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  • FIRST POST
    • davisi33
    • By davisi33 30th Sep 16, 3:29 PM
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    davisi33
    Roof valley material not matching architects spec ?
    • #1
    • 30th Sep 16, 3:29 PM
    Roof valley material not matching architects spec ? 30th Sep 16 at 3:29 PM
    After some guidance please from a roofer / builder or someone with some legal experience.

    On our recent extension the roof valley that has been created has been finished in felt. This is despite the architects spec reading as below.

    "LEAD VALLEY BETWEEN EXISTING AND NEW PITCHED ROOFS(or alternative pre-formed glass fibre or similar)
    Lead-lined valleys to be formed using Code 5 lead sheet. Valley lead and two tiling fillets to be supported on min 19mm thick and 225mm wide marine ply valley boards on either side of the rafters. Lead to be laid in lengths not exceeding 1.5m with min 150mm lap joints and be dressed 200mm under the tiles.
    Roofing tiles to be bedded in mortar placed on a tile slip to prevent direct contact. All work to be in accordance with the roof cladding manufacturers and the Lead Development Association recommendations."

    I have tried to argue with the builder that felt can not be considered "similar" as it is an inferior product compared to lead or fibre glass especially when considering its lifespan and cost.

    However the builder has argued that he priced the job on felt and it meets the architects specification above.

    Would welcome any informed opinions please ? Do you feel I would have any legal recourse ?

    As an aside we also have a leak in the roof somewhere which is manifesting itself as wet patches on the room walls below the new valley.
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 30th Sep 16, 3:44 PM
    • 22,254 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 30th Sep 16, 3:44 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Sep 16, 3:44 PM
    Your architect has left that wide open for interpretation. You could argue for using bubble gum if it met building regs.

    I recognise the phrasing of the specification. Is there just some handbook that architects just pull specs from?

    The stuff in brackets is your architect's own wording. It's really sloppy.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • southcoastrgi
    • By southcoastrgi 30th Sep 16, 4:15 PM
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    southcoastrgi
    • #3
    • 30th Sep 16, 4:15 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Sep 16, 4:15 PM
    On this occasion I disagree with DG, any good builder or roofer wouldn't dream of using felt for the valley so for him to say that's what he priced for is BS, he has either forgotten to price it at all or the roof has been cut with no thought to the lead valley or it's been forgotten totally until it was tiled & now the builder doesn't want to pay the roofer to remove the tiles to install the lead (which is what I would hazard a guess at), I would argue with anyone that lead or fibreglass is in anyway similar to felt,

    Have you given him the final payment yet ? Cause I wouldn't be paying it until the valley was done properly
    I'm only here while I wait for Corrie to start.

    You get no BS from me & if I think you are wrong I WILL tell you.
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 30th Sep 16, 4:31 PM
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    leveller2911
    • #4
    • 30th Sep 16, 4:31 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Sep 16, 4:31 PM
    Agree with Southcoast................. The Architects spec even goes into such deatils as code 5 lead, bays no longer than 1.5m,150 minimum lap etc etc.. The builder is trying to pull a fast one because he c0cked up.
    If we in parliament cannot gain from ruling,then there is very little point in us being here: (Lord Manchester 1650) :rolleyes: how true!
    • Furts
    • By Furts 30th Sep 16, 5:26 PM
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    Furts
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 16, 5:26 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Sep 16, 5:26 PM
    No competent builder installs felt for a valley. This is so fundamental it is equivalent to trying to build brickwork by bedding bricks on clay slurry. Everybody knows mortar should be used.


    Think it through...a valley is taking a stream of rainwater before it enters your gutter. If your builder genuinely believes felt is an adequate material ask them why they did not also form your guttering out of felt.

    Of greater concern when considering the builders judgement and competence is what else has the builder done wrong?
    • Furts
    • By Furts 1st Oct 16, 7:03 AM
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    Furts
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 16, 7:03 AM
    • #6
    • 1st Oct 16, 7:03 AM
    Back to OP to progress matters. You now have a consensus of 3 for your case and nobody ruling in full favour of the builder.

    Did you have a Buildings Regulations Completion Certificate issued for the extension? If not, then why not - is there still a Final inspection to be done? If you did then notify the Inspectors of the problem. They will be in deep dooh dooh over this - it is a serious over sight.

    Ultimately the responsibility rests with the builder but you need to know who your allies are. Hence my question on Buildings Regulations. Come back to the forum on this because my questions are a next stage before thinking of any litigation.
    • Ruski
    • By Ruski 1st Oct 16, 7:51 AM
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    Ruski
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 16, 7:51 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Oct 16, 7:51 AM
    +1 = 4

    Ridiculous standard of build: So sorry for the OP.

