An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

September was mostly about how to do the roof sheeting round the Veluxes on the south roof.

The Velux flashing kits are designed for slates or tiles which individually have a slope somewhat less than the overall roof pitch and don't really fit well with profile steel sheets so a bit of cogitation was required to work out how to do it, despite having seen some other instances online and in real life. The basic problem is that if the plane of the roof sheets is such as to fit nicely over the gutters across the top and down the sides of the window then the sheets will be too high for the skirt at the bottom of the window to fit neatly over them.

Accordingly, on the 3rd I cut out a section of the 35x50 batten below the window and nailed on a thinner 22x50 batten (actually ripped from a 22x150 sarking board which I'd previously painted) across the gap:

…then fitted two short roof sheets and clamped the Velux window skirt in place as a fit check:

I wasn't entirely happy that the overlap between the roof sheet and the skirt was so short and also was a bit concerned about how I was going to seal between these sheets and the ones to each side but otherwise it seemed not too bad.

The next day I did a trial fit of the rest of the flashings round the Velux window. A few days before I'd re-taped the gutter above the window in the hope of getting a better seal there so I was a bit annoyed to find that it wouldn't allow the gutter across the top of the window to fit properly and that I'd have move the gutter up the roof and re-do all the sealing.

This had not been a problem on the bedroom window in the east gable as I'd moved that window out about 12mm on battens round the edge of the window opening. I also did that for the first south-roof window (the one for the small bedroom) but soon gave up on the plan as I didn't think it was really needed. Knowing what I know now I'd put all of the windows significantly further out, maybe 22 mm but not the whole 50 mm of batten thickness (12 mm counter battens + 35 mm battens).

While up the ladder contemplating that the gutters on most of the other roof windows would also need moving, that I wasn't really happy with the fitting of the sheets below the window and the general up cockedness of life, the universe and everything I lost it, methodically climbed down the ladder and thumped those roof sheets with a hammer.

For the next week or so I didn't do much. One thing which was a bit of a worry was that my back ache had flared up again but wasn't following the normal pattern of recovering after a few days of rest and carefully keeping it straight and the pain was in a slightly different place which lead me to wonder if there was some other problem. It did clear up eventually, though. About the only thing I did on the house is strim the grass round it as that would at least be a bit useful, allow me to keep my back mostly straight but give it some exercise and the whole job could be abandoned at any point if it felt like it was doing more harm than good.

On Tuesday the 14th I cut one of the normal roof sheets (2850 mm) down 1600 mm as a slightly longer replacement for one of the sheets under the bedroom window. I started by using my circular saw but that was a mistake. The first half went well but it wrecked the blade and the second half left a very rough cut and drifted off line a bit. I tried re-cutting the second half with my Makita jigsaw but both metal blades I tried broke pretty rapidly so I finished up doing it with a cutting disk on the angle grinder which actually got a surprisingly decent cut but mucked up the plastic coating close by.

That evening I ordered a variety of Saxton wood and metal jigsaw blades off eBay then, on Wednesday, went to a local agricultural supplier for some Dart metal blades as a backup as the weather wasn't great for doing anything else.

On Thursday the Saxton blades arrived in the post. Oddly, though their fitting looked identical the Dart blades didn't fit properly in the jigsaw but the Saxton ones were fine and did a very good job of cutting the second sheet:

I ran a small half-round file over the edges to clean them up fully and slopped on some straight-to-rust paint to add a bit more protection.

The weather was a bit variable for most of the rest of the month. Having removed the thumped sheets below the bedroom window, I spent my time thinking about better ways of sealing those sheets and also how the solar-thermal panels which will eventually go over them would be mounted.

On the 28th I popped up to the house to find this log leaning up against the north roof:

My first bizarre and idiotic thought was “ok, it's been windy but not enough to blow that around”. Of course, what had happened was that the right-hand part of that sheet, which wasn't screwed down as it'll be screwed through the end sheet which will overlap it, had started flapping around in the wind and my neighbour had kindly put the log there to prevent further damage. That sheet is sufficiently torn that it'll need replacement:

…but at least there was no harm to the sheets to its left and above.

Since then I've taken to tying a piece of batten to adjacent roof battens and over such unscrewed parts of a roof sheet to stop them flapping. Here's that same sheet from late October:

The following day (Thur, Sept 30th) I re-battened under the main bedroom window and fitted the first of the two replacement sheets to go there but that's all sufficiently intricate that it's probably best dealt with in a separate blog post.