Conservation and Repair of Slate and Stone Roofing with Richard Jordan

Building conservation masterclass

Ref: B3D10064

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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  
16.00- 18.00- Registration
19.00- 19.45- Dinner
19.45- Welcome talk and introduction

Day 2 
08.30 start- Conservation and understanding slating: how slate roofs work; evolution from vernacular to modern slates.
0930- 10.30- 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
11.15- Demonstration of roofing types
12.00- 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
13.00- 13.45- Lunch
13.45- Demonstration of slating sticks and slating rods
14.30- Conservation codes and quality
15.45- Demonstration- recording roofs
16.00- Making a marking stick
17.15- 17.30- Review day with Q&A
19.00- 19.45- Dinner

Day 3
08.30- Detailing slate roofs. Laths and battens, nail, mortar tail and head bedding, torching, flaunches, main and hip ridge, mortar mixes, underlays and leadwork
11.00- Demonstration of a mortar mix
11.30- Basic slating
12.30- Sort slates using marble stick
13.00- 13.45- Lunch
13.45- Random slating- gauging roof, detailing eaves, verges, abutments, valleys, hips and ridges
14.00- 16.30-  Practical exercises- set out a roof, lath and start slating
16.30- 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
17.15- 17.30- Review day with Q&A
19.00- 19.45- Dinner

Day 4
08.30- Practical conservation, workmanship, choosing a slater, writing/checking a specification
10.30- Practical exercises- stripping and recording the slated work from the previous day
11.45- Sources of advice, further information and reading list
12.30- 13.15- Lunch
13.15- Practical reports on recorded roofs
14.45- 15.15- Review day with Q&A
15.15- Issue of Certificates
15.30- Course ends 


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)


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.

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