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We Have a Roof (almost)!

roof 

When we first decided to put a standing seam metal roof on Gypsy Rose, we never anticipated what it would involve. The first supplier we went to greeted us with the caution, “You know that a standing seam roof is not for the do-it-yourselfer.” Undaunted, we requested a quote for materials. The price we received was more than twice what the original estimate had been, so it was back to internet to research other manufacturers.

roof installation

My search led me to Everlast Roofing and luck would have it that the supplier in Connecticut was right around the corner – Wicke’s Lumber/Bradco Supply. This is going to be easy, so we thought.

Those of you who have been following this blog know that we have been waiting for roofing materials since last December. It’s been a nightmare that includes the worst customer service we’ve experienced yet (Wicke’s Lumber/Bradco Supply in Sandy Hook, Connecticut), and a manufacturer that cannot read a clearly laid out spec (Everlast Roofing). It took months to get a quote, weeks to receive delivery, only to find out that the manufacturer had made a big mistake. Back to the supplier we went, and last Wednesday (more than six months after the ordeal had begun) we finally got all the materials – or so we thought.

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I had never done much with sheet metal before, but, hey, how hard could it be? The materials don’t come with much for an “installation manual” because they assume that the roofer has been professionally trained. Okay then, I’ll find some “training.” I found some PDF files online and a video (from a competing roofing materials manufacturer). On Thursday, we were ready to begin.

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Luckily, the panels are pre-cut to the right length, but that's about as far as it goes. The rest is up to the roofer.

roof

We weren’t satisfied with the boxy end trim that is commonly installed. We wanted a nice clean “formed rake” installation, giving a low-profile edge to the gable ends. That, of course, was the hard way to install. It requires cutting the seams off the starter and end panels and “hemming” the long edge of the panels so they can hook over and “lock” with the gable trim.

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Next, the end of each panel has to be “hemmed” (a one-inch fold that forms a hook) so that they can lock onto the eave trim.

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After two twelve hour days, we had all the panels in place. In the process, I learned a lot about installing metal roofs. Gypsy’s roof came out very nice, but not without a lot of sweat and spilled blood.

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For two days, Marion would often hear, “uh, oh, that’s a bad one!” She came to know that the worse the cut was, the less I’d say. A box of Band-Aides sat nearby and I’d climb down off the ladder so she could wrap another strip around another finger (or elbow, or knee) before too much blood was spilled on the panels. After a couple of good rainstorms, the streaks of blood will be gone and the body will heal.

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Oh, yes, and then there was the fall off the shed - into a thick patch of poison ivy and rasberry bushes! I laid there for a moment, taking inventory of the bones and joints. All seemed to still function (for the moment), so on I went.

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Finally, on Saturday, we would complete the roof by installing the trim. It was another learning curve. The online manuals and videos we’d found gave a hint at what was involved, but we had to figure out the rest. Much time was spent while the two of us debated the pros and cons of various trim application techniques, but we eventually came to consensus on how to proceed. (“Z” clips, butyl tape, sealant, rivets, locking hems, etc. etc.)

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By 5:30 pm we were down to the last task – installing the trim/flashing on the shed roof. We took out the pre-bent panel, cut it to length, mitered the ends to fit under the gable roof, and slid it in place to test the fit. “CRAP!” It turns out that Everlast Roofing made a mistake on that one, too. They’d bent it to the pitch of the main roof (13:12) rather than the shed roof spec (6:12). We tried to “adjust” the angle ourselves with no luck. Back to Wicke’s/Bradco. More weeks of waiting.

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 We’re almost there!