Uh oh, the P-word. For the Monday-math haters, the P-word is probably worse. Don’t hang up. Don’t leave, I promise, no formulas will be used in this post.
It’s Sunday, and I am looking ahead to what I hope will be the beginning of the end of the roofing project – shingling. If I’m lucky, shingles will be delivered later this week. As far as I know, there hasn’t been a run on GAF Timberline shingles, as there had been after hurricanes and tornadoes have struck other parts of the country. When we replaced the roof on our house, plywood prices spiked upward due to some bad storms in the south. Fortunately, our “mile of lumber” as The Editor dubbed it and our pile of plywood was already in the driveway.
I will be ordering 13 square – or enough shingles to cover 1,300 square feet. That will cover the garage, the workshop and the garden shed roofs, so everything will look the same from our back yard. That’s the only place you can see all three roofs. I’ll be ordering a bunch of other stuff, self-sealing membrane, felt paper, drip edge, step-flashing, ridge vent and starter course shingles. Oh, and nails for the nail gun. Yes, I have a nail gun for shingles, too. I gave up hammering a long time ago. See the illustration about the roof configuration if you have an interest. By the way, 13 square = 39 bundles of shingles.
A couple people complimented me on my ability to schlep a piece of plywood up a ladder and swing it onto the roof. Trust me, it’s all done with mirrors. Actually, it’s leverage, the kind of leverage practitioners of martial arts are familiar with. Held in the correct position, i.e. balanced, and swung over a bent shoulder, plywood flies into place pretty easily. Of course, doing this while on a ladder is not for the faint of heart or fearers-of-height, but neither is being on a roof in the first place. Still, when those shingles arrive, I’ll be sending them up the roof via a ladder-hoist.
Don’t pick on me, I’ve carried my fair share of shingles up ladders. When I was a kid, my dad taught me the secret to making a bundle of shingles easier to carry – break the wrapper. As I struggled with the first bundle I tried to carry, he stopped me mid-stride. He pressed hard on both ends of the rigid bundle, breaking the wrapper and causing the shingles to conform to my boney shoulder. Same weight, same gravity, but a much easier load. It’s like the way three sets of 10 is easier to do than 30 of some exercise – mind over math and / or physics.
When I was in college, I worked part-time for a home improvement contractor. One job he had taken was to shingle the roof of a house that was being built. This was in Pittsburgh, so the “being built on a hill” is implied. The shingles had been delivered to the top of the terraced back yard. A makeshift “bridge” made of 2x10s had been stretched across the gap at its narrowest point and my job was to walk the shingles across. I picked up a bundle, broke the wrapper over my shoulder and started off like the pro I was hoping to appear to be. A big fellow yelled over, “you only gonna carry one, college boy?”
I was proud of the fact that I was getting an education, but that moniker always stung just a bit.
He proceeded to pick up two bundles, break one over each shoulder and hike across the bridge. I was impressed, but I wasn’t insane, “holy crap…yeah, I’ll carry one at a time.” I was 6’ 2” tall and 125 pounds (that’s 188 cm and about 58 kg) for you metric folk. It’s also about 5 pounds less than the weight of two bundles of shingles.
Before I started the addition on our house, I built a ladder hoist. I owned a 32’ industrial ladder (leftover from my home improvement business), and I bought an electric hoist from Harbor Freight. A little cutting, a little welding and I had a mechanism to carry shingles (and 2x8s and plywood) up onto the roof for me. The process was simple. The Editor (a.k.a. OSHA b-word) would mark the center of everything. I would load the hoist platform and then hike up to the roof. She would run the load up to the top, where I would unload it. She was obsessive about balancing those loads, because the remote control for the hoist is only on a 6’ cord. Too close for her to gamble with gravity.
Wish me full inventory at the lumber yard and fair weather on Thursday.
The gallery has a few pictures from the original project to build the hoist and the recent rebuild and simplification of the hoist mounting. There’s also some pictures from the weekend with Maddie (who isn’t feeling well today – Sunday).