Friday, September 11, 2009

Second-story frame roof

The roof of the blue room and the back stairs is the roof we're working on this week. Here is the original picture from May. The brick there is the upstairs sunroom; the window in the frame part is a small hallway window at the top of the stairs, currently half-hidden behind a door which is nailed open. (This is because the upstairs was heated with wood using a stove in the downstairs back room. The heat went up the back stairs, then the return air came down the front stairs. I'm told it worked pretty darned well. Looking at the layout, I can only shudder and think "Fire hazard," but that's just me.)

Here's the same roof yesterday. We've basically taken off the box gutters. You can't see it in either of these pictures, but there was a brick chimney at the back of the blue room, blocked off at the first-floor ceiling. We removed it - it was essentially a stack of bricks with some sand between them. It caused me some significant fear thinking that the rest of the house is also basically a stack of bricks with sand between them, but mostly the mortar in the house proper is in kinda-sorta good shape. Still needs lots of tuck pointing, though.

Like the dining room roof, this roof was structurally pretty sound, with basically mulch where its box gutters used to be. We put another layer of plywood on top, but the rafters and planking were in fine condition. As you can see, this bit of roof really doesn't have much of a pitch. Ah well. It keeps the rain off - or rather, it didn't, until today.

As of today, by the way, my house has a fully non-leaking roof.

See that hole in the roof? There was a flue there.

It was long since blocked off, of course, but it had softened the planks around it to the point where we had to take them off. And I realized - now is the perfect time to insulate! See the ceiling plaster from the top? Actually, that ceiling is concealed now; it was in bad enough shape that they just framed in four inches below it and insulated below it, but more insulation never hurts!

So, $90 and two hours with a rented blower later, we got one warm room in the big house.

So that was today's progress. The roof is closed up now, with tar paper on it. Shingles go on Monday. Over the weekend, I'll continue work on the baseboard heat. There are four more heaters to install, and three wall thermostats. Textbook electrical work.

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