Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Looking for a contractor?

For those of you who follow us you know that we decided to contract out the installation of our roof tar paper and shingles ... and I feel good about it for all the reasons I have already listed.

We did our homework and got 4 quotes from 4 different roofers (all licensed and bonded) and found what we think was a really great deal using a neat little site called ServiceMagic.com. I had never heard of the site before but after doing some research learned that they are kind of like a "gate keeper" for subcontractors. The companies actually pay a weekly fee for Service Magic to refer to them. However, it's not a good ol' boys club. They check backgrounds, company history, liscense, etc. etc. etc. And from what we can tell they check in constantly with their "Quality Pros" to make sure that the company dynamics haven't changed and they are still the same company they advertised themselves as.

After getting the name from Service Magic we went with Islander Roofing, LLC and couldn't be happier. They were professional, quick and overall really nice to work with. Plus, they were also the cheapest. This was a surprise for us since we figured they would pass on the "Service Magic" fee to us but I guess they went with the mentality of a small profit on lots of jobs. Either way, we will definitely be calling on them to bid on the house.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Put a roof over your head

Over the past two weekends we've been working pretty hard to get a good stable roof over our heads and this weekend we finished it! Side Note: We only did as far as the roof joists and sheathing. We're 99% sure we're going to have a professional do the tar paper and shingles for a few reasons:
  • We're on a pretty short deadline to get watertight and we don't really have the time to give to the roof.
  • Mr. Nick won't let me on the steep incline for long periods of time to help him because he says I'm dangerous. I told him, "Ha! I laugh in the face of danger" and he replied, "No, you laugh as danger's hitting you in the face."
  • We're not professionals and, let's face it, this is our roof.
  • Did I mention how steep it is?
The roof in general was a big task, one that I was mildly de-motivated by on the first day (we used 2"x6"x24' for our roof joists, just getting them from the ground to the top was a big task, not to mention cutting two bird's mouths and two angles out of each of them). But, then Mr. Nick told me to just think of it as 16" at a time (the distance between roof joists) and that helped a lot. Either way. Here's the big steps.

Hurricane ties on both the tops of the walls and the tops of the beams.
We made these little "bird houses" in order to make sure our roof joists all lined up properly. There is a bird house on each side sandwiching the 2"x4"x24's. 16" at time ... 
Finished! That's our cute little shed dormer poking out the side (the only part I was allowed to nail the sheathing on top of). The rest Mr. Nick did, isn't he amazing!?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to construct your building eaves

Almost any building has eaves to keep the water off the exterior walls. Here's our simple step by step process for how we built the two gable eaves (one gable eave = two of the lookout sections below) that are going on our barn (roofing video to come soon I promise).

You'll use three of the same 2"x6"xwhatever you used for all your other roof joists. (We used 2"x 6"x 24' that we special ordered). Measure out your 2"x4" spacing every 3'.
Clamp your three boards together so that the ends of the 2"x6"s line up.
Transfer your mark from the center board across all three boards. You'll want to trace in the outline for where your 2"x4"s will go
Here's a closer look.
Set your circular saw to 1 1/2" which is the thickness of a 2"x4"
Cut in the lines. To see a video demonstration of Mr. Nick doing this, click here.
Here is what it will look like once you've done your "lines" with the circular saw.
Knock out your chunks. You can use a chisel to get out any stubborn pieces.
This is what it will look like.
Lay your 2"x4"s in the spaces. We cut them to 33 1/2". Nail the first row only.
Measure on your 2"x4" marks at 16" and 32". You have to do this on every 2"x4".
Make your way down the row again, lining up the second notches.
Here is an example of how it lines up.
Finish up with the last row.
Make sure your 2"x4"s are recessed in as your roofing material will lay on top of this.
Finished product. Now you have to get it on the roof. More of that in our roofing post to come.
Here it is hanging up, now our barn has an eave!
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