A roof with a view: CUPA PIZARRAS’ slates complete Smithy Cottage

  • 14 May 2020

Smithy Cottage, an unusual, cruciform shaped new-build property in Warrington, has recently been constructed using CUPA PIZARRAS’ CUPA 2 natural slates.

Chosen due to their uniformity, longevity and aesthetics which is in-keeping with the surrounding properties, the CUPA 2 slates feature on the roof of the property, which unusually incorporated atrium glazing and inlaid solar panels.

CUPA 2 is a dark grey, non-carbonated slate with thin laminations and a smooth surface, formed by tectonic compression and quarried from CUPA PIZARRAS’ Riodolas mine in northern Spain.

As with all CUPA PIZARRAS slates, it is available in a selection of formats, sizes and thicknesses ranging from 3.5mm to 7.5mm.

The eye-catching home was designed by Fasciato Architects who had been tasked with creating a contemporary, single storey home.

However, the architects were also keen that the property fitted in with its surroundings.


Ian Scullion, Associate at Fasciato Architects, commented: “We chose to introduce materials associated with other ‘traditional’ large houses in the local area, one of which was slate.

“As a result, we decided to use a natural slate for the roofing material to achieve a balance with the brief whilst also making the house feel homely and appropriate to its context.”

As the roofscape of Smithy Cottage is considerable, at approximately 850 metres squared, there was also a need to specify a product that would create a smooth and unified appearance.

Having initially decided to look into slate as the most suitable solution, Ian met with his local CUPA PIZARRAS representative, attended a CPD presentation and was intrigued with the products on offer.

Ian commented: “We were impressed with CUPA PIZARRAS’ reputation for producing quality, traceable roof slates and we were also pleased with help given to us by the area representative at the time.


“We had been interested in the efficiency benefits incorporating solar technology could offer the homeowner, so we opted to use in-laid solar panels surrounded by CUPA PIZARRAS’ attractive CUPA 2 roof slates.”

Smithy Cottage was built by HD Building Company Ltd. but the roof was installed by subcontractor Rod Johnson of RWJ Roofing.

Rod commented: “The CUPA PIZARRAS slates were excellent to install as the thickness of the slates were exceptionally even, simplifing and minimising the amount of grading required in the run up to the installation of the slate.”

There were some challenges with the installation, however, as the entire roof had to be felted before the battens could be secured which was complicated by the harsh wind the area was experiencing at the time.

In addition, the integration of the in-laid solar panels was also necessary on a number of sections of the roof.

Rod added: “Although this was one of the challenges of the design process, the solar panels were easily installed as they were integrated with the roofing in a similar fashion to a roof window.

“The mitred hips on the conservatory were the most complicated part of the roof installation as it was necessary that these were executed as tidily as possible – the reduction in grading allowed me more time to ensure these areas met the client’s expectations.”

Both the architect and end client were pleased with the finish of the roof which met with the design requirements of the architectural brief.

Ian continued: “This is the first time we have used CUPA PIZARRAS and we were very happy with the results. We were keen to ensure that the more challenging aspects of the roof, including the solar panels and hipped conservatory roof, were executed well at the installation stage.

“The final finish of the roof is smooth and sleek, with both the slate selection and the workmanship exceeding our expectations.”

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