18 October, 2014

A Roof to Keep Us Dry

I seem to have succumbed to Island Time with regard to my blogging frequency.  Not that we are on an island, but you couldn't tell it from our view.
The increasing frequency of rain squalls are a sure sign that the rainy season is gearing up.  Our goal was to have our addition dried in before the rainy season, but we didn't quite make it.  The top photo below was taken Sept 25th. No roof, no windows, and 4.3 inches of rain in our rain gauge in the previous week.  It seems the rainy season was not aware of our timeline.  The bottom photo was taken today, 23 days and 20 inches of rain later than the top photo.  Now only 1 more door and 1 more window to install and then we will be totally dried in. Yea!  
Another view of the sea. 
 Here is what happened in those 23 days:
The wooden straps that support the sheet metal roof were put in place along with the boards needed to make the eaves.  Those dark things in the sky are dragonflies.  Tens of thousands of them migrated through the day I took this photo.  It was amazing to see them.
 From the inside you can see the roofing trusses and upper level walls. 
The large Santa Maria wood roofing trusses are bolted together with iron plates.  These babies ain't goin' nowhere.
From below you can see the 2x4 wood straps to which the sheet metal (called "zinc" here) will be screwed.
We love these blue sky days.
Another view from below showing the crew securing the last 2 sheets of "zinc" on the north side of the roof.   
Given the irregular shape of the roof, we actually had to start the courses of 10x4ft zinc sheets at the top of the ridge line and work down instead of starting at the bottom and working up.  The next course had to be slipped under the first course.
We used mostly 10x4ft sheets of zinc along with some 8x4 sheets for the corners.  Oddly, the undersides were different colors.  Luckily, that won't show from the inside once we are finished.  However, it isn't uncommon around here for the zinc to be exposed, i.e., for the roof to be the ceiling.  We will be installing rigid insulation against the 2x4 straps and then some sort of finish over the insulation.  Not sure what yet, maybe tongue and groove mahogany paneling.  Suggestions are welcomed! 
Another view of the roof from below.
This is with all the roof, including the ridge cap, up and most of the doors and windows.
 Before and after shots of the north side are below.
Before the zinc and windows.  You can see how the gable end eaves extend out. 
After the zinc, windows, and 3 of 4 doors.
 We had the windows and doors custom made in Spanish Lookout by Peters Glass Shop; we highly recommend them.  I am so happy with how they turned out.  We will be putting up the exterior trim around them next week.
The crew working on the south facing roof.  This is the side on which the solar panels will be mounted.

The sheets of metal roofing are all installed.  Next, we will come back and finish off the gable ends with sheet metal covers and then install the soffit.  That will keep it weather tight.
The collage below shows the southwest corner and the south facing roof during the construction.  Either 18 or 20 solar panels will be mounted on the roof.  A small shed room will be added to the windowless wall to house the inverter and the batteries will run under the windows along the wall on the right.  The space the batteries will be in is on a breezeway that will be covered by a shed roof that links the old cabana with the new addition.  The breezeway will be screened in.
 Once the roof was up, we took the tarps off the Santa Maria wooden beam.  You can see the beam and some of the posts in the collage below.  I had thought that putting the roof on would make the space seem smaller, but it doesn't.  The space is nice and open with plenty of light coming in through the windows.  I'm sure that will change a bit when we put the loft in, but with 10 foot ceilings under the loft, it should still feel open and airy.  
There is still an amazing and daunting amount of work yet to be done.  Getting the solar panels, inverter, and batteries up and running is our priority now.  The panels are being shipped, the batteries and inverter have been sourced and will be ordered next month.  Things are happening!
Looking more like a house every day.


  1. Its all coming together. Thats a great view out of the window Wilma.

  2. Thanks, Roy. I am already spending time looking out the windows - it makes a great bird blind/hide. :-)

  3. Great to see the progress. I am sure you are going to spend many happy hours there.

  4. Porch/gallery looks spectacular

    1. Hi Rob! Glad you like it . When will you and Robin come to visit?


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