Watch a time lapse to see what I have been up to:
The final push! Shingling the end walls of the loft made my head hurt to think about. With a 12:12 pitch below and a 4:12 pitch above, I not only needed to shingle straight in this very awkward, tight space but I also wanted to make the shingles line up with the shingles on the wall below.
Instead of thinking too hard I decided to just go with it and rely on my newly acquired shingling experience to back me up. This tactic worked surprisingly well and I was happy with the outcome.
With one side of the loft shingled you would think the house looks finished. Not quite, but it sure does look pretty. I found myself just gazing at the house, admiring how beautiful it is.
Some tricky shingling!
The shingling continued on the other side of the loft. I was quickly running out of shingles and I predicted that I would be about 1/4 of a bundle short. Not wanting to make another trip to the mill, I got resourceful and started picking through the piles of offcuts. If I could pick out enough shingles to fit in to the odd spaces required for the loft end walls I might just have enough. This paid off and I even had about 10 full shingles left over.
As you can see from the following photo, the scaffolding only just fits in between the house and the barn wall. Since putting the roofing panels on, which overhang a 1/2 inch, the scaffolding doesn’t really fit anymore. I managed to get one end in so I could shingle half of the wall and then had to take the scaffolding down and put it back up again a few feet over. This meant I had to move the scaffolding single handed twice in one day. Hard work, but I have it down to a fine art now at least.
With that I was done with shingling. I’m going to miss is a little, it was a pretty enjoyable and therapeutic task.
It’s looking pretty finished (from this angle)
Now it was time for the last job – installing the ridge cap on the roof. The biggest challenge here was safely getting high enough to screw the ridge cap in on both sides with only one set of scaffolding. It took a few hours to figure out, but using a couple of ladders I managed to get up there (while clipped in to my safety line of course!) and got to work.
The trickiest part of the ridge cap, and one of the trickiest parts of the entire roof was how to connect the ridge caps where the two different roof angles meet. I had had many conversations about this and it had robbed me of a fair amount of sleep. In the end I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.
The ridge cap in place
With that the exterior of the house was done! It should now be water tight and be able to live outside for the first time. It only took me 8 months of solid work (I originally thought this would take me “3 to 4 months’… but I will talk about that in another post to come).
After a couple of beers to celebrate and a weekend off the next step was finding the next location for the house. This was originally going to be where I planned to start work on the interior, but about a month ago I decided that what I actually wanted, what I actually needed was a break from the project. So I decided to put the house in storage over the winter (a Pacific Northwest autumn/winter will soon show me if the house is indeed watertight!)
Ridge cap join
Moving out of the barn was always going to be a pretty big job. We cleaned out the inside of the house to make room for all of the tools, equipment and left over wood which needed to be stored inside the house itself.
I decided to use a towing company to move the house for the first time, partly because I don’t have a vehicle large enough and mostly because the thought of towing the house for the first time scared the life out of me.
Lowering the trailer back on to the wheels and off of the jacks was an interesting task. The house creaked a little as it lowered, but I just had to trust the construction and the hardware holding everything in place. This is what the house was designed for.
The driver from the towing company was friendly and very interested in the house (describing it as “a work of art”) which made the whole move a lot easier. We slowly pulled it out of the barn and we were on the road in no time.
Cleaning out the house, not for the last time
Seeing the house out of the barn for the first time made me think two things: it was even more beautiful in the natural light and all of a sudden it did look tiny out in the big wide world!
The house leaving the barn
The house looked great moving smoothly down the road and I was surprisingly calm the entire time.
En-route we made a stop at the local gravel pit to weigh the house on their giant scales. I had arranged this because knowing the weight of the house at this stage was important for planning the interior. The trailer is rated to take a load of 14,400lb and I now know the house weighs approximately 6,500lb. This means I have plenty of weight allowance left to complete the interior. I may skip the marble counter tops though.
We got to the storage facility without any problems (I wasn’t worried… honest!)
Outside for the first time
Watch a time lapse of the move:
The only issue which had to be solved all day was that I needed to adjust the strike plate for the door lock upon lowering the house, so I could lock the door while it was being towed. I had to repeat this once I again raised the house upon arriving at it’s destination. I was expecting this, as I found out when we installed the door how a minute adjustment could have a big impact on the door alignment.
With the house levelled and secured it was time to move out of the barn. It took a couple of days to clean everything up and tie up all the loose ends, but on a hot, sunny day (the complete opposite to the day I moved in) I said goodbye to the barn for the last time (and the scaffolding hopefully!)
After all of the toil, the literal blood, sweat and tears, I could not be happier with how the exterior of the house turned out. I am also looking forward to taking a much needed break 🙂
The house has a new home