The complex re-roofing project at The Gables, an important Arts & Crafts property in Stockton, was shortlisted in the Roof Tiling category of the recent UK Roofing Awards, and posed a number of challenges for contractor N T Sweeting, but support from the BMI SpecMaster service provided reassurance and guidance…
The re-roofing of an architecturally imposing home in a beautiful setting saw contractor N T Sweeting – working with BMI Redland – shortlisted in the Roof Tiling category in the 2021 UK Roofing Awards, organised by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors. The awards were staged on November 5th 2021.
When the roof of The Gables – an important Arts & Crafts house in Stockton, overlooking the River Tees – needed renewal, the challenge faced by N T Sweeting was both preserving the heritage aesthetic of the property, and also ensuring the quality of roof covering and workmanship was on a par with the original installation.
The Gables’ owners initially looked to the local office of property consultants CSN Consulting LLP for guidance, with CSN recommending BMI Redland Rosemary Clay Classic plain tiles in Medium Mixed Brindle and using the BMI SpecMaster service. The BMI SpecMaster service results in a 15-year whole-roof guarantee when it is installed to specification.
“Understandably the client wanted guarantees and comfort that their investment, the major outlay after purchase, was safe,” explained Steve Chappell, partner at CSN. “We also look for guarantees for our clients as a matter of course.”
When using the SpecMaster service, BMI provides a comprehensive bespoke specification for any pitched roofing project. Once the project is under way, on-site support is available from Technical Specification Managers (TSM) to ensure each element is installed correctly and to specification. On completion, the roof is covered by a 15-year guarantee.
Built in 1896, The Gables is set in formal gardens and the replacement tiles had to match not merely the architectural integrity of the property, but also its place in the landscape. This dictated the use of a traditional clay tile, with Rosemary – with its heritage pedigree dating back to 1837 – being the obvious choice.
The roof itself was complex and large, more than 220m2 in area, encompassing 15 valleys, and 10 hips. The works also included dismantling, renovating and reinstating a hexagonal turret and three chimney stacks plus replacing a 6m2 flat roof that required covering with lead, including timber wood core rolls.
Before the project started, BMI Redland TSM Frank Bainbridge surveyed the roof, drew up the specification and advised upon materials. N T Sweeting Roofing Contractors of Stockton started work, with Frank supporting with advice and regular site visits. “We had site visits every three weeks to check upon workmanship and progress,” said Director Neil Sweeting. “We’ve worked with BMI before so there were no issues, and the advice was timely and welcome.”
The first Rosemary plain clay tile was made back in 1837 and many of the tiles laid then are still very much in evidence on buildings around the UK, which is why contractors, architects and specifiers need contemporary versions to match.
BMI Redland Rosemary Clay Classic are available in eight different colours and finishes and a Rosemary Craftsman handcrafted version of the tile is also available. Often used for restoration and refurbishment projects, Rosemary tiles are also in demand for new-build developments linked to conservation areas. A whole host of compatible accessories and components means that the tiles can be laid on a variety of roof configurations.
The modern Rosemary plain clay tile is made from exceptionally strong Staffordshire Etruria Marl clay and has undergone a robust programme of development and testing, to withstand the harshest extremes of the UK’s weather. The tiles meet all the requirements of BS 5534: 2014 Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling, providing they are installed in compliance with BMI’s fixing recommendations.