Only eight months had passed since we had signed the purchase and sale agreement for the red house and white cottage. However, it seemed like it had taken forever to arrive at the point where we could advance from deconstruction and demolition of the cottage to renovation and rebuilding.
I think the interruptions and delays thrown in our path; unanticipated asbestos abatement, surprising discovery of the extent of fire damage and decay, major reduction in the re-buildable square footage, and another set of plans, disrupted our honeymoon, making it feel like a long drawn out lapse in time before the renovation could get underway.
However, no sooner had we received clearance from the asbestos abatement and Arthur Schwartz had completed his plans and drawings for the white cottage then Jason’s team was able to move in and the renovation began at a full throttle pace- and full throttle it was, marked with the arrival of our first dumpster, and frigid temperatures. ( Remember last February?)
The first part of the house to be addressed was the roof, and within one day, yes- one day, Jason and his team had not only removed the existing original layer of cedar shingles which had been covered by at least another layer or two of asbestos shingles, but had reframed the entire roof and covered it with sheathing.
Moving beyond a little paint and wallpaper….Things I learned along the way about a new roof…
Rafters: the most important step in the process is measuring the rafters correctly and calculating the size that will be necessary for the cottage roof. You need to calculate:
- Run of each rafter (in feet). This measurement refers to the total length of each segment of the rafter. Basically, each truss will be made of two rafters, making the width of the house the length of the run, times two.
- Rise (in feet). The rise refers to the height of each truss, measured from the bottom of the roof segments to the top-most point or peak of the roof. Think of this as the total height of the roof itself.
- Pitch (in inches). The pitch of the roof refers to the amount the roof slopes for every 12 inches it extends horizontally, and it usually given as a fraction. A pitch of 7/12, for example, would mean that the roof rises 7 inches every foot that it extends.
- Length of each rafter segment (in feet). After determining the previous measurements, you’ll need to calculate the length of each individual segment of the trusses–the lumber for the run, for the diagonal, and for the sloping sections of each truss.
Next comes the installation of the sub-fascia. Sub-fascia boards are used to connect the wall to the end of each rafter. While not strictly necessary, they can be used for extra support as well as aesthetic purposed.
- A level line is drawn to the bottom of the first rafter tail, adjusting so the tail hits the end of the overhang. A mark is put there, the same measurement made on the last rafter tail, and a straight line is drawn connecting the two points, marking the bottom of all the rafter tails. The sub-fascia plywood is then cut and nailed to the rafters, extending as is necessary at the ends to make up for the overhang.
After all the rafters are braced and installed, a layer of roof sheathing is installed– It is basically just plywood, over which the weather stripping and shingles will be installed–nailing it to the outside of the rafters accordingly. Depending on the shape of the roof, the amount and the shape of the sheathing will vary. The sheathing is started along the bottom of the trusses, the first pieces are set on either end, then to another side so the seams will be staggered and the roof will be strong.