Installing house trusses and finishing the roofs.

I picked up the Triflex roofing underlayment and Eavguard ice shield on Halloween, expecting I might be able to prepare the roof on the garage for the steel shingles which were ordered on Tuesday, and maybe arriving on following Tuesday. Then went over the installation manual from Wakefield Bridge, and it was not clear the sequence of applying Triflex and Eaveguard. So had to wait till Monday to get clarification from the roofing guy before moving ahead. It turns out that the Triflex is installed first, then the starter shingles, and over that the Eaveguard. So set up my ladders and scaffolds around the garage, peeled off the tarpaulin and started putting on the Triflex. My neighbor across the street Richard, came over and gave me a hand, and we got the north and south faces of the roof covered and then the rains came chasing us wet and bedraggled off the roof.

Tuesday morning, Nov 3 the crew to intall the trusses arrived, but the big crane was not available that day, so they put the master truss in place by hand, aligned it vertically as the reference plane, installed the hips and jacks on the west end of the house, and put the plywood deck on that small section of the roof. Then we went to the east end of the house and set about construction the beam array which will support the roof over the screen porch. This consisted of 4 6×6 treated wood posts supporting firbrolam beams that are the base for the jacks which form the corner and eastern edge of the roof. The engineered beams are enormously strong, but also very heavy, the long one weighed nearly 400 lbs. We got it finished and properly braced, and the rains arrived again and the crew dispersed, but with the promise to be there at 7 AM with the crane to put up the rest of the big trusses.

A point of pride; Tom Ritchie the framer complimented me on my wall and nailing plate alignments. The north and west wall were less than 1/16 inch out of perfect square on the long diagonal. As we did the whole set of big trusses, the heels were within 1/4″ of aligning perfectly to the edge of the nailing plate on the 30 foot span, so all my attention to detail in building the wall paid off.


November 3, Lifting the master truss into place on the nailing plate.


Bracing the master truss in the true vertical position, all the rest are referenced to this truss.


Finishing up the alignment of the master truss.


Setting and nailing the "jacks" on the west side of the master truss.


Jacks and hips in place, starting the plywood deck.


More work on the deck.


Most of the deck in place.


Deck and the fascia on the gable complete.


Fibrolam beams and 6x6 posts set in place and braced on the screen porch slab, ready for the jacks to complete the roof profile.

Wednesday, November 4, The crane arrived minutes before 7 AM, set up and the crew was at it at full speed. Since the crane gets $200/hr, it was very useful that the trusses were going into place virtually perfectly with no need for any fiddles to make them right. When they were all in place and minimally cross-braced, the crane packed up and left and the crew set about getting the more permanent bracing in place and putting the plywood deck on the north face of the roof. Things were going great guns, until about 10:30 AM, when the rains descended upon us again. It was dangerous to be on the roof, and the crew had a job down the street, that was inside, so they went there, hoping the weather would break, but it was not to be.


Wednesday, November 4, Picking up the first truss of the day.


Headed for the nailing plate.


Putting the first one in place.


Set on the nailing plates.


Moving along with the trusses.


The last big truss in place, disconnecting the cable.


Tying in the last truss, and the crane getting ready to go away.


A bit of a curve in the bottom chord of the last truss, some adjustment required.


My neighbor Lloyd surveying the work.


Looking up at the cathedral trusses.


November 5, Putting on the roof deck on the south face of the roof.


Working on the deck, jacks over screen porch still visible.


Gable on the west end of the roof complete.

