Category Archives: slideshow

Habitat Tutorial – Part 4 Roofing

This is the fourth part of a multi-part outline of what is involved in buildings a Habitat house.  This article covers the steps in installing roofing – felt and shingles and a few other roof line details such as building a “bird box”, installing the drip edge and vents.   The first part is Habitat Tutorial – Prepration for Build which covers some of the pre-build steps the Site Project Manger (SPM) and selected volunteers  go though just to get ready for the volunteers, the second is Habitat Tutorial – Part 2 which covers the first day where the walls go up and the third is Habitat Tutoial – Part 3 which covers raising the roof structure.    In addition, there are four sets of pictures with slide shows that have already been published that you may be interested in as they concentrate on people on the job site – volunteers.   The first is Habitat for Humanity – 2008 Dinner on the Slab consisting of 25 pictures including our future homeowner Nicole Combs and her son Elijah.  The second includes 115 pictures of the first day of the build – Habitat Build 2008 – First Day – Walls Go UP .  The third is: Habitat Build 2008 Second Day – Roof Goes On which has pictures and blog on the installation of the roof trusses and decking the roof.   The fourth is Habitat Build 2008 – roofing and siding.   If you want access to any of the tutorial pictures they are all in one place for all the tutorials to date.   Tutorial Slide Show – 146 pictures so far, including many not in this article.

Note: If you came here looking for the homeless veterans site, this is it!   If you came here looking for the homeless youth site, this is it!.   I’m just taking a break to help out on a Habitat House and once a year I post what I saw, experienced and learned.  Click on either of the two links in this paragraph or go to the side bar and select a category or search for what you want.  Also look above the banner or to the right for popular articles on Homeless Veterans.

Tutorial – installing roofing shingles

Roof Ready For Shingles

Roof Ready For Shingles

This is the way Habitat volunteers see the house when they arrive on the scene on roofing day.  Soon the roof will be covered front and back with volunteers.  It is essential that the roofing be done early in the day and that there is plenty of water available.  The felt and starter shingles are already in place.

 

 We need to start this tutorial a little earlier than that.

 
Drip Edge Installation

Drip Edge Installation

This drawing illustrates drip edge installation.  The drip edge must be installed in the order shown.  The drip edge is a metal extrusion that goes along the horizontal edge (eave) of the roof under the roofing felt and along the sloping edge (rake) of the roof above the felt.   Install the drip edge for the eave before the roofing felt is installed.  Install the drip edge for the rake after the roofing felt is installed.   Attach the edge using 7/8 ” roofing nails on 24″ centers.  Unlike shown in the drawing, the rake edge goes all the way down and overlaps the eave edge.   Trim the rake edge to match the eave using tin snips.   When two pieces of drip edge meet in a joint, overlap the joint by 1 to 2 inches by trimming the top of one as needed to allow them to overlap.   Joints on the rake drip edge should should have the upper one overlapping the lower one.

Also shown in this illustration is something called the “bird box”.  

Click here for the rest of this tutorial:

Continue reading

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Habitat Tutorial – Part 3

This is the third part of a multi-part outline of what is involved in buildings a Habitat house.  This article covers the steps in raising the roof and drying in the house and a myrid of little details going on at the same time.   The first part is Habitat Tutorial – Prepration for Build which covers some of the pre-build steps the Site Project Manger (SPM) and selected volunteers  go though just to get ready for the volunteers, and the second is Habitat Tutorial – Part 2 which covers the first day where the walls go up.    In addition, there are three sets of pictures with slide shows that have already been published that you may be interested in as they concentrate on people on the job site – volunteers.   The first is Habitat for Humanity – 2008 Dinner on the Slab consisting of 25 pictures including our future homeowner Nicole Combs and her son Elijah.  The second includes 115 pictures of the first day of the build – Habitat Build 2008 – First Day – Walls Go UP .  The third was released earlier yesterday: Habitat Build 2008 Second Day – Roof Goes On which has pictures and blog on the installation of the roof trusses and decking the roof.  If you want access to any of the tutorial pictures they are all in one place for all the tutorials to date.   Tutorial Slide Show – 146 pictures so far, including many not in this article.

