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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/24/2010

With yesterday's relatively good weather, and Colleen's excellent job of clearing the snow off the second floor, the roofing crew were finally able to get back to work today. The weather was overall very nice (sunny, low 40's) and lent itself well to the otherwise relatively heavy work of moving trusses around.

Tanglewood's trusses were somewhat problematic for a long time during the planning and initial bidding phase. We had gradually evolved them over time as the roofline solidified, with the last major change coming from Colleen when she applied an artist's eye (rather than an engineer's eye) to the problem and greatly simplified the layout. We then got various bids, but when we decided a while back to go with Builder Dale he had his own preferred suppliers, and so they did the bidding as well, ultimately getting the task. They've been working on the trusses since around October to get them ready for when we were finally done with the second floor pour, and so began hauling trusses up to the site a week or so ago.

Of course so far the trusses have all been unloaded and left down on the ground--they either didn't have enough manpower to work on lifting them up to the second floor, or ran out of daylight, or weather was moving in, or there was a combination of all three. That meant today was the first real day for the roofing guys to get the trusses stacked near where they could actually use them.

This was all a lot easier said than done, as you might expect. They've decided not to bring up a crane, in part for cost reasons and in part because it would be problematic getting it to the site in the first place. They opted instead to haul each truss up over the drop-off from the second floor library to the living room, the same place Colleen and I have been shoveling snow off the second floor for the last couple of weeks to create the Living Room Iceberg. Colleen even spread a bit of gravel around the library area to help them avoid any slippery bits of ice she might have missed, and that appears to have helped quite a bit. The Iceberg even gave them a natural slope that helped them push/pull/lever each truss onto the second floor; Colleen got some excellent movies of this whole process and from the looks of things they did a pretty dang good job. (As useful as it was of course, I fully expect the Living Room Iceberg to be in somebody's way sooner rather than later, but until then I'm going to ignore it and hope that Spring comes early this year!) I believe the longest truss is 32 feet long, and the heaviest ones (which basically go where the roof changes pitch or slope) consist of 3 sets of 2x4s rather than just one. They all look very heavily constructed, which makes sense, as they're required (county code and my personal preference anyway) to handle very heavy snow loads and 100-mph wind gusts. I was a bit surprised that they built and brought them up in one piece though, rather than building sections and then assembling them on site--I'd just assumed that they would be too long and heavy to work with this way, but apparently they're used to this kind of thing. Very nice.

Late in the day another (final, I think) load of trusses was arriving as Colleen was headed out. This was the same driver as the guy who took the wrong turn a few days ago, and while he wasn't lost this time, they were definitely behind schedule--I believe the crew had been expecting him around noon. After a bit of chat about the status of things, he headed on up while she headed on down; the remaining roofing crew should help him get the rest of the trusses unloaded.

So that was the bulk of the day, more or less. Colleen continued to clean up and put things away (the remaining BuildBlock all has to be moved either downstairs or out onto the deck where it will be out of the way) while the crew dragged trusses onto the second floor and stacked them at one end of the building or the other depending on their coding. There's a bit of sill work yet to be done, but they'll probably do that tomorrow ahead of the next bout of weather (never build in winter!) due on Thursday. Pics and movies of the whole thing can be found below.

Dang this is exciting!

Steven in Colorado Springs


An Abert's squirrel was checking out the commotion in "his" woods.
The sill work here isn't done yet, but it won't take them long.
Levering up one of the trusses. This is one of the heavier ones that spans a roofline transition.
Getting ready to push it down to the other end of the building.
That same truss a few seconds later as they slide it to a temporary storage location.
Working it into position. They'll end up leaning it on the far wall until they're ready to put it up.
Trying to find a safe way to let go...
Snow stacked on the ramparts.
Good shot looking along the outside of the ramparts... you can see a couple of the drains pretty well here. Colleen had to lean out a bit to get this one.
An unusual "reverse" look along the outside towards the living room in the distance.
The crew working another truss through the front door to eventually be levered up to the library.
One pile of trusses safe and sound at the south end of the house.
Another pile of trusses at the north end. Notice the flamethrower/propane bottle in the foreground; Colleen got that to help with some of the stubborn ice patches.


Hauling a truss onto the second floor. Fortunately this was the heaviest one.
Colleen meets the truss truck as she heads back into town. This is (of course!) one of the nastiest turns on the road.
He has to work it a bit but he gets around the turn without any real problem. Turns like this were why I was afraid the trusses might have to be brought up in sections!

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