latter are going to be scrapped and replaced by newer units, and these will need to be ordered from IKEA in the very near future.

We are having the existing carpet removed and replaced by a type of vinyl flooring (called TLC) that is similar to a wood laminate but capable of dealing with somewhat heavier-duty traffic. (The conservatory has French windows that open out onto the garden and these provided our main access to the rear of the house.)

The reason for all this effort is due to the failings of the existing roofing material (it is prone to cracking and it flexes during high winds) and the failure of the seals between it and the supporting end walls. Over the past few years the leakage has reached serious levels, and no remedial work will fix it. During the recent spate of storms the wind lifted the edge of the roof enough to damage the seals to such an extent that they no longer function with any degree of effectiveness. As the following photographs show, this has damaged to plasterwork on the walls, and once the new roof is on, this will have to be removed and replaced.

The new roof is glass and will be much heavier that the existing plastic one. It is going to be fixed at a great angle – which should ensure that is does not ‘lift’ during high winds – and it will have ‘hips’ at each end that will help rainwater to run off and into the gutters with greater ease. The glass will also be double glazed (which should reduce the heating costs for the conservatory) and will coated so that it is self-cleaning.

As long as the leaks stop and the conservatory becomes usable again, it will be worth all the time, effort, and cost.


6 Comments on “Getting ready to raise the (new) roof”

  1. Quite a project! These sorts of problems can require, from a monetary point of view, large scale solutions.

    Here we have a paired cabbage tree, one half of which has such a lean, apparently increasing with each southerly gale, that I believe we might have to get a feller in to fell the thing before it totals the boundary fence. I worry about it every time we get a decent blow.

  2. Archduke Piccolo,

    I won't say how much it is going to cost … but it is not cheap! Getting anything done in London is always expensive, especially when the local planning authority insists on making sure that any changes to one's house 'comply' with their local 'plan' … which always adds to the cost.

    I hope that your tree does not destroy your fence before you have the opportunity to sort it out.

    All the best,


  3. Yes, we had to have a tree surgeon in yesterday to look at our (dead)quince tree which split in the gales. He has so much work at present he can't do anything for a month!

    London (and Surrey where I live) prices are horrendous.

    My sister in law had a large concrete base for her shed put in for £200 in Wiltshire. We have just been quoted £1800 for the same job. Lots of Russian oligarchs and professional sportsmen living here really drive the prices up!

  4. Legatus Hedlius,

    If you can get him to do the job in a month's time you will be doing well. Last year – well before the storms – I tried to get someone to estimate how much it would cost to remove the laurel hedge at the end of our garden. Everyone I contacted was so busy that I am still waiting … and have begun doing the work myself, bit by bit.

    I don't think that people who live more than 50 miles from London have much idea how much it can cost to get building work done in the London area. When I see people from the north who can repair and renovate a total wreck of a house for less than £10,000, I am truly amazed. That would not buy you a new roof in my part of London … and I live where houses are still quite cheap to buy!

    All the best,


  5. James Oakley says:

    Wow! That's quite a work. I'm so sorry to see how wind has damaged not only the roof, but it seems like the wall as well. It’s a good decision that you’re replacing it with glass since it would be heavier and stronger. I’m looking forward to how this will all turn out! 
    James Oakley

  6. James Oakley,

    The new roof is on, the plasterwork has been repaired, and I begin decorating the conservatory tomorrow. The new flooring is being laid on Thursday and Friday, and then we can begin fitting the new cupboards and moving the furniture back in. Once that is done it is just a matter of time before we get back to normal.

    All the best,


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