Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to put on a roof, part 1

Today was the day. The steel was ready for the roof, and it was to be delivered today. Before we began, there were just the walls standing there in the grey dawn.

Walls of a house dug into a knoll

Part of the crew that was going to install the steel, was there already waiting at 7:30. We all waited, to see whether the crane, or the steel would show up first.

Waiting to see if the steel truck would find us

The steel arrived first. When we saw it, we all asked, how the heck are we getting that in and up my driveway?

They brought my steel on a full size tractor and trailer, what were they thinking?

The way things were designed out, we avoided having really long joists, however this is still quite a bit of steel. They told me some of the weights when they looked at the tags on the various bundles, and my estimate is that they brought in about 8 tons of steel joists and decking. The specification for the roof though is for it to be able to hold up 130 tons of weight sitting on top of it.

A good bit of steel sitting there

Unfortunately, there was a little too much steel there. I'll explain later.

They tried taking the rig up my driveway, from a couple different directions, but that truck, was not getting onto my property.

No, forwards won't work...
Backwards didn't help either.

Once the crane truck got there, they ended up transferring the steel to that truck, and using the crane truck, to haul the steel up the hill.

Move the steel from one truck to the other...

Unload the steel beside the home

Since I have already had questions from a couple people on what the joists would look like, here are some obligatory closeups :-) Please also pardon the technical talk about what they are doing with the joists. I need notes for when I am asked questions.

South end of the J2 joists, this is the end that will be in the overhang, and will be cantilevered out over the south wall.

Bearing point for the J2 and J2A joists. This is where they will be attached to plates that will be welded to the south wall.

North end of the J2 and J2A joists. These will be bolted to the top of the 2x6 framed support wall, with lag screws. They had to get different lag screws than the ones they were given. The ones they were given, would have gone all the way through the top plate of the wall, and would have only ended up with about an inch of thread in the wood since they had over and inch of shank. The joists are upside down on the ground. The plates that will be bolted down, are on the top cord of the joist, which is on the bottom in the photo.

South end of the J2A joists, the plate will be used to attach materials for the fascia on the overhang.

Another look at the north ends

More of the J2A joists sitting next to some of the J2 joists.

The J1 joists are the ones that went on the north/back half of the home, and I don't have closeups of them. Both ends on the J1 joists, look like the north end of the J2 and J2A joists.

OK, back to the story.

We were looking over the plans, and I didn't see where the overhang was supposed to extend out from the main roof. They explained that all the joists along the front half, were extending over this bearing point to form an overhang on the whole length of the front. UH, OH!! Thats not right. I explained how the overhang was only supposed to cover from one end of the windows, to the other. We had some extra steel on some of the joists. Hmmm, time to contact the folks who were providing the joists.

While they waited for a different box of lag screws to arrive, and for the steel folks to help decide what we were doing with the extra overhang, they started lifting the joists for the back half up onto the walls.

Picking up a bundle of joists

First bundle delivered to the top of the walls

Joists are starting to show through the windows

That is a bunch of joists to set

The walls now have joists. On the back half at least.

Setting the last joist for the back.

The two on the ends, are not at 1 foot intervals like the rest. They sort of fill in the space on the ends. They hold a smaller amount of roof, but this avoided having to craft special joists to go on top of the side walls.

After a lunch break, they started welding the joists to the plates in the top of the concrete wall, and putting in the lag screws to anchor them on the center support wall.

Arc welding is bright!

I am starting to actually have a roof structure over my head.

Looking from garage, along center support wall

Looking from garage, along north wall

We talked to the steel folks about the extra overhang. They said that since the overhanging portion did not affect the bearing point, we could just cut off the ends of the offending joists. They were going to go draw some plans for that. The one fellow installing the steel said, he has been doing this work for 31 years. He knew where they would need to be cut, but he didn't have his saw with him today. So tomorrow there will be some joist truncating. At least it wasn't a case that they were too short. That is much more difficult to fix. I am glad I was there today so that I spotted this.

They were moving right along on getting the joists welded in place, and looked to be about ready to start lifting some of the other joists, when it started to rain. They had to stop welding with the rain. Arc welding in wet conditions can give the welder, one heck of a shock (The crane operator used more colorful language to describe the experience). So they stopped for the day. Since they have the steel on site, and the crane is already set up, they should be able to get a good start tomorrow. It looks like they should be able to finish tomorrow, unless we run into another snag.

I hope I can get a refund on some of the cost of the extra joist length, since I can't come up with a use for what will probably be 28 pieces of 2 foot joist.

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