15 November 2004

This Old Shed

"See heah Nawm?" Tommy Silva gives the rafter a whack with his hammer. A cloud of sawdust issues forth. "Cahpentah ant damage. They leave all that sawdust. Looks like yer formah homeownah tried to repaya some of it. But ovah heah, that woods just plain rotted. We're gonna hafta rip this roof off and most of this plywood too. Looks like you'll need to replace this raftah heah. This is gonna take awhile."

For those of you who don't know, Tommy Silva is the recurring contractor on This Old House. His arrival at a home is an ill omen. The homeowner is about to find our exactly how fucked they really are as Tommy leads Norm through an odyssey insect damage, water damage, dry rot, code violations, etc., etc. On one episode, Tommy's visit led to the total demolition of the structure in question. Rebuilding it was cheaper.

I have been visited often by the spirit of Tommy Silva as I endeavored to repair the roof and soffit of my shed. It's been my own little home repair show. Call it This Old Shed. It began as a straightforward project that I told Sharon would only take a week, maybe less. Three weeks later, it's finally done. I tore the old roof off, along with three sheets of plywood that mostly disintegrated as I pulled it up. I had to cut between two and six feed off each rafter, and I replaced one entirely.

Some observations and tips:

  • When roofing, always use aluminum flasing around the edges. Why they didn't on this roof I'll never know. The damage that $20 worth of aluminum could have prevented!
  • Air nailers are cool! I would never undertake a project like this without one. I'd probably still be working on it.
  • Composting and recycling to the degree that we do leaves a lot of room at the curb when it comes to disposing of construction waste.
  • Who would have though that interlocking vinyl vented soffits could be so cool?
  • Did I mention that air nailers are cool?

And now it's finished. Pain in the ass that it was, it was still a rewarding experience. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and that I was able to do it myself. Of course, there is still the mess to clean up....


Rob said...

Show us a picture!

Sharon GR said...

Ahh, the cleaning up. Usually my main contribution to these home projects. Home projects always seem to finish on Sunday night- too late to clean up, so it's all there for me on Monday morning. I wonder if it's planned that way...

Andrew said...

Ahhh yes. It's all going as planned!

Rob S. said...

I love it when a plan comes together!

Seriously, congratulations on the shed.