So, I have this big 200 or so year old stone barn. I have written a bit about it recently because after the big storm, Klaus in February 2009, the slate roof which was new in 1960 really got destroyed...it had been in state of slow disintegration since the big tempest, really a European hurricane of 1999. We contacted our insurance company, but while we were waiting for a reply, the rear wall of the barn began to shift, slowly at first with a few visible cracks, then it developed a very pronounced bulge.
As soon as I began to realize the immediacy of the problem, it collapsed, leaving a huge hole which got bigger everytime there was nice storm. These are huge rocks so the entire site became a dangerous place to be.
I won't go into the legal issues, but we got a settlement for the roof. We had the estimate made for the most expensive solution, which would be rebuilding the wood work and replacing the very expensive ardoise slate. I could have let it collapse, but it's a matter of patrimonie! This is the heritage of this region. It is my duty to maintain it.
By settling for a new style of clay tile which looks very much like traditional black ardoise, we saved enogh money to have the back wall rebuilt. It took about a year to finesse the details, but, as of last Tuesday, the entire job was done. My phone line was attached to the barn wall and it got destroyed in the collapse. That's fixed.We even were able to save enough of the old slate tiles to insure that we can repair the house and we had our chimney repaired and covered as well. Sometimes things work out just fine. The Mason and Roofer, Mr. Canat and Mr. Bugeaud are top notch craftsmen in my book. Look at the corner of the barn. Mr. Canat did such a fine job that I want to rebuild the rest of the barn to look as good as his restoration.......