Saturday, 17 July 2010

At last a New Roof !

A new roof of slate, sits neatly above a breathable membrane
that will drain moisuture into a seamless gutter. I shall not miss the old drip
above the front door !

Four young men did all of this work, they worked constantly
throughout the day at a tremendous pace, with cheerfulness
and no unofficial teabreaks.

This was for me a moment of sadness, as the ugliness of the unloosened tin
took on a new shape to bring an end of almost a century of this small home
having a tin roof.

Here she is this ancient home stripped bare, showing
her old bones : and the skills of an earlier age.
Note the old hay used as an insulation.

Eight sacks of old hay were removed and it's dust fell
through minute cracks of the wooden ceiling boards to the floor below.

Now here's Luck ! For the chimney stack was cracked both sides
and no fire escaped to ignite old hay. Old Irish homes were limited
in design by British Law to one chimney and to small windows. The
vernacular builders divided the chimney to serve two rooms. It is thought
that the chimney was cracked came when previous owner removed the
sub division to put liners in the chimney about 40yrs ago.

Note the end wall showing the extent of the old roof
and of how much higher the new one is.

Nice clean new rafters forming a loft space over a rear flat roof.
An improvement in possible sleeping space for new travellers
over what was on offer years ago.

I have now plans in hand to utilize this extra space, for our joint hobbies.
Our small library will eventually make it's way up into the space where
there is full headroom and light.
Also by chance a telephone line passes through on it's way to the studio
and so gives the possibility of moving my corner office to the upper echelons.
Whatever - it will give space to create!


  1. Very splendid Mel. I love slate, so I think it looks magnificent. I would have loved a slate roof on my cottage but over here the cost is prohibitive.

    Thanks for showing us what was beneath the old tin. I never knew they used hay!

  2. Very nice, Heron. And what luck your roaring fires did not catch on the old straw!

  3. I did hear of a (newly wealthy) woman in Australia who did the exact same thing. Then she found she couldn't bear not hearing the rain on the old tin roof, and had it all changed back again. Hope this is not the case at Heron Hall.

  4. This looks lovely! Wow that is lucky with the hay and the fire!

  5. I tnink the roofs look brilliant and the little window on the back gable looks as if it was always there. It will give you a better view over the back field. I also think that your use of recycled plastic as insulation is fantastic, safe clean none toxic and hygenic. I wish you and Ms Heron many a warm dry winter evening cuddled up listening to the wind and rain battering the outside. Long may you both have the health to enjoy it and fair play to ya.

  6. I am delighted for you both - I know, I know! change can be painful, but really, the thatched roofs and the tin roofs of bygone times were the best they could do at the time and the ancients would surely approve of this new roof of yours. The space it affords is a gift too.

  7. Lots of hard work went into your new roof, but the end result looks lovely.
    It might be a wee bit safer, too?

    And I might be one to miss the drip...
    Although it doesn't rain much here and I, too, might find it annoying if it went on for days.

    Keep on enjoying your beautiful cottage!

  8. Well Mel, I wish you many hours of creativity in your new space.
    Roof's nice..but I'm much more impressed with the (W)Rafter's ;-)
    I see ye didn't get rid of the drip inside the door...

  9. And you now have an attic!
    Those spaces are precious.

  10. Your cottage looks very trim and happy with her new slate roof. Lots of extra space for you to enjoy too.

  11. It looks lovely,the slate is wonderful.I don't know why everyone says you were lucky not to have had a fire.I do know you will have had a Brighids Cross each year.Just shows they do protect from fire!!

  12. Wonderful old construction and wonderful new construction. How lucky you are to have this endearing abode. I am excited about your library being up there!

  13. The slate is beautiful! Enjoy your new space. xoxo

  14. Ohhhh I was so excited to see your renovation.. great photos .. and lovely to see the extra space created and what you are planning for it!! best of luck in the process...

  15. I greatly appreciate all of your comments and my delay in saying so, is because I am now busy working in the loft spaces.

    Tom I believe your question was well answered by our fellow blogger liZZie :)

    Ita regarding your smirky comment re "inside drip" I am unable to give you a polite reply :)

    Miranda: All power to Brighid ? Not quite: because there was virtually no way the fire could escape. For when chimney linings are inserted around them is poured a fireproof semi dry mixture of sand & cement; which fills the unused space between the outside of the linings and the brickwork. If you look again at the photo you will not see any signs of a soot deposit on the brickwork.

  16. I love this post! good to see what the roof was like before. Its a great place you have there.

  17. It's like an attic, right? The idea of creating a library or an office in that space is clever! It seems to be a nice place for both rooms 'cause of the silence. You can also put recreational stuff there! By this time, you've probably turned that place into something nice. Hmmm, what could it be?

    Adam Waterford

  18. You really have to admire the creativity of the people from the past. Using hay might not be as effective as using other natural insulators like straw because of its higher moisture level. But still, the creativity together with the thought of "using what the environment gives you" made it an incredible masterpiece. Too bad that it needs to be replaced.

    [Joanne Barragan]

  19. Wow! You were really lucky to find 4 gentlemen that were hard working enough to finish the task you had given them properly and on time. Your roof looks really neat and elegant, and though I haven’t really seen much pictures of your house beforehand, I can tell that your roof has made your house appear brand new.

    Leif Clancy


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