The Beginning of a Roof

Installing the First Two Roofing Panels

Installing the First Two Roofing Panels

Saturday, November 28, 2014

Who helped today:

  • Sheila
  • Theodore
  • Ian

What we did:

Yesterday, I got started with the roof. I got the two hardest panels installed: the two that go around the skylight. I also got the skylight flashing installed. I’m kind of on a roll now. I’ve done the most difficult part of the roof and I think the rest of it will be fairly easy, just rinse and repeat. Unfortunately, it’s raining pretty hard today so I think my tiny house projects will be confined to inside tasks for the rest of the weekend. I will have to finish the roof next weekend. I have been kind of dreading the roof ever since I first started thinking about it and now that I have started it, I find myself so excited about it that it is hard to think about anything else.

The first thing I had to do to start with the roofing was to set up the scaffolding that my friend, Steve, loaned me and then build a platform to sit on top of that scaffolding. One thing I love about building this house is it whenever I need to build something else, it’s almost always pretty easy. I just pick up a bunch of scrap wood, some screws and my impact driver and put it together. I have so much scrap wood of various lengths that I rarely even have to cut a piece of wood and when I do, my miter saw makes short work of it. It only took me about 25 minutes to create what I think is a very nice walking platform for the scaffolding.

Scaffold Platform

25-Min Scaffold Platform

Platform on the Scaffold

Scaffold Ready to Go

The next task was to install the drip edge along the bottom edge of the roof, the inside foam closures and then a short length of roofing panel below the skylight. The drip edge was attached with regular roofing nails. The skylight flashing will be installed on top of the short piece of roofing and is what will actually make the roof watertight below the skylight. The bottom portions of the C-shaped panels that I will fit around the skylight and screw to the top of this piece of roofing panel are really just for aesthetics.

Drip Edge & Inside Foam Closure

Drip Edge & Inside Foam Closure

Bottom Panel Under Skylight

Bottom Panel Under Skylight

At about 2:00 PM yesterday, Sheila came out and helped for the rest of the day. I put her to work extending the roofing felt a few inches out over the eaves on the left side of the house. Then, I gave her the not so easy task of cutting out the C shapes in the two roofing panels that went around the skylight. I thought cutting the roofing panels in a straight line was hard, but cutting a three sided rectangle out of the middle of a sheet of contoured metal is really, really hard. I felt so bad when I went to drill holes in the second piece of metal she had cut out and found that she had cut it to the wrong dimension. Of course, the opening she had cut was a little bit too big, not a little bit too small, so we had to start over. Luckily, I had mistakenly ordered more roofing panels than I needed, so I have plenty to work with. Taking turns with the metal shears, we were able to cut the new piece in only about 15 minutes. Then, I predrilled all the holes and we installed it on the roof.

Panel Cut to Go Around Skylight

Panel Cut to Go Around Skylight

We had to work a little bit later last night than usual in order to get the roofing panels installed before the rain came last night. I was afraid that if I left the skylight flashing on without adding roofing material around it, that water would collect under the flashing and maybe cause a problem. So, we used headlamps to install the two roofing panels in the dark. It was actually kind of fun. It reminded me of the night last year that we stayed at our property until 9:00 PM finishing the shingles on the roof of our shed.

Working Late

Working Late

Our next-door neighbor’s kids, Theodore and Ian, also came by to help with the tiny house yesterday. At first, I couldn’t think of anything for them to do. But then I remembered that all of the seams and the edges of the siding still needed to be caulked. So, I gave them each a caulking gun and set them loose. Those two are like monkeys. Before I knew it, they were running all over the house finding any seam or crack they could locate and adding caulk to it. They were running up my ladders and over the scaffolding. At one point, they even climbed the ginkgo tree on the side of the house to reach the tops of the windows there. It was kind of incredible to watch. In about 45 minutes, they had finished caulking the entire house. I’m still a little bit amazed that those kids have so much fun helping me.

Theodore Adding Caulk

Theodore Adding Caulk

Favorite part of the day:

  • Working at night using a headlamp to finish installing my first two panels.


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