Mar 4, 2011

A new hat for our house.

Just to refresh your memories, here is a shot of the rear of the house prior to starting the construction of a shed dormer. The dormer would eventually span across the whole rear of the house, instead of having these three odd shaped dormers. The shed dormer will increase the walk-able (without hitting your head on the ceiling!) square footage of the second story by approximately 200 sq. ft.

Becca and I ripped off the old dormers and all the shingles off. The dormers flat roofs’ had failed so it was completely rotted. We bought a nifty magnet on a 4 ft pole and you can see Becca sweeping the yard for nails.

My Dad came down the next day and we continued to strip the shingles and old roof boards off.

After stripping the roof we cut out the old 2x6 roof rafters where the new dormer will eventually be built.

Here is a good view of what it looked like after removing most of the rafters.

Massive LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) beams go up next to carry the weight. When we started we had a single pitch roof, meaning the same roof slope on the front and back. The weight was carried where the roof sits on the front and rear walls. Adding the dormer changes the point where the load is carried to the ridge and where the dormer wall will sit, about 3 ft inside the rear wall. We needed to add a pair of these 34 ft x 12 in. beams to carry the weight.

My dad and I did got the beams upstairs with a little help from an old block and tackle rig. The beams weighed about 200lbs each but this made them much more manageable.

Unfortunately, we did this the hard way for the first one. I lifted one end and Dad would clamp it and we would move to the other end and repeat this process until the beam was in place. Dad’s dog, Carson, was not impressed with our toils and slept through the whole thing.

Here you can see the first beam (that we put up the hard way) in place. As you can see, we got smarter and rigged up a derrick made from the old 2x12 ridge board and mounted the block and tackle to the board. Using this, we hoisted the second beam into place with little trouble and nailed them together.

Both beams are in place and supported.

Here you can see the pair of beams the shed dormer wall will be built on. What you can't see is under the floor there are two steel I-Beams. These I-Beams and the gable walls on each end of the house pick up the load that is distributed evenly by this pair of LVL beams. Total overkill if you ask me, but we're just doing what the architect specified!

Dad and I then nailed off the new ½ plywood sheeting around the dormer opening.

Here is the sheeting installed before we trimmed the edges off.

Dad and I then framed the dormer wall. Notice the slope of the old roof line on the left of the picture. That will kind of give you an idea of how much extra room that adding this style of dormer give us, and it completely justifies all this extra work.

Here is the dormer wall after we sheeted it in with plywood. The openings for the windows are framed but sheeted over for now until we get the windows on site and ready to install.

Next, the new rafters for the dormer went up.

And….voila, a new shed dormer is born!

Tar paper was laid on the whole roof until we could get around to putting the shingles on.

The snow gives away how long this actually took... but it’s done. You can see we have also moved the back door over to the left where it will open into a mud room/laundry room instead of the kitchen/dining room.

Just a few weeks ago we put the beautiful new shingles on and istalled our new back door!


Kate said...

MORE than a hat, my dears! Lovely. And what wonderful documentation for the rest of us. :) <3

Sean, Jess and Mia said...


Tiffany Larsen said...

That's great! You guys did all the work by yourselves. It's quite hard work replacing a new roof. It's good that you found better ways to do the work as you went along, like hoisting those massive beams. No matter how long it took, once those shingles were put in place and everything is finished, it's all worth it.

Maggio Roofing