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Need advice, gotta get a real roof on my cabin offgrid im living in it  RSS feed

 
Dustin Nemos
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Trying to put a better roof than my friend did on my cabin roughly 8 by 16 footer in the woods in central tn, it's on cinderblocks and it has a roof with a 1 inch drop on the uphill side with poly plastic (6mil) wrapped around it and metal roofing on it with less than a 1 inch overhang. The ceiling joists are covered in plywood already and have endboards. How can I convert this into a peaked roof it seems I can't connect the ceiling joists to rafters without removing some or all plywood and it also seems that I can't cut the birds mouth cut at this arrangement with plywood and end beam in the way, do I just pull it all back up until I am dealing with just ceiling joists and no endboards on them and then bring in the rafters ? Sorry to be brief I'm offgrid and trying to access from cell in town any help appreciated
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Dustin Krieger wrote:do I just pull it all back up until I am dealing with just ceiling joists and no endboards on them and then bring in the rafters ? 


Well the "right" way to do it would be to strip everything down until you can get to the top plate on the walls and then nail the rafters/trusses right to the top plate, and then add hurricane straps to be up to code.

If the plywood is sitting right on top of the top plate, then you could nail through it into the top plate, but attaching hurricane straps would be difficult to do correctly.  Although if you're building the new roof with eaves, then you could maybe using something like this on the outside:



Hurricane straps aren't just a code requirement, they are a good idea, especially if you ever get high winds. 
 
Dustin Nemos
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Ok so I could pull everything back down and get to the top plate of wall still though it already has the full floor joists on it. It's also a single top plate not double. I didn't build it and am trying to make it rightish but there is no building code here and I am doing this all on a credit card right now so will appreciate cutting out expenses but I want it made to work and keep out water, my current one isn't doing that completely. I thought the ceiling joists attached to the rafters?
 
brad millar
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Some pictures would help.
 
Dustin Nemos
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Tried to post pictures but it won't load them from my phobe
 
Jim Fry
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We have a museum, with 40 some buildings. So I do a lot of roofs. What I'd do is rebuild the roof correctly. In the long run you'll be better off. Then, something most folks don't know is that the Amish have lots of businesses, and quite often sell to mostly each other at a cheaper Amish price. For years I was buying metal roof from Lowes. It was expensive, and it was cut to their specs., not to what I actually needed. I finally found an Amish roof maker/bender near Middlefield, Ohio. He has huge rolls of flat metal of 20 different colors. You put in an order to the exact length you need (for example: 9 foot 7 1/16 inches) and he'll cut it exactly. I call in an order, then leave the farm/museum immediately and by the time I arrive, in about an hour, the bent and finished roof panels are ready. He also bends every associated piece you need for a proper roof. And he is much cheaper than the box stores. ....If you have an Amish community anywhere near you, I'd ask around and find the roofer guy. Jim www.ohiofarmmuseum.com  P.S. We are looking for people to come here to live.
 
chip sanft
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Dustin Krieger wrote:Tried to post pictures but it won't load them from my phobe


Use the "attachments" button at the bottom -- I have uploaded from my phone a number of times without problem.
 
Dustin Nemos
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I'm near a huge Amish community in tn lawrenceburg, I'll ask around. I plan to rebuild my roof correctly with a peaked roof style the cabin is roughly 8 x 16 any suggestions on how to correctly build a parts list for this diy and any suggestions on what angle to use? I wouldn't mind a little storage space in the attic area but I'm on cinderblocks on a hilltop in a forest maybe wind could be bad I'm not sure. I try to always ask advice on diy projects. P.s. If there is a way to get it done without having to move out of cabin it would go over better with the wife. Thanks guys,

I could upload pics if it would let me the phone says this app doesn't have permission and I haven't figured it out I'll try more
 
Deb Rebel
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Dustin Krieger wrote:I'm near a huge Amish community in tn lawrenceburg, I'll ask around. I plan to rebuild my roof correctly with a peaked roof style the cabin is roughly 8 x 16 any suggestions on how to correctly build a parts list for this diy and any suggestions on what angle to use? I wouldn't mind a little storage space in the attic area but I'm on cinderblocks on a hilltop in a forest maybe wind could be bad I'm not sure. I try to always ask advice on diy projects. P.s. If there is a way to get it done without having to move out of cabin it would go over better with the wife. Thanks guys,

I could upload pics if it would let me the phone says this app doesn't have permission and I haven't figured it out I'll try more


If it is an iphone, go to Settings (first page screen, looks like a grey gear). In there you should find the toggle to turn on the permission. I can't be specific because I don't know which app you are using or even if you have an iphone.
 
