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Architectural Lead Blog

Architectural Lead and Metalwork Limited are specialists in lead work conservation and restoration.
We can provide a complete design service for our client, based in London, we operate throughout the UK and Europe on all types of projects.
We have over 40 years’ experience of working on a variety of contracts.
Our specialty is the lead working on a number of historic and listed buildings.
Here you will find case studies, ideas and articles, also a few examples of the work we do.

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Lincoln Cathedral - Heritage Skills Festival 2017

ALM / SCM set up inside the Worshipful Company of Plumbers marquee - demonstrating and meeting visitors.

City of London Livery Company Banquet 2017 - held at Lincoln Cathedral

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Choosing the right roofing material is a crucial step in the decision-making process. The  things to take into account when choosing roofing material range from — from cost, to installation, the life-span and maintenance to your individual needs,  and also taking into account, the architectural style of your property. Add to this, which roofing material is the best return on investment.

Your roof takes a beating and the material that you choose should stand up for years to the worst the weather can offer.    Contrast and compare traditional materials with the more modern materials on offer, a new roof can also increase the resale value of your home.

Metal roofs – Fully recyclable, metal roofing materials come in lead, steel, aluminium and  copper
Slate – this can be more expensive than most other materials, slate is durable, has an incredibly long life-span depending on the quality of materials chosen (60 to 200 years) and enhances any structure.
Clay Tile – Clay tile is considered a lifetime roof;  clay tile is more expensive than some of the other roofing materials available but its beauty and natural appearance often outweigh the cost for homeowners looking for an attractive roofing material to enhance their property.

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Our sash weights are used as counterweights to balance window sashes. 

A sash cord is used to connect them to each side of the sash, a weight used to counterbalance the weight of a sliding sash in a sash window, and thus hold it in position at any height.

We recommend that you check your box size first and make sure the weights you have selected fit.


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Durability is a key factor, it requires fewer repairs, it lasts more than 40 years, sheet metal is light weight, and is readily recyclable. Aluminum and copper roofing products are available with over 95% recycled content. Most metals can be recycled over and over without losing any valuable properties. Recycling is very efficient.

Design flexibility: Some Steel roofing products can be installed over open framing, or on a solid substrate. The lowest end metal roofing (thin gauge with acrylic or polyester paints) commonly called AG (agricultural) or Utility panels will last 20–30 years which is roughly 2 times the lifespan of an average asphalt roof. Most metal roofing products today come with warranties from 25 to 50 years.

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Lead roofs can be targeted by metal thieves, it can be very expensive to fit and slow to install, it also requires a timber base to be stepped.    Although there is a good argument to use it, lead flashing places extra stress on the gutters and roof line of any house. If lead flashing is not installed perfectly, it can widen cracks in the foundations of a home because of its density and weight.

Operatives will need regular checks on their blood levels whilst working with lead, Lead supplies are lower than they have ever been and this has driven the cost of lead up.

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Guaranteed for 25 years, most have a lifespan of at least 60 years, and many examples of it lasting over 100 years. Lead is malleable, making it easy to install, but strong enough to avoid wind-lift, it is weather tight and requires a low level of maintenance, and it can be installed in most weather conditions. 

It’s suitable for valleys, flashings, traditional builds and conservation areas, and can form an attractive design feature, lead is flexible and adapts well to awkward detailing.

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Slate is a natural stone, tiles are manufactured. A ‘slate tile’ is a piece of slate measured, cut and prepared for use as a tile. Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be split easily into thin layers; it’s mainly grey in colour, with a wide variety of textures, colour varieties and irregular patterns.

Tiles are made from a variety of hard-wearing materials, usually fired clay and concrete.

They are used for covering surfaces such as roofs, walls and floors, Clay tiles are capable of performing down to pitches as low as 15° (depending on the type of clay tile) whereas slates can only perform down to 25°

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Lead was one of the earliest metals discovered by the human race and was in use by 3000 B.C. Lead and copper were the first types of metal to be used regularly in roofing. Both materials became popular in Europe. Flat-seamed copper was first used on cupolas and church domes in England in the 1700s.

Lead was first used to replace shingles or woods where they would not fit on awkwardly shaped roofs during this same time period Lead is not at all easily corroded, or eaten away.

Unlike iron and steel, it does not need protection by painting. Underneath the film, lead is a bright, shiny bluish-white metal, when you scrape it you notice how soft lead is. It is this malleability that makes it easy to squeeze or roll lead into different shapes.

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