Friday 25 November 2011

Complicated Little Roof

I had my first time off ill from work in 6 years this week, but by Tuesday night I was ready to get back at it.
I started this little roof on the Wednesday morning and straight away I knew it wasn't going to be straight forward. There's 4 steels marked on the drawing to go in; to take the old roof and support the ridge beam as well as the end gable brickwork, there's also a dormer window and a large valley gutter one side with a parapet wall containing a concealed gutter on the other. The first thing was a bit of head scratching and deciding where to begin ( as the picture below with drawings, bevels, scale rule and calculator shows!)
We decided to get the "cranked" steel in first, then the steel that's supporting the old roof, involving stripping the tiles, removing the old dormer window and cutting the old rafters.
We then managed to get a couple of rafters up with a ridge board (scarf joint ready cut) ready for us to place the new ridge beam so the brick layer can build up to it.
The sun was setting fast as we finished off tonight, but next week should see us shoot ahead with it (although I can already see that the drawings are missing another steel as there isn't one to pick up the shorter section of the new roof, so i guess we're have to come up with a solution for approval!).
Only a small roof but hundreds of things to think about! People forget how much a carpenter has to remember!


  1. At least you're saving the old structures. In this country, they'd just tear the whole thing down and start anew.

  2. Alviti,
    Looks like a nice addition. As a roofer by day, we always strive to maintain the integrety of the building's watertight envelope. How do you keep the partially dismantled existing roof tight while framing and building the addition that will tie into it?

  3. Gorges - sometimes it ould be easier to start again!

    Dyami - It's difficult to keep it water tight and I'm sure we probably do it the same as you - with lots of polythene wrapped round battens and nailed down. the weather did stop us on Wednesday as it kept raining so we didn't even take off the cover we'd added, just concentrated on another part of the roof. It's all gotta be timed right with the weather. What do you guys use in the states?

  4. Alviti,
    We usually have solid sheathing, be it T&G or plywood. When we rip a section, we paper it in with synthetic underlayment the same day. Then we take our time putting the finished roof on.

  5. It's rare for a house to have solid sheathing, like you've mentioned, in the UK unless its up in scotland. We just have the roof timbers, felt, then batten and tiles or slate on top. Having solid sheathing under the old roof would make it much easier to do! Its funny how different the construction methods are, but I guess you dont use clay tiles too much to cover your roofs with so you need something more olid to fix your shingles to?

  6. Alviti,
    We do do asphalt shingles on most homes. As solid sheathing is so common here, we usually have to batten over solid sheathing so that we can attach tile on the occasions we install them. The only assembly that usually relies on only battens in this area is cedar shakes, but even they're often installed on solid sheathing (which does lead to rot and failure).

  7. It's so nice that you are trying to preserve old buildings, as this is cheaper and much more practical. For sure, your effort will go a long way.


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