Note: If you came here looking for the homeless veterans site, this is it!   If you came here looking for the homeless youth site, this is it!.   I’m just taking a break to help out on a Habitat House and once a year I post what I saw, experienced and learned.  Click on either of the two links in this paragraph or go to the side bar and select a category or search for what you want.  Also look above the banner or to the right for popular articles on Homeless Veterans.

This is a a drawing I made of a generic roof truss, not too unlike what is actually installed.  At least most of the parts are here.  Below are pictures of the trusses we actually installed and you may note some minor differences.  The major difference is the end trusses which have more vertical 2×4’s in the web so that there are places to nail OSB and siding.  None of the ones we put up have a King Post.

The trusses are marked with alignment marks while still on the ground. Each truss is marked 14″ from one end (only), that end being the end that goes on the longest wall, (in our case the back wall).   A line is snapped along the back wall exactly 2″ from the back edge of the cap plate.  The corresponding 14 inch mark on the roof truss allows for a 12 inch overhang and the 2 inch offset in the snapped line.   When the roof truss is slid into place a volunteer aligns the truss mark with the snapped line on the cap plate.   If one end is right, then both ends will be right on these manufactured trusses.

I was one of the two marking the trusses.  The other was Max, son of our SPM, Jeff Vanderlip.  Each truss also receives a mark along the top plate/top rail at 47 1/4 inches and at 9 feet.   These marks go on both ends of each truss.   The 47 1/4 inch mark is the top edge of the beginning course of the OSB deck (which allows for a 3/4 inch overhang over the end of the truss.   3/4 inch fascia board stretched across the ends of the trusses will take up this overhang.  The 9 foot mark is the location of the 1×4 boards used to tie the tops of the trusses together while the trusses are going up.  9 ft is chosen so that two courses of OSB panels can be installed below the 1×4 boards.  

To read the rest of this tutorial, click here: Continue reading

Habitat Build 2008 First Day – Walls Go Up

Saturday, May 10 was the official start of the Presbyterian Coalition, Cobb Habitat for Humanity build in 2008.  This is the third 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 first in a series of a sort of Habitat Tutorial, Preparation for Build which covers some of the intense preparation that goes on behind the scenes before the volunteers show up.  I say “sort of” because I am not an expert, but willing to discuss the various Jobs assigned to me and/or learned over the years.  Hopefully most of it is close to right.

This article covers the first day the volunteers show up, and includes a slide show for the entire day with 115 photos, almost all including the volunteers.  My photo is hopefully the only one not included, as I am behind the camera.  To see the slide show of 115 pictures click here or on any picture below!

23 AM

This is the start of work, 8:23 AM.  Safety instructions and a pep talk have already been given by our SPM (Site Project Manager), Jeff Vanderlip.   That’s Jeff in the middle of the site with the orange shirt and big floppy hat.  The various top and bottom plates are still tacked together and strewn hap-hazardly all over the site.

The top and bottom plates are numbered and well marked so it doesn’t matter what order the walls are built or if anyone knows exactly what they are building.  Grab a set, pull it apart, remove the tack nails, lay them about 8 feet apart and start adding studs, T’s, doors and windows.   See the tutorial for good examples.

A good start

A half hour later, the walls are well on their way.  many of them are completed, including the addition of a sill seal foam tape (blue) on the bottom plate.   Some of the build is taking place in the driveway of the house in the background.   Often we take to the street.  To do a good job we do need a flat area so the components line up properly.  

Measure it twice

Measure it twice, cut once!   The gentleman on the left is our “cut man” for the day.  The one on the right is “Pretty Boy” Miller, also known as “9 fingers”.   He is our grand master of carpenters and a super-volunteer.

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 Flikr 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.

