A small house roof can be BIG!

It’s been a couple of weeks since our last progress report. The week after our last update was productive, but actually hindered a couple of days due to sorely needed rainfall. Forest fire threats are still high across the Pacific Northwest and the drought is very real, so while this rainfall can’t put a sizable dent in our water woes, it was still welcome, even if it rained us out of work at the site. Still and all, it was a week with a lot of painting and trim and detail work coming together nicely. In order to begin the plywood sheathing of our roof, we had to build out the merge and barge rafters on our roof assembly and complete the short rafters for the clipped gables on the east and west ends of the house. These then needed priming and painting. The need for the pieces of the assembly to be primed and painted before installation meant that we were often measuring and cutting one day but installing the next, so the going felt a little slow at times, though really it wasn’t. Among other painting chores, Shawn gave me a big pile of 1 x 4 decking to prime and paint. This is the material that decks the eaves over the rafter tails and is visible from inside, so I was very busy with priming and painting all week. We both love the way the contrasting colors look, and the yellow and red have really turned out beautifully.

We also used this decking to cover the front porch entrance, which we completed this week with the exception of decorative barge rafters which will be installed shortly. The last couple of days have been a flurry of progress. Progress often seems to come this way…you prep and prep and prep and all of a sudden are able to move ahead strongly as a result. Shawn did all the decking over the rafter tails and trimmed all the way up the merge and barge rafters. He also decked the clipped gable. While he was doing this work, I got the paint on the garage trim. I will just say that there is great wisdom in painting your trim work before installing it. Time restrictions prevented our doing this on the garage and it is far trickier to neatly paint in place. My neck is still singing a song about the strange angles I pressed it into. However, the main painting is done and there are just a few clean ups to do. What a nice difference.

Yesterday we started installing the plywood on the roof itself. This has felt wonderful. The last couple of days have been quite hot, and so far this summer we have always seemed to have to do our work with plywood on the hottest days. The good news about this hot weather plywood work is that it provided shade for us very quickly. While a bit slow going to get started, we are now moving ahead quickly and expect to make more great progress this week. Another positive thing has been that Shawn has become quite a bit more comfortable with working on the roof. Much of our sheathing we are doing from the inside out, but the large sheets of plywood require Shawn to climb out on the roof and finish the nailing work. He is really pleased to be using a pneumatic nailer as this gives him a free hand for holding on to plywood or his rope and makes the whole process of standing out on the roof quite bearable.

So this week’s work will include finishing the plywood work on the roof, then building the dormer walls, cutting, painting and installing the dormer merge and barge rafters, and then sheathing the dormers with plywood. There are some other odds and ends to tie up, but this will remain the focus of our week’s work. That the roof is going on is almost too good a feeling to put into words. Granted, it’s not papered or shingled, but it’s not completely open to the sky, either. And seeing the roof going on really seems to give proper shape to the house, it’s starting to look more like the pictures.

Hope you’ll join us for another update soon!