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Raindrops on a Tin Roof


Compared with the standing seam roof on Gypsy Rose, the metal roof on the equipment shed was quick and easy.

We had purchased the roofing material from Michiana Building Supplies months earlier. (That was back in the day of wishful thinking that we’d have the building up by early summer.) Michiana cut the panels to length (19-foot 10-inches and 8-foot 6-inches) and delivered them from their Rome, NY facility. The truck they were shipped on, however, was 75 feet long. There was no way to bring such a rig within miles of this job site. Instead, I’d arranged to take delivery at a truck stop near a main highway, 16 miles away. I strapped 15-foot-long timbers to the racks of my kayak trailer, forming a platform to carry the roofing. The trucker was very accommodating and the transfer was straight forward.

The roofing we used is ABC Roofing’s Imperial Rib model – a 26 gauge unpainted galvalume material. It is installed using external fasteners - self-drilling screws with neoprene washers. Care must be taken to get the first panels perfectly aligned so that subsequent panels run square with the building. Beyond that, it’s just a matter of driving hundreds of screws at regular intervals. I’d designed the roof width to use eleven full-width panels so there was no panel cutting required.


In order to reach the peak to install the ridge cap I used the same technique that I use for cleaning the chimney on Gypsy Rose. A ladder, padded with closed cell foam to prevent damage to the roof, is supported by the front end loader on the tractor. A step ladder gets me from ground level to the ladder base.


The total time required to install the roof was 21 hours. Once completed, we enjoyed the simple pleasure of listening to rain plinking down on a “tin” roof.


Bet it was loud too!

It has to be such an awesome feeling knowing that you designed and built this structure with your own hands. It also has to be a great feeling knowing your tractor and kayaks are now safe and dry from the elements.

Sahweet! We did something like you've accomplished at our farm in Central Kentucky. We used fiberglass shingles because I had no experience with metal roofing and we needed to get our hay, livestock feed for the winter, under cover. Yours is a lot nicer and I'd agree with you about the sound. Rain sounding on a metal roof is magical. Nice job!

Really beautiful structure, Kevin. Now you you will be listening to the hiss of snow! I have a question for you. Give me a call when you get back to civilization. Best wishes to you.

Here in the far (far!!) south we're used to the sound of rain on a tin roof, but it's nice to know that you're hearing the same sound so far away! Keep rockin' that Gypsy soul, Mr Rose!

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