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Removing Roof tiles from inside for Velux-style loft window

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sammy.se

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Hi,

I'm thinking of DIY installing loft windows in my pitched roof (terraced Victorian house). The roof it felt and tile.

I'm a competent DIYer, but the only thing I'm very nervous about is removing roof tiles from inside - this is what is shown in the instructional video for the window I have bought, here at 1m 25s:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUGX1y3SSbM

I'm nervous because it looks like the tiles can easily fall, causing damage or injury.
Has anyone removed tiles like this before? is it easy and straight forward?
If a tile becomes dislodged, or I lose grip of it, Will the tile slide down the pitched roof slowly and then get caught on the gutter, or is it worse than that?

Advice or tips appreciated, thank you!

S.
 

sammy.se

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Hiya Mike

These are the tiles, plus what I see from the inside (through some deteriorated felt):



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MikeG.

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Concrete interlocking tiles. They should be relatively easy to remove. Certainly once the first is out of the way the rest will be a doddle. If you are really worried about having that first one slip down the roof, then fold a hook out of a wire coathanger, and slip that out under the lower edge of the tile you want to remove. Personally, I doubt you'll have any issues. This is one of those jobs where having some help would make the job much easier (the spare person would raise the adjacent tile enough for you to slide out the tile you are removing).......but where there probably isn't room for a second person to fit. Be prepared to lose a little skin off your knuckles!
 

sammy.se

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Thanks Mike! That's reassuring, the good news is I have a lot of space and get some help.

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Eric The Viking

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We have the exact same tiles. I still have a small amount of skin on my knuckles - thin gloves recommeded!

If you look at your tiles you'll see there's a good overlap section left-right. That tends to get jammed, so slightly lifting the edge of the covering tile next to the one you want to remove makes it much easier. You only need just enough to allow them to slide over each other. Start with the one above the first one you want to remove, to make a hole, then removing the ones below becomes much easier.

If it has a cemented ridge, bear in mind that it's really hard fitting a Velux close to the top, as the ridge stops the upper couple of rows of tiles from sliding over each other easily. I'd certainly start lower down in the window space if you do have to fit the window high up, as although it's normally harder to get tiles out going upwards, that makes it mechanically easier to begin with (then you have a hole to stand in to work!). You might need to trim tiles in situ with a grinder too, to get the line above the Velux flashing right. I have a Velux (er Facro actually) that was fitted with only about 1 1/2 tile rows of the top, and it was rather a PITA to do. I have a vague memory of eventually giving in and redoing the ridge tiles right above it.

If you have the choice, I think it's easier if the tile above can finish as a whole one (I think there is a ridge on the flashing to stand it up by the correct amount, if not you probably need to pack the batten to account for the thickness of the missing tiles where the window is).

Bet a proper roofer will be along in a minute... :)

E.

PS: One nasty surprise on our house is that Marley changed the dimensions of the tiles at some point. If you get new ones, they might be longer than the originals (but the same width). They work, functionally, but they make the roof look messy. I've had to use them, but try to put them in hard to see areas, from which I've stolen original tiles to put in the more obvious spots.
 

sammy.se

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Thanks Eric! Very helpful.
My Measurements indicate I will be about three courses below the top, so that should hopefully make things easier...



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Noel

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Sam, if you're really concerned you can drill a hole through the first tile, put a plasterboard butterfly type fixing (or the type that compresses on the other side) through the hole with stout twine attached and wrap the end around your wrist. If the tile slips, it'll not go far.
 

sammy.se

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Thanks Noel! Another helpful suggestion.

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rafezetter

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Noel":vy3nrsg0 said:
Sam, if you're really concerned you can drill a hole through the first tile, put a plasterboard butterfly type fixing (or the type that compresses on the other side) through the hole with stout twine attached and wrap the end around your wrist. If the tile slips, it'll not go far.
Oh good tip! - I'll have to remember that one - might be a velux in my future to replace a rotting cast iron frame at my folks house.
 

sammy.se

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Well, I was getting close to actually doing this work but I did some more due diligence and learned that buidling plans need to be submitted to my Local Authority, and they need to visit for inspections.

