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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂 

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 🙂