how to finish row of slates on hipped roof

5 May 2012
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United Kingdom
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Hi all,

Hope someone can advise on how to finish hipped roof ridge slates!

At the end of each row of slates I need to cut triangular pieces to finish against the hip rafter. Trouble is there is no batten left to nail these pieces to!

On two previous faces of the roof (there are 8 faces) I drilled through the slates and pegged the triangular bits on with slate nails. However, it was a sod of a job and I don’t fancy doing the other 6 faces the same way…

The temptation to use adhesive is raising its head but I expect this would be frowned upon…

The ridges will be finished with lead. Overlaps slates by about 150mm.

Anybody done such a job before?
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Dont cut your last full slate hip cuts as tight. Then there will always be a bit of batten to nail to. You dont need to drill either. Mark an x on the front trace to the back of slate then hole with a 2 1/2 nail or a spike hammer.
Thanks Colin,

ouch! - I knew I had missed a trick.

Is it normal then to just nail the triangular bits on with a single nail on the end of the batten? Or is it one nail in batten and then another in spike job?

I like the sound of "Mark an x on the front trace to the back of slate" but unfortunately I dont know what the "front trace to the back of slate" means. Is it the line on the front of a slate where the head of the under slate is?
Yeah a single nail in the cut is fine and using a bit of silicone on the cut is also usefull. That will stop it moving whilst dressing the lead down and less likely to break. Put an x where the nail hole needs to be stare down the spine then trace the x to the back of the slate and hole it.
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When you battened the roof you should have fixed a batten up against the hip then it would of been easier to fix your cuts.
Thanks Palaceray and Colin.

Too late to add batten bits now and don't fancy stripping the end slate of each row (thats 150 slates!) to make room on the end of each batten - so looks like I will have to hole the slates to get a fixing.

Thanks for your help.
yeah - the one in the photo looks bad but there is only about 5 in 2500. At the end of the job I was searching my pile for a good slate. The whole job was set back by receiving a couple of pallets of ropey slates. The accessible ones were ok but later on they turned bad - cracked, frost damage and re-holed towards the centre of the slate such that the water pattern reached the nail hole. I had to buy 120 more to finish and although they looked good they were absolutely filthy. Eventually 25 of the 120 were not fit to use. The roof slopes are only about 22 degrees so I increased the headlap to about 125mm to compensate. Seems nice and watertight and its had a good testing this winter!

Re: roll mop. The roof is on an extension to a Georgian listed property which has a similar hipped roof design. The ridges are dressed in lead but they do not have a rollmop base. The base looks like a couple of stacked battens. Does a rollmop have anything to recommend it other than looks and maybe ease of dressing? I had planned to nail a couple of battens for the base.
Yeah i had gathered you were struggling for slates. Regularly have the same problem.
A good idea is to cut the chip out (an inch off etc) and use it next to your last cut. Gives you a better fixing for the smaller slate and will never be noticed at the hip.

And i'd just do it on a standard mopstick like so.

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