Category Archives: Roof

Fascia boards and problem saving drip edges…


The finished fascia boards are finally up! I eventually settled on a curved design for the end boards and cut up the 4 pieces from the last redwood 1×12 before putting it all together the other day in glorious, good omen type sunshine.

As one may have construed from the history of my house, things don’t usually turn out square, and my roof is no exception. Up there by themselves, the fascia boards looked ok at the roofline from a distance, but any not-so-close inspection would reveal the bare edge of the plywood bending all willy nilly and the nice, straight fascia board highlighting the not-squareness of it in fine form.

But then enter the drip edges. To whoever invented these wonderful, metal, water repelling flashings, I would like to say thank you. I would like to say thank you multiple times and bounce around a while because these things are brilliant, functional and cover a shit ton of mistakes.

We didn’t follow the guidelines and buy the fancy, pricey, colour coordinated ones from the roofing company, and we didn’t put them on first as you’re supposed to, but we did find these dandy ones at the hardware store in an entirely passable dark brown for $5.68 a piece, and we did get them up under the roofing far after the fact (today) with narry a hassle.

And it looks beautiful. I was finally able to put the last screws in the bottom of the roof to secure the new edges, and the whole house beams with a delightful air of completion.

Another thing I worked on today was caulking. I haven’t noticed any other tiny housers mention this part so I don’t know if it’s common practice, but my cedar boards (particularly the stuff I did a while back) don’t exactly fit into each side like Cinderella’s slipper.

I find them uncomfortably inconsistent, ranging from almost no gap, to 1/16″ or 1/8″ gap without much warning. I’m concerned about water getting into the cracks and causing trouble, so I opted to run a thin bead of caulk along them wherever the siding ends.

Around the corners and window borders I went, cussing under my breath at the ‘drip free’ caulk dispenser scam that covered me in silicone. At least it dries clear, hopefully my mistakes will blend better into the wood than my hair.

Roof finished…


Little Yellow is roofed! What a thought ūüôā

My dad has been trying to work out a way of getting to the ridge without my having to clamber up there, but in the end I convinced him on the practicality of being able to access both sides, and to the roof I went. Although it’s nearly 14 feet from the ground, I found it far less nervewracking than being at an equal height on a ladder, if a bit more awkward.

I think the icing on the cake were the nearly identical looks of befuddlement directed toward my house by the two cars that made accidental turns down our cul de sac this afternoon. Guess this must not be the general method of roofing, but how the hell else are you supposed to get a ridge cap on a 12/12 roof pitch?

In the interest of repelling the ever-so-persistent entrance artist that is water, we put up lengths of sticky foam followed by some funny metal flashings called ‘z closures’ before the final cap.

So it’s more waterproof, the roofing company recommends the top of each panel be bent up about an inch before the foam and z closures are put on, but we’d missed this in our previous viewing of the installation guide and the amount of screws up there made the squeezing of any metal bending tool into the virtually non-existent space highly improbable.

Instead, we used strips of tape-like, tar-smelling window flashing to span the distance between the panels on either side of the ridge. Because they hang over by about 2 inches, any aspiring water that fights its way up should be directed straight off the other side and down again.

The ridge cap (or in this case, 2 overlapping 10’6 caps) got screwed into each panel rib and although they aren’t quite perfectly straight, they work well enough and I was happy to get both feet on the ground. It really wasn’t so bad up there, but even after a few hours I can imagine how people who rode long distances on wide horses must have felt back in the day.

Siding started and gable closures to the rescue…


Saturday we picked up some redwood 2×4’s for the outside corners and spent most of our time trying get the hitch end ready for siding. Much of this involved sorting out the (more confusing than it probably ought to be) task of putting up lath. Each piece of 1/4″ lath is intended to be placed over one of the 2×4 studs in the wall framing, leaving a little space between the siding and the housewrap for water to escape.

It sounds simple enough, but by the time we got up the window borders and the redwood 2×4’s on the corners, the number of studs that hadn’t just been covered amounted to all of 2. And naturally these happened to be the two surrounding the window, which become no longer useful a few feet up when the borders start.

