Friday, February 15, 2013

Chapter 7...Finishing the Metal Roof, Installing Siding, and Washouts

Off Grid...Chapter 7

Hi everyone.  

Chapter 7 Week of June 30

It rained most of the day on Sunday so we decided to go to Lowes's to pick up our patio doors. It would give the property some time to dry out. It took us about 3 hours to go to Lowes, look around, get the doors, and get back. We got 2 6ft double pane Pella sliding glass doors with mini blinds built inside the glass. Yeah, no more cleaning blinds or curtains ever again. It was a very heavy load going back to the property.

When we go to the property our right-of-way had some fallen tree branches. It must have gotten pretty windy over the weekend. Once inside the property we found that a lot of different areas of our road got washed out. We knew this was going to happen. Remember we only put in a base(rough) road just to get our contractors and their trucks in. As soon as we get the house closed in we will have to spend some serious time on our road. This was the first hard rain we've had since we started building the house.

When we got to the homesite we found the backfilling along the back and the sides of the house started to settle.

It is about a foot lower in some spots.

We will have to add more dirt. The walkway to the front of the house also settled.

The side of the walkway washed out a little.

Mike did a quick grade on the walkway.

The first thing we had to do was get the doors off the trailer and inside the house. Do you know how heavy 6ft double pane sliding doors are? Well they were definitely too heavy for us. There was no way we could carry them down inside the house. So we had to take them apart by removing a glass door and the screen in each one. We got the doors into the house and then we started working.

We started working on our front wall by installing T-111, which is the sheathing and the siding all in one. We got some of the siding up and installed one door. We were so relieved that the door fit. When we cut the opening we only had the written measurements from Lowe's.

At that point Howard stopped by to check on his cows and give them some treats(I had a picture but I didn't upload it-sorry). When Howard left Mike and I went back to work and about 45 minutes later it started to pour. We were just about to put the second door in. It figures.

We had to get all the tools, which were soaking wet, back into the building. By the time we got everything dried off the sun came out. Oh well, it was too late by then to drag everything back out. Hopefully it will be dry for the next few days and we can get the house closed in.


Today we worked on the siding for the back and the sides of the house. We had 100 feet of siding to install. That's a lot of work. I was the one measuring the boards for the back of the house. Mike came up with a system(idiot proof) years ago for measuring that I use. I am terrible at fractions and counting all the lines on a tape measure. So each line to me is a "dittie". Today I measured 10 boards at 44 1/2 inches minus 2 ditties. That is really 44 3/8". In any case it works for me. While I was measuring Mike was installing extra anchor bolts for our bottom plate into the top of the cement wall. He also added 2 x 6's(leftover-because we never waste anything) to beef up the back of the siding. After that we started cutting all the boards that I measured. Actually, Mike does all the cutting. Years ago Mike tried to teach me how to use a circular saw, my ponytail fell foward very close to the blade, Mike almost had heart failure, and now I am banned from any cutting. Now I just hold and help guide the boards while Mike cuts. After all the boards were cut I started painting the bottom few inches on each board. This is just a protective coating because our siding will be so close to the ground.

After they dried we glued and screwed them in place. Then we repeated the whole process for the rest of the boards.

The right side

And the left side

It was a very long day with a lot of up and down work but we did it. We got the siding up on the back and both sides of the house. We also got to use our well today to clean the paint brushes. Mike hooked it to our generator and the water pressure was great.
Our well

Ready for winter

Next Day-
We started our day by getting all the equipment out ot paint the back and 2 sides of the house. This is only a base coat to protect the wood until we paint our color. Mike got a new spray gun and it makes life so much easier. He sprayed and I followed behind with a brush catching any drips. It didn't us long to do that.
Mike prepping

Mike painting

It took us longer to prep everything and clean up after we were done than it did to paint.

Next we installed 136 feet of drip edge. This is just a thin metal edging that is screwed onto the plywood on the roof. It is used to divert water off the roof.

O.K. now it's time to put the metal roof on. As you all know we have 26 3ft x 17ft metal panels. The hardest part is getting the first one perfect. We started with the front left corner and laid down 12 more panels to the the front right corner. We got them as straight as we could and started screwing the panels to the plywood. We had to leave the last panel off because it had to be cut. Then we went to the middle left side of the roof and laid out the next 12 panels. We lined those up and screwed those down.
Then we measured the last 2 panels and Mike cut those. We put the cut edge under the last panel and screwed them down. Well about 800 screws later we got the metal roofing installed.

These are our chalk lines on the roof so our screws are in a straight line. 

Originally we wanted to do the mountain theme for the home and have a green roof, dark green exterior, and white trim but that is not our goal. We have to be practical and keep this house as cool as possible. We will not have air conditioning because it uses too much electric. So we went with a white roof.

The roof does look a little odd because you can see the whole thing from the back and the sides of the house. It almost looks like a billboard or a platform. Eventually we will plant trees or a hedge surrounding the roof. I told Mike It looks like a helicopter pad and I hope no one tries to land on our house. LOL.

It's been a really, really long day. Mike and I are exhausted. While we are having dinner tonght Mike says to me" I don't really like the way the roof came out". So why didn't you say something, oh I don't know, about 5 hours ago?

So tomorrow we are going to try to reverse some panels. Mike doesn't like the overlap on the metal.

Lisa and Mike


  1. Rain?? You actually had rain?? LOL

    1. I think that was the fist time that summer.

  2. It looks like its all coming together, Lisa. I'm also having a roof installed on our new house and I hope it works out as smoothly as yours. Our contractor suggested we get metal roofs for extra durability and less issues in the future and we heeded his advice. Thanks for sharing this! :)

    Lauren Floyd

    1. Good luck with your new roof. I hope you love it:)