What to do about the roof?

Discussion in 'Job Talk' started by WhiteHawk, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. WhiteHawk

    WhiteHawk New Member

    We are selling our house: buyers survey came back saying:

    "Extra support in the form of bracing has been added to the perlin. The bracing is not at a degree that will give adequate support.

    "Where the perlins meet the party wall, they are placed on original (1900s) brick corbelling. This brickwork has broken away in places and timber posts have been added for extra support"

    I am sorry I do not have photos but this was the description. Is anyone able to give a ballpark figure? We are getting a structural engineer around. We are just getting prepared for what they will say so we can arrange someone to come around and to fix it once it is looked at properly.

    Thank you
  2. Severntrent

    Severntrent Screwfix Select

    From your description the purlin was supported on corbelled brickwork (as opposed to being actually cast into the party wall) and the corbelling has broken so vertical timber posts have been placed somewhere to support the purlin. If it were me I would consider breaking off the corbelling and replace with some sort of metal bracket fixed to the party wall to give an end support to the purlin. There is more than one way to skin a cat and this is just based on my interpretation of your description, a photo would have been many times better.
    wiggy likes this.
  3. WhiteHawk

    WhiteHawk New Member

    Hi severntrent. Thanks so much for your reply. I can't get a photo as I have moved across the country and the buyer wont hand over the survey which would hopefully have a photo on it. Sounds like a good interpretation and if this was what needed to be done, am i looking at a lot of money or is it more simple than the surveyor made it sound? Cheers
  4. Severntrent

    Severntrent Screwfix Select

    Couldn't really say but cost of an SE to visit and propose solution £250 - £500, contractor to procure necessary steelwork and fix £250 - 500. Is it possible that the following is the current situation and all that is needed are correctly sized diagonal struts adjacent the party wall resting on a supporting wall in the centre of the ceiling in which case its a few hundred
  5. WhiteHawk

    WhiteHawk New Member

    Hi severntrent. Thanks for your reply. Yes it looks quite similar to the photo. The correct sized diagonal struts sounds right as previous suveryor said the purlins were not the right size - although we were never given a copy of the survey, that was what was suggested...

    It doesn't seem like you think it is is a big or expensive job either way? However our buyer is sending a structural engineer around tomorrow and he may pick holes in every other thing, even though our roof is a 1900s victoria house which shows no sign of sagging or spreading etc.

    We will let you know. Thanks so much for your help.

    She also sent a damp surveryor round for what we think is just a patch of paint that is slightly less coloured, but not damp. Perhaps a big bill for unneeded damp products too!
  6. WhiteHawk

    WhiteHawk New Member


    This is what the structural engineer came back saying:

    "The purlin ends are not built into the Party Wall and would originally be supported either off cantilever sections of stone or corbelled brickwork, in our case its corbelled brickwork. In the past the purlins bearing into the Party Wall with No 28 have been strengthened by introducing vertical timber posts below their ends. . The supporting sections of masonry projecting off the Party Wall with No 30 and 32 are crumbling and are in danger of shearing off which would affect the structural stability and integrity of the existing roof structure.

    Typically, where the main timber members meet there are no visible fixings evident and this applies to bracing and purlin connection points and rafter and purlin connection points along with the valley timber junction also. The ends of the purlins currently bearing onto the corbelled brickwork are not restrained or fixed into position but just resting on the masonry.

    The ends of the existing two number roof purlins need to adequately re-supported and this can be done in a similar fashion to the opposite end with new vertical timber posts. We would recommend that the existing purlins are temporarily supported and the existing corbelled brickwork removed and the Party Wall made good. The new support posts can be installed and we would recommend that these are bolted to the existing Party Wall with M12.0mm diameter resin anchor bolts at 150mm vertical centres. The posts can be 75mm x 75mm Grade C24 timber members.
    Typically, where possible additional fixings should be installed at all timber to timber junctions and these can be in the form of screwed fixings or galvanised straps or hangers depending upon the ease of their installation"

    What do you think?

  7. WhiteHawk

    WhiteHawk New Member

    Here is the report with photos

    Attached Files:

  8. Severntrent

    Severntrent Screwfix Select

    On the face of it pretty straight forward, vertical wood support underneath purlin as opposed to metal, the only issue is that the purlins have to be supported whilst the brickwork is removed, and that will depend on the contractors method of working and what underlying walls he can work from. I cannot see how bad a state the corbelled brickworks is and my initial thought is that the support timber could have been placed under this to stabilise it but no doubt your SE has considered that? Another thought is that this corbelling is mirrored on the other side of the party wall and removing one side may destabilise the other although this seems to have been done OK at the other end (then again maybe the owners at that side did the same modification at the same time? Following on from that I don't know if there might be a Party Wall issue here? As for there being no fixings no doubt this is what they did, and was acceptable when these houses were built, and have stood the test of time. Its a pity the small diagonal brace was added at the purlin end was added as I doubt whether the prospective purchasers surveyor would have picked up any issue with the roof support otherwise (unless the corbelling is really bad). You could ignore the Party Wall issue and get a contractor in to give you a quote for the work and propose to the purchaser that this is knocked off the house price and leave it to them to sort (they can then worry about whether the temporary roof support is sufficient and deal with any Party Wall issues, if they think that far ahead?)
  9. Severntrent

    Severntrent Screwfix Select

    Extract from Party Wall booklet

    "Some works on a party wall may be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be generally regarded as not necessary.

    However, the key point is whether your planned work might have any possible consequences for the structural strength and support functions of the party wall as a whole, or cause damage to the Adjoining Owner's side of the wall. If you are in doubt about whether your planned work requires a notice you might wish to seek advice from a qualified building professional."

    This could be turning out to be a bit of a saga depending which way you jump
  10. WhiteHawk

    WhiteHawk New Member

    Personally i do not think the work needs doing but the surveyor picks up on everything and the buyer gets twitchy.

    Thank you for your detailed reply.

    I do not think the corbelling is mirrored on the other side of the party wall since they have had a loft extension. I think, as you say, the work has stood the test of time and not needed fixings. It seems like most builders we have spoke to agree with what you have suggested above.

    We have had some people quote through just looking at the pictures, lots of people say that it is such a small job that they are too busy for it... Looks like it is not an as big job as the surveyor was trying to shock us into thinking. I think we will suggest knocking the quote amount of the sale price.

    Thanks for copying the party wall booklet :) Hopefully this means we can push on with the sale. Very stressful. Thanks
  11. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    I'd have thought another pair of raking props back to the central wall (front and rear) was the way to go. A vertical prop has to sit on something or be fixed to the party wall as the SE report, That's a couple of hours work for a half decent chippie.

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