Dustin Nemos
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I found it, looks like I'll need this length (pic 3) rafters for the job so one 6 ft two by 6 for every rafter, what else will I need?
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Jim Fry
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Can't say as I'm too crazy about the way those two cement blocks on the front corner are stacked. They are on their sides instead of up and down. Blocks stacked sideways are much less crush proof than properly stacked upright blocks. Also it looks like the whole thing could slide down the hill in a really wet Spring. If it were mine I'd jack up the corner of the building, dig a good deep hole, pour nine or more inches of cement in it and then stick a piece of rebar or heavy fence post into the wet cement. When dry, stack the blocks on the footer and fill the blocks full of cement. Be sure to figure levels right so the top of the top block is at same level it is now. (Otherwise you'll have to do some shimming with treated lumber shims.) When I put in block foundations, when the concrete is dry, I paint it with foundation tar, then put a couple of asphalt shingles on top of the tar/block. That way moisture won't migrate up the cement into the wood and rot things. Sometimes if I feel like it I drive the rebar deep into the ground past where the bottom of the footer sits. That roots things a bit better in a slanted situation like you have. I also sometimes leave the rebar long then let the building down to mark the spot the rebar touches the sill board, then I jack the building back up and drill a hole thru the sill. Then I let the building down again, the rebar goes in the hole and then you can bend the rebar over inside the building to really tie things together.
 
Bill Erickson
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That sounds like it should work. The angle I would make perfect is the one where the two slopes of the roof meet at the peak. In fact, I would put a 18 or 20 foot ridge beam that the slopes tie into. This is so I could have a front and rear overhang to protect the exterior of the cabin as much as possible until it is sided in.

Maybe a wee bit shorter in the front what with that tree being there and all.

To set the position of the ridge beam make a board cradle by cutting two pieces of 2x6 that are the roof height plus a foot and screw it to the center point on the front and rear of the cabin. I call it a "cradle" because a notch deep enough to hold the ridge beam to depth and the top of the ridge beam sits at your calculated roof height. Makes it easy for one guy to measure, cut and hammer in the rafter runs.

To do it, I would just pull the metal roofing off and maybe lay another layer of plastic without any hole in it while I put the rafters in place. Because the "run" is so short, I wouldn't worry about any cross bracing with 2x4s and what not except for the ends as a way to close off the space with facia. This also gives you a long, skinny and dry place for some storage away from critters.

 
Dustin Nemos
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How can I jack that building up affordably? Mind you I have to haul lumber or anything 300 feet uphill from the street so some heavy things might be out


Can I make a ridge board from multiple 2 by 8 s here ? And can anyone help me build a material list? I have to get this delivered
 
Deb Rebel
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If your cabin faces the street/downhill, you can rope a winch to the base of that one tree, build a sledge, fasten your load down, and pull it up the hill. That also depends on your slope and terrain, too.

The sledge would look sort of like one of those old coaster sleds with runners, except the runners would be solid wood with the fronts curved up. Make a boxed frame, attach the runners, deck it, and give slots or eyebolt with washers and nuts on both sides of the deck wood, to lash to. Make a firm attachment point to the front so it can be hooked onto to be pulled.

4'x8' would be too big, and 2'x4' might be too small. Remember to think sturdy and low profile on the sledge and when loading, keep load low, and centered. It beats trying to drag bags of quickcrete up the hill (80# hurts)

You could rope to that tree with some protection for the bark, but don't do a slide-past rope as it will do a number on that tree (which I think you want to keep?) Pulley with a long enough rope you could even bring it to the road, attach it to hitch on vehicle and PULL your load up without your own sweat. Just take it slow and easy.
 
