All the Shingle Ladies

Shingles in progress - overlapping at the valley.

Shingles in progress – overlapping at the valley.

As utility work proceeds inside the house, we took advantage of a gorgeous day to finish putting shingles on the shed roof. I spent most of the cool, dry morning with the coil nail gun in hand, affixing each shingle to the plywood subroof with four nails apiece. Terry opened packages of shingles and helped me align each one. He also stopped me from doing anything stupid, like driving a nail right into a valley. (Since water tends to collect in the valley, any hole there is an entry point for a leak, and needs to be sealed with glue.)

The shed roof has a 4-on-12 pitch, instead of 12-on-12 like everything we’ve roofed up to this point. An advantage of the less steep pitch is that you can stand directly on it, with no need for roof jacks or cleats. A disadvantage is that you have to bend way down to reach the shingles, which is tough on the back and ankles.

Two types of roof angles. A valley is concave; a hip is convex.

Two types of roof angles. A valley is concave; a hip is convex.

Thanks to the shape of this roof, wrapping around the house with a hip and a valley, Terry and I got away with using a whole shingle at the beginning of each row. No need to cut starters… we just varied our overlap at the hip to ensure the joints don’t line up. Terry periodically trimmed starter shingles in place so in the end they followed the hip exactly. We finished with cap shingles.

Terry installs cap shingles along the hip.

Terry installs cap shingles along the hip.

Directly below us Colin made inroads on the shed-roof ceiling. This detail is pretty tricky, not only because of the varying rooflines and wall locations but also because access is very limited. Colin’s additions included vertical members from the rafters down to the mudroom walls, horizontal ceiling joists from the walls out to the rafter tails, and nailer blocks to hold the assembly together every 2 feet.

Framing progress under the shed roof.

Framing progress under the shed roof.

The plumbers continue to poke pipes and ducts through seemingly every wall cavity in the house. An “out” and “return” duct now connect every occupiable space to the mechanical room, and at least three water pipes – red for hot, blue for cold, and white for the drain – lead into each bathroom and the kitchen. Downstairs the utilities run below the floor trusses rather than through them. Colin is considering whether he wants a false ceiling to hide this ductwork, and if so, whether we can take out some of the plumbing floors for a comfortable ceiling height. Just another of the gazillion decisions he must make as a self-contracting homeowner.

Complexities in the ductwork.

Complexities in the ductwork.

The increasingly-well-named mechanical room.

Ducts and plumbing lead back to the basement’s increasingly-well-named mechanical room.

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