Above Eaves Level P1 - Traditional Slate Roofs

Starts: Thursday, 18th January 2018 - 9.30am

Ends: Friday, 19th January 2018 - 4.30pm

Location: Charlestown Workshops, Fife

About this event

This two day course aims to provide an introductory guide to traditional Scottish roofs including function, structure, types of trusses, external roof shapes, typical details and decorative features and the causes of deterioration and the main causes of failure. Practical work includes sizing and trimming of slates, setting out and nailing a simple traditional slate roof, undertaking repairs, executing a mortar skew fillet and installing rainwater goods correctly.

By the end of the course attendees will be able to recognise the structure of roofs, identify different types of trusses, different external roof shapes, their detailing, decorative features. Understand how natural slate was formed and the variety of slates used in the past on traditional roofs and the main causes of failure on a roof. Specifying roof repairs with sufficient detail to retain the character of a traditional slate roof.  

The practical sessions will enable you to trim and size slates, set out and nail a simple traditional slate roof, execute a mortar skew fillet and install rainwater goods correctly.

Course Suitability
This course is aimed at building professionals   who own or have responsibility for traditional Scottish roofs. So you could be a surveyor, architect, planner, engineer, heritage professional or homeowner.

Learning Outcomes
•    Ability to recognise different roof structures and external roof shapes;
•    Identify different roof details and decorative features on a roof;
•    Understand the deterioration factors and the main causes of roof structure failure.
•    Understand the sizing and trimming of slates;
•    Understand how to execute a mortar skew fillet;
•    Understand how to install rainwater goods correctly.

Course Programme

•    Health and safety
•    Brief history of the use of natural on traditional roofs;
•    Understanding the character and appearance of a traditional slate roof;
•    Do roof repairs require consent on listed buildings or in conservation areas?
•    Identifying different elements of a roof structure including beams, rafters, purlins, ridge pieces; sarking; sprockets, bargeboards and wall plates;
•    Recognising different types of trusses including king post, queen post, braced, hammer beam and ashlar posts;
•    Recognising different external shapes of roofs including pitched, ridged, helm, hipped, mansard, gambrel and M shaped;
•    Identify different roof details including abutments, fillets, flashings, ventilation and gutters.

•    Walking tour of local roof scapes, traditional detailing and identifying roof slope pitches;
•    Recognising decorative features such as patterns, finials, brattishing, balustrading and rainwater goods
•    Dormers and rooflights – different types and detailing;
•    Identification of roof structure deterioration and main causes of failure.
•    Practical:             
•    Sizing and trimming of slates
•    Setting out and nailing a simple traditional slate roof
•    Executing a mortar skew fillet detail
Round up of the day’s under pinning knowledge.

Day 2

•    Health and safety
•    Conservation philosophy as it pertains to traditional slate roofs;
•    Relevant British and European Standards pertaining to roofs;
•    Identifying slates and understanding their geology;
•    Upgrading insulation in traditional slated roof spaces – what to take into account;
•    Specifying roof repairs or re-roofing – how much detail is required to ensure that the character of a traditional roof is not lost.


•    Practical:
•    Installing traditional rainwater goods correctly
•    Cleaning out rainwater goods correctly
•    Repairing broken, loose or missing slates on a traditional roof
Round up of the day’s underpinning knowledge

How to book

If you would like to book a place on this course, please email [email protected] or call us on 01383 872722.



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