Bill Erickson
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Dustin Krieger wrote:How can I jack that building up affordably? Mind you I have to haul lumber or anything 300 feet uphill from the street so some heavy things might be out


Can I make a ridge board from multiple 2 by 8 s here ? And can anyone help me build a material list? I have to get this delivered


The lumber list I would use is to count the number of my current ceiling rafters the double that for the roof directly over the cabin and add 4 more for the front and rear eaves.
Figure the length of your roof ridge, divide it by 8 (standard plywood/OSB sheet length), multiply that by two and round up to a whole number, even if it is only "0.1 feet" round it up. This gives you the sheeting for both sides of the roof and covers any oddities of length for your front and rear eaves.
The other alternative is to divide by 4 (standard plywood/OSB sheet width) and figure to cutoff the excess. This would leave you with some wood for shelving and your facia.
The metal would be the hurricane straps to secure the roof rafter runs to the current cabin ceiling deck, should be that same number as your current ceiling rafter times 2, maybe add a couple extras just in case you mangle some.
Enough fasteners, I prefer 5 pounds or so of 8p coated sinkers for the rafters (usually about 3-4 inches long), and another couple pounds of 4p coated sinkers (generally 1 1/2 to 2" long) to secure the roof decking. The 4p sinkers I nail in every 4 inches - it's a pain, but it is a roof and needs to be solidly attached. So figure the area of a piece of roof decking (24 feet or 288 inches) and divide by four and you have 72 nails per sheet. this would be a 2-4 pound box of nails. Since they come in 1 or 5 pounds, I would go with 5 to be safe.
Last is to figure for whatever type of roofing material you are going to use. I would stick with metal roofing myself, so grommeted roofing nails to go on the ridges of the material. I would also consider some 15# or 30# roofing felt to help with the seal of the roof deck and the roofing material.
When I am talking 8p or 4p for nail size I am talking about 4 or 8 penny nails.


As to jacking that thing up to redo those blocks, I would go with a high lift jack. I'd secure the building from sliding first - cables up hill to deep stakes or 6 inch or better trees, emptying the building out of as much heavy stuff as possible, and then giving it a very slow and cautious go. I would TAKE MY TIME. Lifting an unsecured building is a risky proposition. Jim's idea of staking them with rebar, filling with cement and capping with roofing felt is a very good one. As a temp measure, until you get setup to carefully lift a secured building, add some more blocks (properly oreinted) and shimming right along side of the current ones. You still need to take care of that situation before weather does that corner in, but you will be safer.

An option I'd ask you to consider is leveling and solidly tamping a flat landing site next to the current position, put a 4-6 layer of crush on it and then moving the structure over onto it. This can be done after the new roof and your support measures are taken, as it will take time. But it is a really good idea to have it secure on a level and solid foundation area rather than sitting on raw soil like it currently is, a significant rain event and you have a hell of a tobaggan ride down the hill ahead of you. If nothing else, support measures and securing cabling to stop any potential slide.
 
Alder Burns
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Here's what I would do.  I did two cabins this way back in the day and neither leaked in years.  Get a couple of pieces of heavy builder's plastic. Tarps would do as well. If you can't afford new, scrounge mattress and furniture store dumpsters....stuff like that is shipped in huge plastic bags that you can cut open into big rectangular pieces.  Staple these to the frame or deck in overlapping course, overhanging well on all sides.  That's the main waterproofing.  Then scrounge some carpet and lay this up in overlapping courses.  You can put more plastic under each course and then nail or staple down the uphill side, or just punch holes in it and lace together with baler twine and tie the edges back to the frame.   Make up some cement stucco really soupy and slather this with rubber gloves into the carpet....it will stiffen into a solid layer.  Actually the carpet will last for years even without....and I think it could become a living roof eventually with moss and soil and such.  The two cabins I built this way in Georgia had a frame of pine poles or bamboo, and a roof deck of two thicknesses of cardboard.  When the cement stucco carpet dried I had five people on the one roof, and it didn't give at all.  Lasted ten years without a leak, till I left it to my lasting regret....
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Dustin Krieger wrote:How can I jack that building up affordably? Mind you I have to haul lumber or anything 300 feet uphill from the street so some heavy things might be out


Just about anything will work to jack up a building that small, you can get a cheap bottle jack at Harbor Freight for $18 that would work, probably even use a floor jack.

