We haven’t gotten a ton done on the house recently. Part of this is because we didn’t order our second floor windows soon enough to have them ready when we needed them, and part of it is because the windows are taking much longer than expected. I’ll get into that in another post. For now, we tackled the back gable peak, just as we did the front.

Getting started – hipped roof from the inside

The process for this was largely similar to the front, except that we didn’t have the advantage of the front porch serving as a platform and we didn’t have the advantage of Mike’s help. Instead, Sarah and I did it by ourselves, which meant that we made more mistakes and took a lot longer, even with the example of the front to help. First up, I put a piece of plywood on the joists at the back of the attic under the existing hip roof to serve as a platform and got the ladder onto it.

Roof removed

I cut through the roof from the inside and pulled in a section, from there the removal process was just time consuming, to get the shingles pulled back to a clean point, remove the soffit, and then cut back the plywood at right angles,s o we could cut and fit rectangles rather than triangles. We sistered up new attic rafters to the existing ones to extend the peak, and this is where we made our first mistake. I tried to match the angle of the existing rafter, which is good, but I neglected to make sure that the roof was flat one rafter to the next. As a result, there were dips and rises across only three rafters that I had to remove and re-cut. Because the existing roof has 1×6 boards across the rafters with plywood on top of the boards, I had to shim up on the new rafters to match the level.

Fitting new rafters

Before I put the roof on I needed to finish the new gable wall sheathing. On the front of the house, where we could put ladders on the porch, we fit one big triangle. Since the back doesn’t have a porch and even my 28′ extension ladder isn’t tall enough to reach the peak, I had to fit two smaller triangles from the inside. I nailed down toe boards on either side so that I could finish the exterior work in “safety”. I lifted out all the sections of plywood, test fit them, and then went out on the roof to screw them all down.

Somewhere in this process we left it overnight with a gaping hole in the roof, and the next morning while I was re-doing the rafters it rained on us (inside), but we finally managed to get the sheathing attached and covered with ice and water shield. Getting it shingled took another few tries, mostly due to time constraints. I didn’t think to put the bundle of shingles out on the toe board when I had a nice big hole in the roof, so I had to carry it up the ladder on the front, then shimmy down the length of the house at the peak (several times). Sarah harvested roofing nails from the existing scrap and I got it all water tight.

Adding ice and water shield

The last piece was removing the toe boards. I wound up prying up an edge while still standing on it, tying a rope around it, then pulling it up while perched on the peak of the roof. Then, with the other one still tied up in rope, do the same thing to the other one. I was worried my hammer would slip out of my hand, since I could barely reach the toe board from the peak, so I tied the rope around that too. Fortunately, that part went to plan and I got everything down safely, myself included. Another project is completed without a trip to the hospital and I didn’t have to put a ladder up against the back of the house to do it.

New peak

One of these days I’ll take down that satellite dish… and get the new windows in, redo the soffits, and take down the siding and finish house wrap, exterior insulation, siding, gutters, downspouts, the shingles I just put up are temporary until we’re ready to redo the whole roof… one of these days.

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