Habitat Build 2008 Second Day – Roof Goes On

Saturday, May 17 was the second day of the Presbyterian Coalition, Cobb Habitat for Humanity build in 2008.  This is the fifth article in this series, the first covering the Traditional Dinner on the Slab which includes a slide show of 25 pictures and introduces the future homeowner, Nicole Combs and her son Elijah.   The second article is the beginning of a tutorial ” Habitat Tutorial, Preparation for Build” which covers some of the intense preparation that goes on behind the scenes before the volunteers show up.   The third article covers the actual first day of build: Habitat Build 2008 First Day – Walls Go Up .  The fourth article is the second part of the tutorial, Habitat Tutorial – Part 2 .

For those of you looking for the homeless veterans or homeless youth, this is it. Click on one the links above the banner or on either of the two links in this paragraph, or maybe check out the right sidebar.

This article covers the installation of the roof trusses, roof decking and various other 2d day activities. To see the slide show of 126 pictures click here or on any picture below!  There is a (mostly) different set of 137 pictures (and growing) for the tutorial, by the way, so to see those check out the tutorials or click here for access to the tutorial slide show.  From any slide show you can access various sizes of the prints for free download (instructions further down – “Getting Copies”).

In the beginning there is the mandatory “have fun but be safe” safety and pep talk by Jeff Vanderlip, the fellow in the shirt of many colors. 

Everybody is introduced to Nicole Combs in the front middle.  She has already completed 100 hours of work on other homes and 100 hours of training on such things as mortgages, taxes, budgeting, how to maintain her new home, etc.    She is very active in helping on this house and has been an excellent “quality control” person that is making certain that her house is built right.   After the introductions, the crew leaders were introduced and jobs assigned to those willing to work in the rafters.

To read the rest of the story and see many more pictures, click here:


The work begins at 8:30 AM and once again, the photographer (me) gets into the shot by way of shadow on the pavement.  These are the roof trusses that will be installed today, laid out on the side of the road.  The Gray Ghosts have already been at work.   The trusses arrived on site on Tuesday and the Gray Ghosts prepared the end trusses by installing the first sheet of OSB in the middle span.   That meant that the OSB applied to the safety pole (barely showing at the far left) had to be removed from the top of the pole.  They think of everything and removed it for us.  They also laid out the OSB on both end trusses and cut them out to fit, numbered them and the trusses and stored the cut pieces in the front hall.   Having the pieces pre-cut saves us from doing it this morning.   We appreciate it, though few volunteers knew or noticed what they had done for us.  Thanks guys and gals.  

This is what “tricked out car” means to a Gray Ghost.  Tool carriers on roll out shelves.  The car belongs to Roy Brumley who is the unofficial lead Ghost and person to call to schedule Ghost work. 

I’ve mentioned the Gray Ghosts in earlier posts, so look for them.  It is a great organization of dedicated individuals, often older, sometimes younger, both men and women that are most often retired and willing to take one or two days each week to help the SPM (Site Project Manager) and the volunteers get something done that wasn’t completed during the previous work day.

Here is a truss being walked to the house.  The trusses on the ground have been moved and re-stacked in the order of installation.   There are several truss designs for the house depending on where the truss is to be located and they must be put up in their correct positions.    They are numbered when they are made.

Here the fifth truss is hoisted onto the top of the house.  There are volunteers with long forked poles near the front of the house and inside to guide the truss in.  It will be positioned with the chord (long side) near the last truss, then rotated up and carefully positioned to marks on the truss (my job was marker), then stabilized with truss spacing tools and nailed in at the bottom and fastened to the long board sticking out to the right. 

The last truss went up at 10:15 AM, just 1 hour and 45 minutes after start of work.  The average time was just about 5 minutes per truss!   Good job, good crew!  And… most importantly, the most dangerous part of the build resulted in no injuries, again.

Here is a view of the completed roof truss assembly.  There is a a beehive of activity going on around the perimeter of the house and inside as well.  The house is being wrapped with a water proof membrane (we used to use tar paper, remember?), the windows are going in, and others are fitting doors.  Soon we will put up a ladder so the fellow in the rafters can get down!   Just kidding, of course.  Soon the rafters will be full of volunteers adding catwalks, deadwood over walls, extra bracing for the end trusses and cross bracing across the entire roof span.  There are hurricane straps to be installed on each end of each truss and flooring to be put in for use by the heating system that goes in the attic.

