Now that the logs are all up it’s time to bring in the roofing crew to get your home dried in.
This is also a good time to check with and schedule your metal roof company. Get your plumber lined up too, once you’re dried in he can get going on the rough-in end of the plumbing.
Also, let your septic guy know when you plan to be complete with the roof.
The septic system can go in at any time, but I chose to wait until all the major construction was done.
Looking back to the planning stage of my project, the roof design is something I should have put more thought into, if I could do it over I would change the pitch on the outer trusses above and had them made taller at the ridge to allow for a small storage room on either side that could be accessed from the loft area.
Also, the main roof was designed to be hand cut when again I should have thought about getting trusses made for the loft area itself which was half the depth of the main roof, again change the pitch to add some height which would have given me a larger area both in ceiling height and floor width.
Another point to consider is where the stairs will go and allow for them in the design.
AVOID this, In my plans I had allowed for a spiral staircase to go on the far left of the loft space, but after the roof was on it turned out that there was not quite enough head clearance to meet the building code, so I had to re-design where it had to go, luckily the loft floor system wasn’t complete yet and I was able to do it with no extra expense or tearing out and re-cutting floor joists (again this was something no one caught in the planning stage).
My roofers, all being seasoned carpenters did help me put the loft floor in up to the point where I now had to change where the spiral stairs were going to have to be (still spiral at this stage).
Something to consider about a loft area when planning is.
Do I actually need one, what are the benefits of a loft will it enhance the view, do I want to be climbing stairs later in life, what will you use it for, If you build a smaller cabin do you have room for a staircase and lastly, is it in the budget don’t forget its a log home so you will want log stairs, Yes! those can be pricey, mine cost a little over $3,000, but worth every penny.
They’re not spiral but I love what I had got to replace the original plan of the spiral staircase, even though it encroaches into my living room area.
Note to self! When you get your trusses, be sure to get the engineers stamped copy of the truss specs, these will include all the stress and wind factors (120 mph winds) that the building inspector may or may not want to see, but keep them on hand in case he does.
Dealing with your roofing contractor.
Always Clarify the scope of work. Having been around construction all my life there was some things that I took for granted as far as what my roofer was and wasn’t going to do, in my mind this is what I expected them to do that I didn’t make clear when I got the quote (I didn’t ask, Duhhhh!).
Outside of putting the roof on and making it weatherproof (the metal sheeting was a different contractor) I was expecting them to put all the fascia boards on along with the soffit boards, I also expected them to nail on all the truss and rafter clips to tie the roof to the top of the walls. I was able to convince them to put the fascia boards on being as he was already on the roof and had the manpower to do it, the clips and soffit boards I had to do myself ( that’s a pain without help). Truss clips have to be nailed on with a T10 hardened steel nail to meet code end every nail hole on the clip has to have a nail in it (very tedious)Moving right along.
If you are doing the interior framing yourself something that needs to be done now that the roof is on, is to get all the ceiling blocking put in, this also needs to be in for your framing inspection, and this you will not call in until you also have all the rough plumbing and electrical in. (depending on the inspector). It saves him making an extra two trips.
Another thing you need to do now is to arrange to have the doors and windows delivered.
If you chose to have a metal roof vs shingles,
DO NOT LET the roofers use the nails with the big plastic button caps on them to hold the moisture barrier down, the reason being is that when the metal roof gets screwed down these plastic buttons will show through the metal.
This was pointed out to me by someone who had just had their roof replaced with metal, he made them take the metal off remove the nails and re-do the roof. So guess who has these on his roof and guess who wasn’t coming back to pull these out of my roof, and guess who’s on the roof now racing against time to get these pulled out,
YEPPERS! it was me, I’m just glad I could do this before the metal was put on.
Choosing the right metal for your roof.
This has to be right, it’s going to be seen by everyone for years to come, and you want it to outlast you.
This is a product that has several performance levels (just as shingles do) but it’s something you don’t want to have to do again, the best way to go with metal roofing is to get the heavy gauge metal with the multi-layer Finnish and the best warranty there is.
Understanding the quality of what you’re paying for, 24 gauge being the best with the colorfast 45 coating, and a 45-year warranty.
The gauge is the measurement of metal thickness and is an important consideration when choosing a metal roof. With metal, the higher the gauge number, the thinner the material. So 29 gauge is thinner than 26 gauge. For residential roofing, 29 gauge is the minimum recommended (not ideal), while 26 gauge is suitable for most applications. In areas with high winds and other severe weather conditions, as we have in Eastern North Carolina where we get a mix of weather, hail, tornadoes the occasional Hurricane and wind-driven straight line rains, 24 gauge would be advisable, but 26 gauge should be fine for most areas of the US.
Versa-Vent is something I would recommend for the ridge vent, it’s a little pricey but will pass building codes.
I had specified this to my metal roofer before he started and then discovered he used one that wasn’t going to pass inspection, guess who came back to make it right, Uhh Uhh! it wasn’t me this time. Now it makes me wonder if he even used the 24 gauge metal that I had paid for, Hmmmm! ( I trusted him) The way to confirm this would be to ask to see a copy of the order sheet.
Maintaining a Metal-Roof.
As far as any kind of maintenance goes, the one and only thing that concerned me was the expansion and contraction of the metal with temperature changes, you can hear it as it gets hotter and colder throughout the day, It wasn’t until I sprung a leak during one of the heavy straight-line storms that we get, that I had to get into the attic space to find the source then get on the roof in that general area to find the problem, nothing was visible to the naked eye but I did find some screws that had worked loose, when I tried to tighten them they just kept turning. The roof had been on 5 years at this point.
The best way to check these is with a handheld nut driver, as it will give you a better feel of the tightness of the screw if it doesn’t feel snug and tight and keeps turning, replace it, a screw gun might overtighten them and create unnecessary replacement of the screws
If your roofer promises the roof will never leak, get a written guarantee from him for at least five years, but shoot for ten. This way he is obligated to come back.
Was this caused by the temperature changes loosening the screws, or were the screws being over-tightened at install, I don’t know for sure! but there is a fix, YES, I went and got some heavier gauge matching color screws to replace the loose ones, did this work, I don’t know yet and probably won’t know until I get another leak in the same spot. But nothing so far and now coming up on year seven, and had a lot of rain and gone through another hurricane and so far so good.
Hi there Dell.
You've put together a very informative article, so great work!
I love how you approached the Mason directly, based on seeing his current project. I think that more people should directly approach tradesman if they admire their work (it can't hurt can it).
This makes me want to start a building project in my spare time.
Take care mate,
Thanks for the pointers. My husband and I are currently designing our off-grid cabin and I think we've already changed it at least 3 times. You've given me a lot more to think about, we will be building it on property that we already own so that takes one headache away. I'm going to keep reading to see what else I haven't thought of.