First Wall

First Wall

Nicole installs the first wall to go up!  This is always a photo opportunity and can’t be missed.  There are several other shots of this in the slide show.  The time is 9:09 AM, barely 46 minutes after we started!  The all important wall brace is being wrestled into place on the far left.   All the walls are braced by long 2×4’s to hold the walls vertical and to make sure they don’t get pushed over by loose walls stacked against them or a tired soul leaning heavily in the wrong place.  Long stakes are driven into the ground and the brace is poked through the top of a window or doorway, if available, and nailed at each end when the wall is perfectly vertical.

Second Wall

The second wall.  It includes a window unit and a couple of T’s.  This is the back of the house and includes the utility room and a bedroom.   Notice the brace at the left.  Another is being readied off camera for this wall.  There was no window or door in the first wall so the brace is through the wall itself.  The reason for using window and doors for the braces is so that later much of the outside sheathing can proceed without removing the braces.   

Neat Suspenders

Neat Suspenders. 

Time for a break

Time for a break.  Picture windows make good seats.   Don’t worry, I have front views of all these people in the slide show, including this one.  Hmmm, more suspenders.

Time for a break - another view 

OK, these oldtimer’s deserve more respect.  They are both Gray Ghosts and SPM’s as well.  The Gray Ghosts are generally expert carpenters and woodworkers that have retired but like to stay busy helping the Habitat cause move along.  When things don’t go right or don’t get finished, the SPM puts in a request for Gray Ghost help.  They slip in after the volunteers are gone, review the work and fix any problems or complete any incomplete work so that the job stays on schedule.  The volunteers may notice that someone finished the roof or fixed a window or completed a porch and wonder who did it.  The answer is always “a gray ghost”.  Unsung heroes to me.  There is no telling how many houses they have led and how many more they have worked on as ghosts.

Debbie Found Her Job

Hmm.  Looks like Debbie found her job!    Debbie is also an SPM and has already completed her house on this same street.  She has lead many houses for her local high school and now that she is retired, continues on.

Everybody's busy

Every body is busy. Except for me, of course.  I put the camera down from time to time to pick up my hammer, but to tell the truth, at my age, I can’t do that much anymore.   I did plaster a few OSB walls with nails pretty well however.  I’m trying to document the progress with the intention of keeping a working tutorial of the build.   Wish me luck.

Board Members

I believe the 5 people nearest the center of this picture are all board members or past members of the Presbyterian Coalition, 6 counting the guy behind the camera.  There are many more on the site today.  Everybody works.

Food on the way

Food on the way.  Hamburgers and Hot Dogs.   Each week a church has volunteered to fix the meal and serve drinks.   The assigned church also provides the opening prayer and the food blessing and often a devotional at lunch time.  First Presbyterian always provides the meal on the first day of build and Macland Presbyterian provides the meal for the last build day.   Often the meals are donated by local restaurants.  For example sometimes Papa John’s will provide free pizza dinners or perhaps Williams Brothers Bar-B-Que or Subway.   Others are home cooked or maybe sandwiches.  It doesn’t matter, we are so hungry you could serve worn out shoe leather and no one would complain.

Insulating the T's

This young lady is cutting insulation into strips to insulate the T’s.  All of the outside walls must be insulated and no exceptions are made for small gaps.  You may be able to see an insulted T in the far wall above her head.  The T’s and corner posts must be insulated now because the OSB sheathing will cover much of it before the day is over.   Another area to be insulated early will be the areas behind the tub enclosure before the tub goes in.   Insulation can be a problem if the various inspections delay us from getting other things done.  So very often a special day is set aside for a midweek day to insulate the walls.  It has to be done after the house is dried in and plumbing and electrical done,  but before the drywall goes up.

Our leader

This is our leader, our SPM.  Jeff Vanderlip, a tireless worker and hard task master.  Always urging us to “have fun” then assigns us the most dreadful tasks.

