Installation of the roof

Having worked primarily in the team that was responsible for installation of the roofing components, I feel like I have more insight about the construction process for this component than I do for any others so I’ll begin by speaking about it. The process of installing each part of the roof was a laborious task. Starting with the purlins, Phil and I worked from ladders, sometimes balancing carefully as we stretched overhead to fasten the purlins to the rafters. As we worked our way up the slope of the roof, we had to occasionally check to make sure that the rafters had remained square to the beam and spaced the appropriate distance from one another (at some point realizing that the largest rafter had a noticeable bow that had to be corrected with a winch).

The structure pre-installation of purlins
All purlins fastened in place

After all of the purlins were fastened in place, with their tails left over-length, we followed up with a string line to give us a perfectly straight line parallel to the rafter. At that point we could proceed in cutting each purlin to its final length. With the purlins prepped, we were ready to begin laying the corrugated metal over the top. To expedite the process of fastening the metal, Cam and I stacked every sheet and marked with sharpie the exact point where each screw was to be placed (24” on center, just to the side of each rib), and then pre-drilled through every sheet simultaneously. This also helps to ensure that once installed, the placement of the screws is very orderly and linear. Working from above, I was tasked with receiving each panel from the crew on the ground and aligning it on the low end of the slope. Dave worked from a ladder on the high end, and had the important responsibility of shifting each panel ever so slightly out of square, which was necessary to maintain a parallel relationship to the rafters due to the curvature of the roof. We worked quickly, only adding enough screws to hold each panel in place before moving to the next, not fully knowing if each incremental shift would be enough to achieve the desired goal of ending parallel to the last rafter. Fortunately for us, the plan worked. With one half of the corrugated metal installed, Cam joined me on the roof to finish fastening the hundreds of screws required to secure the panels.

East half fastened in place

The next day, the same process was repeated on the west half of the structure, this time however, with a clear strategy in mind, the crew moved much quicker and more efficiently. Once all of the panels were installed, we we could then trim the panels to the intended angle of the overhang. This process was the most unsettling for me as I had to position myself on the edge of the roof, leaning over the edge and reaching out to keep the fall-off from dropping on the people working below, all the while the saw blade extended through and cutting the metal just below me. It was exciting to say the least.

East and West, fastened and trimmed to final dimensions

Leave a Reply