Category Archives: IHBC Area of competence – Intervention

Above Eaves Level P1 – Traditional Slate Roofs

18 – 19 January 2018  
Charlestown Workshops, Fife

This two day course aims to provide an introductory guide to traditional Scottish roofs including function, structure, types of trusses, external roof shapes, typical details and decorative features and the causes of deterioration and the main causes of failure. Practical work includes sizing and trimming of slates, setting out and nailing a simple traditional slate roof, undertaking repairs, executing a mortar skew fillet and installing rainwater goods correctly.

By the end of the course attendees will be able to recognise the structure of roofs, identify different types of trusses, different external roof shapes, their detailing, decorative features. Understand how natural slate was formed and the variety of slates used in the past on traditional roofs and the main causes of failure on a roof. Specifying roof repairs with sufficient detail to retain the character of a traditional slate roof.

The practical sessions will enable you to trim and size slates, set out and nail a simple traditional slate roof, execute a mortar skew fillet and install rainwater goods correctly.

Course Suitability

This course is aimed at building professionals   who own or have responsibility for traditional Scottish roofs. So you could be a surveyor, architect, planner, engineer, heritage professional or homeowner.

Learning Outcomes

  • Ability to recognise different roof structures and external roof shapes;
  • Identify different roof details and decorative features on a roof;
  • Understand the deterioration factors and the main causes of roof structure failure.
  • Understand the sizing and trimming of slates;
  • Understand how to execute a mortar skew fillet;
  • Understand how to install rainwater goods correctly.

Course Programme


  • Health and safety
  • Brief history of the use of natural on traditional roofs;
  • Understanding the character and appearance of a traditional slate roof;
  • Do roof repairs require consent on listed buildings or in conservation areas?
  • Identifying different elements of a roof structure including beams, rafters, purlins, ridge pieces; sarking; sprockets, bargeboards and wall plates;
  • Recognising different types of trusses including king post, queen post, braced, hammer beam and ashlar posts;
  • Recognising different external shapes of roofs including pitched, ridged, helm, hipped, mansard, gambrel and M shaped;
  • Identify different roof details including abutments, fillets, flashings, ventilation and gutters.


  • Walking tour of local roof scapes, traditional detailing and identifying roof slope pitches;
  • Recognising decorative features such as patterns, finials, brattishing, balustrading and rainwater goods
  • Dormers and rooflights – different types and detailing;
  • Identification of roof structure deterioration and main causes of failure.
  • Practical:
  • Sizing and trimming of slates
  • Setting out and nailing a simple traditional slate roof
  • Executing a mortar skew fillet detail

Round up of the day’s under pinning knowledge.

Day 2


  • Health and safety
  • Conservation philosophy as it pertains to traditional slate roofs;
  • Relevant British and European Standards pertaining to roofs;
  • Identifying slates and understanding their geology;
  • Upgrading insulation in traditional slated roof spaces – what to take into account;
  • Specifying roof repairs or re-roofing – how much detail is required to ensure that the character of a traditional roof is not lost.


  • Practical:
  • Installing traditional rainwater goods correctly
  • Cleaning out rainwater goods correctly
  • Repairing broken, loose or missing slates on a traditional roof

Round up of the day’s underpinning knowledge

If you would like to book a place on this course, please clickhere, email or call us on 01383 872722.

Making and Using Traditional Mortars C1-Contractor Level 1

23 – 24 January 2018
Merryhill Training Centre, Fife

The most popular two day introductory course – this practical workshop will provide attendees with a strong understanding of lime technology.
The reasons for using traditional mortars on solid walls will also be explained, to allow you to better advise clients. The course will guide participants to be able to complete pointing work to traditional buildings to a high standard.
The content of this workshop provides the underpinning knowledge required for assessment and accreditation of SQA National Unit 1 – ‘Preparing and Using Basic Lime Mixes’.

Learning Outcomes:

•    Understanding traditional building technology.
•    Understanding the range of binders, sands and aggregates for traditional mortars.
•    Ability to undertake accurate mixing for repeatability and cost effective work.
•    Understanding the setting characteristics of lime mortars.

Course Programme


Day 1 – Making Traditional Mortars

•    Health and Safety issues
•    Historic use of lime mortars
•    Processing lime
•    Best practice for mortar mixing
•    Inspecting masonry
•    Using the right tools

Day 2 – Using Traditional Mortars

•    Preparing masonry joints
•    Techniques of working
•    Placing of mortar for repointing
•    Joint finishing
•    Curing and protection regimes

To book a place on this course or for further information, please visit our website, email or give a call on 01383 872722.


Heritage Ironwork Seminar

16 February 2018

A day of practical guidance which will provide you with the necessary tools to make informed decisions in relation to repairing heritage ironwork. We will look at six basic techniques and assess their pros and cons. An afternoon walking tour will offer the opportunity to view various examples of repair work.  By the end of the day you should have a good idea of:

When to repair

  • Is repair necessary?
  • What are the ethical considerations?
  • What options are available to you?
  • How will site constraints affect your decision?

Available options

  • Traditional fire-welding
  • Gas welding
  • Brazing
  • Arc processes
  • Resin fillers
  • 3-D printing

How to choose

  • Site considerations
  • Heritage context
  • Materials
  • Budget

Aim of the day
To establish & disseminate good practice among those responsible for repairs to historic ironwork.
Who is it for?
All levels of experience and background are welcome. This day will be of interest to blacksmiths, conservation practitioners, architects, surveyors, contractors, local authorities, commissioners and owners of ironwork.
£65 including lunch (£45 students) Early bird discount: £60 (ends Friday 5th Jan 2017)
Vernon Harcourt Room
St Hilda’s College
Cowley Place
Oxford OX4 1DY

NHTG Training Courses

24 – 25 February 2018

The NHTG will be running two seminars at the Listed Property Owners Club show on 24th and 25th February 2018 at Olympia. Here experts from the NHTG will be discussing repairs for traditional buildings, historic and recent as well as the quest for best practice. With case studies and discussion about repairs and maintenance of traditional buildings built before 1919. CPD certificates will be issued.
To book a place please contact the LPOC telephone 01795 844939 or book a ticket online

Lime Pointing

20 January 2018
Merryhill Training Centre, Fife

This popular one day workshop is aimed at those who would like to undertake repointing works as part of a renovation project or simply as general maintenance to traditional masonry structures. A practical ‘hands on’ training day, attendees will learn to undertake repointing works to with confidence. This course will give a sound understanding of traditional building technology, repair techniques and the materials to use when carrying out repointing. Attendees are encouraged to bring along images of their projects to discuss with the SLCT tutor on the day.

Learning Outcomes

• Health and Safety issues
• Introduction to traditional buildings
• Historic use of lime mortars
• Understanding the range of binders, sands and aggregates for traditional mortars
• Mortar Mixing
• Preparing masonry joints
• Techniques of working
• Placing of mortar for repointing
• Joint finishing
• Curing and protection regimes

To book a place on this course, please click here, email or call on 01383 872722.