The roof system has been screwed up from the get-go.

When we started, a birds-eye view of the roof was going to be a Z-shape, with a gable over the garage doors and the kitchen. This has a lot going for it, but there’s no good way to deal with the back of the garage, short of making the house (even) bigger. So I changed it, and now the house is a little higher, but it shits the roof’s snow load right in front of the garage doors. Well, too late to fix that one.

I drew up the trusses and the truss place engineered them. You know you’re thinking too big when the truss place calls back to tell you they’ll need an Oversize truck with police escort to get them here. So I drew them up again, and the truss place engineered and built them.

Wednesday was going to be exciting, but I missed the early action. The steel guy and a lift truck showed up with the beam spanning the living room to hold up the roof. When I got there in the morning, it was already in place.

Ginormous truck backing into driveway

The trusses arrived later that day. Big huge 50′ bed on this truck, and they sent it down to the dead end of our dirt road to turn around – this way, it’s easier to back into the driveway. The driver was amazing, and he backed this sucker right up the curve of the drive to the house. I think he must have cameras in the back, because it looked superhuman to me. He unbuckled the load while everyone gathered to watch. Me, I’m quietly stretching my muscles, preparing to pitch in and help move them off the truck. Suddenly, the trailer rumbled to life and the bed rose, tilted and slid back like an over-sized flatbed wrecker. The truck moved forward and drove out from under the trusses. I felt a little stupid – hadn’t expected a truck that  big to do that.

They began putting them up the next day. Big day for Shawn: it’s his birthday, and Mary was up early making zucchini cake, which we delivered, with candles, forks and paper products, to the job site. Darren bumped his head on a piece of staging, and almost knocked some sense into himself, so Mary hung red flagging all over it. That won’t happen again!

A big crane lifts 42′ truss from driveway pile to the far side of the house.

The trusses are pretty big, and there’s a lot of them, so they used a crane to lift each one into place, while the crew nailed them home. I made myself scarce by running errands and, while driving into town, I passed the 2nd truss delivery truck heading in. Driving back, I passed the same truck heading out.  I missed that one like I missed the steel beam. But did they miss me?

The first day, all the long trusses went up

They got the 42′ trusses and some of the east trusses up that day and when they left, I could walk inside and see a ceiling.  Wow. Very different from what I’d expected. The high ceiling really opens up the room but all the rooms look really big. It didn’t look this big on paper! The master closet looks especially big to me. Maybe in addition to wheelchair-ridden heiresses and retired NBA players, I can try to sell it to a movie star: Plenty of closet space! Maybe I should build a shoe elevator and never throw out a pair of sneakers again. It looks big from the inside. It looks big from the outside. It even looks big from the basement. If my design goal was to make a small space look big, I’ve certainly succeeded. Anyway, it’s too late to take anything out, so I’m going to just suck it up.

Steel beam in living room holds up the roof

Friday, they picked up where they left off and were into the kitchen when I checked in. I made myself scarce again by splitting firewood. I’d tried it with a wedge, but it is a crazy amount of work, and only some kinds of wood want to split to begin with. So I borrowed Mary’s trailer ball and rented a splitter. $55 got me a really nice tool for the day, and I busted my butt splitting wood – cracked them both right up the middle. No matter how much labor it saves, running a splitter is still a lot of work. I will never complain about $200/cord wood again. But I digress…

Bernie 12′ up over concrete. He fell off a roof a few years ago and broke both legs.

I had some lunch and went over to watch. Bernie was right up there in the thickest part of the action, 12′ above a concrete floor, without a safety net, with Shawn and Darren on either end. And roaming the floor was Les, getting batteries and nails, guiding the trusses on the crane, bracing from below, and etc. They are a good team. The lift truck moved to the back and lifted a cube of plywood as far as it could reach toward the back of the house. The operator was staring hard at his readout, making sure he wasn’t going to tip. That’s a shitload of plywood, and it’s all got to be carried up to the roof. That’s gonna hurt.  

about 150 sheets of 5/8″ sheathing went up

 Bernie gave me a pep talk and took off, leaving me to marvel at my folly.

When mary got home, we went over there and – I tell you – she has very definite plans for the gardens. I think that’s great, because she does a great job on the gardens she’s got.

The weekend goes by…

Monday they sheathed the West BR/KIT face.

Tuesday. I’m down there buying hamburger at the Green Top market and the guy behind the counter says to me: “are you ready for high winds and heavy rains?” Huh? We just got the trusses on and there is 1 face fully sheathed. It is an airfoil the size of a 747, raised 20′ in the air, and he’s telling me there’s a windstorm coming in?? They’re sheathing the garage when I get home, and at 20 to 12, I see a caravan of pickup trucks leaving for the day as the wind and rain picked up. The wind is coming from the south, so the air is moving north and down, because it’s moving parallel to the slope of the ground. The roof is dead level N-S, and tilted so the air should press it down, not up. So I’m predicting that, if worst comes to worst and we have a wind storm that topples the house, the roof will have dominoed down to the North, as opposed to lifted off and blown away.   

The storm came and went. The place got wet. But it didn’t blow away.


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