Jack it up, stack something else under it temporarily so it's not just on the jack, jack stands would be good (temporarily).  Make sure you dig down below the frost line before pouring your new piling.  You can buy some big cardboard tubes called "Sonotubes" at the hardware store and pour a piling that goes all the way up to where the cabin will sit on it, and do away with the stack of cinder blocks entirely.
 
Deb Rebel
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The more I look at that the more I agree with another poster. Pull or lever that up the hill or go right next to it, dig a flat, pack some crush, and dig four pilings and pour concrete with rebar. Then slide the building back onto a foundation that might not wash downhill, THEN fix the roof. As a preventive for erosion down hill, make a ringing retainer wall of a few feet (you can use urbanite for backfill) high in at least 120 degree arc going downhill. Or shelf in a hugel...

You and your other are living in there, sleeping in there, you want it to be secure... 
 
Dustin Nemos
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I understand sonotubes and frost level. I do not understand the full aspect of lifting this thing, building under it, and then sitting it back down.

I am willing to go buy the jack, if such a thing would be strong enough (harbor freight an hour from me) but if I did jack it up, dig an 18 inch hole, pour concrete into a sonotube, and stick rebar down into that pointing up (through the bottom sill plate?) would that be sufficient? would 2 corners (the downhill corners) be enough to maintain stability?

Never used concrete in my life, so all this is new to me. I wanna make sure I fully understand this before moving ahead.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Dustin Krieger wrote: and stick rebar down into that pointing up (through the bottom sill plate?) would that be sufficient? would 2 corners (the downhill corners) be enough to maintain stability?

Never used concrete in my life, so all this is new to me. I wanna make sure I fully understand this before moving ahead.


No Rebar needs to be COMPLETELY enclosed in the concrete.  None of if sticking out the bottom, none out the top.  If it's outside the concrete at any point it will start to rust and won't stop.  Rebar can help strengthen concrete, rust just makes it weaker.

I can't imagine the shack in the photos above weighing much more than a 1000 pounds, 1500 tops.  HF sells a 4 ton bottle jack for ~$18.  Make sure to put something under it to spread the load (so the jack doesn't sink into the ground) and a board on top so you don't crush your rim joist.  I'd put the jack under the middle of the door, lift shack up 2", put new temporary pilings under each side of the door frame, or back a couple feet on each side of shack (or all four places), so that you have room to work at the corners without the temp piling falling into the hole.

If you use a long piece of sonotube then you can make the hole bigger than it needs to be (getting a posthole digger under the shack would be tough) drop in the tube, file it with concrete, and then file in around it with dirt (packing it down as you go).  I'd buy 60lb bags of sakcrete (easier to carry uphill than 80lb sacks).  Buy more than you think you'll need, you can take unopened sacks back for a refund if you need to.
Make sure the top of the sonotube is flat and exactly where the top of the old stack of blacks and wood was, so you can just drop the shack right on top of it.

Just putting to new pilings on the front of the shack should keep it from sliding down. 

On the back side, is the wood sitting directly on the dirt?  You don't want that, it will rot and/or get termites.  Ideally you want 6" of concrete between the dirt and the wood.
 
Dustin Nemos
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made first post (had to eyeball it for final height) sunk it 17-18 inches in ground and have 2 1ft rebar inside it near the top.

Back are on blocks as well, 1 on the 'right side (facing door from outside) and 2 on the left side due to slope. My goal was to post the left side front and back (the downhill side) and hope to sit it back down on those to keep it from ever sliding. Its not on the dirt, but only a few inches off it on the uphill side.

My next goal would be to get my solar setup and build a real roof, and add some siding. I was thinking of windlocked asphalt shingles (i read about em, no idea what they are yet, sound good)
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Dustin Krieger wrote:made first post (had to eyeball it for final height) sunk it 17-18 inches in ground and have 2 1ft rebar inside it near the top.

Back are on blocks as well, 1 on the 'right side (facing door from outside) and 2 on the left side due to slope. My goal was to post the left side front and back (the downhill side) and hope to sit it back down on those to keep it from ever sliding. Its not on the dirt, but only a few inches off it on the uphill side.

