Done with the Roofers

So far in building, I’ve been happy to contract out roofing to otherwise more capable people with better tools. It’s always notoriously difficult to get contractors to show up, roofers even more. And I get it, no one wants to do their work and so they have even more leverage than most contractors. They don’t care what your building schedule looks like, they only care to have work lined up on their own schedule and will say anything to keep it that way. Their incentive is to keep you waiting so you’re available for them when they have a gap. This year I had it waiting for them and getting strung along, I couldn’t afford it any longer with Winter right around the corner so I went ahead with my usual “screw it, I’ll just do it myself”.

All in all it’s not very difficult but there are a few tricks to pick up, and it is definitely physically hard and fairly dangerous.

I was quoted $2800 for this roof, it ended up costing $1100 and I spent an extra $200 on metal cutting tool I didn’t have, and $250 on climbing gear to be safer and because I want to climb trees for fun. It also “cost” me 2 and a half days of work. I can’t say I’m sad I had to do it myself for the savings and tools I got. The real silver lining though, is that I’ll never have to call a roofer ever again. I now possess the knowledge and the tools. Now that, is a freeing feeling :).

After this, I finally got to proceed with the siding which was long overdue. My dad who is the worst handyman I know (I learned all my swear words watching him with a hammer), came out and helped. I was very apprehensive going in, one of the unspoken worries of homesteading is when people of little manual ability decide they too want to have a homesteading experience and offer their help. He ended up doing really great and helped a lot. Agnes stained a whole bunch of boards, both saved me a lot of time in one day.

I laid shiplap diagonally for strength, we get high winds and this shed has 12′ walls to catch them with. I was ok compromising aesthetics for strength. It turns out it looks really good. We’re very pleased with the result.

I put the roof on right before a big rain, and I sided 1 wall right before a big wind. Right on time, not waiting for the roofers was the right decision, I could have been in trouble if I had: more water ruining the frame, the wind catching in the big sail that is the roof without any structural strength against shearing.

Previously I could hear the building move on little wind gusts, with only 1 wall sided with diagonal boards though, I did not hear a peep during strong gusts. Diagonal is the way :).

I’ll be pushing hard in the next few week ends to close it all up. There is a lot of work left and it really needs to be done before the snow invites itself to Vermont.


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