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Need a new roof and to replace rotting bottom logs, but what order?  RSS feed

 
Rob Irish
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Location: Estonia, Zone 5/6
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Hi everyone,

We have been working out our plans this year to take this pre-loved 1930's log house and renovate it permies style.

The roof is 12/12 pitch, and the framing may need replacing, but we definitely want to replace what looks to me like Asbestos sheets. We're leaning towards powder coated sheet metal.

Around the base of the house, we have a few rotting logs, mostly on the corners, which we need to replace.



What I'm unsure about is what order we should be approaching these big jobs? Or does it not really matter?

With the asbestos, would you remove it yourself if you had a proper gas mask, or is this something you would get in a professional for? And would you vacate all other people who aren't working on the property to be far away during this work?

Many thanks,
Rob
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Yikes Rob, talk about a project...

We need photos, or I can really give good advice. As a professional builder in the traditional and natural building styles, I am concerned when I read of folks tackling things like "asbestos" and "sill log" replacement. These are not DIYer types of projects so at a minimum, you need some serious skill sets and solid background in construction.

YOU CAN do this job, but you must really plan well, take your time (about 3x as much as a professional) and be prepared for changes, stops, and adjustments to your plan. Do NOTHING, with out first planning (and drawing) your intent.

Get those photos on here, and I will give you my thoughts and perhaps more details to "means, methods, and materials" to employ. Often with asbestos the best thing...is do nothing. Asbestos is harmless if you don't "atomises" the dust from breaking it up. It is a naturally occurring mineral with little or no impact until humans start grinding, tearing and breaking it up. If it is on the roof, and the framing is well done, I will most likely recommend a "cold roof" approach...which I typically do anyway, so you won't be dealing with the asbestos at all.

Regards,

j
 
Rob Irish
Posts: 225
Location: Estonia, Zone 5/6
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It is a big project that is for sure Jay!

I would love to do this work myself but when it comes to structural things like this I will be leaving it to the professionals. My building skills go as far as building simple furniture. I'm just trying to get a good order of jobs here so I'm approaching it right, and also to get a 2nd opinion from the community here so that I have a trustworthy point of reference before putting all the trust into people I don't know.

With the roof, we're planning on opening up the living space so the roof will be the ceiling. Currently where the roof meets walls there is a horizontal ceiling. We want to take this out, however in this ceiling is where the current insulation is (sand and hay). So the asbestos roof also doesn't have insulation. It is just framing, then asbestos. I would imagine one would need to lift the asbestos to put in insulation framing, but I have no idea what I am talking about. Maybe it could be put in from underneath as well, although that seems more fiddly.

Pictures will probably have this make much more sense then I can describe so I will get them soon.

many thanks,
Rob
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Rob,

Thanks for the update...and will look forward to those pictures.

I write on forums like this because I am a teacher, and also work in the field. I love nothing more, than having other professionals "vet" my work, and in turn learn. I also really enjoy helping folks like you "vet" possible contractors, because there are goon one, way too many bad ones (with bad ideas) and very few real "artisan-crafts people" left that can do both contemporary and historical "natural-traditional" architecture.

I would also really like a short history on the structure with its known circa date.

Regards,

j
 
Rob Irish
Posts: 225
Location: Estonia, Zone 5/6
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Jay,

Really appreciate your perspective on this. Hopefully I will learn some things about the traditional building and will one day be able to return the favour to somebody else.

I've taken photos of the outside of the house. Circa date is approx. 1930


We've already removed the sacrificial layer. Left of the door at the back is the sauna. The bottom wood log is rotting. Most of the bottom logs in the house on the corners have rot. On the right side of the door, the bottom log must have been replaced some time ago - I don't know when. It looks like virtually no attempt was made to make it look like the log replacement actually fit with the style of previous workmanship. I'm guessing past renovators were not thinking about this because they shoddy work would just be covered with a sacrificial layer.

Our plan is to put on a sacrificial layer, but we want the logs to be revealed inside the house.


As you can see in this south facing wall, the left side is newer than the right. We have no idea when this left extension was added.
Our plan is to remove this whole wall and replace with glass. It will have a nice view to the forest, and let in winter sunlight.

Good logs salvaged from this section we can hopefully use to repair other sections of rotting log in the house.



East facing side. The brick structure used to be a barn. Roof starting to collapse.


The top couple rows of bricks it seems started to collapse outward. Somebody along the way reinforced it with canvas straps on the inside. I'm guessing the bricks were not laid correctly? Or could it be that as the roof is collapsing, it has created outward pressure to push the bricks?

We want to salvage what we can from this barn, remove the roof and align the roof with the rest of the house. This section will have a bedroom in the roof section.









Cement foundation. Not very high off the ground.










Roof shot inside the barn. You might be able to see some framing is broken there.


The roof framing and chimney above the house. This chimney on the south end has got to go. It is for a typical heater, but the bricks for this heater are starting to crumble. Heating for the house will come from rocket mass heater(s).


Inside the barn. Steel beams embedded into the blocks/bricks. Rusting. Birch supports.




I'm guessing these canvas ties were put in place to resist the outward collapse of the bricks.


A beam inside showing some rot.


So lots of work to be done! I'm sure a lot of people think what is the point reviving this, but I think most of the wood is in good condition.

Here is the current floorplan of the house. All the walls are logs.


The right side is the south facing side of the house.

And this is a rough sketch of what we plan on doing with it.


Basically removing most of the interior walls to create an open living space which joins the kitchen. In our family, we do a lot of preparing food while also talking, so we want our kitchen to be open with the living area. We plan on extending on both the west and east side, to create a dining area on the east which will get morning sunlight. And the left side extension so that the bathroom can fit a bath and shower and toilet etc. Currently there is literally no plumbing. We have an outhouse.

We have no idea about which walls we can safely remove on the inside, whether they add to the support of this structure or not.

Would you need some more pictures of anything?

Many thanks,
Rob
 
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