We had three instructions from the district surveyor:

  • If we discover any rotten wood, cut it back, treat it, but not to remove it.
  • Use as many of the original pantiles as possible. We saved only 20%.
  • Because the shape of the roof was so unusual, we were not to try to correct it but rather reinforce and enhance its appearance using original materials.
House with curved roof - before

Cow Shed Tiles

We eventually tracked down handmade terracotta pantiles similar to our own in Yorkshire. The reclamation yard in question referred to them as cow shed tiles. When I asked the yard manager why he called them ‘cow shed tiles’, he said because they don’t keep the rain out and are only fit for cow sheds.

London Roofing Experts

I see his point. For although they look beautiful, technically they are a nightmare to fit. Being handmade has both benefits and drawbacks. The sometimes subtle sometimes marked difference in shape are what help give them that glorious look as sunlight refracts off their ever varying curves. The downside is their edge design. The tiles lap by only 1 ½ inches. What’s more, being so individual meant we often had gaps of up to 1 inch between the two surfaces. They had to be sealed using a lime, sand and cement mortar and a red dye.

Finally, the transformation we brought about meant that folks walking along the towpath often shouted up to us saying how much they liked the result. Thankfully the client did too.

Curved Roof - After Repair