Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Roof - DONE!!!!!

On June 9, 2012 we started putting up the trusses for our roof.  On October 22, 2012 we finished the roof!!!!!  What a project.

But let me get you caught up:  When I last wrote we had just finished the covering on the hip end of the house.  The next thing to do was install the valley flashing then finish the roofing in the valley.

Then it was time for the fun part - installing the ridge caps. Every step of the roofing phase has kept me up nights.  Having never installed a roof and certainly not one with the pitch this roof has, I had no idea what to expect or how the process was going to go. Pretty early on I figured out that I had no trouble working on the top of the roof. Thankfully I'm not afraid of heights! With a little thought and discussion (sometimes a lot of discussion!) at each step we figured out what had to be done and how to do it. But the ridge cap had me mystified. Were we going to be able to reach each screw location from the ladders? How were we going to get the roof vent material up? Would we be able to use the ladder hooks over the ridge cap as we installed it? How easy was it going to be to move the ladders along as the ridge cap got installed?

Anyone who has had to follow a complex pattern (such as how to turn a heel on a hand knitted sock) knows that sometimes just doing something is the only way to figure out how to do it .....  so we just started.

We first did the ridge on the NE corner.  That went pretty smoothly.

Then we did the hip end of the roof - piece of cake.

Then we got to the tough part.  Before the ridge cap could go on, the ridge vent material had to be installed.  This is porous material that allows for circulation through the roof but keeps out critters.  It comes in a roll and has sticky stuff that is supposed to help the material adhere to the roof before putting on the ridge cap.  I guess in a perfect world that would work but it didn't here PLUS it was windy!!!! So I had to use duct tape to keep it in place until we could get the ridge cap up there.

I worked out a system where I had a roll on each side of the peak tied on with rope.  I could let out just enough at one time to allow me to tape it down before moving on. While it was time consuming and tedious, it worked.

But the question still remained - how were we going to get the cap up there, hold it in place, screw it down and then move on to the next one?  This was a question that haunted my sleep - or non-sleep.  Suffice it to say that it kept me awake nights.

We discussed many, many ways of doing it, finally decided on one that we thought might work and went for it.  And it DID work!  And we were able to use the ladder hooks over the installed ridge cap without denting it.  Piece of cake!  Even though it was windy - again.  (It felt like the wind would just wait for us to get out there to start work and then it would start to blow!)  Once we got started it went very smoothly.

First section of ridge cap done!  Only one left to do. I finally felt like I could see the light at the end of the tunnel!!!!!

Here's Rick doing the last little bit.

Ta da!!!!!!  DONE!!!

Our beautiful roof looking SE

and looking NW

I'm still having trouble believing that I really don't have to get up on that roof again! My arms, shoulders and legs are stiff and tired and we both have bruises in strange places but my heart is light. We did it! It is a wonderful feeling! This time last year we hadn't even poured the foundation grade beam yet! And now look at our house!!!

I am now looking forward to working on the ground and starting to stack the straw bales for our walls. How far we get with this phase of the project before winter sets in is going to depend on the weather but we'll keep on keeping on.

Until next time . . . we're on to the next skill set.


  1. Finally! It’s been four months, and it’s nice to see your whole roof installation has come to succeed. I’m also glad to see that Rick has been applying the safety rules while he is up on the roof. Seeing the ladder is quite a relief, as it will make sure that he is going to be safe up there. Anyway, your house is looking really great, especially now that the roofs are all done. Good job!

    Ashlee Starns

  2. The roof looks great! Congratulations on finally completing the roof project! Even though it took 4 months to finish, the fact that the two of you were the only ones who worked on it is quite impressive. You and Rick certainly deserve a pat on the back after that. And by the way, it is good that you chose to install a tin roof because it is highly resistant to corrosion and is capable of lasting for a long time.

    @Terence Watthens