Building a roof

I recently built a roof as part of a team in a hands-on Construction class. This class was provided as a DOL grant to improve skills of the unemployed. This was very exciting for me because I got to see a part of construction that I am usually observing.

Stage 1: Rafter and Structure Assembly

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Wooden A-frame built from two pre-existing pieces and drilled together and to the work table.


Stage 2: Waterproofing



We installed felt material to underlay the shingles. These were simply hammered into the rafters.


Stage 3: Shingles

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We stapled shingles onto the felt. This process turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. The shingles are supposed to be properly staggered to prevent moisture penetration length- and width-wise. I put about half a row of shingles before the instructor came around and showed me how to stagger the shingles like in the first photo. He also wanted to ensure that the top shingle was at least halfway over the bottom shingle and kind of pressed together (over the sticky black line that the shingles have – in picture 2)  to prevent water infiltration. Because if there’s a way, water will find it.


Stage 3: Roof Ventilation

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1. Measure and draw out the outer and inner extents of the particular roof vent you’re using.

2. Measure and cut out the inner dimensions of the vent. I forget what the square was for.

It’s important that these cuts be as close to the dimensions of the roof vent as possible to prevent any gaps. Again, our concern is water finding it’s way into the small openings.

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3. Slide the vent under the shingles(on three sides – top, left, and right) as tight as possible, and hammer away!


Stage 4: (In this process only) – Demolish and recycle

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Demoing the roof. Most of the demoed materials were recycled for use by the next class.


So there you have it folks! I built a roof, and demoed it too. Smile


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