Roof wrapped and ready… and a banjo


Today we (me, my dad and one of my sisters) started none too early with the goal of getting the synthetic roofing underlayment onto the plywood roof sheathing, and the most miraculous thing happened: we actually did. On! All of it! In one day, and this is extremely unusual. It isn’t to say that the task of putting the stuff on is very complicated or should require more than a day’s work, but for us and the project at hand, everything sprouts extra, unforeseeable issues that drag even the simplest things out. 

Back when the last of the sheathing went up, I did some research and bought a roll of synthetic underlayment instead of the typical roofing felt that is generally used for the purpose. Being lighter, wider and marked with nifty “nail here” indicators all over the thing, I chose the synthetic despite its higher cost and am glad I did. I was surprised by how much I didn’t mind putting it up and I think if it hadn’t been for the return of the frighteningly tall ladders, I would have truly enjoyed the process. 

But oh, the ladders. They are huge, they are rickety, and they shift in the most disconcerting way when you inevitably lean a bit on one side. Have I mentioned that my house is actually very far off the ground? At around 13.5′ you really notice this when the support you’re standing on moseys. 

Little Yellow’s roof is gratefully small, and we covered it over with 4 horizontal layers, sufficiently overlapped to shed any water that may weasel itself under the soon-to-be metal roofing. The 1″ roofing nails with pretty green plastic caps we used were great and for the most part they went in like butter. Every now and then they don’t go in so very well and I smacked the crap out of my already brown spotted thumb again, but I’d call this a personal problem. 

Next it’s on to the roof!  We picked it up from the hardware store and it is absolutely THE nicest colour I could have hoped for, and is even better than the swatch I picked the hue from. A lovely, rich, dark reddy purple 🙂 

Two final, exciting things. 1, with the underlayment on we no longer have to cover the house with the massive, unwieldy plastic EVER AGAIN!!! 2. I bought a banjo. Unrelated, I know, but it’s damn hard to be unhappy when you’re pickin’ one 🙂 


13 responses »

  1. The “grace & ice shield” in place of standard tar paper is a great choice. You’ll never (okay…likely never) have a leak with that as your underlayment. Just stumbled across your blog a few days back…I’m starting to build my modified Fencl, as well, here in a few weeks. Can’t wait!

  2. What wonderful memories with your dad you are building along with this wee house, and what a nice man! I can’t wait to see it finished! I have MCS and have been toying with the idea of a tiny house if my Disability ever settles. I’ll be anxious to see how you do in it! GREAT blog!

  3. Your blog is full of personality and I think building a tiny house is such a great idea for the earth and for you, especially at your age, being full of youth and open to opportunity!! I subscribe to the Tumbleweed Houses newsletter because I think these tiny houses are such a great idea! I would have loved to have done what you are doing when I was your age. I still might after my kids leave the nest and my husband agrees to pass on before I do! I don’t think we could fit in a tiny house together. But who knows?! Keep up the great work!! Stop by if you are ever in MN!!


  4. Pingback: Tiny House Living – December 25, 2011 | Tiny House Living

  5. Is that one Mr. Fin Loening? Far out!

    Being a 23 year old trad musician with aims to build a Fencl, I was very happy to find this blog today. Little did I know I would come across such a fine guitarist in the midst of your project. I met Fin at a arts and agriculture fair in Maine (Common Ground Fair) last September, and then he said he was going to go traveling for a while. It looks like I found one place he ended up!

    I have been enjoying this blog immensely and getting good and fired up about starting on a similar project this coming fall! Thanks for being such a thorough blogger/builder!

    All the best,

    • Ha! That most certainly is one Mr. Fin Loening! He’s one of my best friends from my time in Scotland, and was so kind as to help me out at the tail end of his trip. I can’t believe you recognized him from that one photo! Crazy! I’m excited for your tiny house! Hope your planning goes smoothly 😀

  6. Hi Ella, Beautiful job! Can you say a little more about how you made the decision to use the synthetic roofing material, rather than felt? I’m gathering information for my own build and really interested in hearing what you learned.

    • I think my main reason was just that it was lighter than roofing felt. A lot of my choices have favoured heavier materials, but in this case it made sense. It’s supposed to be pretty good stuff too. There are all kinds of opinions out there, though! Best of luck!

  7. So I’m in love with your roof! I’m going to start getting roof quotes soon. What color/brand did you get?!

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