Why does it always rain when you’re doing roof work?!

Although the roof trusses that were put in last week come complete with joist work built in, there’s still a lot of carpentry work to be done to infill around the trusses, complete the timber roof and brace it all together.

This week is all about carpentry. Our aim by the end of the week is to have the roof structure and surrounds complete and to get it in the dry. Easier said than done as it’s been non-stop rain from Monday through to Thursday.

We can’t fault the hard work by all three carpenters this week though who have worked tirelessly through rain and sleet to get the job done. All the carpentry work this week needs true professionals as it’s all about handcutting in the timbers to infill the trusses and pave the way for any openings. It’s precise work by skilled tradesmen. The timbers have been trimmed down to allow openings for the veluxes and staircase. The mono pitch at the front has been formulated, and the hip rafters, jack rafters and corners all built and cut in to complete the roof structurally, whilst ensuring the joists are firmly in place for the upper level flooring of the bungalow. The gable ladders have been built but we’re held back from creating the dormers, given the incessant rain.

All the ironmongery has been done as everything has to be tied and braced together correctly. You can’t just nail a piece of timber to a piece of timber – it all has to be supported with metal to make it structurally sound, hence the jiffy hangers here on all the joist work.

By the end of the week, as I write, we’ve had a lucky break. A beautiful day of sun on Friday! Admittedly, it’s been a harder day for some than others. I took true glory in this beautiful weather, and had a fabulous walk around Verulamium Park with the dog. Cleared my mind to get in to a creative writing mood – that’s my excuse anyway!

Mac and the carpenters have meanwhile been flat out on site. It was a rush against time Friday so Mac was on site most of the day to keep the momentum going and help out too. Mac’s work pace is 100 miles per hour and there’s been no stopping him and the team – he wants to get it in the dry before the rain returns.

In one sunny day on Friday they got the 22mm waterproof caberdek flooring down throughout the first floor and with the floor in, it was then safe to prepare the flat roof. Firring strips were first put in place so that any water runs away to the sides of the building, then 18mm structural plywood laid across the whole flat roof and covered with membrane to protect both the roof and insulation from sweating. This was then covered with 120mm kingspan insulation with a second layer of plywood on top, ready for the roofer to felt.

On Saturday morning Mac was back on site again, this time with the roofer, to help him get the flat roof covered with two layers of felt whilst it’s still dry. A third layer of felt will be going down on the flat roof to get it fully finished. However, before the third layer goes in the pitch roof needs to be felted, battened and tiled with lead work done along the edges of the flat roof where it joins the pitched roof, so that the third layer of felt on the flat roof then laps over on to the completed pitch roof.

However, for now what’s important is that we’re in the dry, and most importantly Mac made it back in time for us to head to Twickenham to watch the England V Wales Six Nations match. Result – on two levels!

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