Conservation and Repair of Slate and Stone Roofing with Richard Jordan

Ref: B3D13278

Location: West Dean
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About this course

This in-depth course focuses on the conservation and repair of traditional slate and stone buildings and also gives an introduction to their history. The starting point is an understanding of how the roofs work, the different materials used, including regional variations and methods of construction. Modern codes of practice and standards are covered, with practical demonstrations and hands-on work in making and preparing slates and the application of mortars to roofs. The setting out, recording and the construction of both random and single sized roofs are also included. The course will be supplemented by films and practical sessions on surveying old roofs, traditional detailing, writing specifications and finding sources of information.

Course Description

Day 1   
4pm- 6pm - Registration
7pm- 7.45pm - Dinner
7.45pm - Welcome talk and introduction 

Day 2  
8.30am start - Conservation and understanding slating: how slate roofs work; evolution from vernacular to modern slates.
9.30am-10.30am - Practical exercises - Making Slate, Slating types single lap, triple lap, patent, diamond pattern etc. Fixing systems - pegs, nails, hooks, iron frame etc; other types of slating
11.15am - Demonstration of roofing types
12.00pm - Conservation and understanding of slating: Regional roof types; materials, stone slates, Metamorphic slates, true random slates, roofing guides and code of practice, British/European standards
1pm-1.45pm - Lunch
1.45pm - Demonstration of slating sticks and slating rods
2.30pm - Conservation codes and quality
3.45pm - Demonstration- recording roofs
 4pm - Making a marking stick 
5.15pm-5.30pm- Review day with Q&A
7pm-7.45pm - Dinner 

Day 3 
8.30am - Detailing slate roofs. Laths and battens, nail, mortar tail and head bedding, torching, flaunches, main and hip ridge, mortar mixes, underlays and leadwork
11.00am - Demonstration of a mortar mix 
11.30am - Basic slating 
12.30pm - Sort slates using marble stick 
1pm-1.45pm - Lunch 
1.45pm - Random slating- gauging roof, detailing eaves, verges, abutments, valleys, hips and ridges
2pm-4.30pm -  Practical exercises- set out a roof, lath and start slating
4.30pm - Practical conservation - Survey, what to look for, cause and effect, assessment. Old and new techniques, conserve as found or 'improved', insulation and ventilation. Bats in roofs
5.15pm-5.30pm - Review day with Q&A
7pm-7.45pm - Dinner 

Day 4 
8.30am - Practical conservation, workmanship, choosing a slater, writing/checking a specification
10.30am - Practical exercises- stripping and recording the slated work from the previous day
11.45am - Sources of advice, further information and reading list
12.30pm - 1.15pm- Lunch 
1.15pm - Practical reports on recorded roofs
2.45pm-3.15pm - Review day with Q&A
3.15pm - Issue of Certificates
3.30pm - Course ends 


This course has a bespoke timetable. Please see above.


Richard Jordan

Richard Jordan is a specialist in historic roofing who is based in Derbyshire and provides training and advice across the United Kingdom.  An experienced roof slater and tiler, his interest and passion for our built heritage developed whilst working with his father, who was his mentor. 


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.