Tag Archives: building

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:

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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.

Shingles!

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: Continue reading

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.

Click to see all Habitat Articles by Oldtimer

Veterans Protest Over ‘Lack Of Care’ Outside Of LA’s VA

West LA VA Medical CenterThe group Citizens For Veterans’ Rights estimates there are between 15,000 and 24,000 homeless veterans living in Los Angeles County. 

Veteran:  “We ask the people behind those gates, ‘open those gates.’ Give that service and give a home to the homeless veteran.”   (Picture from VA Web site)

Find the rest of this story here
March 16, 2007
LOS ANGELES — Veterans marched outside the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center on Friday in protest of what they said is a lack of care being provided to aging veterans and soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Between 70 and 75 veterans and supporters marched “to draw attention to policies at the West Los Angeles VA that have led to the deaths of veterans,” said organizer Keith Jeffreys.(…)   During the protest at San Vicente and Wilshire Boulevards, veteran Jay Handle said more medical and social services need to be provided to the men and women returning from war.  “We have a major problem here that hasn’t been recognized nationally, and the major problem is those gates are locked to the people who are standing out here every day,” Handle said.  “We ask the people behind those gates, ‘open those gates.’ Give that service and give a home to the homeless veteran.”The group Citizens For Veterans’ Rights estimates there are between 15,000 and 24,000 homeless veterans living in Los Angeles County, Jeffreys said.   In the 2005 Homeless Count, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority estimated Los Angeles County has more than 15,000 homeless vets.“It’s an enormous burden for Los Angeles County to bear so we look at it not only as a local issue but we need changes made VA-wide, starting with Washington,” Jeffreys said.“We have to roll up our sleeves here and quit talking about making changes and really make changes.”Comment:  This particular hospital recently made the news for removing the wrong testicle from a veteran during cancer surgery.
HEROES need our help more than ever!
Oldtimers Comment:  Click here for all Homeless Veterans Articles

Good Start – Pictures

Our Habitat LogoHere are a few of Saturday’s Pictures from the first day’s build.   These are 8 from a total of 52 taken that day.   The date is May 5th, 2007.  The location, Mableton, Cobb County, Georgia.   The sponsors and builders are Presbyterian Coalition Cobb Habitat for Humanity, a group of 10 Presbyterian Churches.   Our 21st house in Cobb. 

To get a full screen view or to download any of the pictures that follow, go to the post above, “Slide Show – Pictures” and click on the picture and then select the “all sizes” icon (magnifying glass – any size you want up to full page. 

 A Good Start

Good Start!  I’d call this a Good Start.  This first picture was taken at 8:30 AM.   There are two plates still tacked together, and work in progress on a number of others.  Look around and you will see other Habitat houses in various stages of construction.   Cobb Habitat bought the land for a subdivision of 50 homes here in Cobb County GA.    Look carefully and you may see some of the markings on the floor and on the plates.  Volunteers split the plates apart and start nailing in studs, windows, doors and T’s where marked.   Everybody has fun.

 First Wall UP

 First Wall UP!  The lady in pink is our very excited homeowner – Joi.  The first wall up is a celebration and a great photo opportunity for everyone with a camera.   The time was 9:30AM

Moving On! 

Moving ON!   The walls have been built.  The interior walls are in the foregroud and the exterior ones either up or behind the slab.   The time is 10:05 AM

 Joi  My Walls!

 MY Walls!   Joi, our happy and always smiling homeowner.

 Start OSB

First Sheet of OSB after walls are squared.   Notice all the ladies admiring the work.  They put a lot of them up after being shown how.   Time is 1:06PM just after lunch.

Ladders UP!

Ladders UP!   Joi  (pink shirt) is right up there with them, putting on blocking. Portions have been capped.  The beam pocket (front right corner) has been carved out but not re-framed.

 Jeff and Pretty Boy

 Jeff and Pretty Boy.  “Pretty Boy” Miller AKA “Nine Fingers” (in the suspenders)  talking to Jeff, our SPM.  Bob is coming up with a ball of string to help straighten a wall.   Behind them is the food tent, and a tool storage locker, behind Bob.  Further back another group is finishing up shingles on a roof. 

 Finishing UP 

 Finishing Up.  The last piece of OSB is being prepared for over the front door.  That and cleanup will finish the first day of work.  Good Job!  Good Job Everyone!   This pictures was taken at 4:33 PM.

A Very Good Start

Our Habitat LogoToday was a great day to build a house.   Our Presbyterian Coalition Habitat for Humanity build got off to a very good start – walls up, squared and covered.   The weather was just perfect.  Cool, overcast and not as humid as it should have been considering it rained during the night.   We had perhaps 35 to 40 people show up – smaller than normal, but considering the rain during the night drove a few away, it was more than enough to get the day’s job done.   We build rain or shine and many dedicated volunteers will slug through downpours and deep mud all day for the joy of helping.  Others will look out the window, see the ground wet and say “They’ve got to be kidding.”  

The day always starts with a little talk by the site project manager  (SPM).  The talk has a little of everything – a little orientation for first-timers, a little pep talk to wake us up, a good safety presentation for everyone, and a brief introduction of the various crew chiefs and an outline of what he expected to be accomplished.   A coalition member provides a prayer and then we start work.    Everyone on site today was a volunteer.  Everyone.

