Homestead Construction #7 – Nice and Dry – The Roof is Finished

It took a bit longer than expected, but the homestead roof is finished. Our goal was to get the roof on and everything dry by the end of October, so we made our goal!

Once the walls were completed, the next step was to put the sill or mud-plate on the top off the walls. A series of 2×8 pressure-treated boards were run along the full length of the perimeter masonry walls and interior wing walls. Holes were cut through the boards for the embedded J-bolts and notches for the electrical conduit. The boards were secured with 3″ square washers and tightened down with 5/8″ j-bolt nuts.

A temporary support plank of 2×8’s was put up running down the full length of the house on the centerline. This support plank helped out a great deal in the initial placement of the trusses. The trusses arrived on a trailer from the local truss manufacturer. A boom truck came along with the delivery to set the bundled trusses into position.

In this picture, the first bundle of trusses is being lifted over the back of the house. The sill plate on the walls and temporary plank is also visible.

Each bundle of 4 or 5 trusses were placed on top of the house close to where their final position would be once they were separated. Since our house design is really just a big rectangle, all the trusses are the same (34 of them) except for the two on the end that will form the gables (you can see them with the vertical supports built into the truss). In the picture below, most of the truss bundles have been placed on the roof:

Once the delivery and boom trucks left, the process of putting the trusses into position began. The bundles were opened up and each truss slid a few feet to the proper (measured and marked) position. A vertical support was added in a temporary position along the outer east/west walls to help align the end (gable) truss and keep it in position. The spacing of most of the trusses is 2 feet on center. Metal spacing bars were provided by the truss company to help initially align the trusses into position towards their peak with a single nail. By the end of the delivery day, most of the trusses were up and spaced appropriately. Two trusses were closer together than 2 feet to make up the difference since the full length of the house is not evenly divisible by 2.

The rest of the trusses were placed the next morning and additional braces were added to reinforce them.

All of the trusses were nailed firmly into position and hurricane ties were put into place. Notches were cut in the gable trusses and the 2 foot outlooker boards were secured into position. This provides a 2 foot overhang on the ends of the house, matching the 2 foot overhangs on the eaves. Plywood was used along the eaves and overhang sections, since this will be initially visible from below (we may keep it this way depending on how the house looks when complete). OSB was used for the decking over the rest of the trusses. The OSB decking sheets were lifted up onto the roof and placed on temporary flat supports to keep the stack stable during installation. A 2″ opening was cut at the top on each side for the ridge vent. 2×6 blocking and vents were installed between the trusses under the eave overhang.


The underlayment fabric was installed next. We went with a material that was 4 feet wide and came in a 250′ roll, so we could get three full runs along the length of the house and have a bit extra. The underlayment is put down at the bottom first, by the eaves, and then each run above it overlaps by at least 4 inches. A nylon screen mesh was stapled into place over the ridge vent.

The metal roofing was delivered the next morning. We decided on 24 gauge galvanized panels with 1″ standing seams. The panels have a PVDF coating and have a 35 year warranty. Each panel has a section that is overlapped by the next. The overlap is where the screws go through the panels, so there are no screws visible or perforations in the panels until you get up to the top of the roof at the ridge cap.

The eave flashing was installed first, with the underlayment overlapping the flashing by a couple inches. The roofing panels are designed to start from the left side of each section of the roof. Measurements were made to check that each side of the roof was square (it was) and the first panel put into position. The bottom of each panel is caulked in place over the eave flashing and extends out by about an inch and a quarter. The top of the panel starts just below the ridge vent screen. The team on the ground made the cuts and bend necessary to prevent water from being blown up under the ridge cap and then handed up the 17’6″ panels one at a time. It took two days (~4-6 hours per day) for us to finish all the panels on both sides.
The gable ends have a piece of flashing that overlaps with the standing seam of the first roof panel and is then screwed in to the 2×6 gable fascia board. The ridge cap was the most challenging part. A notch in the cap metal was cut for each panel standing “rib” and then screws were put down through the ribs to hold the cap panels in place. All screws were caulked and each bend under the caps were caulked, as well.

Still a bit of clean up to do cutting off the overlayment fabric that sticks out from under the eave and gable flashing. Otherwise we are dry and covered!

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About wellheeledhills

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2 Responses to Homestead Construction #7 – Nice and Dry – The Roof is Finished

  1. Eric Cook says:

    Looking good!

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