Building My House

I have always wanted to build my own house. I am retired now, so I have the time. I found some land, designed a house that would fit the land and my needs and got started. I am doing all the work myself, so progress will be fairly slow. To read this blog from the beginning, start with the oldest archive and read posts from last to first.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

56: Metal Roof Started


Yes, the metal roof is finally going on. It seems like it has taken forever to get to this point.

From ridge to eave it’s 17.5 feet. So, one piece of metal roofing is 3 feet wide by 17.5 feet long and weighs about 39 lbs. That doesn’t seem too heavy to muscle around when standing on the ground. But when you get up on the roof, it’s a different story. Working by myself I didn’t want to have to try to muscle it around up there, so I cut the long span into two shorter pieces. The metal roof manufacturer said I needed at least a 9” overlap on the two pieces. One piece is 8’10” long, the other 9’6” long. Using these lengths centers the overlap directly over a purlin, making it easy to put the screws in.

I am using what’s known as “K-Panel” roofing. The ridges (four ridges per panel) are about 1” tall and spaced 9” apart. You put a screw right by each ridge, so four screws per purlin and I have 10 purlins = 40 screws, or about 20 screws per piece.

On the first day I only got to work about 2 hours. Between figuring out what was the best way to get the metal pieces up on the roof (remember, it’s a long way down to the ground) and what was the best way to arrange my work platforms (walking boards) that sit on the bottom chord of each roof truss, I only got two pieces of roofing installed. I have a total of 80 pieces to install, so at this rate it would take forever to finish.

On the second day I got four panels installed and did eight panels on the third day. It’s funny how as you get more and more experienced that your production levels go way up. On the fourth day, it misted rain all morning long, but in the afternoon I got seven panels done. So, here we sit at 21 panels done out of 80, or about 25% complete.

Even dry, this metal roofing is slippery. I can’t even lay my leather work gloves down on the metal without them wanting to immediately slide off. I wouldn’t even think of walking around on top of the roof without being tied off. I noticed that I had forgot to put in a row of screws on a previous panel. So, I rigged up a safety rope to tie myself off and got up on top of the roof. Even though I was laying flat out on the roof, the whole time I was sliding toward the bottom. The missing screws went in just fine, but it also confirmed the need for the safety rope.

So, how do I get the metal panels up on the roof? I put them up from inside the building. My trusses are spaced four feet apart, so there is plenty of room to slide a 3 foot wide panel up between the trusses. I just lift it up, lean it against the 3rd purlin up (from the eave) and then set the bottom edge on a nail I drove into one of the wall studs. It’s pretty easy to do, and it puts the panel in a good position to grab and pull up on the roof once I climb back up there.
One final note, metal prices have come down quite a bit. When I ordered my material it turned out a metal roof like I have (K Panel, 26 gauge metal) is the same price as three tab, 20 year asphalt shingles (both are about $80 a square). If you go with the 30 year, architectural shingle; a metal roof is CHEAPER.

8 Comments:

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

What's the pitch of your roof Tony? It certainly doesn't look very steep in the picture.

I have a metal roof on my house with a 4:12 pitch and I can stick to it with a pair of sneakers though I would never walk on it when wet and I usually wait for a warm sunny day to heat the metal up.

I'm not convinced on metal roofs yet. The previous owners installed this roof about ten years ago I've noticed that screws have begun to back out some though I blame part of that on a layer of shingles underneath which your's doesn't have. But I don't blame it all on it because my parents have a half dozen buildings with metal roofs on perlins and they all eventually leak which means some quality time on the roof with a cordless drill and some silicone. I guess leaks are still easier to find on metal than shingles and shingles leak eventually too so maybe it all works out.

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger Tony said...

Ed:
The expanding spray foam insulation that I will use on the inside surfaces of the metal roof is also very waterproofing. So, I "shouldn't" have any roof leak problems. The other reason to use the spray insulation is of course to prevent condensation from forming on the underside of the matal.

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Tony said...

"metal"; if only I could spell; or better yet, proofread.

 
At 7:42 PM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

Sounds good. I have wondered how hard it is to do the spray foam without hiring it done so I look forward to that post in the future.

 
At 12:09 PM, Blogger Tonerboy said...

Toni, glad to see you are making some progress on that roof. Will you be doing the foam spray yourself?

 
At 11:07 AM, Blogger Tony said...

Ed: The roof pitch is right at 5:12

Tonerboy: At this point in time I do plan to do the foam spraying myself. At first estimate it looks like the DIY approach is about 35% cheaper than hiring it done. I'll get a few more estimates and then make a final decision.

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Rusty UL said...

Tony,

I've just found and read your blog. I'm also building my own house. You started a bit earlier than I did, but I don't have a masonry foudation, so mine went a bit faster. I still have a bunch to do. Check it out if you like at http://www.ultralightfun.blogspot.com
My house is far from complete, but I'm living inside and I've gotten very lazy! Anyway, I enjoyed your blog!

 
At 12:08 PM, Blogger Rusty UL said...

Tony,

I've just found and read your blog. I'm also building my own house. You started a bit earlier than I did, but I don't have a masonry foudation, so mine went a bit faster. I still have a bunch to do. Check it out if you like at http://www.ultralightfun.blogspot.com
My house is far from complete, but I'm living inside and I've gotten very lazy! Anyway, I enjoyed your blog!

 

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