My next goal would be to get my solar setup and build a real roof, and add some siding. I was thinking of windlocked asphalt shingles (i read about em, no idea what they are yet, sound good)


Does the current roof have any slope at all?  If so you might look into doing a "Built Up Roof".  You won't get the storage space of a peaked roof, but it's cheap and simple to do, and does really well in windy conditions.  Basically just a couple layers of roll roofing.  This used to be called "Torch Down Roofing" but they have new systems (glues, etc.) so that you no longer need to use a torch to apply it (much safer to DIY).


For ultimate cheapness, you can even go with a single ply, and just add new layers if/when it leaks.  Where I live in Southern AZ they have a lot of low slope roofs done using single or double ply and then painted with a white roof coating to reflect the sun.
 
Dustin Nemos
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Ya know I like the idea but I am so tight on space I feel I need that extra peaked roof space. I am considering building another 8 x 16 onto the side of this one (uphill side) to double my space. If and when I get the funds. If it were all flat and plumb and square I would feel better about doing the peaked roof, as it is he left the uphill side 1 inch lower for drainage slope and I imagine I will have to take off the plywood or at least cut off the last foot or so of it on the side, take off the end cap board (2x6) and then angle cut each 2x6 and sit them on top of some kinda 1x4 board to get it 'level' before building a roof. I've never done it before but Ive been studying it and have a video and books and hopefully can figure my way through it with my Noob carpentry skills and decent tools. Yikes!

I gotta figure out windows and siding too. Siding is a headache as I cant figure out which way to go. I don't want cheap short term vinyl, I've heard of using windlock shingles for siding long-term durable but I can't even find much information on doing vertical shingles as siding, or DIY videos. I do like to do things high quality and low maintenance and try to save money on the DIY portion.  Advice on all these topics appreciated.



Update on the posts: I jacked up the downhill side of the building and replaced the double stacked (facing the wrong way as someone pointed out above) cement blocks with a 8 inch pier of concrete, giving it 3 days to cure before I lower it back down, I hope I got em pretty even (think I did) for an even level floor.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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You might want to look into hardie plank or hardie panels.  These look like wood products but are cement based.  When properly painted they will out last you, and probably your grandkids.  For a rustic look you can use hardie plank to do lap siding.  The hardie panels come in various designs that look like wood panels, or stucko, etc.
You have to be careful nailing them, the head of the nail must just touch to top surface.  However they now have special screws that auger out a recess as you drive them in so you can screw them in flush with the surface. 
You can buy them at Lowes/Home Depot etc.

Hardie Plank

Hardie Panel

 
Dustin Nemos
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That hardy stuff sounds perfect. Should I put that on before or after a roof? I have no clue how to transition siding to openings for windows doors and I need to vent out my solar batteries hydrogen gas(thoughts?) my skill primarily is having read about things and I'm comfortable with a saw but I'm certainly a novice carpenter. I've switched gears to move to get my solar system setup and with Internet I can get things done a bit faster and better right now I go to town to download how to videos and research and consult you fine folks. But after this I want to build another 8 x 16 room to the side of this building and then figure out roofing siding windows and how they mesh and what layers so they last I know siding needs a paper air barrier (building paper) then I know it needs an air gap under the Hardi backer siding stuff. Accomplished via nailer boards to create an air gap for moisture to breathe out right? If I'm missing anything let me know! But on that note how do I transition to the door and window holes and not have leaks or bugs etc? Does it come before roof? I have to figure out which side of the building to build another room( up or down slope) up seems to be better as there is no window there but I might have to make it shorter to fit so it's flush at the top, downhill would be fine but require being higher off the ground, which I'm not yet sure on how to do, advice welcome!



I might go wide rather than tall with a peaked roof so that torch down stuff might be a method, how does it compare to metal roofing? Everyone here uses metal all over Tennessee.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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You really want to build a separate room/shed for the batteries, batteries should NOT be inside the living area of your home.  Might be a good idea to build it larger than needed to have extra storage space.

I would decide where any windows/doors are going to be an install them before the siding, that way you get to practice on the existing siding.  Do some reading online on how to proper frame windows/doors, or buy a book at HD/Lowes/Etc.  If you decide to go the Hardie route, they make Hardie boards suitable for doing the trim around windows/doors.
You can get some cheap windows at the big box stores, just make sure to get double pane.  Single pane wastes energy and triple pane wastes money.  If you don't get a lot of direct sunlight on the windows, then use vinyl framed windows (better energy efficiency), however if they are exposed to lots of direct sunlight, then aluminum will last longer.