Terry cutting a window opening

This picture may look a little fuzzy but that is sawdust sprinkling down in front of Terry Barton’s face.  It is particularly fine sawdust because he is using a metal cutting blade to cut a window opening – it was all he could find.  I had a proper blade in my truck as did probably 5 others.   Terry is our finance officer and past president of the Coalition.   He is also a Master Gardner and does genetic family research on the side (or something like that).  Anyway he can tell you if you are related to Napoleon or the guy you thought was a great great grand daddy but you’re not certain.

Checking aleignment

Here the house frame is being straightened and aligned with the aid of a couple of blocks of wood and a tight string.  The block he is holding is positioned behind the string while others move braces inside the wall to bring the wall into perfect alignment.   The technique is to put blocks at each end of the top of the wall, tightly stretch a string between them and adjust the wall to a third block that is moved between the wall and the string.    The walls are virtually complete.

   Special selection

I was asked to capture these two together and just at that moment, one tried to get away.

There are about a hundred more pictures on the slide show and I’ve sort of randomly selected a few representative shots here.  There is another slide show coming up as part of the continuing tutorial if anyone is interested in that.  You would be amazed how many people visited last year’s pictures doing searches on construction such as “Hardi Plank” or “roofing” or “siding” or “framing”.  

Job Well Done

Completed walls

Well, here is the last picture for the  day.   The time is 3:10 PM and everybody is gone, some 7 hours after the official start of the day.   The house is sheathed, openings cut, all the walls are up and perfectly aligned, the porch beam is installed and the house is completely ready for the roof trusses that will go up next Saturday.   Incidentally, the pole at the end of the house is a safety pole to hold the first roof truss as it goes up and prevent it from toppling over.  The pole will remain in place until all the trusses are up and the roof completely braced and stable.   There is a catwalk used for safety purposes installed over the living room that I’ve not shown.  It will be in the tutorial and will come down after the trusses are in.  Safety is much more important than finishing the house.

Click here or on any picture for the slide show and for access to the full sets of pictures for free downloads or for ordering prints.

Enjoy,

Oldtimer

  

Habitat for Humanity – 2008 Dinner on the Slab

Friday night we had our traditional Dinner on the Slab with our Future Homeowner and her family.  

(If you just want to see the pictures, click any picture for a slide show and link to pictures you can copy.)

First let me explain what this is all about.  This blog is pretty much dedicated to the homeless, particularly homeless veterans and youth.  But not completely, as each year I take some time off to work on a Habitat for Humanity home and post a progress report with slideshows, tutorial and pictures of the events.   I’ll continue to add articles on homeless as I go along.   You can access the articles by category, using the links in the header or the tags and categories to find the topics you are interested in.  In general, you can find all Habitat for Humanity Articles here, all Homeless Veterans Articles here, All PSTD articles here, and all Homeless Youth Article here.  The links above and to the right allow you to also find my most popular articles.   When this is all done, you can find the 2008 Habitat Build here, or look at it on a running basis throughout the build.

This one is the first of a series of about a dozen articles on our current build.  It will carry you from the day before we start to build (todays article) all the way through the dedication ceremony and house warming.  If I do everything as planned, you will also get a “how to build a Habitat House Tutorial”.   To be taken with a grain of salt as I am certainly not an expert, but reporting what I experience and the various jobs I take on during the build.

Background

Here is a little background.  I am a member of Macland Prebyterian Church which is in return a member of the Presbyterian Coalition, Cobb Habitat for Humanity and I am their representative, a member of the board.    The Coalition is composed of  Presbyterian Churches in Cobb County, Georgia that raise money to sponsor one or two houses in our county each year.  We raise the money, about $55,000 to pay for the lot and any undonated materials.  We also build the house(s) and fund a number of houses in Kenya each year.    After Hurricane Dennis we also helped Cobb Disaster Recovery in rebuilding damaged homes in Cobb.

This year we will build one house in Cobb County, Georgia (our 22d house in Cobb so far) and seven in Kenya (total 32 in Kenya)!

