08 December 2012

Corwin, the roofer

Got the chicken house decked, tar papered, and edge-metal'd today. That sounds simple to say, but it took us all day to do that.

First, we used nails to space the sheets of OSB. Should they expand with moisture or temperature (for example, they were installed at 34°F but will see 120°F in in the summer sun), we don't want them to lift or buckle at the edges like the Rocky Mountain range. The OSB was attached with screws around the perimeter (to resist wind uplift) and nails in the field (cheaper, faster, and more fun to drive with a palm nailer. B-b-b-b-blat!)

Next we cut lengths of 15lb tar paper (sometimes called felt paper, for reasons unknown to me) on the ground and tried to get them on the roof without tears (either kind). A random website said to use the fewest fasteners possible, so I just used roofing nails on the corners of each sheet. This critical error revealed itself to us right after we finished the last sheet, when a gust of wind ripped it right back off, leaving little holes in the paper the exact size of the roofing nail heads. Apparently, using the fancy nails with 1" plastic caps isn't just something roofers do for fun. Stupid website. So, off to the store for cap nails, back to replace the torn tar paper, then go crazy sinking plenty of cap nails everywhere. Ugh.

Then it was time for fascia. Actually, we should have done the fascia before trimming the tar paper flush with the decking, because ideally the tar paper should protect the top of the fascia too. Too bad, we're newbies and messed it up. Fortunately, the edge metal will still cover the fascia top so no biggie. No picture of the fascia, we had to rush to beat the clock. Lemontree did a good job figuring out the compound angles to cut all the miters (where the gable fascia meets the eave fascia for example is complicated). Thinking about doing all those angles the right way makes my head hurt.

By this time the sky was getting dark and little snowflakes started to drift by lazily. I wished I could also drift by lazily, but we needed to get the edge metal up before the wind blew more of the tar paper off, cap nails or no cap nails. So we tried to shake feeling back into our frozen fingers and got out the tinsnips. In our house, tinsnips are normally never actually used to cut tin, but instead are used to open items in those stupid bubble packs. Today, though, we cut T-shape drip edge metal for the eaves and L-shape drip edge metal for the rakes (rakes are the edge of the roof over a gable wall). The T-shape eave metal goes under the tar paper, so that any water that gets under the shingles, goes over the tar paper and eave metal to keep it off the fascia. The L-shape rake metal goes over the tar paper, so that wind-driven rain cannot get between the tar paper and the top of the fascia.

So, our roof didn't turn out quite as pretty as Tom Silva does it on This Old House. Despite lots of care measuring and cutting our trusses, the rafter tails somehow still ended up at various heights so the decking looked a little drunk when you looked down the length. We also kinda sorta made the whole coop a bit of a trapezoid rather than a square (my fault) so the north wall is some 7" longer than the south wall... this required the installation of oversize decking, which was then trimmed with a circular saw. Ok so I can't cut straight with a circ saw, they didn't teach that skill in school. So now we have wavy decking edges up and down and side to side. Sigh. They say, though, that the difference between the master and the apprentice, is the master knows how to hide his mistakes. Well, I would never claim to be a master but we pushed and pried things a little straighter when we screwed the fascia on, then covered the remaining uglies with the edge metal. Once the shingles are on, I don't think you'll be able to see any flaws (fingers crossed).

At the end it was totally dark, sorry for no pic. But the roof is "dried in" with tar paper protecting the OSB so the OSB doesn't melt should it rain. Sadly though, we only get maybe 1 hour of light after I get home from work each day, so shingling is likely to take all next week.

I must say I have a newfound respect for homebuilders, and now I understand why houses are so expensive. Doesn't make me feel any better about making mortgage payments though.

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