Thursday morning dawned grey and threatening more rain, but by 10 AM it cleared and the crew showed up and went to work. They first installed the jacks over the east end of the house and built out the hips. Then they set about putting the deck on the south face of the roof. Not all done by the time they quit around 5 PM, but not much left to do. I worked through the morning measuring and cutting firring strips to attach 6 mil clear plastic over windows. This is to protect against overspraying of the polyurethane foam into the house and on the floor, and also to keep the wind and weather out. After lunch the wind was down a bit, so I was up onto the garage roof applying Triflex to the uncovered surfaces. Had to run over to McNaughtons and get more since I ran out, and now have enough to at least get a good start on the house roof as well. Finished the garage roof as it was getting dark, about 6PM. Good weather predicted for the next 3 days, so hopefully will get the Triflex on the house roof to keep the water out, and get a good start on the shingles for the garage.

Friday morning dawned cold and sunny. Frost on the ground, and on the roof. The crew arrived bright and early and set about putting deck on over the screen porch and working on the gable above it where they could put dry plywood. After the sun had been out a while they were able to finish the upper east end of the north face of the roof. When that was done they went at building the solar chimney, which which will give passive ventilation in the summer. They finished about 3 PM and I got started on putting the triflex on the north face of the deck.

All day lots folks driving past VERY slowly looking and wondering. Tom decided to pull peoples chain a little, asked if he could put a cross on the back of the chimney, and I suggested, put a phony machine gun on top. The final result was a silhouette of a soldier with a rifle, and a label “Lest we forget” since it is Remembrance Day this weekend.

When the crew dispersed, I headed up on the roof and before dark got Triflex on the first 12 ft of the north face. Good weather predicted tomorrow so maybe get the whole roof done if all goes well. Shingles for the garage will be delivered tomorrow, so maybe as start on them too. Need to work when the sun shines!


Friday, November 6, most of the east end of the house has deck complete.


Filling in the last bit of deck on the trusses.


The last section of the deck going on.


Putting the last piece of plywood in place.


Laying the foundation for the solar chimney.


Setting the corners on the framing of the chimney.


The temporary bracing on the south side to keep the corners true.


Putting the plywood deck on the top of the solar chimney.


The framing of the chimney from the northeast corner.


Nearing completion, putting the plywood fascia in place.


FInished solar chimney viewed from the north, note the outline of soldier and gun on top.


View of solar chimney from the south, with the window frame which will allow hot air to be vented.

Saturday was a mild sunny day and I got in a long day applying Triflex. Finished three of the four faces of the roof by dark, and was ready to rest my weary bones. Sunday morning was sunny but started with a thick ground fog which took a while to burn off. Headed off to church, and came back in the afternoon to dry roof and mild sunny weather again. Got up on the roof and by dark finished the remaining face of the roof. Was hearing the bagpiper playing down the street at the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the cenotaph.


Sunday November 8, FInished putting Triflex underlayment on house roof view from the north side.


View from the south side of the house.


Remembrance Day recognition on the solar chimney.


View from the north, house and garage with Triflex in place.

Monday morning bright and early the crew showed up and started work on the breezeway beam structure. A lot of thinking and discussion since only the rough outlines were on the truss plan. Really glad I had a person in charge with a lot of experience and a sense of pride in doing a good job.


Monday, November 9, the first fibrolam beam in place for the covered walkway between house and garage.


Second beam of breezeway in place.


Setting the trusses on the breezeway.


Attaching the fascia to the truss tails.


Doing the creative framing to blend the two roofs gracefully.


Putting the first plywood sheet on the breezeway.


Much of the deck in place, the crew gone for the day.


View from the south, most of plywood in place on the breezeway.

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4 Responses to “Installing house trusses and finishing the roofs.”

  1. Gerard Says:

    Ted, you are amazing!

    • tedspassivesolarhouse Says:

      Don’t feel very amazing this morning, my bones ache from a hard day on the roof, and it is sort of Newfoundland morning with damp ground fog, which exaggerates my aches and pains. It will pass if and when the sun comes out. On track to having things closed in before real winter, so work will continue without major interruption.


  2. adhd treatment Says:

    Keep working ,great job!

  3. roofing Says:


    […]Installing house trusses and finishing the roofs. « Tedspassivesolarhouse’s Weblog[…]…

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