Nicole Combs

Nicole Combs, Future Homeowner stands on the site of her new home

(Click on any picture to start slide show)

Elijah

This wonderful smiling face belongs to Elijah, Nicole’s son.  Some of the framing can be seen behind him

The future homeowner, Nicole Combs has a son Elijah, 7.  She will work on the house with our volunteers to get the house built.   Homeowners come up with a down payment, are required to work on other houses as well as  their own for some 200 hours of “sweat equity”.   For us, it is mission work, Christ’s command: help the needy!

The homeowner will actually sign a contract to buy the house at a greatly reduced price (compared to the appraised value)  and then make interest-free monthly payments until it is paid for.  Cobb Habitat for Humanity takes care of selecting the homeowners, purchasing the land and preparing the streets and lots prior to the volunteers (that’s us) coming in.  That includes getting either the concrete poured if it is to be built on a concrete floor,  or building a  block foundation if not.  In the latter case, a few people, men and women from our group go out and frame and deck the floor prior to the volunteers arriving.  

Schedule:  The build dates are Saturdays May 10, 17, 31 and June 14.   Then we go into blitz week where volunteers work all week to finish the house and landscaping June 16 through 21.  (We have skipped an extra weekend this year due to Memorial Day weekend.)

Location:  The site is located in the same subdivision as last year, but in the second phase of the development.  Mableton, Hillcrest Subdivision.  Take Barrett/East West Connector to Floyd Road, turn right, follow and continue as it changes to Mableton Parkway, turn right on South Gordon Road, then left on Hillcrest.  Look for a new subdivision on the left.about 8/10 mile from South Gordon Road.   About a 20 minute drive from our church.

Youth Take Notice:: The minimum age for the first four days is 16, 14 after that. (blitz week)   All young folks, guys and gals are all welcome if you meet the age requirements.   Drag your parents along!

 Dinner on the Slab

The Slab

Dinner on the Slab

Click on any picture or HERE for Slide Show

Dinner on the slab means bring a covered dish, utinsels to serve the dish and your own chair.  Anyone that wants to come are welcome.   We invite the future homeowner and their family and friends. 

Cobb Habitat has already poured the concrete and it is hardened and ready to build, so all we have to do is clear out an area big enough to set up tables and chairs.   There was chicken, bar-b-que, various salads and deserts, water, tea and soft drinks.  Also a few well chosen wines (OK by Presbyterian standards).

For most of us, this is our first opportunity to meet the new homeowner and family.   Nicole is going to be a joy to work with.  Elijah is very bright, energetic, and inquiring, wants to know everything that is going on.  

Copies of Pictures

To get copies of any picture, click on the slide show and look above the slide show and you wiil find a link to the group of pictues (“back to Habitat 2008 set”).    Or click on any picture during the slide show and it will stop and allow you to select that picture (View Main Page).   When you see a picture you like and you have it in your sights, look for a link above for a button that says all sizes.  From there you can choose vearious sizes including a very large one.   When you have the size you want, you can click download for a free copy.  Copy as many as you want.    Or here is a  direct link to the set.  Click on any picture for a larger view and copy insturctions.  Enjoy

Oldtimer

 

 

 

To The Rescue – Video

The North Dakota Patriot Guards are working to save a disabled American Veteran from becoming homeless.   You may remember or find the original post on this (formerly) sad situation:

North Dakota Veteran’s Home under Demolition Threat   (original post)

Well, the Patriot Guard’s Help on the Homefront is making real progress.  Daylight can be seen.   They still need help with money, materials and volunteers.  If you can’t be there, money is good! 

Here is a link to a  video/slideshow that shows the home before and with work in progress – and a lot has really been done.  If they are to keep the city from demolishing the house as already decreed, then they have to finish the job and soon as the reprieve can be lifted at any time by the city.  Enjoy the music in this great video and Please help!

Slideshow/Video of the Thronburg home:

Link to video  

Click picture for video or click HERE!  The music is great!

Oldtimer’s hat goes off to these fine people.  Send them something…. They need it Now!

