The Self Build Self Help Site roof design

A one-stop shop of information for people interested in self build - whether self building a complete home or undertaking an extension, renovation or modification.


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Ridge tiles

For slate roofs the options are, in the main:- We prefer lapping ridge tiles - they provide an overlap which may better prevent the ingress of rain - make sure that the lap takes into account the prevailing wind direction. They are also easier to install on a couple of counts:

Butting ridge tiles are sealed together with cement. Apart from having to deal with a bucket of cement up at the ridge, any cement that falls onto the slates will need to be washed away otherwise it will go off and mark the slates.

Lapping ridges tiles are usually, now, stuck down with a builders adhesive which is much easier to do, and no washing down. We usually put the ridge tiles on as the slates are completed, working across the ridge. Some roofers wait until the roof is complete and then simply push the ridge tiles along the ridge from one gable end, fixing the last ones at each gable with builders adhesive. You cannot use this method with butting tiles as the joints need to be cemented.

If you are to have overlapping ridge tiles, and want to be finicky (we do) then ask your roofer to get the ridge tiles symmetrical. Many roofers just start at one end with a whole tile, and then cut the last one at the other end to the right length - see pics below. To get them symmetrical all it needs is some prior planning and to cut two ridge tiles - easy enough to just get that bit of detail right.

If you want to push the boat out a bit, then you could consider decorative ridge tiles and finials - see the pages from the companies advertised in the Product Finder - Roofing page.

Click on the photos for a larger view

photo of dodgy ridge tiles

photo of dodgy ridge tiles

Roof membrane

It is a good idea to use a vapour permeable (breathable) membrane, even if you are using over fascia or soffit vents. Its just belt and braces - the last thing you want is the roof timbers getting damp. You also won't have to worry whether the over fascia vents or soffit vents will get blocked over time.

photo of over fascia vent

Overfascia vents as seen from inside the roof

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