July 9, 2016

Shed Roof Phase 2

Original shed on the left, roof extension on the right.

Once the first half of the shed roof was finished, it was time to tackle the second half. The first half was mostly an extension, and as new construction it was fairly straightforward. The second half was the old shed itself, which was going to be more challenging because so many of the roof rafters were in such bad shape.


Dan had previously sistered the worst ones, but now the roof was sagging more. It was one of those times when we wondered if it wouldn't have been easier to simply tear the old building down and build a new one.


So why didn't we? Since several readers have mentioned having similar discussions about some of their own old buildings. We only considered it because the "bones" of the building were basically still sturdy. It was the roof that needed repair, although new siding was definitely in order as well.

Five or six of the old rafters needed to be replaced, but how?

Even so, I think the two biggest reasons we decided to upgrade the old shed were time and money. Of money, we would be buying some new materials, but not all. We pay as we go, so a big project takes longer because we buy materials as we can afford them. Or as in the case of the new barn, Dan needs to make the lumber. Only having to buy some materials meant getting a new roof on the shed more quickly than starting from scratch.

Support for the new rafters went
right on top of the concrete.

Not that repairs can't be their own time monsters! Anyone who has done home repairs knows how an hour project quickly turns into a all-day project. Or how a half-day project ends up taking a week.

New rafters sistered onto the old.

This points to another factor - we need the building. Because it houses the goats we'd have to come up with something else before we could tear down and build new. That plus location. The shed is located is a really good spot: central, shaded, catches the breeze all day, and has good drainage. If we tore it down, we would want to build new in the same spot.

Dan couldn't find a structural reason for the unevenness of the roof,
 so he just worked with it. On the left you see shims cut of 2x4s to support
 the nailers, while on the right the nailers lay directly on the roof.

I think if we'd been further along on the new barn we'd have done something different with the old shed; probably another tarp for the time being. With Dan cutting his own lumber, however, it will take longer to get a new barn built than if we purchased all the materials. Putting a real roof on the old shed seemed the prudent thing to do.


One question in the repair versus build new debate is, are the monetary savings worth the mental cost of trying to figure out what to do and how to do it? Too often you don't always know what you've gotten yourself into until you get there! Sometimes the challenges require nonconventional solutions. Dan says then it becomes a matter of what can you live with?


The edges and ends still have to be finished off, and eventually we'll add a rainwater catchment system. Probably next we'll work on the inside and the walls, or wait a bit while we tackle other projects. But the most important part is done, and it's a good feeling to know that everything under that roof will stay dry and safe.

Shed Roof Phase 2 © July 2016 by

25 comments:

  1. It's a beautiful roof. The tobacco barn here needs a new roof....all 8100 square feet. It is a work in stages as we can afford it. Ralph thinks the sistering method you guys used will help us a lot, we can do that from the loft, thank you.

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    1. 8100 square feet! Oh my, that's a huge project. I can see why you gave it some serious discussion. Still, what a blessing to be able to keep it if possible. I hope it goes well.

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  2. I too think it's a beautiful roof; looks like what they've planned for our failing roof on the current goat barn.

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    1. It's sad that it's always the roofs that go. And they aren't always easy to repair. I hope your project goes well too!

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  3. I would have kept the old building, too. It is strong and has history.

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    1. Yes, being strong was the best reason for not tearing it down. I'm glad we kept it! It's too bad we couldn't keep the other outbuilding, but it was beginning to lean - not a good sign.

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  4. you guys did an excellent job saving a building that had good bones and finding work-arounds and getting creative in adding to it! congrats to you both!

    sending much love! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Thank you! It's wonderful to have an almost new building. And we certainly need the space.

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  5. so is this instead of the new barn, or in addition to it? sorry if you mentioned that already and I missed it. The new roof looks awesome. I bet the goats are "really good at showing their appreciation." ;)

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    1. The new barn is still planned, we just needed to get this one repaired before we lost it. It will probably become Dan's workshop once the new barn is built. We'd always planned to build him a workshop too. :)

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  6. Great job! I know just what you mean about the decisions and work-arounds for jobs like this. Must feel good to loo out and see that beautiful roof :)
    My house probably needs a new roof, and even though it's a tiny house it would be thousands of dollars and a colossal mess, and paying for every bit of it to be done by someone else. Ugh. I am at the point where I am honestly afraid to look.

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    1. Having a house that needs a new roof is even worse. And I feel for you having to pay someone else to do the job. We were in that boat when we first bought this place. Sadly, we've never been satisfied with the job they did. We discuss gradually putting a metal roof on top of the shingles - not unheard of.

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  7. What a handsome roof. I think you guys made the right call. :)

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  8. Reworking something old is harder and I'm thinking 50/50 on being cheaper. My old late 1700's home in MA comes to mind. But so worth the work to preserve. What happy critters you'll have! Now is it my imagination or are you and Dan coming close to the end of the big reno projects. Maybe next year the hammers and saw can take a break and just enjoy the new and improved homestead without the renovations thrown in. I would imagine there is enough to keep you guys busy without them! ;-)

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    1. It definitely is harder in some ways, but I think we're getting used to it, LOL. You are correct that we are getting close to an end of the big projects! Hopefully time and money will allow us to get most of them conquered soon so we can enjoy just living for awhile. :)

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  9. Great job!!! Sometime cobbling things together does make sense. Looks sturdy :)

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    1. It's definitely sturdy now! New siding will definitely tighten things up even more. :)

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  10. I'm sure the goats will be happy to be safe and dry under that great roof!

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    1. As long as goats are dry and have food, they're happy. :)

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  11. I really enjoy reading your thinking process as you go through a project like this one. It's SO practical and helpful, and it helps me to anticipate some of the issues I KNOW we will face in future years. The roof looks great! I know you'll feel better with your animals under there :)

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  12. Excellent post on the trade-offs of starting new versus fixing up. Another factor that may not be important for a shed like this is just the simple fact that old construction just has more charm sometimes. I can spend hours in our old barn looking up at the beams and pondering the various scars and what caused them. You can just imagine the history that has happened in that barn. I go into some of our modern sheds and have no such thoughts.

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  13. Hi Leigh, I applaud you two for being so handy and innovative. Sometimes I fall into what I call "city mode", i.e. if a project seems out of reach, I call an expert. I've been trying to de-citify myself for years now. I just need more confidence and know-how. The right tools help too. But time and money are now the defining factor of most of our renovating decisions and my bf and I have become figure-outers of sorts! Congrats on the goat shed! I'm sure you hear this a lot, but it really is inspiring to read your blog. I do learn a lot. I hope you're enjoying your summer. I planted a wee garden and my $%^%$$ squirrels ate all of my rips strawberries, sigh...but the tomatoes are doing well! :)

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