roof types styles and shapes

Pitched roofs are normally clad with slates or tiles. Such Roof types have to be strongly constructed to support the immense load of the states or tiles as well as any snow that settles. Moreover, the roof is exposed to the wind, which can exert a large force in exposed areas. How they are built? There are two common roof types for a pitched roof. If the roof has just a simple slope on each side, meeting in a ridge like a tent, it is said to be two—way pitched. The walls at the ends of a two-way pitched roof are the gable walls, and are often triangular in shape at the top. It is usual for the roof to project slightly beyond, and be supported by, the gable wall. The end of the roof is concealed behind bargeboards, which are nailed to the end rafters. The roof projection beyond the gable is the verge which shields the top of the wall from the rain. On some houses, the gable wall extends higher than the ridge. In such cases the gable is square at the top, capped oft with a stone coping or rendering. This type of wall, against which a roof abuts, is an abutment wall. The other common roof types of roof shape is called a hipped roof. It is formed when the roof has a third slope, rising from the end walls to the top like the side of a pyramid. Some houses have both types of roof joined in one: for instance a house that is L-shaped in plan may have a two way roof on one leg of the L, but a hipped roof on the other; a T-shaped house, too, may have hips at the two ends of the roof covering the top cross-member, but a two-way pitch at the end of the main T-section; a hipped roof may have a dormer window with a two-way pitched roof; and there are other variations. Another type of pitched roof you may see occasionally is the mansard. In this the pitch is at two angles a gentle one at the top and a steeper one below, nearer the outer wall. Often, these roof types were designed to allow a room in the attic. They were, in fact a cheap way of getting an extra storey, for the lower parts of such a roof are more easily and cheaply built than a brick wall.

roof types styles and shapesLean-to buildings, verandahs and porches often have a single sloped roof covered by tiles and slates. These are known as mono pitch roofs. Traditionally, the frame for a pitched roof was built up on site by skilled joiners. On pitched-roof houses built since about 1950, however, the triangular frame is of a missed rafter construction. With these, the triangular frames are constructed as a whole in a factory, and brought to the site looking much like giant coat hangers. They are strengthened by lengths of timber known as trusses. The difference between a trussed frame and the traditional type is crucial if you ever think of building a loft extension. It is impossible to erect a room in an attic formed by trussed frames, for you cannot remove any of the middle trusses to clear a space for a loft conversion without seriously weakening the whole structure. lt is possible, however, to remove sections from an older-style roof, provided that compensating support is added elsewhere. But the subject of loft conversions is complicated and you should never attempt it without expert advice. Whichever construction method has been used, the frames are broadly similar. The lower member of the triangle is the joist, to the underside of which the ceilings of upstairs rooms are fixed. These joists are fixed to wall plates at the top of the main walls of the house, the two sides of the triangle are the rafters, and these are joined both to the wall plates and to the sides of the joists. At the top end, the rafters are joined to a horizontal length of timber known as the ridge board. Intermediate support for the rafters is provided by purlins, which are usually braced. Two methods of bracing are used.

There may be struts supported on an internal load-bearing wall, or hangers fixed vertically to the joists and further strengthened by runners extending vertically between the hangers. The purlins may be notched into the rafters, or just beveled to suit the angle at which they meet. The rafters project well beyond the eaves and are finished off by two lengths of timber. The one underneath the rafters is the soffit board, and the other to which the gutters are fixed is the fascia. Sometimes the eaves are left open. Never block off open eaves as a draught-proofing or insulation measure. They are left open to keep the loft well ventilated and dry. Blocking off might encourage condensation, which will dampen and rot the roof timbers and saturate any loft insulation, rendering it ineffective. Houses built with blocked off eaves have compensating ventilation elsewhere. Older houses often have a front external wall extended to form a parapet. This is sometimes topped with a stone coping. The parapet has a damp-proof course, two or three courses from the top to stop moisture being conducted from the parapet to the main walls of the house. In such instances, a gutter as such is not installed; gutter boards are used to form one artificially. A parapet wall hides the roof from view. Often the roof types behind it consists of two small pitched roofs which are joined to form a valley, which serves as a gutter to collect water from the two inner pitches. The two parts of a valley roof do not need to be as high as would a single, pitched roof covering a house of the same size. This, with the fact that they are concealed behind a parapet, ensures that they are sheltered from some of the effects of the weather. An unfortunate consequence of the lower height, however, is that there is not much headroom beneath them should you ever have to do work up there.

