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Restoration of Bullhouse Chapel Grade 2 Listed Chuch Building

In May 2013 we won the contract to restore this Grade 2 II Listed Church Building. Works started on the Church August 2013. A full scaffold was erected around the primeter of the church. Internally a bird cage scaffold was erected to gain access to the church ceiling. The restoration project was to take 12 weeks till completion.

The internal of the church had a protective sheeting installed 2 years prior to works beginning. This was due to water ingress which had caused the lime plaster ceiling to debond. Parts of the ceiling lime plaster had fallen to the ground.

The sheeting was held in place with a primeter of battens. Once we removed the protective cover has been removed we took a stencil of the ceiling motifs & recorded the lining details. One section of the lath & plaster ceiling had been removed and boarded with plaster board, then plastered with modern skim plaster.

The small entrance roof had to be stripped & re-slated using the existing Stone Roofing Slates. We sourced a local supplier of reclaimed stone slates. The internal ceiling had to also be removed due to debonding lime plaster on wooden laths. We used a lime putty based mortar to lime plaster the ceiling.

We also installed 10 new cast iron air vents. These cast iron air vents were to allow air flow under the church floor. The vents were made by The Cast Iron Air Vent Company.

The rear gable elevation had been repointed at some point with a cement based mortar. We had to remove the cement mortar and replace with a lime based mortar. We planned to use a Hydraulic Lime Mortar for the pointing works.

The Leaded windows on this gable wall also had to restored. The original windows also has openers to the lower section. We sub-contrcated this work out to Lightworks of Clitheroe. There are some photos further down showing how Lightworks restored the Vestry Windows.

This photo shows one of a number of kneeler stones that needed to be repaired. The broken peice of kneeler stone had fallen to the ground. Our stonemasons used stainless steel bars to pin the kneeler stones together. Our stonemasons work around Yorkshire repairing historic building. We also used the stone repair Lithomix to repair stone instead of indenting the stonework.

The gable elevation on this photo had the cement based pointing removed & we pointed the gable elevation using a hydraulic lime mortar. Lime Mortar enable the wall to breathe so any moisture in the stone wall will dry out.

Once the scaffolding had been erected around the church we had access to inspect the stone slate roof. As reported the stone slate roof on the church had not been re-slated for over 60 years. Some of the stone slates had damage & de-laminated.

Our skilled roofing contractors had to record the details of the stone slate roof or as some people in Yorkshire call them Gray Slate roof. In Yorkshire there are not many roofing contractors skilled in stone slate roofing.


This is the rear stone slate roof. The rear roof was in better condition to the front roof. Again before the stone slate roof is stripped we recorded the details of the layout.

We sourced a supply of replacement stone slates from a local reclaimation yard. The lower slates which are larger in size are very hard to source. All the slates on the roof were stacked carefully on the scaffolding. Our in house roofing contractors travelled daily into Yorkshire to repair this stone slate roof. The church is in a small village in Yorkshire called Bullhouse. The closest town wouldbe Huddersfield. or Sheffield.

All the stone roofing slates from the church roof was removed and carefully stacked on the scaffolding. The stone slates were stacjed in size order. The size of the slate & course number was chalked onto the reverse of the slate. This helps when the stone slates are being re-fitted to the church roof. Our in house roofing contractors then removed the timber battens from the church roof. Once all the timber battens were removed we cleaned the rafters and purlins with a stiff brush. This is the rear roof of the church. We started on this side as it had the least damaged stone slates on it.

Once all the stone roofing slates had been removed by our restoration contactors we had access to the wall tops. There was alot of debris at wall top level. Our roofing contractors carefully removed the debris buildup.

Once clear we could undertake a full inspection of the church roof timber for damage or rot. The rot to this church roof was minimal only afew of the rafter ends had suffered from wet rot. There was no sign of dry rot or bettle attack on this side of the church roof. The supporting timbers of the roof structure had also very little signs of wet rot, dry rot or bettle attack. We also undertake church roof survey in Yorkshire by qualified surveyors.