    Russ
    Perfection takes time: don't expect miracles in a day
    • davisi33
    • By davisi33 1st Oct 16, 8:38 AM
    • 7 Posts
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    davisi33
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:38 AM
    • #8
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:38 AM
    Thank you for all your reply's , I will find out if the Buildings Regs completion certificate has been issued and raise the issue with the building inspector.
    I did wonder whether the width of the valley dictated that lead was not suitable(its ended up around 18 inches rather than a very "thin" valley that was shown on the original plans).
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 1st Oct 16, 9:44 AM
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    leveller2911
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 16, 9:44 AM
    • #9
    • 1st Oct 16, 9:44 AM
    Thank you for all your reply's , I will find out if the Buildings Regs completion certificate has been issued and raise the issue with the building inspector.
    I did wonder whether the width of the valley dictated that lead was not suitable(its ended up around 18 inches rather than a very "thin" valley that was shown on the original plans).
    Originally posted by davisi33

    I'm fairly sure there is a maximum width but it would be quite a bit more than 18". When I use to replace all the timberwork on church valleys we use to use cast lead as opposed to milled/rolled lead and Church roof valley bays can be over 40" wide . I would have thought 18" wide valleys on domestic properties were pretty standard and don't forget you have a new extension so the new valley should have been created to allow for the correct lead bay widths and lengths in the first place..

    The builder is pulling a fast one...........
    If we in parliament cannot gain from ruling,then there is very little point in us being here: (Lord Manchester 1650) :rolleyes: how true!
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 1st Oct 16, 12:16 PM
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    the_r_sole
    Felt on no way matches that specification!
    And felt isn't suitable for valley gutters - no matter how it has been priced by the builder.
    There are single ply membrane systems that have membrane bonded to aluminium for forming flashings but I've never seen felt.
    Get the architect to confirm that felt is not in accordance with the requirements and it the builder disputes it, ask them for the BBA certificate of the material used
    • davisi33
    • By davisi33 15th Oct 16, 3:18 PM
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    davisi33
    Its taken a while to get answers from the relevant parties but I am back and would appreciate any more constructive input please ?

    The final buildings certificate has not yet been issued as the build is still live and the final inspection not completed.

    I contacted buildings control about the felt used and was advised that the
    "torch on three-layer high performance felt product used on the flat roof and valley area is suitable and appropriate for this type of application."

    So it appears that the material meets the requirements of Building control. I am still waiting for the Building Inspector to get back to me with details of the BBA Certificate and the actual name of the material used however.

    When I contacted the architect we used , who recommended the builder, he (not surprisingly) said that in his opinion the "high performance felt" did meet the specification that he had written.

    So it looks like I am on my own, The builder is adamant that the felt is a suitable equivalent but I am not happy with a material being used which is only guaranteed for 15 years.

    Not sure what my next move should be ?
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 15th Oct 16, 6:08 PM
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    teneighty
    I think this is more complicated than it appears.

    Clearly a valley constructed with built-up bituminous felt is not equivalent to a lead valley. As you say yourself the felt valley will last 15 years, the lead probably in excess of 100 years.

    The complication is the fact that the valley is 18" wide. That is very unusual and must be like that for a reason, it would usually be about 4". The extra wide valley can be formed in lead but it would be very expensive, the total width of the lead would be around 800mm which is right on the limit of the maximum width for Code 5 lead or you have a roll joint down the middle.

    I think you need to go back to the architect and ask why the valley is so unusual. If it was shown on the drawings like that then chances are the builder did price it using felt as he knew lead would have been prohibitively expensive.....but in an ideal world he would have mentioned this in his quotation. I would take a more pragmatic approach and check the break down of costs for the roof work and see if it would be reasonable that the figure quoted would have been for felt or lead.

    I am quite troubled by the fact that the valley is so wide and I think the architect has got some answering to do. How about a photo?
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 15th Oct 16, 6:19 PM
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    leveller2911
    I think this is more complicated than it appears.

    Clearly a valley constructed with built-up bituminous felt is not equivalent to a lead valley. As you say yourself the felt valley will last 15 years, the lead probably in excess of 100 years.

    The complication is the fact that the valley is 18" wide. That is very unusual and must be like that for a reason, it would usually be about 4". The extra wide valley can be formed in lead but it would be very expensive, the total width of the lead would be around 800mm which is right on the limit of the maximum width for Code 5 lead or you have a roll joint down the middle.

    I think you need to go back to the architect and ask why the valley is so unusual. If it was shown on the drawings like that then chances are the builder did price it using felt as he knew lead would have been prohibitively expensive.....but in an ideal world he would have mentioned this in his quotation. I would take a more pragmatic approach and check the break down of costs for the roof work and see if it would be reasonable that the figure quoted would have been for felt or lead.