roof insulation loft type | reduce heat lost

About 20 per cent of the heat lost from the average house goes through the roof. So while you are considering your roof you should ponder on how well your loft is insulated. To minimize heat loss, a thickness of 100mm or even 125 mm of insulation called roof insulation loft type in centrally heated homes is today more desirable than the mere 25 mm that was recommended previously. If you insulate your loft or top up the insulation already there you should recover your outlay, by way of reduced fuel bills, in about a couple of years. Although it is an unpleasant task carried out in cramped conditions, doing it yourself will guarantee that the work has not been skimped. Roof insulation loft type is available either in the form of a blanket that is rolled out between the joists or a loose fill material, that you pour from a sack. Both types are equally effective, but in an odd shaped loft with lots of nooks and crannies, it can be quicker and easier to pour out a loose material than to fit blanket. lf you are starting from scratch use whichever you wish. When topping up, it is better to use the type you already have. Take care not to place any load (even a foot) on the ceiling while you are in the loft, or it might break through. It is a good idea to take a plank with you and stand on that. Opinions vary about the clothes you should wear. Some people believe that if you wear as little as possible, you can take a shower afterwards and quickly wash away all the scratchy fibres. Others say you should protect yourself with long sleeved shirts buttoned at the collar, trousers tucked into socks and sleeves into gloves.

roof insulation loft type, reduce heat lostIn any event, you should protect your hands with gloves, and wear a cap or something to cover your head. Roll out the blanket, making sure it is well tucked down at the eaves so that wind cannot blow underneath it. If you use loose fill, simply pour it into place. It is, however, surprisingly easy to misjudge the depth to which you have filled a gap, so make a gauge from a length of wood with a notch cut out of each end of the lower edge to form a T with a short stubby descender. The depth of this descender should equal the distance from the top of the joists to the required top of the insulation. Rest the cross piece of the T on top of the joists, and drag it along to spread the granules to the correct depth. A well roof insulation loft type is cold, so make sure the water pipes and tanks are well protected, either with lagging or, if the pipes are low enough, by laying the blanket over them and draping it on top of the tank. Leave the space under the tank clear, however, so that warmth can penetrate up to it from the rooms below, as a further aid to stop it from freezing. One problem with attic insulation is that it can make the loft so cold that condensation develops and soaks the insulation, rendering it ineffective. Most lofts have sufficient ventilation to stop this from happening. lf not, lay polythene under the insulation as a vapour barrier, or install ventilating grilles.

window sill repair – replacement

window sill repairWooden window sills are among the parts of a house most vulnerable to the weather. If they are not well protected with paint or varnish they will rot, then window sill repair and replacement is required. Small patches of rot are easy to repair. Deal with them instantly to prevent them spreading. Test for rot by pushing a sharp knife or other tool into the sill. The tool will meet resistance in sound timber, but pass easily through rotted wood. Begin window sill repair by cutting out the rolled section. Gut well into sound wood on each side to form a wedge-shaped section. Burn the rotted timbers. To repair modern sills, you may be able to buy a matching piece of standard window sill molding. For older window sills, it might be necessary to plane down piece of square timber to match. Remember that drip channels will need to be cut into the section. Brush wood preservative well into the cleaned edge of the sill and soak the replacement piece in it thoroughly, Fix the new timber into place with dowels driven into the sill. You need two dowels, no matter how small the window sill repair is, and extra dowels at 100 mm (4 inches) intervals for longer pieces. To strengthen the repair, fix steel strips to the underneath of the sill. Corners can be repaired similarly. Concrete sills can also be repaired, too. Fill small cracks with a Decorators filler suitable for outdoor use. Paint the sill with either masonry or gloss paint to conceal the repair.

window leakingLarge holes and cracks should be filled with cement; buy a small bag from a DIY store. First, though, treat the crack with a pva building adhesive, and add some of the adhesive to the mortar to make it more workable, as recommended in the adhesive instructions. A deep hole is best filled in two stages. Smooth the finishing coat down flush with the edge of the sill, and then disguise the window sill repairs with paint. A framework is required if a concrete sill needs extensive repair. Make it of stout timber at least 25 mm thick. Hold the formwork in place by nailing it to blocks of wood fixed to the wall with masonry nails. Besides, drip channels prevent rainwater from running over and under a sill back on to the wall under the window opening. The drenching that results could cause the foundations or the interior of the house to become damp. Drenching is to be avoided especially under a window opening, where it could be conducted to the frames and eventually cause them to rot. One or more grooves formed, during manufacture, into the underside of a timber sill or molded into a concrete one will prevent the rainwater reaching the wall, causing it to drip harmlessly off on to the ground instead. Replace window sill when required. It is important to keep drip channels clean in window sill replacement; otherwise they will not function effectively. Dirt and spider webs tend to gather there, so scrape or brush them out regularly. If there are no drip channels under your sill, it is worth fitting them. Using a router, you could cut out a couple of grooves in a timber sill while it is In situ. This, however, is not an easy task. An alternative that works just as well as a groove is to glue and pin a couple of lengths of half-round molding underneath the sill. A gap between the moldings forms an effective groove. On concrete, merely glue the molding into place. Window sill repair or replacement would not cost too much though, but you can still save some when you do it yourself.

