Pocket Full of Sawdust

It’s been a crazy busy few days!

Thursday was “get everything ready to put up the roof sheathing day.” We put up the small loft (finally):


Sitting up in the storage loft πŸ™‚


I cut the pieces for the overhang on the front and back, and trimmed the fascia to length for the sides. Dylan nailed the boards together and we put up the 24′ piece with T.O.’s help. It took about an hour.


Unfortunately we were trying to be quick and didn’t notice a gouge in the end of the piece until we stepped back to look at it up there.


I’ve since sanded it a little and it looks a bit better. This piece will show, so hopefully with some wood filler or something and some stain it will blend in. Oops!

Colby showed up, so with 4 people the fascia on the far side went up faster, even after having to hammer it out and adjust it a few times.




Colby helped me put up the angled pieces on the end, and with cutting the pieces for the front as well as that little strip of plywood.



Love the laser.


Just had to cut the notch then trace the angles right off the house.


By that point though it was 10 o’clock at night, so I broke my no-convenience-store rule – because there were no other stores open – and bought myself and my helpers some treats. πŸ™‚ It had been raining on and off all day so we were all a little damp; a hot chocolate from Tim’s was a perfect way to end the day.


Friday was “Roof Day” but we had to finish the front pieces first:



Time for the roof sheathing!

I bought tongue and groove plywood for the roof to eliminate the need for blocking like I had to do with the walls. Each half of the roof is barely 5″ more than 48″ and plywood is supposed to lay perpendicular to the rafters. That means that I need a full sheet and a 5″ strip of plywood to cover one side, which is kind of a pain, but I made the house as wide as I could and I’m happy with the slope of the roof, so that’s how it ended up. At first we only had the full sheet up there to test-fit it, but then I decided that it’d be better to put the full sheet and the strip of plywood on together. That way, I wouldn’t have an entire sheet nailed and glued, then have the strip not fit or be unable to slide or something.


When we got the strip up there to test-fit, the tongue and groove would not, no matter what we tried, fit together properly and we couldn’t figure out why. Yes, one of the pieces was bowed, but we tried pushing and pressing from every angle. I even scraped out the groove in case there was something in the way, but no luck. We had plenty of people over to get the plywood onto the roof and everything, but we were stuck. If the tongue and groove was not working on the first piece, what about the rest? Maybe the pieces, having gotten wet before, had swelled and would no longer fit. But the pieces we were test-fitting looked like they should fit, the tongue and groove seemed fine, they just wouldn’t click together. It was frustrating, time was ticking by, and people who had come to help were having to leave.

I did some Googling and was reminded of H-clips for roof sheathing! We called the only open hardware store to check if they had them, and raced to buy some before they closed in 20 minutes. In our haste, we didn’t check how thick the plywood was, and 1/2″ is apparently what every builder uses on a roof so that’s the size of clips we bought. We got home and checked, and I have 5/8″ plywood. We were supposed to have the roof sheathing on, and we didn’t even have one piece on by suppertime. 😦 One good thing was the weather. Despite calling for a chance of showers, the dark clouds decided to go in a different direction:


Last view of the sky before we closed it up!

I decided to take the chance that the store would have 5/8″ clips that we could pick up in the morning. Anxiously, I allowed Dylan to cut all the tongues off my expensive tongue and groove plywood. If they weren’t going to work, they weren’t going to work. I could use H-clips or blocking, and as far as I know, tongue and groove actually isn’t very common for roof sheathing. As a bonus, not needing all the edges allowed us to get all of the 5″ strips out of one sheet instead of 3 and we didn’t have to use the one sheet that was still a little damp.

In the end:

We salvaged the build day by getting all the plywood cut for the roof. We finished cleaning up at 9:30 and I cheated on my convenience store rule again to buy some candy for us. It was a bit of a disappointing day, but in the evening we were really productive. We made plans to get up as soon as the hardware store opened so we could get the plywood on before my shift at 3 on Saturday.

I was cold and tired as I got ready for bed, but in a good way. I’m lazy by default, so to have several days where I’m using my body, I’m outside, I’m tiring myself out without even noticing – that’s a happy kind of tired. πŸ™‚

I brought back the 1/2″ clips in the morning and asked for 5/8″. They looked at me funny and told me they didn’t carry 5/8″, which is what I was afraid of. They probably don’t stock them because apparently no one uses more than 1/2″ for roof sheathing. Technically, with 5/8″ plywood, I don’t even need H-clips or blocking because 5/8″ is rated to span 32″ with no support (my rafters only have 22 1/2″ between them). Since it’s thicker than 1/2″, it shouldn’t bow between the rafters, which is what H-clips are supposed to prevent. But it seems weird to leave gaps in my roof!

I wanted to get the sheathing on though, and decided that I could block the gaps later if I felt it was necessary. Conveniently, we had extra people show up at the perfect time to help get the plywood onto the roof! We kept it all up there with some temporary chunks of 2×4’s nailed to the fascia so the sheets couldn’t slide off, which worked really well. We organized the sheets and got into a routine of test-fit, add nails for the gap, add chalk lines, move the piece, glue, lift the piece up then set it down once it was in the right place (so no sliding the glue everywhere), then nail! We were of course slow in the beginning, and it got more difficult as it went on because there’s no loft to stand on in the middle, and each sheet we put on left us with less places to get up between the rafters. But we managed to get all 6 sheets glued and nailed before I worked!


Nailing the last sheet!




Part of the reason I really wanted to get the roof sheathing on was so the inside of the house would be protected from the rain over the next few days. We didn’t have time to add the 5″ strips, so the guys used half of the ripped tarp and stapled it down over the ridge:





You can’t really see it from the ground, but the plywood is up there!


I also need to add a couple of strips just for the end wall overhang, the way the plywood worked out.



It echoes inside now, and feels more like a house! Soon I’m going to need lights!



This morning, before the rain started, I laced up my boots again and went out to fix two things: the little bit of plywood that was sticking out over the front, and a spot where the glue had hardened and kept the plywood from pressing down flat. So far I’ve used the nail gun, the jig saw, and the circular saw up on the roof and I’m not too nervous, but Dylan’s informed me that he’s a little afraid of heights. πŸ˜› I trimmed the plywood, scraped the glue and added some more nails to pull down that plywood edge, and posed for some pictures. πŸ™‚ I’m feeling pretty accomplished! I gave myself the rest of the day off (except for blogging) and I’ll be back working on the house later this week!




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"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris
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