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Roof Failure in Conservation Area in East Sussex

The owner of this property, which is situated in a conservation area in Hove, had had a full structural survey completed prior to purchasing. The surveyor's report listed the roof as "sound and well triangulated". The client called in CRB to complete damp-p roofing and renovation works; however, on inspection, we believed the root cause of the damp problem was a leaking roof. We erected a scaffold to inspect the roof from above, and our assessment contradicted the surveyors report. The roof was not "well triangulated" and was actually suffering from a common problem. The property had been previously re-roofed with concrete tiles. However, the roofers who had carried out this work had not made allowance for the fact concrete tiles are far heavier than the natural slate type for which the roof was designed. As a result, the roof was collapsing under the strain and needed not just a re-roof but also the complete reinforcement and repair of its underlying structure. The client appointed a structural engineer but their design for repair was, in our view, unsympathetic to the building and excessively costly. CRB provided the client with a more affordable solution and, after negotiations, our preferred engineer, E.A.R. Sheppard, were appointed. The firm's Richard Sheppard completed a new design that was more sympathetic to the original building and, importantly, was much less costly. The end result was a beautiful new slate roof which will stand the test of time. By following CRB's advice, the client saved more than £16,000 – the difference between the original engineer's estimate and the actual cost of our engineer's solution. This provides another example of how employing intelligent and competent contractors may save a client a great deal of time and money.

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CRB is a family-owned and managed company with a staff of 16 full-time employees, supported by a network of specialist sub-contractors.

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OfficeCRB Contractors, 38-40 Leslie Street, Eastbourne, BN22 8JB

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