Specialists in the Conservation of Stone, Plasters, Leadwork and Decorative Surfaces


Milled lead

Sheet lead has been produced since the mid 1700's and rolled (milled) lead is an alternative method of lead production for roofing and weathering of roofs and walls in the main.

Rolled lead sheet is the only type of lead sheet that is manufactured to a British and European Standard and the production process is so consistent that the thickness will not vary by more than +/- 5% at any given point.

BSEN 12588:2006 specifies thickness tolerances and chemical composition in order to produce a consistent microstructure. The minimal variance in thickness means when fitted to a roof, the extent of thermal movement can be accurately predicted and the correct fixing method adopted.

Sand cast lead

Sand cast sheet lead is mostly hand produced and is made by pouring molten lead across a prepared bed of sand and then "skimming" it to the required thickness. It is still produced mainly for its rough grain aesthetic appearance or where a historic property requires replacement or restoration to its original look.

Cathedrals, churches and period buildings originally used sand cast sheet lead for their roofs and drainage systems. As history has shown it has outstanding durability when fitted correctly. This longevity is mainly due to its thickness and weight, with a 12" (305 mm) square typically weighing 6-8lbs ( 2.7 -3.6kg).

Sand cast sheet however is not produced to any fixed chemical composition, it is not made to any British and European Standard either and it does not have an Agrément Certificate so a full assessment of what roofing material would best suit any project is highly recommended.


Copper is another of the hard metals used for roofing for its excellent durability and often for its pleasing aesthetic appearance. Although slightly more expensive than equivalent alternatives it is no doubt, one of the most prestigious roofing finishes to have and presents more of a challenge to work with due to its less than malleable nature.

Zinc, Aluminum and stainless steel

Most popular economy hard metal roof solution and often chosen for large expanses. Manufactured in many colours and finishes these metals are popular choices for industrial projects.

NSE are experts in assessing the technical suitability and capabilities for any given project and are experts in working with milled and sand cast lead in all of its applications.

Download a weight chart to better understand the complexities of this metal or contact our office to discuss your requirements further.


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