Volunteers can only go so far without buying materials (lumber, roofing, siding, windows, doors, concrete, dumpsters for the debris, etc.), and without hiring licensed contractors (electricians, heating, plumbing) – things volunteers are not allowed to do without a license.  They need money for these things.  You can Help on the Homefront.

They are a incorporated as a Non Profit and can send you a copy of the certificate from North Dakota.   Send money, get a tax deduction now!  

Tarra Hartl, Help On The Homefront Coordinator   tarra@ndpatriotguard.org 

Rick Colling, Thorberg Project Lead  rcolling@bis.midco.net

To donate money via check: Make check payable to NORTH DAKOTA PATRIOT GUARD and email Tarra to get the mailing address.  

(Oldtimer:  She can also tell you how to set up and use paypal – the information is protected and I could not copy it – please contact Tarra).

Habitat Build Day Saturday June 9, 2007

Today was a good day despite the heat.  At least there was a breeze and there had been a light shower the night before to knock down the dust.   Today was paint day and siding day.   Some volunteers painted the interior with the first coat and others began putting on the siding. 

Picture of homeowner Joi

This is a picture of Joi, our future homeowner.

Always smiling.

 Click here for the slideshow of 44 pictures from today’s build, or click on Joi’s picture.

 This picture was taken during a break.  The background is the supply trailer.

In the slideshow there is a picture of a house being roofed.  That is not this house, but since I was not able to be on site when the roofing was going on, I thought I would put that in from a nearby house (taken this morning) to show what it looks like when volunteers are on the roof.  It is fun if done early enough in the morning, pure torture if done too late.

There is another picture of a house across the street, almost finished.  The rest are from this house and the industrious volunteers.    You can click at the link above the slideshow and view the individual pictures.   If you click on one you can select various sizes and download anything you want.   Enjoy!

When we arrived, the drywall was already in, ready for painting.   The electrical and the air conditioning is roughed in, but the only power on the site is from the temporary power pole, so there are power cords running everywhere and constantly being expanded on and moved around, shared even.

This is the first year that our volunteers have been allowed to use nail guns on the roofing and the first year we have used nail guns on the hardi-plank siding.  I’ve included pictures of some of the tools we have used this year, including the shears used to cut the hardi-plank and the lesser desired saw blade made for cutting the masonry boards.  The skill saw blade is noisy and a lot of silica dust is generated, calling for face masks and ear plugs.   The shears make almost no noise and create almost no dust.  It is very efficient even for difficult cuts around windows and doors, for example.   Here is a link to the manufacturer of the shears and a demo video.    Cost is about $220 for the 404.

Hardi-plank is a concrete base siding where multiple layers of fabric are embedded in concrete to make a durable “50 year” non flammable, tough, weather resistant siding made out of a concrete product.  It is flexible and fairly heavy, but easy to use. 

 If you have the shears, cutting is quick, simple and safe and there is almost no dust.   Another method is the score and snap method where you simply score a line on the siding with a box knife and then break it along the line by bending over an edge.  It can also be cut with a special skill saw blade with very few teeth (reduces the dust a little) and can be cut with a saber saw.   Some of the crew used the shears and some the skill saw and saber saw.   Long cuts and cross cuts with the skill saw.  Short cuts for electrical boxes and corner cuts around boxes are best left to the saber saw to clean out the corners.

We had been using vinyl siding all these years but so many local city and county governments have raised the bar on construction techniques that zoning in many areas have prohibited vinyl.  Beginning a couple of years ago, all Habitat houses in this area have gone to the cement fiber board – Hardi-plank.  It is a good change.   Vinyl can be cracked and a brush fire can melt or burn it.  We had one home where a tenat put a barbeque grill on a porch too close and the heat melted a wide area – it drooped and ran.

The only drawback is the Hardi-plank siding has to be caulked and painted, whereas the vinyl did not require those steps.  The paint is supposedly good for 15 years and the siding for 50.

It was a good day and the interior received its first coat of paint and we sided about 30 percent of the outside.   The nail gun was a great help.   One change from last year was the use of wood trim boards whereas we had used the masonry trim boards in the past.  Masonry trim boards are very dense, very thick, very heavy, and require pre drilling the material before putting it up.  Wood boards are much easier to work with.  Good choice.