Here we have installed some flaring pieces to the wall top. This timber flares stop the roofing membrane from sagging at wall top level. We used a lime based mortar to infill between the timbers. There was alot of preporation work to the roof area before the stone slate roof could be re-installed.

Our in house roofing contractors and builders work around Yorkshire on listed building & churches. We also undertake work on other roofing types such as blue Welsh slates & lead roof in Yorkshire.

When the timber works had been completed we used a multi purpose wood treatment to prevent any further attack on the church roof from wet rot, dry rot & bettle attack. We then installed a breather membrane to the timber rafters. We then installed new timber battens. The wooden battens hold to slates to the roof, we use aluminium pegs to fit stone roofing slates to the roof.

The stone roofing slates are laid in size order largest to the bottom then the courses deminish sizes to the roof top. Our skilled in house roofing contractors leave a minium of 150mm side cover from the slate below.

The rear roof has nearly been reslated in this photo. We reused the existing stone roofing slate from the church. All the stone roof slates were laid in diminsioning courses. If it was needed to cut the stone slates we used a large grinder with a diamond blade, after cutting the stone slates were edged so the slates still has the natural cut details.

The weather was on our side during this project as most of the days we spent roofing were fine and dry. Out of the whole re-roofing period we only had 3 wet rainning days.

Once we had nearly completed the re-roofing the rear roof, our skilled roofing contractors started removing the stone slates from the front roof area. We carfully lifted the stone roofing slates from the roof and stacked them on the scaffolding deck that was at roof level. This scaffolding was designed to take the loading of stone roofing slates. After all the slates were removed we removed the existing timber roofing battens and then de-nailed the roof rafters. Only once that all the roof had been stripped we cleaned the roof rafters and oak perlins. We also removed all the debris from the ceiling of the church, we used a large industrial vacuum.

Our skilled roofing contractors working on this church in Yorkshire has just removed all the natural stone roofing slates fron this church roof. When all the slates had been removed our roofers cleaned the roof rafters using a stiff hand brush. Once all the debris and dust had been removed we applied a wood treatment paste to the rafters & purlins to protect incase any fungal had taken hold from any water ingress. The treatment paste for Dry Rot, Wet Rot & Woodworm was applied with a masonry brush to all sides of the timbers.
In this photo you can see the Dry Rot, Wet Rot & Woodworm treatment paste being applied to the rafter ends. If any moisture or water ingress had penertrated the roof area the rafter ends could have started to decay. Most commonly it is the ends of the rafters at the top or bottom of the roof at suffer the most decay. Another part of the timber roof structure that could suffer from rot is the purlins, where the purlins are built into the gable walls. If any moisture or water ingress around the purlin ends is trapped this can cause rot to the purlins.

Only after our roofers are completely happy with the roof structure is the breather membrane fixed to the roof. We used a Tyvek product to this church roof in Yorkshire near Sheffield. The Tyvek roofing membrane is firstly fixed with a staple gun to position the membrane. We then install the new roof battens to the roof, we used a nail gun to do this loaded with galvanised nails.

The battens are spaced using information we noted down when the original roof was removed.

As the roof battens are fixed to roof rafters we work to the top of the roof. Walking on the church roof at this point of the re-roofing works is difficult our roofing contractors can only walk on the rafters under the breather membrane. Once the menbrane is installed the roof is water proof to a point. We contarctors always used a dpc material to cap of the ridge of the roof and at the bottom. This dpc material is much harder wearing than the breather membrane so will not rub through. During the roofing works to this grade 2 listed church in Sheffeild Yorkshire our Roofing Contractors travelled to the site daily.

In this photo you can see the stone roofing slates being installed at a lower level of the church roof. All the stone roofing slates for the church roof are stacked on the scaffolding at the roof eves. The slates have been stacked in size order with the size of the slate wrote on the reverse of the stone slate. The stone slates have been inspected prior to being replaced on the roof. We normally inspect the stone slates for splits, de-limination and cracks.

We also sourced a local reclimation yard where we could purchase stone roofing slates to replace any damaged slates.

Our Stone Slate Roofing Contractors working on a church in Sheffeild Yorshire, laying a new stone slate roof.


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