Thursday, June 21, 2018


There is a certain romantic idea of having a home with a thatched roof.  The idea of it alone should be enough to persuade you to look no further into that sort of nonsense.  However there are a number of homes with thatched roofs in the UK.  Not a large number of them, but certainly a number.

I saw my first thatched roof from the train from London to Bath.  I was interested at that point.  Having roofed and re-roofed my house and garage over the years and it seemed to me how odd it is to use composition shingles.  Sure they are easy to install, but they are a petroleum produce with a very limited life span.  I've since converted my home to a metal roof that will out-last me.

Most roofs in the UK are either tile or slate.  I saw absolutely no comp roofing.  The only hint of a comp roof that I saw was some rolled roofing on a shed, but ever all the other sheds I saw had tile or slate roofs.

The thatched roofs are special.  Local thatchers have fields dedicated to growing the thatch they will need for the year.  It is a special grass meant only for thatching and not for hay.

Each thatcher has a signature be-it a special ridge line pattern like in the image above, or they may put thatch animals on the ridge line such as foxes, chickens. ducks or owls.  some of those images are below as well as a photo of the thatching process.

Before the romantic idea of a thatched roof grabs too much of your heart, here are the issues.  After a roof is thatched one needs to run netting or chicken wire over the entire surface to prevent animals from nesting in it and also to prevent animals from picking away at it and taking the materials to their nests that are elsewhere.

Another issue is that thatched roofs only last about 20 years and once you have a thatched roof your home is automatically placed on a historic register and you cant replace your roof with any other material.  If that isn't enough trouble, insurance companies normally will not insure a house with a thatched roof, they are real fire hazards.

The images below will give you a good idea of what there is to see.


Blogger Auntie said...

They smell good inside too. Like a barn!

1:31 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Be sure to wear your spurs.

2:34 PM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Cheeky monkey

8:18 AM  

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