staircase construction – design – building

Staircase constructionTraditionally, staircases were built on the spot by master carpenters working on the staircase construction of the house. Staircase construction has long been discontinued. Instead staircases are supplied to the site as factory-made units. Usually the staircase is fitted in the hall, with one side against a wall and the other side open. The part of the stair on which you actually walk is the tread, and the vertical timber that closes the gap between two treads is the riser. The riser is usually merely butted up to the treads and fixed by screws or nails. A better but rare practice, however, is for the riser to be joined by means of tongues and grooves. Sometimes too, a length of molding is fitted to the top of the riser, just underneath the projection of the tread, to mask any gap that may develop as the wood shrinks. The front edge of the tread – the nosing – is usually rounded off. Some modern staircases are of an open-tread design – to make it seem less bulky in the confines of the hall of a small house. It is dangerous to attempt to convert a conventional staircase into an open-tread one, however, for structural reasons. At each side of the staircase is a long length of timber, called a string. Two types of string are found — open and closed. An open string has a cut-out profile, into which the treads and risers are fitted.

A closed string has straight edges, and the treads and risers fit into grooves cut into its side. Wedges are fitted to hold the tread and riser tightly in the groove. The two strings in a staircase construction need not necessarily be of the same type. It is not uncommon for the wall string (the one against a wall) to be closed, and the outer string (the one away from the wall) to be open. A safety barrier or balustrade (also called a banister) is fitted to the open side (or sides) of a staircase. The length of timber which you hold as you climb a stairway is a baluster rail and the large upright members into which the baluster rail joins at each end are newel posts. The rail is supported by uprights known as balusters. Modern staircases have fewer balusters than older ones, but you should never alter the number of balusters, because you risk weakening the structure. A balustrade can also be fitted to the landing, if required. When a staircase has a wall on both sides, there is no balustrade,  but instead a handrail is fitted to the wall by means of metal brackets. Underneath, the staircase construction is supported on lengths of timber on edge known as carriages. There may be just one central carriage, or there may be an additional two to one near each edge. Lengths of timber, called brackets or sometimes cleats, are fixed to the carriages, to give extra support to the treads. In addition, triangular pieces of wood, known as glue blocks, are fixed to strengthen the join between tread and riser.

stairs_exteriorIn many small houses it is customary to have a cupboard under the stairs. In some instances, the underside of the staircase construction is in full view from within the cupboard. More usually, however, the underneath is covered with either plaster (plasterboard in modern homes, lath and plaster in older ones) or some form of board, such as hardboard.  The floorboards will need at least six months to dry out thoroughly. While they are moist they could damage synthetic floor coverings, such as vinyl a. In the meantime, use a temporary covering, or use a natural material such as cork, which would be immune to chemical attack. It has been suggested that lining a floor with hardboard will give sufficient protection, so you could lay any floor covering you like on top of it, but in fact the woodworm killer is so penetrative that it will work its way up through the nail holes and stain the top of the hardboard.

rising butt hinges | door fitting

rising butt hinges

Rising butt hinges unlike ordinary butt hinges, rising butts raise the door as it is opened, and lift it clear of any carpet. You can remove the existing hinges of an ordinary door, and fit rising butts in their place. A door fitted with rising butts also tends to be self closing. The leaves of a rising butt hinges are not fixed together as are those of an ordinary butt. Instead, one leaf can be removed from the hinge pin, which is fixed to the other leaf, the leaf with the pin is fitted to the frame and the other to the door. Provided you fix the pin leaf clear of the frame, the door can merely be lifted clear, should it ever be necessary to remove it. Rising butts are available in right or left hand sets, so note the side on which your door is hinged before ordering. They are fitted in much the same way as ordinary ones, but there are two points to note. First, the two parts must be positioned on both frame and door with extreme accuracy, otherwise only one will be seated properly, and too much of a strain would then be imposed on it. Second, the top of the door must be beveled off towards the frame, so that it can open properly. Fitting a letter plate. A new front door will need a letter plate. Aim to position this at a height that will allow the postman to push letters through without having to stoop. On a paneled door, set the plate in the middle rail; never the bottom one.

On a glazed front door that has no middle rail, fit a vertical flap in the lock stile. Provision for a flap to be fitted is usually made in an external flush door. In that case the position is decided for you. Letter plates are usually fixed by means of bolts that pass through the door, and are held in place by nuts on the inside. Place the door flat on a bench, and position the plate accurately and squarely. Mark in pencil on the door the outline of the opening. Drill a large hole at each corner of the opening, and cut out the shape with a pad saw or powered jigsaw. Clean up the edges of the cut with glass paper. Now place the plate back in position, and mark the position of the fixing bolts. Drill clearance holes for these bolts. Place the plate on the front of the door. Push in the bolts, and on the other side lit and tighten the nuts on the bolts. An internal flap can be added to eliminate draughts in rising butt hinges. Normally this is just screwed into place.