Raisin’ and Tearin’

Yep. We had ourselves a roof raisin’ on day 1, only to tear it down on day 2.

Following the instructions carefully and building a template to make the rafters for the roof, we assembled it and were hopeful to get the plywood, paper, and shingles on before the snow came at New Years. After the last one was up, we looked down the line and saw a height difference in each one… some as much as 2 inches! None of them say flush with the top of the wall either. That simply would not do. Defeated, we swallowed our pride and tore it all down the next day to start over. Ripping out nails and gussets to salvage what we could, we felt lost as to how we could re-build the roof right. We had to do it right and those rafters would not do the job we needed them to do.

Rising lumber prices had us stressed. Just in the last week, a 2×4 had gone up $1.50! That’s a whopping $5.98 a board. You do the math… How would we reuse the wood? A. J. spent hours researching ways to re-use and re-purpose the wood we had set aside for the gable roof.

“Well, it’s trash.” he remarked, closing the computer and heading to the kitchen for dinner. It was a quiet mealtime as A.J. kept crunching the numbers. After a long while, he perked his head up and announced, “We’ll build the roof again. If my measurements are right, we can re-use about 80% of the wood for a new roof.”

“How are we going to do that, A.J.? The boards were already cut to size.” I replied in dismay. I was weary of his proposal and aching all over for the laborious day we had just had. He just smiled at me. I could see an idea blooming in that noggin of his.

“We built the roof originally with three long pieces of wood. Instead, we could build the roof with 4 short pieces of wood and have attic space. It’s called a gambrel style roof. What do you think?” Well, I didn’t know what to think! I know very little about construction and up until this point, I was too afraid to use a nail gun (still am) , much less re-assemble a whole roof! With a long sigh, I asked, “How much is it going to cost?” Convinced of the idea, A.J. replied, “A whole lot less if we go with the gambrel style.”

It was settled then. A gambrel style roof it was! Not only would this be the most cost effective option, it would also give us a whole ton of attic space; 5 feet in the center in fact.

Day 3 came, the weather was holding off with only cloud coverage and a light cool breeze. We got to work assembling the first rafter, then made a template for the rest. We had a good system going too. A.J. would nail the gussets to the boards, and I would move the pieces into place. After the last one was finished, we had 15 beautiful rafters ready for installation.

The rafters ready to install.

I headed up to the house to fix us up a hearty lunch and switch the laundry over. Before 5 minutes went by, A.J. ran in the house saying, “It’s raining”. I dropped what I was doing and followed him into the garage, up the attic and down again with the largest tarp we owned. Without a moment to lose, we hurried back down to our construction sight and began stacking neatly and covering fully the boards that needed to weather the rain. The tools were next. Shifting our attention, we worked as a conveyer belt moving drills, saws, and batteries into the bed of the truck. After the bed cover was locked shut and with the tail gate still down, we plopped. Out of breath with feet swinging, we looked around the garden feeling accomplished.

“That will have to do until this weather passes” A.J. said. That was 6 days ago and still it sits. Hoping for sunny good weather this coming weekend. Stay tuned!

We had just a dusting of snow on the top of a thin sheet of ice that next morning. A beautiful way to wake on New Year’s Day. The entire floor of the shed is an ice rink. Standing on a ladder would be foolish. So, we wait.

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