Habitat Build 2008 Third Day – Roofing and Siding

Saturday, May 31 was the third day of the Presbyterian Coalition, Cobb Habitat for Humanity build in 2008.  This is the seventh  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 .  Look to the right hand column of this page and find Oldtimer’s recent posts for the rest of them or to put them in order for reading.

For those of you looking for the homeless veterans or homeless youth, this is also 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 shingles, Hardi Plank siding, and various other 3d day activities.   From any slide show you can access various sizes of the prints for free download (instructions further down – “Getting Copies”).

Link to slide show – 170 pictures Click on picture or here

Link to a collection of all Habitat pictures (2007 and 2008) organized one set per day!

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.   If you are viewing a slide show containing the picture you want, 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”.    If you are looking at the mosaic of of a set for a particular day, you can click on the picture you want.    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.

The Third Day

It’s amazing what has been accomplished in the first two days!   Not only are the walls up, but the walls are all up, the roof is decked and dried in, the exterior walls are covered with OSB, the windows are in all in and all but one door has been installed.   Today the plan is to put the shingles on and get a good start on the siding.  

The day, as always, starts with an orientation for new volunteers, a pep talk, then a safety talk and an introduction of the homeowner by our SPM (Site Project Manager), Jeff Vanderlip.   If you peek through the tent above the person in the white tee-shirt, that is Jeff in the orange tee-shirt and floppy hat facing us.  You can see that a couple of workers are already on the roof even before the rest of us get started.  They are laying “starter” courses for us to work from.   More about starter courses later.

Nicole Combs is the future homeowner and also in the picture.   To the left of the tent is a man with a purple cap.  Nicole is on the far side of the picture just to the right of him.  She is also in the top picture right in front of the wheelbarrow (yellow shirt).  

And this is Elijah.  He is the son of of our future homeowner.  He has a keen interest in what is going on as he will be living here, but he is too young to work on the site.  When around, he is confined to the food tent or visiting inside after the work is done and helping clean up the property or just playing nearby.  A great kid.


This is essentually the way we found the roof this morning.  The starter edge courses are alrady in place and the bundles of shingles are on the peak of the roof.   The shingles you see along the edges were put there by the Gray Ghosts that I’ve mentioned a number of times in my earlier posts.    

The two people on the roof are putting on starter courses that run up the centerline of the roof in such a way that volunteers can work off each side of the centerline toward each edge of the house.  That way at least four crews of workers can work at any one time.  They’ve also started the porch roof and valley so that the valley shingles can be put in as a “weave” for good looks on the front.

To see the rest of this article and some great pictures, click here:

A look at progress after just a few minutes of volunteer work.  The starter course is the patch of roof that runs all the way up.  Volunteers can use that as a pattern on each side to work toward the edges.   The ladder is on a stand-off to protect the new edge.

View of back of the house.  Busy busy busy!   Moving along nicely.   People on the ground are getting ready for siding.

While the roof work is going on, others are on ladders finishing putting up the Tyvick roof wrapping. 

This is the way the house looked by noon.   After we broke for lunch the roof was too hot to send volunteers up to work on it.    The tar in the roof had began to melt and if not walked on very carefully, could come loose and slip out of position, not to mention that volunteers could get burns and/or be overheated.  Two experienced people went back up to finish and remove equipment.   Notice the roof vents are installed at the top. 

The tutorial which I am preparing has many detailed pictures of the valley, roof peaks and other construction features.   Come back for that if you have an interest.  The roof will be trimmed later in the week by the Gray Ghosts.  I’ve done that job before and it is hot and tedious but fairly easy to do.  Snap a line and cut along it very carefully. 


Gary gives us a demonstration of how to properly prepare a joint for the Hardi Plank siding.   This is a change in procedure from years past.  Notice a small piece of Tyvek has been inserted behind the plank.  It has been stapled to the wall, then the edge of the plank and Tyvek is caulked.  The next plank will butt up to the caulk and squeeze some of it out.  A wet rag will wipe off the excess after it is nailed up and we are done.   Joints always have to align with an interior stud.  They cannot be within two studs of each other or be one over the other without at least 3 boards in between.  They can’t occur directly under or over a window nor over a door frame.   They have to be staggered and each joint receives the treatment as shown above.  When joints occur above the bottom course, the Tyvek laps over the lower course slightly.  So much to think about… nothing gets slapped up.  It has to be done right – this is a Habitat house.

These young ladies are staying ahead of the siding crews. They are marking the studs.  Someone always makes a joke about that.  The studs have been marked on the concrete foundation below the walls and they use a level to extend that mark up so the siding crew will know where to nail and were to place the ends.

That is our Gray Ghost leader in the red hat.  Checking our work.  Most people do not know the wonderful job they do and how much work they have saved the volunteers. 

Here a crew leader (hidden behind the worker)  is giving close instruction to a volunteer on the proper way to nail the planks while another watched in the background.    

Here the edges of the planking receive a final coat of caulk next to the store room door.  All edges get this treatment.  It is important that all edges and all exposed nails (such as along the top course) are caulked and all siding receive two coats of exterior paint. 

Hmmm.  I think we have seen this view several times before.

These two gentlemen are perhaps two of the most experienced Habitat volunteers in the country.  Certainly in Cobb County and the metro Atlanta area.   They are both SPM’s, both Gray Ghosts and have led and built houses all over this area.   It is a pleasure to know them.  

On the left is Roy Brumley and on the right is Jim Miller.   You can find the website of the Gray Ghosts here.  Don’t tell anyone that Jim Miller was on site.    If you go to the Gray Ghost site you will find that I’m listed, but I’m not really qualified nor active enough to be listed.  On the other hand Jim Miller is not listed.  The reason for that is he is working on Habitat houses in another county and is an unofficial guest SPM at our site.   He was the lead SPM for our Presbyterian Coalition for so many years before he left to work on Habitat Houses elsewhere that we invite him back every chance he is available.  We love him and Roy so much.   Don’t tell them I said that.   Roy is the lead Gray Ghost and schedules their work. 

Don’t forget to look at the slide show and/or picture sets (see link below the top picture of this blog article) and please come back for the tutorial when it is finished.  If you click on the orange square below my picture below the banner of this blog, you can sign up to be notified each time I update this blog.   Don’t worry, you can opt out at any time.   No charge for either.









4 responses to “Habitat Build 2008 Third Day – Roofing and Siding

  1. This is a great example of how the internet can be used to teach people certain trades. Well written and explained. Great job guys!

  2. I think that when you are remodeling you want to be around the project as much as possible!
    If you can do a lot of it yourself that helps on quality and money.
    Usually the best job done is the one you do because you know how you want it done and you
    want it done nicely because you’ll be seeing it everyday – the contracter wont!
    Thanks for this blog it had a lot of great information!

  3. Great comment Weekend Roofer. This is exactly why the internet is so great.

    Thank you for this post!

  4. Love this post about the building project. Thanks for the update. I know this post is old but the info is still very valuable!

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