Raising the roof of a Victorian Church /
Alsager United Reformed Church has stood in the heart of Alsager village since 1876 and has a full schedule of weekly events for the congregation and the wider community. The 140-year-old church’s original pitched roof had developed a leak and the church members were concerned it was no longer going to be weathertight, putting the future of the church building at risk. After a period of consultation with the church Synod, our quote was accepted to replace the roof covering and redecorate the church.
Newcastle-under-Lyme based Tarpey Woodfine architects, experts in heritage building conservation, supervised the project and operatives from our Stoke-on-Trent office completed the staged programme of works over eight weeks.
The existing slate roof tiles were replaced with mini stonewold concrete tiles from Redland, which are designed to give the appearance of real slate. The low maintenance tiles will also help to better insulate the building while their interlocking edge design reduces installation time. An attractive dark slate grey, which closely matched the colour of the original roof tiles, was chosen to remain in keeping with the building.During the upheaval of the project, we took the opportunity to upgrade the insulation to make the building more efficient and reduce future running costs for the church. TLX gold insulation, which was installed over the counter batons in the roof, combined with high performance SpeedLine thermal laminate plasterboards, which provide vapour resistance and remove thermal bridging, will improve the thermal value of the roof to increase the building’s level of insulation without risk of condensation.
The original plans for the church involved working around the existing timber rafters but once the project got underway, the team discovered that many of the rafters were badly decayed and so had to be repaired or completely replaced before the project could progress.
Once the roof was complete, the team repainted the exterior of the church, including the stone gable ends and around the windows, as well as the interior walls, rafters, trusses and pipework.
Access was an issue as we had to use scaffolding to access the roof from both inside and outside of the church. In addition, the work had to be carried out a bay at a time on alternate sides, in order to keep the loading on the trusses balanced and not damage the structural integrity of the building as a result.
David Riley chairman of the Alsager United Reformed Church building committee commented: “We are delighted with the excellent job carried out by Novus to reroof our beautiful church building and give it a new lease of life. The team worked efficiently and were very accommodating and professional in all aspects of their work, making sure that church life could continue with as little disruption as possible throughout.”