An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Things have not gone too quickly with respect to the roof over the last month or so. A lot is described in my April and May post but a bit of wider context might help.

I should have ordered the last batch of roof sheets for the main house (there will need to be some more for the porch/greenhouse north roof at some point) sometime in April but due to feeling a bit depressed and not thinking very clearly I didn't get round to it till the beginning of May.

My thinking problem was not realising that though I still had a half a dozen or so sheets in hand I wouldn't be able to put them all up because I'd ordered enough to do up to the end of the living room plus a few more but because of the way the sheets need to be staggered to overlap properly combined with not having the short sheets to go under the kitchen window I'd effectively snookered myself.

At the beginning of May I could only put up three more sheets from the ones I had in hand so went over to Thurso on Monday the 2nd to give them the details of what I'd need. They couldn't take an order on the spot as they'd need to contact the supplier and get a price as it was so variable. The manager took my list, scribbling on my account and mobile numbers, and said he'd call back.

I didn't hear from him on Tuesday (which wasn't too surprising) but got a bit fidgety when he hadn't called by mid afternoon on Wednesday. Looking at the copy of my list he'd given me I realised he'd missed two digits from my mobile number. I wasn't doing much productive (just taking measurements for and thinking about the joist spacing for the main bedroom loft) so went over to Thurso again. He'd just got the email back from the roofing sheet supplier so I paid for that (about £21/metre compared with the £14/metre for the first batch I bought). He said I'd get an order acknowledgement and, eventually, an invoice by email. It also gave me the opportunity to check the dimensions and ask about the price for the 22mm chipboard floor sheets I planned to use for the lofts (and, eventually, for the main floor).

I got two more roof sheets up over the following weekend: one top-row sheet on Saturday and the bottom-row sheet to the west of the living-room window on the Sunday. After that I didn't get any more sheets up in May mostly due to the weather. Instead I concentrated on the main-bedroom loft flooring.

On Thursday the 19th I went over to Thurso again to see how things were going with the roof sheets and to order the chipboard flooring for the main-bedroom loft. The roof sheets were in and scheduled for delivery to me on Tuesday so it was easy to add the chipboard to that.

At this point, things seemed to be going well in that my procrastination ordering the roof sheets hadn't really caused any waste of decent weather and I'd made some reasonable use of the fortnight or so waiting for it to arrive.

However, on Monday morning they rang me up to say that the “lads in the yard” had noticed that the sheets in for me were trapezoidal/box profile whereas they knew the ones I'd had before were the corrugated type. Was that what I really wanted, etc? Ouch, no, I didn't want trapezoidal. Did I still want the chipboard flooring, tomorrow? Yes please, I'll come and talk to the manager once that had been delivered.

Stuff happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Then more stuff happens. Middle of Tuesday morning I got another call: deliveries for that day had been cancelled due to somebody having been taken into hospital and the driver having to cover for him. Will deliver floor sheets tomorrow. OK, so I'll come and talk to the manager in an hour or so.

First of all, I hadn't had any emails about this so hadn't picked up on the order error. Turns out the email address they were using was wrong: an extra 'd' in the domain name. This is odd as I get a lot of marketing email from their head office based on the email address on my account so they must have two copies somewhere. DRY.

However, the manager said he had some short sheets in the yard which he thought were the right colour. We went out and had a look. Indeed, they were a very similar colour but I thought they looked a bit bluer but wasn't really sure as this anthracite looks quite different depending on the viewing angle and lighting conditions. It was a bright and sunny day which we hadn't had many of for a while. Still, the manager thought it was the right colour code (RAL number) and said he'd put them on the wagon to be delivered with my chipboard the next day.

In retrospect, we should have compared them against the box-profile sheets which had been delivered for me which, while the wrong shape, were presumably the right colour but I didn't think of that at the time despite have walked past them as we entered the yard.

There were 13 of them so they would easily replace the 11 short sheets I'd ordered to go below and above the windows though they weren't long enough to be used between the windows or in the top row. I'd have to cut them to length to go below the windows but could use them as they were above the windows with just a bit more overlap with the top-row sheets above, which would be no bad thing.

These wouldn't go very far towards letting me cover the rest of the roof but they would mean that, combined with the longer sheets I had to hand but was blocked on, I could do the area around and above the kitchen window which would be good as that's the leakiest of the remaining windows to be done.

Wednesday was a breezy day with intermittent but very heavy showers. The driver arrived around 13:00 and unloaded the chipboard first. I could see the next shower approaching across the Moray Firth so concentrated on getting the chipboard into the house as quickly as possible while the driver turned his lorry round and fork-lifted the short roof sheets off.

After he went I sat in the van for a while while the shower went through. Then I had a look at the roof sheets and realised that the colour was wrong. Newly delivered short sheets on the left, last few full length sheets from previous batch on the right.

It's not obvious, is it? Still, looking at an off cut from an old sheet folded in with the new pile makes the colour difference clearer:

On Friday (27th) the manager rang me to check the details of my order. This call actually annoyed me quite a lot; a slightly broken phone conversation is a terrible way to pass detailed information accurately and the details I was reading out were a printed copy of information he already had on my account anyway. I strongly suspect it was a case of botty covering in that if there were any more cockups he could blame them on my reading stuff out wrongly and it would be very difficult to argue with that. This pushes me in the direction of a company in Inverness I've bought some timber off in the past who work by email a lot better.

In the mean time, I've put up the last sheet I can until the next batch arrives, above and to the west of the living room window on the 5th of June. The weather's turning back to poo for the next few days, anyway.