Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fitting a Roof Dry Verge / Roof Tile Edging System....


Our house was built in 1939, and the original three-up two-down building from that period is a really decent piece of construction.    

However, the kitchen and garage extension was added in the mid 1980s, according to the neighbours who've been here for thirty years, and the whole thing is just very roughly put together.  

One example is that the edges of the roof pantiles which overhang the brickwork are sealed either by mortar or, even worse, simply filled with expanding foam.   Although mortar was an established method of verge sealing, it wasn't the only option or the most decorative even 30 years ago and it's not particular suitable for this type of roof tile.


the short upper gable, with expanded foam and mortar joints....


Additionally, the joists that support the roof actually protrude through the brickwork and are exposed - had the cowboys who built this extension never heard of joist hangers ?



the extension main gable, showing all the exposed joists....

Anyway, in the summer I noticed the tile edging mortar was badly cracked in several places, and in late September we lost a big chunk of it, so this roof-line urgently needed attention.


huge chunk of missing mortar.....

To make matters worse, this edging is all on the western aspect of the extension and so it's exposed to driving rain from the prevailing westerly winds.   

Therefore a fix was needed before the autumn rains arrived in earnest.

To repair the roof edges, I decided to fit a proprietary 'Dry Verge' system, but a lot of preparatory work was first required.

I needed to fit barge boards, in order to attach the dry verge segments, because these segments are only around 40 mm wide internally and the tile overhangs were greater than this distance, so the barge boards are required to stand-off the wall and effectively reduce the overhang.  It's also much easier to screw the dry verge segments into wooden boards, rather than directly into the brickwork.

This was also an ideal opportunity to make the boards deep enough to cover and protect all those exposed joist ends.

So the first job was to lower the affected outside lights and one CCTV camera & junction box, to allow the barge boards to be fitted directly under the overhang.  In the above photos, this work had already been completed before I brought out the camera.

The barge board sections were then measured, and profiled from 6"x1" planed timbers before being painted with the same brick-red epoxy paint we'd used for the lintel above the new window


barge board sections after a first coat of paint....

I'd previously identified the new dry verge system to be used and this was already on order - it's an 'Easy Verge U' universal system kit in dark grey uPVC.  The 'universal' means that the segments aren't 'handed' as in many similar systems on the market, i.e. the same segments are used to both the left and right hand sides of the apex.

The same system is also available in a terracotta colour, but we felt that would have been just a little too much red everywhere, whereas dark grey is more neutral.

In the period before delivery of the verge components, we fitted the barge boards and tidied up the lighting wiring etc again.  

I used frame-fixings to secure the boards - when you're up a ladder, long boards can be rather awkward to handle and hold accurately for marking, removing and then drilling the bricks for rawl plugs before re-fitting, but using the frame-fixings the boards were pre-drilled on the work table and then just held up in position against the wall.  The holes in the brickwork were then drilled through, before screwing the fixings into place.  Once the first two in each board were driven home, the board was held firmly and we could just continue with the rest of the fixings at our leisure.

Another coat of epoxy paint in-situ, clipping of the lighting wires to the underside edge, and then it was ready for the verging system.


boards completed on both gable sections....it looks better already

At this stage, there's still a wiring connection to complete within a small gap I deliberately left between the boards directly under the apex, before the new verge ridge capping will be mounted.  Previously, there was a lighting feed here to a pair of wall-mounted 240 VAC spotlights activated by an infrared motion sensor, but this has never been used since we fitted the low voltage spotlights.  However, this feed is switched from inside the office and may be useful for a low power supply to the garden in the future, and so we've run a new cable behind the barge boards to a junction box on the facia of the south wall. 

The new dry verge kit arrived in just a few days, and so it was fitted that same afternoon.   It was generally easy enough, although I wasn't expecting it to be quite as simple as the manufacturer claimed - nothing ever is...   There were several cuts I had to make to the PVC components to get it all to go together, but it didn't take too long.

I haven't described exactly how this kit all fits together because there's a Youtube video from the manufacturer, if anyone's interested....  it's not an affiliate link - I've no connection at all with this company - there are many other uPVC dry verge systems available and I'm sure they're all basically similar.

However, here's a couple of views on the edges of our roof, showing how the verge segments slot together and hold the tile edges down.


at the upper gable section.....

and the main gable end.....


The upper gable length was a little tricky where the roof sections meet, but I patiently profiled the first segment using a hacksaw and files, and it now fits beautifully....


where the roof slopes meet....

Here's the ridge section on the main gable....


round type ridge end cap - also available in other styles....


And so here's the (almost...) finished project...


just about all done....

I say 'almost' because unfortunately the type of connection our upper gable makes with the original house wall isn't in the book of parts available.  

the missing link.... at the upper left

There are special eaves 'starters' and the ridge caps, and these were both included in the kit, but there's nothing special for what we need at this particular upper wall junction.   However, I'll simply get hold of an extra verge segment - they're available to buy singly - and then cut and dress it to finish flush with the wall edge.

So, we're generally quite pleased with it, and at least the roof should now be weathertight before the heavy rains arrive.

Project costs were £63 delivered for all the dry verging components plus £38 for the barge board timbers and frame fixings - we already had the red paint.  And there'll now be another fiver to add for that extra verge segment we need to finish off. 


Update 09-Oct-14

A client and friend of mine popped around here early this morning on his way to the office, to discuss some project work I'm on with for his company.   Over a coffee, I showed him a few of the recent garden and domestic projects, including this one, and he said he'd also been thinking of a dry verge roof tile kit but he'd been quoted over £700 for its supply and installation on his house gable from a local roofing contractor.   

He already has the barge boards in place, and a 40-tile segment kit in the style I've just bought, more than enough for most house ends, is available on a DIY basis for just £85....


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