Sigh.

This more than doubles the cost of putting windows in, which is really disappointing. I do not think I will bother at all now, and just have a loft space with lightbulbs and no windows.

Edit: another option might be finding tiny windows that require no change to the roof structure, but I don't know if that will be worth it...
 

MikeG.

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Who wants drawings.......Planning, or Building Control?

Please don't use that room as a bedroom, will you. No means of escape from a loft in the event of a fire is some kind of a nightmare.
 

sammy.se

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MikeG.":2u854dza said:
Who wants drawings.......Planning, or Building Control?

Please don't use that room as a bedroom, will you. No means of escape from a loft in the event of a fire is some kind of a nightmare.
Hi Mike,

Absolutely not trying to make it habitable on the sly, it is purely storage, but I keep my tools and art supplies/equipment up there, and sometimes if I spend a bit of time up there (sorting, looking) I would like some air and light.

It's not planning, but Building control. I'm due to have a call with them tomorrow to ask more about this, since they might be assuming I'm trying to make it habitable. I need to explain that it is storage.

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treeturner123

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Sam

Hope you had a good call with BRegs. Their main concern would have been the stability if the roof ie you will probably need to double up the rafters to either side and ensure that the trimmers are OK. You will probably also need to ensure that the base of the window is less that 800 (I think) above floor level so that it can be used as an escape.

Velux style windows are very useful so I hope you persist!

Phil
 

sammy.se

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Hi

Thanks for your replies. I had a call yesterday, not super helpful but it did guide me to the right parts of the website.

I need to complete a "Building Notice Application", with drawings. Site inspections is still unclear. On the phone they said it must be done, and website says it's not essential.

The building notice application costs £196 plus any site inspection fees.

I would need to submit the following:

***

Building notice application

This application is not so detailed, but your plans must show us the size and position of your building project. This application is best for small sized building work.  We won’t check your plans, so make sure you or your builders are aware of the Building Regulation requirements.

For a building notice application you will need to submit

complete the building notice form

a 1:1250 scale block plan showing the size and position of the building, or the building as extended in relation to adjoining boundaries, buildings and adjacent streets

plans showing the size and position of the extension and a location plan for the property 

for loft conversions you will need to submit structural calculations

pay the correct fee

in line with the Building Regulations, sometimes a written estimate based on a commercial builder's costs (excluding VAT) needs to be submitted. If you are unsure please contact us.


****

I've never done this kind of thing before, so am a bit apprehensive. I'm not sure I want to invite site inspections, I've not lived in my current house long, and the prospect of a site inspection spotting all sorts of other potential issues puts me off. (I'm not aware of any infringements in my home, but I'm not an expert).

Re fire escape: since I don't intend to use the loft as a habitable space, it's not essential that the window is a means of escape. The purlin is in the way so I wouldn't be able to position a window low enough to be a means of escape without major structural changes to the roof.


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treeturner123

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Sammy

Have a word with a consultancy company that deals with Building Control Approvals rather than the local council. Don't forget the council's job is to make money!!

Phil
 

RogerS

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treeturner123":3n2ol1zl said:
Sammy

Have a word with a consultancy company that deals with Building Control Approvals rather than the local council. Don't forget the council's job is to make money!!

Phil
Yup...JFDI....very good firm, I hear.
 

sammy.se

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Thanks all. I'll give it a go. I called again yesterday and spoke to an actual inspector. He seemed quite relaxed about it, and talked me through what I needed to do. He said a drawing wasn't needed, so I'll just give it a go and see what happens.

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Woody2Shoes

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treeturner123":10az8rco said:
Sammy

Have a word with a consultancy company that deals with Building Control Approvals rather than the local council. Don't forget the council's job is to make money!!

Phil
And a private company's job is to..... ?? :? :wink:
 
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