The order of siding or roofing doesn't matter, do whichever is in worse shape first.
 
Mike Jay
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That roof structure looks very much like a floor to me.  It's a shame you can't lift it off of the cabin and set it down as the floor of your addition.  Then build a 16x16' truss roof over the whole thing.  Since it appears to be glued together it may not be easy to take apart.

edit - By "it's a shame", I'm just assuming it would be extremely challenging to do if you aren't near a driveway with access to a small crane.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Just out of curiosity, have you considered a tile roof? You could whip that out in a few days with stone age tech and zero money. Just a thought...
 
Dustin Nemos
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I could take that floor ceiling off, it's only caulked a bit to bugproof. I don't know that I could get trusses carried up there though!


As for framing I do know how to frame windows and doors with proper headers and footers although my friend failed to do them correctly here I couldn't fix the door it's already installed and the windows are an abnormal size I've been thinking I would reframe them to standard sizes when I get to windows and siding. I just don't understand how the siding goes to the window hole and I don't understand how to properly flash windows and all that. Basically I can frame everything but the roof and I think I can handle that off the videos I found.
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Dustin Nemos
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Tile roof? Unfamiliar
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Dustin Krieger wrote:Tile roof? Unfamiliar


Wow... Not expecting that. It's really common in Latin America, Europe, North Africa, East Asia, and the Western half of the UsA. There are a variety of shapes you can make, and it is very straightforward.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roof_tiles



 
Jd Stratton
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Dustin Krieger wrote:Trying to put a better roof than my friend did


Are you aware that with the right cutting shears and a weekend of work, you could cut the side of a camper or truck body out and get metal for that?

You could also just "paper" the roof then put on those metal panels that will last longer.
Panels like these.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/8-ft-Corrugated-Galvanized-Steel-Utility-Gauge-Roof-Panel-13513/202092961

Reading your post...you are looking for something like this, yes?
https://dothan.craigslist.org/zip/6212819983.html
With or without a title, even stripping the metal and fixtures from one of these...(I would be practical and move into it were I you, if possible.)

Dont forget, one cheap tarp from anywhere, covered by a better tarp, then wrapped over the edges and nailed in place, will last you a year in a shaded situation.

Also, a "cap" from a pickup makes a great roof for a micro cabin...and they make an even better chicken coop roof...

Lastly, if you have junk cars around, you can take the hoods and trunks from them over a tarp. If you do it right, these make a lifetime rain proof roof also. Takes more time than I would spend, but to some, time is money so maybe it would be right for you.

There is also gunk you can spread right on the wood that would seal the stuff for years. Trouble is, you are a human, so I have love for you. Besides...you may well reproduce and I do not want your offspring to have three eyes and a third nut. (The stuff I have seen/used is chemical YUCH! Stinky, make you puke, yuch yuch again. I suggest against it, yet it would work.)

An old satt dish or a junk boat turned upside down would also be worthy check-outs.

If you have time...you could make your own shingles, too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZA1J8RHltY&t=1754s

You can also take regular bark and lay it gently on top of roll plastic with aluminum foil over that and it lasts for years.
(I do not think I conveyed that properly...wood-plastic-foil-bark (or shingles of wood) on top of that.)
^^^^^This really works, but it is not really too much cheaper than the panels from home depot.
I hope this has helped you think it through. Be well and best of luck.
 
Jd Stratton
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PS
Trapping air between two layers of plastic inside that shack will warm it a lot compared to bare wood.

 
Dustin Nemos
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Oh that tile roof, I am familiar in having read about it and even read about 50 year plastic versions of it, not against it but was hoping metal roof would be faster and easier. I'm definitely on.a budget but I think as long as I do my own labor I can get it done semi well without resorting to trying to track down used vehicles and figure out how to get them here. Lumber isn't that cheap but it's cheap enough that I don't mind building the roof when the time comes, I think I need tobuild the other room addition ( 8 x 16 making a 16x 16) then roof and side. If you guys could recommend videos or diy guides on how to do the windows and siding (hardy cement style sounds great) I'd love to get them studied. My dilemma now is I need to get my solar setup and workable and then shift back to construction. I think I will keep or even duplicate the floor above design for walking or crawling comfortable once I do have a roof it will make a neater storage area above in the attic space can I build my roof on top of the plywood up there? I'll rip the metal off and duplicate this design next to this box and just connect them somehow then side it all as one I guess... will I have problems since it's really two separate buildings that just butt up against each other?


