033 I finished the roof just in time

033 I finished the roof just in time

When I adopted this neglected land, I didn’t know how to build a roof. I didn’t know how long it would take. I didn’t even know what most of the parts where called. But slowly, I figured it all out, learned new skills, and built a roof. But let’s start where we left off last time.

So many things didn’t work out when building this roof. But some things also just aligned perfectly.

I’d been eyeing these tiles since starting the roof but they were just too expensive. Reluctantly, I’d settled on a second layer of that bitumen-paper stuff I hated so much. When I went to order the rolls for pickup, the green shindles went on sale. They were getting rid of the rest of their stock.

I immediately dropped everything, reserved every single package they had, and drove home very carefully with a trunk full enough to near my car’s load limit.

Two sessions later, it looked like an actual roof in the making. So, I kept at it. Every dry hour was spent putting up sheet after sheet. Beyond the first few rows, each sheet meant at least one climb of the ladder.

When I was almost done with the first side, a rainstorm approached. Over the course of the entire roof, I only covered it twice, because it is a major hassle. But I wasn’t going to risk my new roof so close to the finish line.

I’ve been enjoying watching the starlings in the surrounding trees.

Another storm on the horizon, I left my half-finished roof. The storm blew open the unfinished side that night. But it wasn’t bad. Just one sheet had come loose, so I applied a quick fix between storms.

The next day still wasn’t nice, so my husband joined me to get the rest of the metal up quickly. Having someone hand me tools made this a lot less exhausting. And I got some aerial footage, yay. The storm had also brought down a lot of walnuts, so he collected those while I “drilled” some holes.

Little did I know that I’d be replacing every single nail with a special fancy screw. Each screw has a seal that keep water out of the screw hole. And then I had to do it all over again on the second (weather-facing) side of the roof.

I have been wearing headphones a lot during this project, as the noise from my own construction stresses me. Hammering is much nicer through noise-cancellation and music.

Session after session, I got closer to a finished roof. There are more than 400 of these three-shingle sheets on the roof. The neighbor’s ladder has been a huge help–though I’ve come to loathe it. I definitely won’t miss climbing the ladder hundreds of times over the course of this project.

I’ll have to find other tasks to keep my body moving over the winter. There is no shortage of those. Even with the winter winds already picking up, there are so many things to do on this piece of land. And the best thing: none of them are on a deadline.

After weeks and weeks of work, it was finally time to put on the ridge. I could now finally say: I’ve built a roof. I did this! I made this happen! A ridiculous happy dance was in order, before cleaning up.

I finished the roof just in time. A really bad rainstorm arrived the next day to test my work. I am happy to report, it all held tight.

There’s some cosmetic work left, some edges to finish but anything critical is done. The rains could come. So, I used the ugly weather to go back to the hardware store for gutters and fixings. I carried it all in while getting rained on.

Weather won’t keep me out of the garden this winter. I’m too excited for what’s to come. So long, and thanks for being here.