Cowboy roofers.


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Hi,

This is now the third week our next door neighbour has had roofers working on her bungalow. Previous bungalow owners replaced the roof but used the wrong roofing tiles; our roofs have only a 12.5 degree pitch and the tiles used are plain tiles so every time it rains with wind the wind drives the rain under the tiles onto the felt. Roofers have been on the roof a number of times and due to water ingress ceilings become water damaged so plasterers are called in followed by a decorator.

The bungalow owner a retired lady hasn't taken heed of my advice as to what is causing the problem so now up to three roofers at a time are on her roof and they are cowboys; the top guy I wouldn't want on our premises; he arrives some days and if it's sunny and around 20C he spends a couple of hours on the roof before calling it a day returning home because he cannot stand the heat it making him feel dizzy; one day he almost passed out on the roof; he doesn't bring anything to drink or to eat; he says if he eats anything it affects him bending down.

Sometimes he arrives with a single helper other times with two helpers; obviously I speak to them but I can't believe a professional roof would behave the way he does whilst employing total idiots; last Friday I heard and watched the three roofers acting the fool; shouting and swearing whilst trying to make farm animal noises; it was a huge joke. I don't know how many are on the roof at the moment because the van has just arrived. 10:45am.

Our neighbour has decided it's fine to have the roof tiles removed then new felt at around £90 per roll installed then the original wrong tiles reinstalled; it's like a comedy of errors; all this work must be proving very expensive when in fact I feel it would have been much better to replace the roof with correct tiles; the job would have been done in a week to a much higher standard then it could be forgotten for 50 years? Our neighbour says she can't afford to have the roof replaced but she's bought a new car; goes on expensive holidays to America via the Queen Mary 2; sailing down the Rhine; plays golf; has just had her driveway tarmaced; had a £12,000 lift installed from her garage into her bedroom; employs house cleaner; gardener; window cleaner and if a light bulb blows she calls in an electrician but for something as serious as a roof she gets cowboys in thinking she's saving money? You couldn't make it up could you?

Bron and I replaced both the bungalow and two roomed extension roofs in two weeks; we've never worked as hard in our lives; once the job was completed the neighbours who had been making fun of us then asked if we would replace their roofs?

I'm not recommending anyone to follow our lead; working on a roof even a bungalow roof is dangerous and to get it wrong can make the problem a whole lot worse; we lived with buckets and bowls catching water every time it rained and it sure rains here; when it snowed it took our misery up to another level. We paid £40,000 for the bungalow and couldn't borrow another penny for repairs. 18 months of suffering and installing the roofs we had the last laugh; we had the bungalow revalued because we wanted to dump the unhelpful building society we were with; the new valuation was now £90.000 for mortgage purposes but to sell we would expect £125,000. Looking at the roofers next door I'm sure we've done a superior job and the roof has been trouble free for the last 31 years. Bron's just told me the roofers have disappeared again next door?

Just a little story to say if you need roofing repairs don't skimp by employing cowboys because it's the most expensive option long term.

Kind regards, Colin.

New roof._009.JPG


One of our ceilings six weeks after moving into our dream bungalow; the roof needed replacing.

New roof._003.JPG


I've never replaced a roof but unable to afford to get professionals in and not able to borrow more money having just taken out a maximum mortgage Bron and I worked extremely hard for the next 18 months; we saved every penny we could and all the while I was researching and reading how to do roof work. We visited our local Marley roof tile supplier and they kindly gave us lots of technical literature covering all their tile range. Marley Wessex tiles were the only suitable tiles and of course the most expensive; these came down to 15 degree pitch but with extra head-lap we could use them. As seen in the picture this isn't the standard way to fix roof tiles; we went the extra expense and used counter battens in order to lift the tiles off the felt allowing more ventilation. The felt was the most expensive available but this would be a one off job and saving an enormous amount of money doing the work ourselves so we bought the most expensive materials available. Every tile was clipped and nailed. Some days the temperature was up to 30C in glaring sunshine; it blistered the backs of my legs and in bed at night brought me to tears with pain as Bron applied ointment; we worked from dawn to dusk every day.

New roof._004.JPG


I took six tons of tiles onto the roof on a Saturday morning which I thought would end in an heart attack but I survived; I did every bit of the work on the actual roof whilst Bron filled skips; bagged ceiling plaster board and kept everything tidy whilst supplying me with lots of drinks.

New roof._005.JPG


The main bungalow roof felted with counter battens added but see the condition of the roof over our two roomed extension; the main roof was just like this.

New roof._006.JPG


Working on my own I suffered; it was spring bank holiday and I took a second week off work replacing the entire bungalow and extension roofs in only two weeks.The tiles clearly show the profiles; the ridges at the bottom of the tile prevent rain being blown under the tile and these ridges are missing on the tiles used next door hence ongoing water ingress problems.

New roof._007.JPG


To add to my misery my constant companion Blackie my personal cloud gave a few downpours causing more panic.

New roof._001.JPG


Now the sun is shining it washed out the colours but the new tiles and new flat roof covering can be seen.

New roof._002.JPG


This flat roof covering was expensive but guaranteed 25 years if professionally installed.

New roof._001_01.JPG


Here is our neighbours roof last Friday after two weeks work by up to three roofers working on it and still nowhere near completion; the flat roof just above the patio doors has a split in the roof covering about a foot long but our neighbour is unconcerned saying she'll get it patched up; the roofer was showing me this after I had seen the split from our garden and he said watch this; he stepped on and off and the entire roof bounced up and down. Where is the logic or even common sense in just having felt replaced like this but retaining the wrong tiles? A professional roofer would never accept such a job; I'm not a professional roofer but Bron and I did a top class job in only two weeks without outside help. We trust our own work and never ask for help.
 