 
Ryan Hobbs
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If you have clay on your land (check creek bottoms), the tile way is very cheap and easy compared to metal. I'm planning to make tile roofing for all the buildings at my near future homestead and have researched it very thoroughly, so if you decide to do it on future builds or give up on metal and tar paper, hmu and I'll drop all the info I got on it.

I keep reading through this thread and thinking about how expensive the metal and tar and felt etc would be...
 
Glenn Herbert
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Clay tile is a beautiful material, but unless you have a ready supply of fine clay with few stones or other impurities (like Georgia clay beds), it will take a huge amount of processing before you can make tiles, and firing them hard enough to stand frost in damp climates is a much more intense process than the lovely kiln in the video.

An area that had a robust 19th century tradition of pottery production is likely to have some source of good clay with some research. Tile making for one small roof without that resource is not likely to be feasible in terms of time and effort.

The idea of two floor structures side by side, without a solid foundation supporting the whole thing, is highly likely to show differential settling or heaving, with resulting stress on the seam between the structures. I like the idea of increasing the whole building to 16 x 16. That is an easy size to deal with roofing and could give you a substantial attic for storage with a pitched gable roof at 6:12 or steeper. Metal roofing may be the cheapest, easiest and most durable option for you, among new materials. It is lightweight for carrying to your site, as well. The roof framing in your pictures is significantly beefier than really needed as the base for a gabled roof, even with attic, so if feasible to remove, I would consider taking that off and dropping it in as the floor for your addition. You would need some light temporary framing and tarps to keep rain off during the process.

You have windows on the downhill side now, but if you are talking about replacing them with other, differently sized ones, they become irrelevant to planning. It would actually be cheaper and easier to build a new south wall with openings sized for the windows you acquire. Adding the floor on the uphill side would take less foundation structure, but it would require digging out to at least 6-8" below floor joist bottoms (more for easy access underneath), and extending that several feet to keep drainage away from the uphill wall. It would probably be easier to extend on the downhill side and have three taller piers.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Dustin Krieger wrote:I could take that floor ceiling off, it's only caulked a bit to bugproof. I don't know that I could get trusses carried up there though!


For an 8 x 16 building you don't need trusses, 2x4 rafters will work just fine, you can build them on the shack as you go.

If you have a couple, three, large friends you could probably lift the existing ceiling/roof off to use as a floor (raised up a suitable distance off the ground).

This would be the right way to build rafters:


But this would probably work as well:
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Glenn Herbert wrote:Clay tile is a beautiful material, but unless you have a ready supply of fine clay with few stones or other impurities (like Georgia clay beds), it will take a huge amount of processing before you can make tiles, and firing them hard enough to stand frost in damp climates is a much more intense process than the lovely kiln in the video.


My small (6ft long and 4 ft high, wood fired) bottle kiln goes up to cone 6 in Ox/N/R. This makes adequate tile and dishes because it goes through quartz inversion at the higher temps. I'm waiting for a clear day, but another firing (to 06 N this time around) is imminent. You either need to glaze it if low fire type clays, or add flux to your clay body, or use stoneware and fire to cone 5 or higher. Glaze is straightforward if you have a scale and the comparably cheap Gersetly Borate flux can be used in small quantities with a frit (ground glass basically, I recommend frit 3134, but a buddy of mine uses bottle glass run through a ball mill as he has to use less flux and the color is already in it).

Proof's in the pudding tho right?

 
Glenn Herbert
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Yep, a good kiln and the right clay to fire in it makes all the difference... as well as the knowledge and experience to fire it well. A novice is going to spend a huge amount of time and energy getting up to speed, not practical for a single project (unless it is in the tropics where drying is easy and frost is irrelevant).
 
Jd Stratton
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For the roof...a donor RV is not worthwhile.
If you need windows, doors, stove, sink, lights cushions...
It could get worthwhile really quickly.
Hope you show us pictures of what you get done.
 
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