We ended up screwing some boards on the inside wall of the house along the windows and at each side to which we eventually attached the lath. This is accomplished by a nifty little tool called a stud sensor which, in theory, beeps to inform you when a 2×4 is present under the plywood. In reality, our sensor seems to be a bit confused and/or broken and either beeps all the time or refuses to do so, and the process was extended by a good while and several bouts of cussing. It was nearly dark by the end of the lath labyrinth, but we put up a few of the cedar siding boards to improve the aesthetic.

Sunday was a glorious sort of day. Not only did the gable closures I ordered for the roof finally arrive, but they happen to cover my uneven plywood issue so brilliantly that we have dodged the feared act of house sawing, and that will do wonders for making any day glorious.

We got all but the last one on, and they look so very nice over the redwood facias. My neighbor also came over to put the shiny electric plug thingy on through the siding. Technical term, you know.

Today marks the first where I have worked entirely on my own. Last night, my dad gave me a severe lecture on the use of the big circular saw and several other implements of construction, so I set off this morning with determination and a healthy fear of power tools.

I managed to problem solve my way through the little issues that came up and got the siding on all the way to the top of the window. It’s really amazing what you can learn when it’s important you do so! That said, some parts look slightly funky up close, but that’s why you start at the end least likely to have viewers ūüôā

Of roofing hitches and ever changing floor plans…


My dad and I got the off-side standing seam roofing on this sunny afternoon¬†in fine time,¬†like we knew just what we were doing, and¬†feeling very chuffed indeed. But the feeling ended¬†abruptly when we reached the last panel as reality politely informed¬†us that we mostly don’t know what we’re doing.

This being the case, the plywood roof sheathing is not square at the front of the house, so instead of the panel’s edge running parallel to the edge of the roof deck, there is a very-much-not-straight 2 inch discrepancy that will really muck things up when we try to put the eave closures on.

This will likely result in another bout of house sawing, but then I suppose with the amount of first hand house sawing experience we’ve had, you might actually say we do know what we’re doing in this particular part of the process.¬†I didn’t photograph the current conundrum, but I’m sure you can imagine.

I have realized that I have no set floor plan (wishy washy as I am) and with electric and¬†plumbing¬†looming not so very far away, it has come to my attention that I had better stop changing my mind so I don’t end up with an outlet in the shower or pipes running through my closet. I came up with one the other day that I think I could live with after laying it out in the house with scraps of 2×4’s and 40lb boxes of sheep wool insulation. For the record, they make an excellent visual for prospective shelving.

More roofing, more ladders…


After another day’s roofing, we have almost half the house covered in shiny, purple-y panels and it looks very nice indeed. I was keen on getting to the other side but the cursed screw gun batteries got us again and died before we’d even thought to recharge them. There are 3 going for different applications but when they go out, it’s kind of the end of the joy ride.

It also appears that my roof is going to be an obnoxious 2″ longer than the last of the 15 panels we thought would do it. Luckily, I have actually learned something from my previous mistakes and ordered 2 extra panels, so we’ll just have to perform a little surgery with the spiffy metal cutters. I say ‘just’…

On a brighter note, I am feeling slightly less terrified about the ladder situation. This may have a lot to do with the fact that my dad spent most of today standing on the bottom to make sure it didn’t get into it’s mind to go anywhere, but I can at least move up the rungs now without a 20 second pause between each to mentally prepare myself.

I’m quite liking this standing seam stuff, each panel gets screwed into the roof deck at one side before the next clicks over it, which leaves a lovely little ridge and hides the fasteners brilliantly. The only part I don’t like so much are the fancy, colour coated screws that go on at the top and require standing one step higher than I can reasonably justify on a ladder. That plus the angle of leaning that ensues make for a sort of general awkwardness that doesn’t get much better after 10 panels.

A bit of metal roofing…


My beautiful blackberry standing seam roof has finally gotten started today! Granted, we only got 3 panels on but we did start late after a trip to the hardware store and a very long instructional video on the process. There’s nothing like a swank construction fellow with that ‘boy, I sure am great’ appearance to tell you all about your metal roofing needs.

