A Shiny Peak.

David's picture

Another fine weekend with oodles of progress. Yup, the roof is up! Finally. And not a moment too soon either. The forecast is predicting snow flurries for this coming week. They will be mixed with rain though, so I'm thinking we'll still be ok for working outside. At least we don't have to worry about having the inside of the studio being filled with snow, or getting wet. Well, to be honest, the roof is up, but not complete. There are still ways for the rain and snow to fall inside.

Friday is payday around here, so this past Thursday we made sure to get all our ducts in a row. I called the yard ahead of time to make sure they scheduled the delivery on Friday. I knew I wasn't going to even touch the metal then, but I wanted to start installing the roof first thing Saturday morning. And so, it was Friday afternoon that the truck rolled in with our roof. With a bit of idle chit-chat we unloaded the shiny metal. I was anxious to tear open the cellophane packaging to see all my goodies, but there were other things that needed tending too. Like the roofing paper.

So on Friday, while I was waiting for the delivery, I started working on getting the roofing paper up on the roof. I started on the north side, at the eave. The first strip was pretty easy as it was close to the ground and I didn't need a ladder to attach it. The next strip wasn't too bad either. I did have to come up with a way to hold the paper from curling. A few lengths of 2x's propped on the ground took care of that. I also found it a bit more difficult to ensure that the paper was laying down straight and parallel to the previous strip. With a bit more wrestling than the first, it was finally up. Now the third one proved to be an even more of a hassle. Mostly because the wind kicked up a couple notches. I'd start my strip with a few staples and go on laying it out, but before I could get a few feet, the wind had torn the paper from the staples. It was very irritating. The 2x's I used to help weigh it down on the previous strips, were too short to reach the third. I did have one long length 2x, but one wasn't enough. My increasing frustration was inhibiting my thinking skills, because I was grunting and cursing the whole time. I'd climb up the ladder, tack the paper, climb down the ladder, unspool the paper and lug the ladder to the opposite end, climb up the ladder, tack it down, the first tackings would then tear from the wind, and the whole sheet would slide down, and finish off by tearing the tackings I just put in. Then idiot me would try it again with a slightly different method. I did this about a half dozen times. The problem was I was avoiding getting more lumber to help hold it down. My mantra, "Use what's on hand." is thoroughly embedded in my soul and I was sure I didn't need more lumber. But by then I was pretty fed up with it all and decided to get some. But before I left, I quickly shoved in a short 2x underneath an upper 1x4 strapping and used it to kind of pinch the roofing paper down. And wouldn't you know it, it worked like a charm. Hah! 1 for David, and 0 for the paper. Sadly, my victory was short lived because I had to head in and start supper. Once that was taken care of and Patricia came home, we both went out again and finished putting up the rest of the paper on the north side.

Then came Saturday morning. We skipped breakfast and went straight outside to get started. First we tacked on the foam seal at the eave. Then we put up our first sheet. We started on the west side because most of the prevailing winds come from the east. I had Patricia up on the ridge while I worked from the ground. I pulled up the first sheet and slid it up to Patricia. She held it in place while I drilled and screwed it down. I did the first two rows, then Patricia drilled and screwed down a row at the top. Mostly so the with wouldn't blow off. Then we put up the second sheet, same as the first. We soon realized we could be doing it better. Having the sheet on the roof, and then drilling the holes, and then screwing it down, was a horrible way to go about it. I did some quick thinking and decided predrilling the holes on the ground would work. The holes should fall on all the 1x4 strapping. So that's what I did. I drilled all the wholes through all the sheets, at the same time. No more switching bits, or having to drill on the roof. Putting up the third sheet turned out to be so much easier, and way faster. The fourth and fifth sheets went up just as nice. The fifth was the last on that side of the roof and had to be trimmed. A couple of marks and a pass with my cutting wheel, and up it went. Time to move on to the other side.

This side still needed roofing paper, so we put that up. It went pretty quick being how Patricia was there to help me. By this time the sun was setting, and only had time to put up one piece of steel. Which was probably a good thing because the next piece would have to be cut for the dormer above the door. It was a good place to stop.

