Roof is up! Recapping the past week

Saturday, June 17, 2023

We’ve made a ton of progress this past week on the treehouse. So much progress that I’ve been too exhausted at the end of the day to post daily updates. This post will highlight some of the things we’ve accomplished in the past week.

Framing the outsides of all the windows

Monday: we started by framing-in the outsides of all the windows, this should help seal them up better as well as provide an outer edge which will provide additional stability for the windows themselves.

Running large lag bolts into 4x4 beams for the crow's nest

Tuesday: we attached another 4x4s in the front corner of the main structure. We plan to use the 3 4x4s protruding upwards beyond the roof to support a small “crow’s nest” platform. The crow’s nest will serve as a platform from which to potentially attach a long-range wifi antenna or a small wind-powered generator, as well as act as a nice (albeit very high) platform to hang out on.

Holding up a 2x6 with my legs while dad runs the screw gun

Wednesday: I started the day by missing the 3rd to the last rung on the ladder with my foot and subsequently being captured by gravity and thrown to the ground, giving myself a nice scrape along my forearm and a couple friction burns on my legs where I hit the ladder rungs. At least it happened near the ground, but I was reminded that gravity can do an excellent job of throwing your butt at the dirt fast enough to hurt pretty good.

We started by cutting up sections of the foam insulation panels that dad acquired from a neighbor. While the panels were easy to cut with a hand saw, I unfortunately realized the outer backing surface of the foam contained fiberglass. Even with the gloves I wore, I managed to get a bunch of glass fibers in my legs and arms from crab-walking around on the roof all day, so that wasn’t awesome, but the foam all fit into the spots very nicely.

1x4s installed atop foam so we have something to screw the paneling into

After all the foam was in place, we put 1x4s laterally every 24" to support the roofing panels as well as 2x6s on the outer edges to provide backing support for the panels.

Initially we had planned on using corrugated steel paneling for the roof but we learned that the corrugated steel that they sell at the hardware store is remarkably thin and not recommended for roofing applications. Dad found these Ondura asphalt corrugated roofing panels made by Onduline and they’re only $20 per 79x34.5" sheet. The initial delivery estimate was still a week or two away, but they very conveniently arrived early, so, no reason not to put them up.

Eyeing up panel arrangement

Thursday: we began installation of the asphalt sheet roofing. There was lots of shuffling around and eyeing-up trying to determine exactly where the panel edges should start and how we could strategically slice up the panels to minimize waste.

Smoke everywhere, thanks Canada

The smoke from Canadian wildfires was clearly visible in the air that day, we could faintly smell it as well. No surprise the air quality index was in the 150s. We only worked a half-day on Thursday, which was probably good because I was nearly incapable of moving around after a full day of rooftop crab-walking as well as having a bruised bicep due to falling on my side.

Backside overhang roofing completed

Friday: the morning started out very nice and cool, excellent weather for working on the roof. We got all the roofing sheets installed with minimal trouble. The biggest challenge was the final corner since we didn’t have a convenient route to get off the roof after screwing down the final panel, but dad managed to squeeze through the corner and we did the final few screws from below.

Roofing installed

There’s still a couple spots on the north side that need a 2x6" for full edge support but everything should be pretty much set for now.

Roofing completed

Saturday (today): we’re taking a little break. Tomorrow we’ll probably go through old barn boards in the garage basement and see what we have available for use as siding. A neighbor (not the one that provided the foam) also has some corrugated steel paneling which might work well for some sections of the back side. Dad mentioned it may rust, but that sounds to me like it might add character. One potential additional benefit to using some metallic sections on the back side is increasing long distance visibility through the woods which will hopefully deter deer hunters from unknowingly firing towards the treehouse during hunting season.

Check back soon, siding will hopefully go pretty quick!