Of course this fellow had a far easier time of things because his roof was practically flat and he was able to saunter quite conveniently across it. My roof is a 12:12 pitch,¬†and any attempted sauntering would be very short lived so I’m afraid the installation of it brings us back to those darn ladders. My dad was pretty concerned we wouldn’t be able to reach the top¬†section of the panels without some form of scaffolding, but we managed today alright so it looks like we’re in the clear. I really don’t know how it’ll all work out come the ridge cap stage, though that’s a trouble for another day.¬†

It is bitingly cold here right now so we didn’t work after the sun went down, but the roofing behaved very nicely and I think we’ll have a good shot at actually getting the rest of the panels on the next full work day. My dad is just starting a period of 2 weeks off so I have high hopes of early starting, hammer weilding, knock-your-socks-off house progress in the coming times. It could happen…

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 ūüôā¬†

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 ūüôā¬†

Ten windows, a door, porch, and several other things…


I haven’t kept up on posting very well, but I have kept up on house building and last week has been extremely productive. This has been largely due to the help I had for a few days from a friend visiting from Scotland. This friend happens to be a carpenter (the best friends to have, you know) and I happen to have swindled him into building things for my house. The most exciting of these things is a simply lovely front door, but he also helped put in windows, widened the openings in the loft, and made a porch.

But really, the door. I’ve not much of a clue what kind of work went into the process of making it, but even with my limited time helping it seemed quite complicated so I’m really glad I didn’t have to bumble my own way through this part. And it’s such a nice door,¬†I¬†think my house looks much happier with it and all the windows in.

My neighbor has a bunch of lumber left over from his house and various projects so I bought some great 2×6 tongue-and-groove pine from him to make it with. It was previously used for decking and had a bunch of tar and nail holes but I got all I needed for $20 and it sanded down nicely. He also gave (!) me absolutely perfect hinges which are AMAZING, I wish I’d taken a picture of them before they went in. I’ve been wanting to have the door open out-the-way to save space inside and these let it do just that but, unlike most hinges, they stay on the inside. Very cool little brass buggers.

I also bought synthetic roofing underlayment, ordered my metal roof and the (frighteningly expensive, let me tell you) cedar siding this week so it’s all moving forward very nicely!¬†Today my dad I put up some beautiful redwood boards on the eaves and it’s just about prepared for the roofing process now.

But back to my door. I love it.¬†I love it and its characteristic nail holes. I love it and it’s not even yellow yet. I love my hinges that open outwards but reside inwards so nobody can just waltz up and take my door off. Waltzing door burglars. You just never know…


Plywood roof sheathing finished…



I hate it. I hate it like I hate the end of the toothpaste tube and having left important things in the car. I hate the very thought of it and even worse, the ridiculous hurdles we have gone through to cover my house’s bones…In any case, it’s done. My dad and I bought the last two pieces we’d need for the roof the other day and put it on this afternoon to general delight and joviality.¬†

While at the hardware store, I investigated the process of ordering roofing and believe I’ll follow through with it at some point tomorrow. I had originally planned on a dark red of sorts but the ‘Rustic Red’ color offered by the metal roofing company looked a little light for my taste, so I have just about decided on a lovely dark purple referred to as ‘Blackberry’. I have never seen anything with a purple roof before but what the heck, I think it’ll work.

After our end of-the-plywood accomplishment, it’s quite exciting that Little Yellow is beginning to look rather satisfyingly like a house. It has four walls and is no longer see through in any unintentional place. How splendid ūüôā

More plywood on more rafters…


In an attempt to preserve our sanity, my dad and I opted to avoid any and all things window related today and instead put our efforts towards getting plywood on the rafters. It snowed 6 or so inches throughout the day yesterday so there was a fair bit of shoveling just to get to my house, but the sun was blindingly warm and melted a lot this afternoon. Thankfully, the plastic wrap we have covering it all seems to be doing a dandy job and everything inside has remained dry.

I would say we got ‘only’ 4 sheets on, but then I remember ¬†fighting them up there after¬†far more¬†preparation¬†than anticipated and I feel quite pleased with our 4 sheet progress. One issue to be addressed in the preparations is that a trailer is only legally allowed to be 102″ wide without a special permit. The house is within the limits, but when we took the original measurements for the rafter length I forgot about the facia board that is supposed to go on over them and inadvertently made all 22 too long to accommodate.¬†

There goes 3/4″ from each end.¬†But hey, what’s one more thing to saw off my house?¬†