    I am quite troubled by the fact that the valley is so wide and I think the architect has got some answering to do. How about a photo?
    Originally posted by teneighty

    I agree with most of your post except the highlighted. Although I'm not a lead man I have formed plenty of valleys over the years and rarely if ever come across 4" wide valleys. This is far too narrow for a valley when you consider all the build up of moss etc that roofs get over the years and a 4" valley would block up really quickly.. Typically around here dependant on the length a valley would be at the very least wide enough to easily walk down to clean out and work on the roof when tiles get dislodged etc.

    The wider the valley the easier it is for water to be dispersed off the roof.The longer the roof length is the wider the valley should be to get the water away. Thats why Church roof valleys tend to be wide because they ahve large roofs ,so lots of water to get away as quickly as possible.

    At least thats what we were taught at college..

    Maybe the OP should clarify what they mean by a valley.. It can be one of at least two types.A photograph would help Teneighty..........


    One example below: Its a church but plenty of houses have them where two roofs meet .


    http://www.ajrestoration.co.uk/images/All%20Saints%20Church_Milton%20Keynes23_17-10-2003.jpg
    Last edited by leveller2911; 15-10-2016 at 6:45 PM.
    If we in parliament cannot gain from ruling,then there is very little point in us being here: (Lord Manchester 1650) :rolleyes: how true!
    • southcoastrgi
    • By southcoastrgi 15th Oct 16, 10:17 PM
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    southcoastrgi
    Even after reading your reply I still see no reason to change anything I said in post #3
    I'm only here while I wait for Corrie to start.

    You get no BS from me & if I think you are wrong I WILL tell you.
    • leveller2911
    • By leveller2911 16th Oct 16, 11:29 AM
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    leveller2911
    Even after reading your reply I still see no reason to change anything I said in post #3
    Originally posted by southcoastrgi

    The OP sent me a PM with some photo's and it seems there was an issue with the headroom in the bathroom so there is an area of flat roof with a skylight/sunpipe around the top end of the valley which is very wide and would need to have lead rolls (not a problem) but its very wide. This isn't shown on the architects drawing (one long valley) but the moment the builder set their levels they should have seen the issue and discussed it with the OP and give him the options of felt,lead or fibregalss.

    This top valley then goes down into a lower (narrow) valley which has again been finished in felt when at the very least this could have been done in fibreglass or even better lead.

    Sounds like a lack of communication form the builders rather than a bodge up.
    If we in parliament cannot gain from ruling,then there is very little point in us being here: (Lord Manchester 1650) :rolleyes: how true!
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 16th Oct 16, 7:33 PM
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    teneighty
    I've seen the photos now and it is a horizontal valley or tapered box gutter between 2 pitched roofs, like levellers link provided, not a pitched valley as I originally thought.

    In fact the valley is so wide it is like a flat roof between 2 pitched roofs. I think the villain in this story is the "architect" and not the builder, although the builder could have been more forthcoming in the changes he made to overcome the "architects" mistakes.

    If davisi33 agrees I will try to post the photos.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 17th Oct 16, 7:22 AM
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    Furts
    Its taken a while to get answers from the relevant parties but I am back and would appreciate any more constructive input please ?

    The final buildings certificate has not yet been issued as the build is still live and the final inspection not completed.

    I contacted buildings control about the felt used and was advised that the
    "torch on three-layer high performance felt product used on the flat roof and valley area is suitable and appropriate for this type of application."

    So it appears that the material meets the requirements of Building control. I am still waiting for the Building Inspector to get back to me with details of the BBA Certificate and the actual name of the material used however.

    When I contacted the architect we used , who recommended the builder, he (not surprisingly) said that in his opinion the "high performance felt" did meet the specification that he had written.

    So it looks like I am on my own, The builder is adamant that the felt is a suitable equivalent but I am not happy with a material being used which is only guaranteed for 15 years.

    Not sure what my next move should be ?
    Originally posted by davisi33
    It is not the role of the Building Inspector to issue you with a BBA Certificate, and you have to be realistic here. The inspector may not know what product was used, and they will not know if it has been correctly installed. Further, sensing a dispute is present, they will be reluctant to get involved.

    In essence you have a dispute between yourself, the architect and the builder. Each party may have a guilt in this. Harsh as it seems it may include yourself.

    The only way forward is an independent person to wade through matters. A competent, experienced Chartered Building Surveyor would be a route, but an experienced Clerk of Works would be my first line of thought. In general, this would also be a cheaper option.
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