Saturday, December 6, 2014
The task of installing a nice metal roof on my tiny house has been a long, difficult and sometimes unpleasant journey, but one that I think is just about to come to completion, if only it will stop raining for a few days. In most cases, the plans I bought from Tumbleweed have been useful. However, in the case of my metal roof, those plans slowed me down a little bit. My roof should not have been this difficult.
The biggest problem I had was trying to locate the MaxRib roofing panels specified in the tumbleweed materials list. This is a product made by McElroy metal and one that can pretty much only be obtained if you happen to live near a McElroy distribution center which in California pretty much means Sacramento. If you don’t live near Sacramento, it means paying $300 in shipping for about $650 worth of roofing materials.
I started looking for my roofing materials sometime in May, 2014 and continued looking off and on until July until I finally figured out there was no reasonable way to get the MaxRib panels to my house. By August, I got so frustrated that I basically gave up. Then one day in September, I looked online at Home Depot and discovered they were now suddenly selling metal roofing. It was made by company called Metal Sales, but it came in the red color that I wanted and it looked like it would work so I decided to just order it. I now know that purchasing those panels from Home Depot was not the best decision. However, it was a workable solution and I think it will soon result in me actually having a nice, red metal roof on my house, something I will be very happy about.
The nice thing about Home Depot is that everything you get from them is returnable which is good because I mistakenly ordered about twice as many panels for my tiny house as I needed (somehow, I kind of forgot that the 12 foot panels I ordered were going to be cut in half to become two separate panels, one for each side of the roof). The not so nice thing about Home Depot is that you can’t really get any help or advice and you can’t customize your roofing order. You’re stuck with whatever length panel they sell which in Home Depot’s case is 12 feet. That length is almost certainly not what you will need which means you will have to cut the panels to size, which isn’t much fun. In addition, the gable and eaves flashing that comes with the Metal Sales panels that Home Depot sells is really the wrong dimension for a tiny house. It’s way over sized. That means finding some way to cut it down to size or fold it into a different shape, all of which is even more difficult than cutting panels to size. Of course, all of this is workable. It’s just not the easiest path.
The easiest path would have been to forget about the MaxRib product from the beginning, visit a number of local roofing supply stores until I found one with people who knew what they were talking about and then order whatever product they happen to sell that meets my needs. Had I done that, I would have been able to order all of my panels to exactly the length, I could have picked flashing that was appropriately size and the whole package could have been delivered straight to my house for no extra charge. Oh well. Live and learn. If I ever do this again, I will know what to do differently.
In any case, where were we? Oh yeah, installing my roof – something I’m getting dangerously close to finishing.
I actually made good progress on the roof yesterday. Nobody was available to help me. However, I was actually able to install the rest of the roofing panels on the right-hand side of the house all by myself in the morning. Before I did that, I also managed to pull up the tarpaper on that side of the house and caulk the horizontal seam between the sheets of plywood on the roof. I think that will add a little extra protection from leaks if water ever manages to get underneath the tar paper again (like it did last week).
Right after I finished installing the panels on the right side of the house, it started to rain again and Sheila and I hastily threw the tarps back over the roof. That pretty much confined to me to the garage for the rest of the day. I spent the rest of the afternoon planning out the panels for the left side of the house, drilling holes in them and marking the eaves flashing so I could see where each panel would end up. I also borrowed our neighbor’s truck and moved that tiny house from the left side of the driveway to the center of the driveway. That will allow me to easily access both sides of the roof so I can install the left side panels.
I’m hoping to install the left side panels today, but it is still drizzling this morning so I’m not sure if I will be able to do it or not. I’m hoping the sun will come out and dry things off soon.
Favorite part of the day:
- Given how much time and effort I have put finding and learning how to install my metal roofing, finally seeing those panels securely fastened to my roof was pretty wonderful.
- Knowing I had fastened those panels to the roof myself … priceless.