New roof. My plan was to go up a floor. I’d worked on a cabin in the top field some months ago and built them a mezzanine floor. Fortunately they had an high roof building and had room to build it in comfortably, we didn’t. When I did the initial rebuild on our bungalow I used to say to people that I should have completely rebuilt the roof then, but didn’t because of the restrictions the council seemed to put on everything we submitted and went for the easiest option just so as we could have a secure home as swiftly as possible. Now my idea was to ask permission to build a full single apex pitched roof across the entire building that would enclose the front patio and add a conservatory when funds allowed. I asked the planning officer to come advise me. I wasn’t very hopeful of getting anywhere. He did come and visit me and he did advise me. He said I could certainly reroof the place with an apex roof and that I could cover but not enclose the front patio area. He was quite content we’d built the place on a secure foundation as he’d signed them off before. He did some calcs and told me the height I could build the apex to. 7’6” max to the top of the ridge tile, and suggested we submitted a drawing for reference and got on with it. It wasn’t enough height really, but as he seemed quite content for us to go ahead and the cost of the main build wasn’t too astronomical I decided to grab what he’d allowed us and get the the thing built ASAP. I really didn’t know the ruling on a roof renewal and totally expected more argument from them. I was very happy with the laid back attitude to my idea and I was very keen to order materials and start the job, but as we had just had a massive spend out; money was tight. I had to sort something quickly. In the course of a regular week I was building, handy-manning and driving trucks still. One of my regular drops while driving was a furniture store in Chandlers ford near Southampton. It was on a industrial estate and opposite was an Hendy Ford dealership. One day on my break I got talking to the car salesman who was having five himself. I explained that I’d just bought a brand new escort and had done no mileage at all in it so far. I told him we could do with swapping it in and getting something cheaper and releasing some cash. He suggested I had a look around and see if I fancied anything they had on a backward deal. Basically I swapped my brand new car for an older model and some cash. I saw a year old ford escort eclipse of the previous model shape that was up for a pound under £6k, I’d just paid £7.2k on my vehicle in a mates rate deal, so gathered I’d possibly get a grand and the eclipse from him. I said I liked the eclipse and he said he’d have it prepared for Saturday if I’d like to come down with my car and sort a deal. We were a week away from a month break in Italy that Saturday, but seeing as we needed to get this sorted we popped off down to see them. I remember passing the 500 mile mark on the milometer on that trip. Lou was impressed with the eclipse when we took it for a test drive, so was I, which was odd because I’d just driven 130 miles in a brand new car and expected to be disappointed in one that was twelve months old and had 10k on the clock, but no, it was spot on, if not feeling a slightly better drive. We asked the guy to do the figures when we pulled up back at Hendy ford. Well, you could have blown me over with a whistle when he said he’d give us £4K and the eclipse for ours. I don’t think I’ve ever said yes quicker in my life. Where did we sign? The sales guy who’s name was Simon was very laid back about it all and suggested we go to Italy, have our well earned break and come back after to do the deal. He would keep the deal, we’d sign the preliminary papers there and then and he’d have the eclipse ready to roll the day after we got back from our hols. Top man! All the way home Lou and I tried to work out the figures and why we’d got such a great deal, 25 years later we still don’t know, but it was a good one, and the eclipse was Lou’s favourite car ever. On with the build. To satisfy the council, the roof revamp had to be simply that ‘ a roof revamp’ no windows no roof lights a minimum pitch of thirty two degrees and no mention whatsoever of a loft conversion. We were allowed a single pitched apex roof that would not exceed 7’6” at the highest point from wall plate. Basically we could build a wooden framed triangular box on top of our bungalow and tile it. We could not at that point enclose the patio area with a wall otherwise we would use up more than the permitted development of 70 m2! This we did. We built off the top of the existing walls by removing the outer tiles and rafters from the old roof to expose the wall, left the old roof in for the build and built off the exposed top of the wall. We would remove the old roof internally during the Christmas break as time was short and the council were playing ball at that moment. We had to get a move on and the removal of the old roof would take at least a week, and there was a chance the weather would change. This way we would still have a roof over our heads while we built a roof. I’d never taken on a full roof build and tile before, but I had studied building to a degree while I was working as a transport manager in a big window company. I knew I could design the structure, but I would have to recruit Tom’s help in the intricacies of the tiling and lath set up. Tom was always helpful and was more than happy to felt and lath it out for me and advise on slating and the purchase of, so we got a crack on. My brother in laws, Pasquale, Steve and Dave came to help. Pas looked at the drawings and declared I was hopelessly wrong with my design and in his less than qualified opinion it needed to change. I asked him why he thought that and what qualified him to question it. Apart from it didn’t seem right and his macho listen to me I’m in charge type attitude he didn’t really know. In respect for his input I double checked my design and calcs with an architect friend from down the lane. It was spot on, but it had set the job back two days and cost me £50. I’ve never listened to Pas’s advise-since! The carcassing took a week. The dimensions were, forty foot long by twenty six foot wide and seven foot six inch high. The carcass was made of stress graded tanalised timber and clad with OSB board on the roof and tongue and groove lap at the sides. The side and roof were insulated with Rockwool, but we were allowed no windows in the initial build and as a consequence the first phase went up very quickly I have to confess to it being function over form on this build and ignoring the council to enclose the patio area. They ignored it too, thankfully! The first stage of the over roofing complete. We used doors and frames that I’d had off other jobs for the front wall, simply because we decided to take a chance on filling it in and had them available. They were painted up to match later on.