Sunday morning, and we were at it again. I told Patricia to go ahead and wait a bit because I had to do some measuring and cutting before I'd need her help. No use having her and Phoenix mill around outside waiting for me. So off I went. I didn't think it would be too difficult. A few measurements and a few cuts, and I'd be ready to go. It turned out to be a real brain twister. I think if I had a typical dormer, I wouldn't have had such a hard time. I took the measurements and transferred them to the steel. Before cutting it, I double checked to make sure it was ready to be cut. And good thing I did because I forgot to put in the flashing. So I pulled out the flashing and began cutting it in. This got me thinking how water would travel down my roof. I came to realize that my best bet would be to sheet the dormer first, and then the main roof. So that's what I did. I first had to figure on how I was going to attach the metal to the dormer. Due to it's shape, the framing was a bit different and was going to be difficult getting the 1x4 strapping to sit right. At this point, I had another idiot moment. After a good deal of time being spent on trying to fit the 1x4's perfectly, I finally had the thought to just sheet the damn thing with plywood. Quick and easy. I then laid some roofing paper on it, and then cut the steel to fit. I put on the ridge and was now ready for the main roof.

I double checked my previous layout with the 'new' dormer and found I had to make some new measurements. Finally I was ready to cut it. Meanwhile, Patricia and Phoenix have been waiting for me. What was thought to take about an hour, took me well past noon o'clock. We were beginning to think the roof wouldn't get done. But we did get it done. Once we were past the dormer, the rest of the sheets went down without a hitch. On our very last panel, the battery in our drill died with just a few screws short. Plus, we still needed to get the ridge cap on. So it's not totally complete, but we were happy to have gotten that far. The day was over by then so the rest will have to wait until tomorrow...hopefully.

Over the weekend we had a good amount of wind, heavy cloud cover, cold temperatures and scattered showers. This coming week looks very similar with added snow flurries. We may catch a break here and there. But anyway, that's where we are at now. After the few more roofing touches, we will be working on closing in the east gable wall and getting the whole place dried in. That would be nice.

Until then, we were able to borrow Dorothy's camera to take a few quick pics of our progress. Enjoy!


Rachel's picture

That is one fine looking building! You two should be very proud! I know we are. :-) I can't wait to see it all complete and cozy inside.

By Rachel
David's picture

Yeah, we like it. You guys are welcome to come over and spend your vacation in the cob studio if you want!

By David
Rick's picture

Looking good! How does that door swing? Are those windows operable? How about gutters? Do you have the wood for the gable wall already?

By Rick
David's picture

Thanks! The door swings out .... Hahaha, I make myself laugh sometimes. No really, it swings nice. It was kinda scary at first though. At least for me. The hinges ride smooth with no vibrations at all. One push and the door will swing all the way open, or closed. That's what's so scary about it. The momentum and weight of the door, I'm sure, will break fingers if they get in the way. Due to the dormer, it only opens up 90deg. Not a problem really, it just feels awkward.
Only the 'kitchen' window is operable. The hinges are along the top. Yup, we are going to put up gutters. We have some already that were given to us. We also have the wood for the gable wall. More than enough actually. We may even use the same stuff on the interior somewhere (ceiling/wall paneling).

By David
Criddles's picture

WOW! That is neat looking! Man Rick, you ask wayyy too many questions. LOL!!!

Looks wonderful!!!

By Criddles
David's picture

It's a cute little cottage ain't it?!

No, no, no... I like questions about the studio. Ask away, hehe.

By David

This isn't fair. I find your blog and start reading only to find out you're not finished? :) I envy you guys right now because you're living our dream. We bought 30 acres of land in Oklahoma and next year we're heading out to do the very same thing by building a cob house and living off the land as much as is possible. we'll be documenting it at our site Country Life Dreams I'm adding a link on our site back to yours so people can see what we're in for.

I'm assuming you're building in an area that is zoned residential which is why you got hit with the building permit issue. That's one of the reasons I bought where we did, no zoning, no permits, no restrictions.

On using the logs as rafters, did you bury the ends completely in the cob? If so do you have any concerns about them rotting out?

Looking forward to reading and seeing the finished product.


David's picture

Yes Mike, this is being built in an area that enforces building codes. When we build our real home it will be on a piece of land that, like yours in Oklahoma, does not have a zoning or building department.

The log ends are somewhat buried completely in the cob. What I mean is they are not exposed to the exterior, but are pretty well exposed all across the top. They are set half way into the wall, and are flush with the top of the wall. And although I haven't read anything about encased wood rotting away, it was still a concern. So the way I have installed them (laying in somewhat of a 'saddle'), I figure they can be easily replaced with very little demolition to the wall. But I think as long as the wood isn't getting saturated for an extended period of time, rotting shouldn't be a problem. And the fact that the logs are tucked high up underneath the roof overhang, I am doubly content.

Thanks for the post Mike, and I plan on watching your progress on your site.



By David