Nothing to do with learning Welsh, but... DIY?

Any DIY type people out there?

As some of you may already know, Aran, myself and the kids have just moved to a rather interesting property - an old Welsh cottage on the site of an old slate works, with half an acre of mature garden full of interesting plants.

We have a large (self build) wooden chalet in the garden. The main body of which is (an old) static caravan in it’s entirety. We think the whole structure is about 15 years old or so and was built with love, care and attention.

Unfortunately the (tarred and corrugated) roof is now leaking in at least three places (close to each other). It is a wonderful, large space in a beautiful location, commanding fantastic views.

Fully repaired and dry it will be invaluable for family stays and gatherings of Welsh learners/mini bootcamps/intensive weekends etc. So we desperately want to save it if possible - it’s a real gem. But we don’t have a (huge) budget.

What I desperately need now is someone who’s qualified and experienced enough to have a look at this odd/bespoke/alternative/characterful structure and give us help/advice with regards to repairing the roof and internal ceiling, before the winter destroys it. Time is very much of the essence!

I’m not afraid of or unfamiliar with DIY and am willing to roll my sleeves up in all weathers - even getting up on the roof with a can of tar! But I really need guidance. Any advice greatly appreciated at this point.

The chalet also needs new windows and doors, to have the floor repaired, to be dried out and eradicated of damp! Yes there is a lot of work, but in our opinion, if it’s savable, then it will be well worth all the time, effort and every last penny we put in to it.

We envisage it being a space where, when we don’t have family staying, we have an open door to Welsh learners where we can experiment with mini bootcamps etc.

We will eventually go to it to arrange weekends where we can invite some learners over to do some work on the place (when it’s dry inside) in exchange for food, drink and Welsh conversation.

Diolch yn fawr iawn in advance for advice and ideas!!! :slight_smile:

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Could you post some pictures?


Yes Steve, I can arrange photos, no problem. I’ll get to it when the kids are in bed. Thanks for taking the time to read! :slight_smile:

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Can’t offer any advice without the pictures, but there are some excellent products around these days for emergency repairs (aka, a bodge to get the roof through the winter). My roof is still going strong with a slate we gripfilled back into place about 4 years ago…


I would offer my ‘unqualified-learn-by-doing’ help but distance may be a weeeeeeee imposition haha. With exception to everything but gas and electricity, your local hardware store and YouTube are excellent for how-to guides. I’ve done a huge number of things the past two years that way.


Sorry! Realised once the kids were in bed, that it was too dark to take photos! Will try again today!

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Will look this up, thank you!

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Great minds! I think this is the way we’ll have to go!


[quote=“jamesmahoney, post:4, topic:6460”]
aka, a bodge to get the roof through the winter
[/quote]. Agree with this entirely, strong advice is to do minimum to get it watertight then have a thorough look and think about how you want to use the building before committing more cash/effort. I type this in the semi-dark of the loft of our outbuilding where I’m laying a chipboard floor. Glorious😳


During a recent spate of renovation work at my house I was constantly impressed by the breadth of my father’s knowledge.

Turns out he’d just be youtubing everything and then adopting a confident attitude.


Pretending gets you a long way. Works in nursing, and in learning Welsh. Why not in building!


It’s dark again… Still no pictures… Here we are, all sat ready with rulers, set squares and thinking caps, and nothing to help with :slight_smile:

I’m going to head off to my self-built summerhouse / workshop with its lovely electric light and fan heater to work on a carved wooden panel :wink: (Which is a not-so-subtle way of saying that I’ve got some experience, and am happy to happy to make suggestions when you’re ready).



OK, kids in bed, here goes…

I would expect that any repair work would be best attempted in Spring so for now I would think that the best thing you can do is to keep everything as dry as possible. A good start would be to put a large sheet of building plastic over the roof and part-way down the sides and tether it in numerous places to large pegs like they sell in camping shops as ‘storm pegs’ for awnings, etc.
Presumably you can make electricity available? Then, if there is damp inside, you can help that by running a dehumidifier in there.
Send me a PM if you get stuck or want advice. I’m not in a position to do anything physically for a couple of months but things should change after that.


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Hope these give you an idea - sorry some of the photos are quite large!

Wow, that looks grand!

The first thing I’d do is take down those internal ceiling panels (they look fairly swollen and beyond repair) and see how what’s happening to the water when it comes in. You might be lucky and be able to put down a bucket to catch the drips! You need to know whether the water is simply making a couple of ceiling panels swell, of if it’s doing something else more nefarious that you can’t see.

Do the damaged parts of the ceiling correspond to those bits of the slightly curved static caravan roof where water looks to be pooling in picture 2?


Yup, pretty much. And a lovely neighbour came round yesterday, had a look at it, and took me down to Caernarfon to buy some mastic sealant - so I’m all ready to go, as soon as we get a day without rain. Within the next decade, I hope.