Our future homeowner, Nicole, keeps everybody cool with water and other cold drinks.  This is Bob Kendall from Macland Presbyterian with his “Spring Chicken Run” T-shirt.  

Someone has decorated Nicole’s floor with appropriate bible verses.  They will never be erased but will be covered with carpet or vinyl to be discovered again many years later when they are replaced.  Often people sign the interior studs and they forever become part of the house.  I was struck by the shadow of a cross appearing on the floor here.  Is that a hand holding the shadow near the top?  

Getting Copies

The pictures shown here and in the slide show do not have the resolution you can get if you download them from the Flickr site.   Go to the slide show and click on the link at the top left of the slide show to get to the full set at high resolution, or click on any picture in the slide show and then click on “View Main Page”.  Once there, you can click on the button above the picture “All Sizes”.   It will open in the large size, but you can download any picture in any size free, or can order prints through the site that will be delivered in about an hour to your nearest Target store.  It’s not obvious how to get to the Target option. First put a print in your shopping cart.  When ready for checkout, you can send your prints to Target for printing for about 15 cents per copy or have them mailed to your home. 

In addition, you can go to “Zassle” and have T-shirts, coffee mugs etc. made with your favorite print.  Enjoy.  Below are selected prints but only a small sample of what is available for free download.

Here is a look at the back side.  The people working back here often don’t get any press.   Here the OSB decking is going on and others are working on windows below and on installing blocking at the top of the walls between the trusses.  Blocking helps keep insulation in its place, but still allows air to be drawn into the attic to keep it cool.   There are also sturdy guys and gals on the ground handing up sheets of OSB and later will be hoisting roll roofing.  Everything is moving along nicely.  The temporary boards just above the OSB will be taken down soon as they are no longer needed to stabilize the rafters.

Well deserved lunch break at 12:05.   The house is almost decked, a little more on the front than the back but the front always gets the most attention because the ladders are closer to the street and get more volunteers.  The guys and gals on the back work harder and will finish the back side almost at the same time.  All the windows are in and properly taped.   The other end of the house has all the OSB on the truss.  This end is still open as there is a lot of stuff to be carried up and through the open wall to be loaded into the attic.  Once the opening is closed, it will be harder to get long boards in there for bracing, catwalks, etc.  Lunch and cool drinks and snacks for today was provided by Mars Hill Presbyterian Church.   We appreciate it!

Lunch is over, back to work!!!  Jeff only had to say it 3 times.    Here the “barge rafters” go up.  These are clamped in place and then nailed through the OSB.   A matching rafter will be nailed on the other side after that side is trimmed to match this one.  The boards under the roof on the other side are the beginnings of “look outs”.  Matching fascia will be nailed across the front and back of the house to match the end of the barge rafter showing at the near end.  

The roof has been covered with tar paper.  It is a hot job and it is important for some of the work be done before the tar paper goes on, such as installing the barge rafters shown in the previous picture.  The guys in shorts could have received burns if that work was done on the hot tar paper.   The roof is officially “dried in”.  

One of the things that must go on later is the drip edge for the sloped runs.  The drip edge is installed below the tar paper at the bottom edge and above the tar paper on the sloped edge.  The drip edge is the white metal flashing above the barge rafter.

This is the finished work for the day.  Terry and Travis are inspecting their handwork on the last of the look-outs.   The house has been wrapped, windowed, doored, roofed (except for shingles – next work day) and made sturdy with braces, hurricane straps and sweat.

There is a Habitat Tutorial – Part 3 already completed that tries to cover all the activity and show all the installations going on – an incredible number of tasks, big and small, are in work at any given instant.   The tutorial is the third in the series – “Part 3” duh!   It has many more pictures showing details of the work as it is being performed, along with a number of drawings to illustrate some of the more technical details.   The Tutorial Slide Show includes the drawings and pictures from all 3 tutorials if you have any interest. 

The slide show for this work day can be found by clicking on any picture above or by clicking on this link Habitat Slide Show day two.  Through it you can access any of the 126 photos relating to the build except those set aside for the tutuorial which you can access through this tutorial slide show link.  Enjoy!


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