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Hi,
A quick update,

Whilst adding this new thread the roofer arrived next door and I thought work would resume on our neighbours roof? After posting the thread I popped down to the workshop to find the roofers ladder missing from the side of the bungalow and it wasn't propped against the roof either; as I reached the workshop the roofer too had disappeared; this is most strange and although I've not seen or spoken with our neighbour I wonder if these terrible roofers have finally been sacked?

If this is true then I feel very sorry for our neighbour because her roof still is as seen in the picture directly above. Normally I'd be the first to help anyone but she's totally ignored my advice so I'm keeping my head down; over the years I've done lots of free work for her but no longer because she is so selfish and doesn't fully appreciate the time and effort I've put in; I once spent a full week putting up a new garden fence for her whilst she was out every day enjoying playing in a golf tournament treating me as an unpaid slave. It's now pouring down with rain and very dark.

Kind regards, Colin.
 

Ian

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It'll be interesting to see if the roofers turn up later in the week. Some of our neighbours have had horror stories with roofers and builders, especially with sub-par jobs and ones that take far too long to finish. It's a miracle that some people manage to stay in business (or are able to run one in the first place!).
 
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Hi,

No roofers so far this week either Ian; heavy rain forecast for tomorrow with more rain each day this week; today has been very windy but dry so why weren't the roofers making the most of it; the Lone Ranger and his two buddies must be on another job somewhere? Two full weeks it took Bron and I to fully install the bungalow roof and two roomed extension roof stripping both roofs right down to rafters and starting over; these cowboys must now be into their fourth week and still on the main bungalow roof with up to three on the roof working? I blame our neighbour for trying to save a bit of money and also the way our neighbour wants the job done no reputable roofer would have touched the job; I'm not a roofer but do a far superior job than these cowboys. Two wrongs don't make a right and both our neighbour and the roofers are equally to blame; our neighbour can't complain at a later date her roof is leaking because I made her fully aware of what the problem is; if stupidity was a criminal offence the lot of them would be arrested. It's not a case of when the roof will be finished it's how long before water is seen again on the ceilings?

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Hello Colin
Another comprehensive item.
Are the "roofers" contactable by mobile phone only and of no fixed abode? Just a thought. It's that time of the year.
15-degree pitch is pretty shallow and I curse my 24-degree pitch. Ventilation becomes more and more difficult with decreasing pitch. I had to have over-fascia vents equivalent to a continuous 25-mm gap along both eaves and I think 10-mm at the ridge.
Any signs of clipping the tiles?
The roof is THE one place not to cut corners. Your neighbour also needs to be aware of all the building regs applying to roofs. It might not matter now, but it might at survey time.
If you did your own homework, then doing it yourself is the best way to avoid these so-called roofers. The way they get away with it is most homeowners aren't going to go up on the roof and have a look.
One of my neighbours was getting wet ceilings and naturally thought leaking roof. I had a look at it and found the roof-space looking like a tropical forest. Everything was wet through. Culprit? Condensation. No extra ventilation other than some blocked up soffit fly-screens, extra ceiling insulation added, but no extra ventilation (colder roof-space, more condensation). Other culprit was the owner, big family, lots of cooking and additional propane heaters dotted around. The soffit vents weren't enough when they were new - after 20-years of clagging up with dust, absolutely useless.
Keep cracking on doing your own thing, but.... do take care. I took an 8-feet fall from a loft and got a broken pelvis for my trouble. 12-weeks learning to walk again and I thought myself lucky. These days, it's the bike that does most of my injuries. Fractured skull and fractured jaw in January and busted breastbone a couple of days ago. Stop? No way.
All the best
 
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Hi,

Many thanks piglet; I'm sorry for the delay in replying. :(

I'm unsure regarding all the contact details between our neighbour and her roofer but I do know she's had previous work done by the roofer's brother and she's happy with the work. The roofer arrived a couple of days ago and did a couple of hours on the roof before departing this the first work in over a week. As he was leaving he spoke to Bron saying he was waiting for "side tiles" saying something about a sale? This job has now dragged on for about a month which is ridiculous. The flat built up felt roof above our neighbours kitchen has a long open split in it totally open to the weather and as usual here it's pouring with rain. I mentioned this to our neighbour and she replied it just needs a 6' repair patch? The rain is obviously entering the split so where is it then going. The only thing I have against the roofer is that he accepted this bodge job in the first place; any reputable roofer wouldn't have touched it just replacing the felt under unsuitable tiles; I had a quick web browse and new Marley Wessex tiles could be bought for around £3,000; still it's more important to have cruises down the Rhine and sailing holiday on the Queen Mary than buy new tiles.

Yes I agree proper ventilation is needed because of condensation; I counter battened our tiles to lift the tiles clear of the felt allowing extra ventilation; I allowed the felt to sag rather than pull it tight so this too adds to ventilation also I added full length strip ventilation at the fascia; I did 18 months of roof research whilst we saved the money to buy the materials.

I'm sorry to learn of your injuries and you don't sound as if you bounced too well from the loft or from your bike; I hope you're well on your way to a full recovery. A couple of months ago I fractured a rib whilst metal spinning of all things; I was applying pressure to the spinning tool handle with my chest when I heard a loud crack followed by a searing pain; I knew what I'd done and having suffered a broken rib years ago I just carried on but only using my arms on the tool; I just stopped taking deep breaths for a couple of weeks and I'm fine again now. Like you piglet I don't let little mishaps stop me; they slow me down but stop me; no way. Good luck and it's nice to hear from you again.

Kind regards, Colin.
 

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