Putting a roof on is so much work!
First, all the decisions to make: roof style (gable, gambrel, arched, flat?), whether or not to put in dormers (light and precious, precious space added, depending on what roof style), how much insulation, what type of insulation? What material for the outer skin? Metal? Asphalt shingles? Wood shakes? EPDM? hot or cold (vented) roof? I will use a wood stove, so chimney through the roof or through the wall? Good thing I like to do research. There are so many choices, so much information to evaluate!
Then comes the reality of putting that puppy together. I find that this is the stage where flaws in my design really show up, necessitating on-the-fly changes and re-evaluations of my patience and ability. I’m sure that with generous helpings of both, I could have fixed the initial roof trusses, but after staring at the darn things for a year, decided I lacked both. Off with the cool gambrel trusses, and on with the “flat” roof. Boring, yes, but also doable and gives a huge bang of space for the buck. Even so, this is a lot of work. Hard, sweaty, muscle-groaning work. I never knew that sweat actually DOES sting your eyes until I started this project. Maybe it’s partly due to my state of physical fitness (almost nonexistent), but more likely it just comes with the job. I am handling heavy, awkward pieces of wood, really high in the air, alone, and without experience. Yeah, I sweat!
There are days when I’m tempted to just build a most basic box, and not worry about boring stuff like thermal bridging and moisture problems; or simply follow a plan developed by someone other than me… I can see the allure. Well, actually seeing as it’s me talking here, the truth is I like a challenge, and to try to do things as “right” and “perfect” as possible. In my own special way. In my own, special, really hard-to-do way.
So. What stage is Oliver’s Nest at? Well, the insulation “sandwich” layer is on, the trusses have been wrangled into place and tethered down by many screws and metal tie-downs, the Roxul insulation is tucked in and securely covered by the AtticFoil radiant barrier, and the sheathing has been cut to size and numbered so I will know which piece goes where without (hopefully) any mistakes. I would have liked to use full-size plywood pieces, but they are just too heavy and unwieldy for me. I don’t think even having my boy over to help would get them up. I don’t think it’s the strongest roof design, but it will work for now.
I want to remember how much I messed up my knee doing this and yet continued on; how sore my shoulders and back are. Years from now I want to appreciate the work I’m putting into this little home. I often downplay accomplishments, and I’d rather not do that with Oliver’s Nest. It is an important part of a giant leap-of -faith that I can make a happy life for myself, and hopefully leave a lovely space for my son some day.
After having to balance on loose trusses for days, being able to walk across the roof deck is wonderful! I’m thinking it’ll take another day to finish the decking, and after that a day to get the drip edges on. It’s supposed to be drizzly for almost a week starting tomorrow, so my knee will get that rest the doctor ordered. Booo-ring!