Roofing Dilemmas

So, the construction of the walls of the structure is pretty straighforward – sticks attached to other sticks with nails. However, the roof is more complicated. Like the rest of the structure, whatever we decide on will be clad in plywood and covered with something, but the manner in which the roof is constructed can vary considerably depending on how much time and money and help we have.

The two main choices for roof construction are building one ourselves, using a similar construction method to building the floor, or using prefabricated trusses, which increase the strength of the structure, are easier to install, use less lumber, but cost more money.

The first idea was to build the roof ourselves, but it has quickly become apparent from various conversations with the helpful dudes at Home Depot, that there is a huge amount of time involved and it would required a degree of skill that we probably don’t possess. This method would probably cost around 6-800 dollars for the frame, i.e. not including the plywood, tar paper and shingles that make up the roof itself. It would also probably take a week. In this method you basically build a deck, then cut notches into the joists and nail them into the walls. The notches have to be precise angles and could be mis-cut real easy.

Trusses would cost about 1500 dollars, but would take about one day to install and are a lot less likely to be screwed up by neophytes such as us. We would use the standard gable room, which means just one peak right in the middle. They describe the rise of the roof through a factor of twelve inches, so for a tall roof, we would order a rise of 12 to 12, which means a foot of elevation for a foot of length. We would probably go for a rise of 6 to 12, because it will be easier to shingle a roof with less of a rise, and for some reason a really tall roof doesn’t appeal to me for a cabin, aesthetically. I’d like to see if we can get a skylight in there somewhere, but price will dictate this. Maybe ReStore will have one for cheap. We’ll also need to install one of those whirly-gigs called ventilators to suck the hot air out during the summer. This could be insteresting, as it requires more precision than most of the rest of the contruction will likely entail.

I’ve left a message with Diamond Truss Inc. in Toronto for a complete quote, but have yet to hear back from them. I may just take the drawings to Home Depot and get them to do us a quote. In the end, we will probably give the business to the Home Hardware in Temagami, as they were good to us the last time we were up there building. Also, the CMHC Guide to Wood Frame Home Construction says you should try to get your trusses close to the job site, as they can be damaged in transport. They should be carried upside down while moving them, along the longest piece of wood at the bottom, not by the angled pieces that make the peak.


~ by cabineer on May 14, 2009.

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