Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Roofing & Closing up for the winter.

On Friday Brent and I got up early to finish the framing, and to try to get the roof on. We'd made such good progress the previous day, we were optimistic that we could get a lot done.

Framing the last wall was rough, as access was a lot more difficult. We didn't have the loft to stand on, so there was a lot of ladder manipulation and movement. Hanging on with one arm as we tried to toe-nail studs together was tiring and time consuming.

Installing the last few pieces of siding were difficult too, since we had to nail it from the outside, and we couldn't access the side of the tree house via scaffolding. We eventually got everything finished, and started thinking about getting the OSB onto the rafters.

The roof has a 21 degree slope, which is scary enough when standing on it. OSB is surprisingly slippery, and it was a long way down to the ground. Luckily Andy and my dad showed up around this time and were willing to help out. Andy had a lot of rope, a few pulleys, and a harness. He set up a rig where he could get to each corner of the roof, and be tied in securely the whole time. I settled for a climbing harness and a fixed length of rope that would prevent me from sliding off the nearest part of the roof. Unfortunately that meant I couldn't reach the corners of the roof.

We started with the lowest sheets of OSB, and started going up from there. We left a gap in the middle of the roof so that we could get on and off easily. It was also the same slot we planned on installing a skylight into, so it worked out well.

We overhung the OSB by a foot on each side, to allow for a good eave on each end of the tree house. We also added two 18' 2" x 6" caps on the high and low side of the rafters. These helped counter lever the extra rafters that weren't resting on the frame of the tree house.

After all the OSB was up we started laying and stapling the roofing felt. This made things feel a lot safer, the felt wasn't as slippery as the OSB alone. We also starting framing in the skylight opening. The skylight would have the dual purpose of letting some light in, and giving us access to the roof down the road.

By the time we got all the felt on and framed in the rough opening for the skylight, it was time to call it a day. We didn't quite get as much done as we hoped, but had one more day of the trip to get the actual roofing material installed.

We did manage to get the roll-roofing install on Saturday. We also managed to get several of the lower level windows in, although a few ended up a bit large for the rough openings. We unfortunately didn't take many pictures, but tarring and nailing the roofing material down isn't really that exciting. Hopefully we managed to get everything watertight for the most part.

Saturday night we quit a bit early and went to a friend of the family's 50th birthday / anniversary party. It was nice to get out and be a little social after 9 very full days of work.

Sunday involved a lot of clean up and further waterproofing of the structure. I was out of time to get the door or upper level windows in, so my dad and I took some discarded T-111 and shuttered up the rough openings. Since the skylight was going to require some modification, I made a temporary cover for it out of a few 2" x 4"s, T-111, and some roofing material.

I also had to cut short 2" x 6" blocks to fill up the gap between the upper portion of the rafters where they sat on the frame. Brent had gotten the lower portion of the rafters taken care of the day before. I hammered these into place, relying on a press-fit. I suspect some will fall out during the winter as the structure shifts slightly under the various stresses.

Buttoning everything up took a lot longer than I expected. I barely had time to really look at what we accomplished before I had to jump in the car and drive back to Colorado. Dad made a comment about how he was happy to see me go, so he could actually relax a bit. I could understand where he was coming from, I was truly exhausted after the long trip.