First order of business is to build the walls.   The wall plates have already been put together the previous weekend.   At that time, the slab was laid out with colored marking for where the walls go.   The technique is for the SPM and a few volunteers to use the house plans to mark all the walls on the floor, then cut 2×4 boards to match the plan and lay them out on the floor.    Matching top plates are placed on top and the top and bottom plates are then tacked together with nails.   Then the location of all the studs, doors and windows are marked on the bottom plates (pressure treated wood) and also on the top plates (white wood).  The plates and the floor are numbered so volunteers that come for build-day can simply begin pounding nails into studs placed on the marks.   That pounding part we did today.

The previous weekend the SPM and the volunteers also had a little extra help and time on their hands so they had also built all the door and window headers and attached the side studs.   Often that is done by the volunteers on the first build day.  Since we had fewer than normal due to the overnight sprinkle, having the window and door frames ready was a very big help.  

First Wall Photo OP.  So the walls were built on the floor, then carried off the slab and piled up haphazardly into two stacks,  exterior and interior.   Once all the exterior walls were finished, the first wall section was carried back in and the “first-wall-up celebration and photo opportunity” was announced.   The homeowner (in this case Joi) is always allowed to put in the first nail in the first wall and as many as have cameras get a good shot.   I have pictures and will share them in the next post.  Walls on a slab such as this one have a foam-like material attached to the bottom plate (pressure treated wood).  Then they are nailed down with wedge-shaped nails (called cut-nails) designed to lock into concrete.

At some point the exterior walls are nearly complete and the remaining interior walls are carried onto the slab so they don’t get fenced outside.   Today we brought too many inside and ending up carrying three or four back out and around the building because they belonged in the store room and/or the laundry room which are in a wing already outside the walls that were already up.   Volunteers are never happy unless they are either toting something or pounding nails, so this is a not a problem.

Devotional and Lunch   As noon approached, the cry was – “No food until all the walls are up!”   However it worked out that we were standing around for the devotional at 12 noon and the walls were all up.  The church that provided food today was First Presbyterian.  They usually provide the first build-day lunch because they are the biggest of our churches and the build day usually has the most people show up.   There is always a short devotional talk followed by a prayer asking blessing of the food.   Some of the more experienced volunteers bring soft fold-up chairs.  Everyone else finds a lumber pile, window sill or a cool place to sit.    Eat, chat, rest, then back to work.

Squaring the Corners.  When all the walls were up, the SPM and a few experienced volunteers squared the corners with levels and cross braces to get the corners exactly vertical in all directions.  Part of the process of squaring the corners involves putting OSB (4×8 sheets of sheathing) in the corners to keep them straight.    Then crews are sent around the entire house to finish covering the outside walls.   Two volunteers were assigned to reopen the doors and windows with a saws-all.  Essentially they go inside and cut the sheathing out of the windows and doors after others cover them up.   

Small Work Crew Activity.   Also there were a number of small crews doing specialized work – such as putting blocking on the side walls for nailing the bottoms of the roof trusses and for providing a nailing shelf for sheet rock on the ceiling around the perimeter.   There was also a crew putting on Z flashing around the bottom of the walls to set the sheathing in.   Each bottom of each piece of sheathing is set into a channel of metal that has a bed of silicone caulk to seal it from any weather leaks.  Another crew or two is moving around the house on ladders putting on a cap plate on all the walls to tie them together and to provide a strong resting place for the roof trusses to come later.  Others were simply picking things up or sweeping out anything accumulating on the floor or running the “chop saw”.  

Saw Man.  The chop saw work is always a dedicated “saw man”, in this case, “Pretty Boy” Miller, AKA “Nine Fingers” our most beloved SPM from previous builds who is helping us today by special request.  The official SPM for this site is “Be Safe – Have Fun” Jeff Vanderlip who brought along his wife and son.

Straighten the Walls  Two small crews were detailed to “straighten the walls”.   That involves placing blocks on each outside top corner of the house, tying string from block to block, then using a  ladder and a block of wood to gauge the wall spacing to the string at various points and then adjusting them with braces to get them absolutely straight.

Porch Beam Pockets.   Someone forgot to provide porch beam pockets during layout so those had to be cut out with a saws-all and re-framed.   Just a few minutes extra work.   The pockets are rectangular openings that allow the front porch beams to extend well into the frame of the house so that they are well anchored and will never be able to pull away.  The porch beams for the two sides were slid in, leveled and braced.  

End of Day  The day ended about 5 PM with all the walls up and covered and all tools put away and the site cleaned of any left over debris.  Next week will be rafter day – actually these are prebuilt engineered trusses that are made off-site and trucked in.   One of the things we did today was to install a temporary cross walk across the main family room to help the truss walkers to get back and forth somewhat safely  “up there”.   Next weekend we will put them in place, install cross bracing, deck the roof and dry it in, ready for shingles.   Maybe even shingle it. 

Always Something New.   Every build has a new feature or new challenge to overcome.  This time we were pleasantly surprised at the retainer wall.   It is beautiful –  attractive engineered blocks of stone to create a retainer wall for the house next door which sits above “ours”.   Out of the 20 homes we have built previously, we have always contended with graded slopes between houses or between yards.  The retaining wall is a nice feature.   I understand we will have some changes in the way we do the trusses (engineered steel spacers) and a different design for the trusses.   New features added in previous years include tapered round columns instead of rectangular posts for porches, Hardi-plank siding instead of vinyl, bigger floor plans, engineered trusses, engineered floor joists, Z flashing, and a number of neat improvements in design and detail to make the homes more distinct and attractive.

Stay Tuned.   Selected pictures for the first day to follow in the next post!  I have 92, but they take up more than 250MB and so you will need to be satisfied with a few reduced format samples.