A building survey that we undertook this week was a stone built cottage which probably dates back to about 1850 with a rear tenement type extension which was probably completed around 1900 along with further additions in the 1960s. The main original roof appeared in reasonable overall condition with no slates notably slipped or missing. However, it was noted that a high number were held in place with modern fixings. In addition there was some dishing to the front roof slope and unevenness to the front left hip. There was some old bulging to the left gable end which has been repaired with spreading plates and tie bars and we had been told that the chimney stack has been underpinned. We carried out a survey on the same property in 2010 and the appearance of the left gable was much the same as on our previous inspection.
However, there was some movement at high level to the front left corner which was consistent with roof spread. The corner of the first floor front left bedroom was checked and a vertical crack was noted in the corner which continued along the line of the ceiling. Within the roof space it was noted that the hip beam had fractured and had been propped off of ceiling joists. It would appear that the original chimney flashings had been replaced and it is most likely that the hip beam was broken by a roofer standing on the hip externally, probably to avoid breaking slates. The broken and propped hip beam can be seen as per the attached photos. The cracks on the ceiling and corner of the room can also be seen as per the accompanying photographs. The top of the wall is also demonstrated in the accompanying photographs.
It was also noted that the ridge beam had fractured. With all the evidence, it would appear that the roof has come to the end of its economic life and will need to be stripped, repaired and recovered.