Monday through Saturday of next week is blitz week for the Presbyterian Coalition volunteers.  6 straight days of home building.   More painting, more siding, interior door installation, trim work (baseboards for example).  Fascia installation and shingles above the front porch.  Little stuff mostly.

See you there?    Look for the Presbyterian Coalition link on the right for directions.   Work starts at 8 AM and finishes whenever it gets too hot or we reach a stopping place.  Today we knocked off at 3:30 and began cleaning up and putting away.

Note: There are links in previous posts to the Habitat “Dinner on the Slab” and to the first day of build, both slideshows and narrative description.   If you click on the link to the right “All Habitat for Humanity Articles.”   Or just look around.  You might find things that will suprise you.

Oldtimer

Habitat Build 2007 Slide Show and Pictures

May 6th, 2007 · No Comments

PCCH Habitat LogoPresbyterian Coalition Habitat for Humanity Slide Show of all the pictures made by Oldtimer at the Dinner on the Slab, May 4, 2007.

Slideshow:  Dinner on the Slab

Presbyterian Coalition Habitat for Humanity Slide Show of all the pictures made by Oldtimer on the First Day of Build, May 5, 2007

Slideshow: First Day of Build 

Slideshow: Second Day of Build   May 12, 2007

PCCH Website

The morning started out just like last week.  It had rained hard overnight, but the site was not particularly muddy and very little water remained on the concrete slab.   As usual we had our pep talk, our safety talk and our introductions to the crew leaders.   These little talks are needed each time because there are always new people showing up that could not get there on previous build days.

The goal for the day was to safely put up the roof trusses, deck  and tarpaper the roof, wrap the house and install all the windows and doors.    Short summary:  Mission almost accomplished.  The deck didn’t get finished and it is not tarpapered.

First Truss installedFirst truss Someone had come in during the previous week and put up safety poles at one end of the house.  Probably Jeff, the Site Project Manager (SPM) and the “Gray Ghosts”.   That allows the first roof trust to have something to rest against and to tie to because it is the key to having all the trusses line up properly as they go up.  All the other trusses are tied back to the first one.  Thus the safety poles serve to stabilize the trusses all the way across and assure none of them fall over and start a deadly domino reaction.    The Gray Ghosts, by the way are an organized group, usually retired builders and handymen, that come in mid week and repair anything that is put up wrong and/or was not finished.  They are volunteers that work one or two days a week to make cetain that builds proceed smoothly.   Since they are usually unseen by the volunteers, they are in effect ghosts.   They usually come at the invitation of the SPM. 

The trusses were shipped stacked and nailed together.   I had the job of separating them and marking the trusses for alignment purposes.  That consists of making a mark on one end of each truss at the 14 inch mark for the purpose of setting the overhang.   Each truss also had a mark at 47 inches from each outside edge of the slope for the purpose of setting the first 4×8 row of decking boards.

“Wyze Guys” The first truss was lifted by a crew of 6 or 7 people and one end slid up onto the front wall using the forked “Ys”  poles shown next to the window.   Jeff likes to call the pole holders “Wise/Wyze Guys”.   Often the Wise Guys were women.  The truss is shoved forward and the poles moved back as the truss went over the wall.   Some Wise Guys went inside and helped lift the truss over obstacles such as interior walls until the truss spanned the entire house.   One person at the other end was positioned to align the 14 inch mark with the wall.   Men on the inside lifted the truss into position on the wall and against the safety pole and then shifted as necessary to get the proper alignment.  The truss rests outside of the blocking put in the previous week and firmly against the poles.

