Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wraparound Eave Shingled

I finished shingling one of the wraparound eaves, so the front side of the roof is complete. Now I can take down the scaffolding. Lucky me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wraparound Eaves

I've added some wraparound eaves on the east end of the house. They were fiddley little buggars because of the compound angles on the corner braces, but they turned out well.

When I had done the roof sheathing on the front side of the house, I had noticed that the outside corner of the roof had a bit of give to it, because of the way it just hangs out into thin air. However, now that I've added bracing underneath the main roof to support the wraparound eaves, the corners are very solid.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gable Wall Sheeting Finished

Today I finished sheeting the east gable wall. I'm leaving the top window opening covered over until the windows arrive because the top window is an arched window, and I'm not sure how it's going to come from the factory... i.e. whether I need just a rectagular opening or if I need to cut an arch in the plywood.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Much rain.
Little progress.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Roof Section Done

I've finished shingling the first section of the roof. All in all it went pretty well. They're 99% straight and I didn't have to tear any off and start over. I did learn a few things that I'll do differently when I do the next section. For instance, work proceeds much faster when you have a big stack of shingles to draw from; but it only takes a few minutes of them sitting in the sun before they start to stick together. Also, next time I'll try to cut all the short pieces on the ground rather than up on the scaffolding. But hey, that's part of what this is all about... learning better ways to do things.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shingling Started

I'm getting ready to start shingling the roof over the bedroom now. The dark strip you see along the outside edge of the roof is called the eave protection. It's a peel-n-stick membrane similar to what I used to waterproof the basement with. It's applied to the perimeter of the roof to provide protection against the damage caused by ice dams.

Next comes the roofing felt. Roofing felt is made of asphalt-impregnated paper. It comes in different weights, described in pounds... 15# felt, 30# felt, etc. I'm using 30# pound felt. It gets applied directly on top of the sheathing and on top of the eave protection at the perimeter. The felt is just tacked down with a few nails to stop it from moving until you get the shingles applied over it.

Once the felt is down, I can start with the shingles. I'm using Malarkey brand shingles. They are commonly used in this area and I've spoken to a couple of roofers who've recommended them.

Shingles are always installed from the bottom up. Typically you start at the eave and work your way to the peak of the roof. However, I found a very interesting article at FineHomebuilding.com that describes a better way of installing shingles on steep roofs like mine.

The shingles are still applied from the bottom up, but you do the roof in sections, starting 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up the roof. You do the top section, then move the roof brackets and walkways down, then do the next section, etc. The biggest advantage is that you don't have to walk on top of the shingles once they are installed. That makes it safer and causes less damage to the shingles.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Trusses Square & Plumb

To determine where to place the first long roof truss, I measured 24" from the front outside wall and made a mark on the sill plate for the base of the truss. I did the same on the back wall and on the peak of the girder. For each subsequent truss, I repeated the process, measuring over from the previous truss. Now, after putting up four trusses on each side, I want to make sure that everything is square and plumb. Theoretically, if the outside walls were perfectly square, everything should line up correctly, right? However, as hard as I tried, I know the outside walls are not perfectly square, especially at the top of the walls. The weight and pressure of the concrete moved things around slightly.

The last trusses I put up will form the edge of the dormer window, so I'd like to have them as straight as possible from front to back. To do this, I strung a line from where the truss sits on the sill plate at the front of the house, to the same spot at the back of the house. Then I dropped a plumb-line down from the peak of the girder where the top of the trusses sit. If the trusses were perfectly in-line with each other, the strings would just touch each other where they intersect. You can't tell from this photo, but the strings are about 3/8" apart, so it's pretty good overall. Before I put the final nails in the truss brackets at the peak, I'll nudge them over a bit and they'll be straight.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Additional Girder Support

The engineering drawings for the main roof girder specified that an additional 2x8 had to be added to the bottom edge of the girder once the girder was in place. I'm not exactly sure why it had to be added after, rather than before. Regardless, I've added it and the Building Inspector should be happy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

East Gable Wall Done

I've finished up the gable wall on the east end of the house. Most of this wall is an interior wall, with only the top portion and the leftmost portion being an exterior wall. The door on the right leads into the bedroom, and the door on the left goes from the bedroom into the bathroom. When all the walls are up, the bathroom door won't be visible from this angle. (It will all make sense later.)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Roof Sheathing Finished On One Side

I've finished the roof sheathing on the south side of the roof over the bedroom, as well as the sheathing on the adjoining wall. I'm planning on going ahead and shingling this part of the roof now because I have the work platforms and scaffolding already there. No point in moving everything over to the other side of the house to sheath that side and then have to move everything back again to do the shingling.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Work Platforms For The Roof

I found some plans at finehomebuilding.com for making safe platforms for working on a steeply pitched roof. The brackets are made with 2x4s and 1/2" plywood; and 2x6s are laid on top across the brackets. They give me a good solid area to stand on while I'm working up there.

You can also see a strap attached to the upper work-platform in this photo. I have a full safety harness that I wear when I'm working on the roof. I attach the lanyard on the safety harness to the strap you see here. The strap is actually an auto tow-strap. They're very strong, good for about 2500 lbs.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Long Truss Test

Today I winched up one of the long roof trusses that hang off the main girder. I'm not really ready to start installing them yet, but I just wanted to see how it went up and how it fits. So far, so good.