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Posted by Larry in Houston, TX on 10/25/2013

Been almost two weeks since the last post.  But I've just been really busy and too tired to post at night when finished.  The week of the 14th, I took as vacation from my day job to work on the house.  Trusses were delivered on the 14th.  They come on a large flatbed semi, that had rollers all the way across the entire deck.  They undid the straps and slide the rear wheels forward, which allows the rear of the deck to drop down, and pushed the deck backwards as well.  the ultimate result is that the trusses then rolled off to the ground.  Reversing everything and pulling forward, the trusses then slipped the rest of the way off the truck.   This left the 31 trusses in the grass area between the sidwalk and street.  I had gotten my day laborer first thing in the morning and the two of us lifted the trusses one by one and set them standing up in the drive, against the house and fence.  Although there were a lot of small ones for the gable end, the main trusses weighed in at 170 lbs.  This may not seem like much for two people to carry, but it was not easy, as balancing is as important as carrying.  But we got them back where I wanted them.

While waiting for the trusses, the laborer set about pulling off the vine that had engulfed the old fence at the back of the property and with the help of a friend took down an old 8 x 10 metal shed.  It too was totally engulfed in this maniac vine and it took the two of them a couple hours to get it down.  The friend hauled it off for the scrap value (probably no more than $4 as it was steel, not aluminum).  What a difference without that old shed!  But now the full ugliness of the old fence was laid bare, including the scorch marks from a garage that burned down some 20 years earlier.  Meanwhile I was finishing setting top plates and walls.

All in all a very productive day.

Tuesday, continued prepping for setting trusses.  I had scheduled a crane for Wednesday and needed everything ready.  I've only set a few sets of trusses in my life, and it was a good bet that any laborers I might get would have no experience.  So instead of just marking where they needed to be set and struggling to get them nailed to the plate, I cut blocks 22 3/8" long and set those at my marks.  22 1/2" is the distance between two trusses on 2' centers.  Making the blocks a bit shy created a set of notches that were just oversized enough to allow the truss to slip down into with ease. Voila! It turned out to be a godsend to the process as we had enough to do to get the bracing attached and keep setting when the crane finally arrived and we started the process.  Took us far longer than it should have - 3 hours- but all the main trusses were set in place!!!

Now whenever you set trusses and you're moving fast so you don't pay the crane any more time than you have to, and you only have three people with little to no experience, trusses get set close but not exactly.  Now the bottoms at either side of the house are good, but remember these are 10 foot tall and somewhat flexible, not getting them perfectly plumb and the exact distance apart all the way up generally requires that you go back and readjust later.  So Friday I set the gable trusses, which allowed me to get the starter main truss set perfectly.  From there, it was a matter of undoing bracing one truss at a time, and resetting, adding blocking etc.  By the end of Saturday everything was as it should be.  Sunday I spent putting in fire blocking in all the walls and setting subfascia on the ends of the rafter tails in prearation for fascia soon.  Also started to tie the trusses down with hurricane straps until I ran out of the special nails. Coming along!  One big PITA out of the way, but I have another one coming up.  I have to tie the new roof into the old with a ridge board and rafters.  Not a big thing, except I still need to figure out just how to brace the existing roof to take the additional weight.  I've had several ideas, but none easy as they all mean going back into the existing attic and making modifications like adding beams etc.  That's this weekend's project.  And I need to figure out how to keep the roof from leaking for several weeks while inspections take place, I sheath the house and finally get to sheath the roof.  Thought about using a tarp like you see roofers put up after storm damage, but once the rafterss go up, draping a tarp will be like setting a sail!  I have some ideas - besides buckets catching rain inside the house ;-)!!

Photos

Wall framing going up
Trusses arrive. Hoped to add viseo but didn't come through the site.
Trusses stacked, unfortunately it always seems they arrive in reverse order than what they need to be placed in. So we had to juggle them around once the crane arrived.
Trusses set!! Yea!!
Back fence once the vine and shed were taken out. We ahve since removed it and will rebuild as we did on the oter side.



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