nailing the first truss to the safety poleFinally it was nailed securely into place.   Each of the remaining trusses were hefted up in a similar fashion.  One “safety man” had the job of making sure that no one working on the top side was caught between an incoming truss and walls or trusses already in place.  Thankfully no one got hurt.    Special jigs hold the tops of the trusses exactly two feet apart and keep them from falling over.   Usually long 1×4 boards are nailed truss to truss across the top edge to ensure they do not separate or fall over.   These are removed as the decking 4×8 sheets of OSB go up.  This year we also had metal truss spacers that remain permanently.

truss spacers in placeThe picture at the left shows the spacer jigs on the first two trusses and the smaller metal truss spacers on the rest.   1×4 boards were added later as the number of trusses began to worry us about safety.   If one of these trusses fall over they might all fall over and someone would definitely get badly hurt.   We don’t take chances on Habitat builds.

The last trussThe last truss. The last truss was lifted entirely from the outside of the building.  I think this is the most dangerous point of any build.   The last truss is heavier than all the others due to the added OSB on the end, and it has to be raised straight up into position.  The technique is to get it positioned below the wall and then lift it to the top of waiting stepladders.   Wise Guys steady the truss against the wall and the ladder men climb the ladders to get a higher grip.  Finally the whole thing is lifted into position.  It could easily slip off the 1.5 inch ledge it sits on and it could also easily tip too far toward the other trusses and leverage itself off the ledge or with real tragic results tip backward and fall on the whole crew.   Thankfully it went smoothly. 

The truss is firmly nailed along the blocking on that end of the house and the tops joined with spacer jigs and then 1×4 boards tieing them firmly together.

Marking StudsOther things going on.  Even before the first truss went up, there was a crew set up to wrap the house in a waterproof wrap.  In this case Tyvek.  It seems as if it is a rule that this stuff always goes on upside down.   It actually depends on which direction you choose to wrap the house.   Right to left, right side up.  Left to right, upside down.  Guess which way everyone goes.    Once the wrap is started, another crew begins marking the studs on the edge of the slab and marking vertical lines on the wrap.  These are so the siding nailers can Window being installedfind the studs easily.    Also once the wrap is started, the window installers go to work.  Each window is set into place and nailed in.  Then someone comes behind them and puts on vertical and horizontal strips of tape to seal the window edges from any chance of  leaking.  There is a strict procedure on the order of installing the strips.

Decking  A deck crew is started on each end of the house.  It starts with two people working within the trusses reach down to pull up 4×8 sheets of decking.   The placement of the first sheet is critical.  It determines the angle at which the entire roof runs from one side to the other.  Get it a 1/8 of an inch too high on one end and by the time you put 8 sheets down, the roof is a full roof deckinginch out of alignment on the other end.   Several attempts to use the 47 inch marks (gives 1 inch overhang) gave bad alignment due to the rafters being shifted ever so slightly from one to the next.  Finally a string was snapped from one end to the other and the first sheet was properly aligned on that.   The decking proceeds from one end of the house to the other, then by rows above that.  Soon there are 4 to 6 people on the roof working above the first row.

close up of the actionThe porch and storage/laundry roofs use small trusses that span their length.  Once the trusses get to the edge of the main roof, the remainder of these smaller roofs are “stick built”, meaning they are constructed using hammer and nail.   Once a deck is completed a crew begins covering it with tarpaper.   We didn’t get that far today.

The porch beam got another “do-over” because one was cut a little too short and the other was cut a little too long.    A little work with a saw-all by Jim Miller fixed it all up.

picture from PCCHThis Oldtimer cut out about here (picture above), with the roof less than half decked.  The previous week I was so pooped I could hardly keep my eyes open going home.  Sorry guys I left a little early.  Boss’s orders.  You don’t keep a bride 48 years without knowing when to say OK!

There are 35 photos from build day 2 in the slide show at the link at the beginning of this piece.   Take a look. The two earlier slide shows are also linked in case you missed them.  The last (end of day) picture came from the PCCH website blog.

Our next build on May 19th, 2007.  If you are in the Cobb County, Georgia area, come on by.  We can shore put you to work.   We will teach you how to roof and side a house.  Shingles and Hardi Plank lessons here!  Go to the PCCH website for directions and map.

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