The Kirkpatrick's D.I.Y. Project for 2005

Installing the Roof Trusses and Sheathing

August 6 - 7, 2005

Dad came up on Friday night (August 5) and Mike's sister and brother-in-law,
Kathy and Mike Weissner, were due to arrive at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday (August 6)
to help install the roof trusses. Dad, Mike and I got up around 7:00 a.m. I decided
to head into town at about 7:10 to get some ice. I made it to the end of Turkey Hollow
Road, which is where, to my horror, I encountered the trucks carrying our trusses and
the crane needed for installation. They were EARLY!

The crane charged by the hour so we did not want to wait for Mike and Kathy to
arrive, but it takes more than 3 people to install roof trusses. We thought we were
screwed. Just as the crane started unloading the trusses, Mike and Kathy arrived.
Thank goodness they are early birds!

Mike W. (on right) looks so excited!
In fact, he may have even said, "This is going to be fun."
My Mike, on the other hand, looks like he is thinking,
"Ha! Fun, huh? He doesn't know what he is in for."

My Mike — The Foreman — removed the strapping from the trusses while he explained
the "game plan" to Mike W. and my Dad. Dad was to rig each truss to the crane and guide
it into position, while Mike W. manned the back wall and my Mike manned the front wall
to nail the trusses into place. Kathy W. and I were prepared to assist as needed.

Dad guides the first truss into place.

Mike W. stretches to grab the tow rope.

The Foreman offering Mike W. some tips.

Mike W. gets acquainted with the air nailer. "I don't know about this, Mike,"
he kept saying with concern. He had never used an air nailer before.

The Foreman nails the truss into place.

It was VERY important that the first truss be secured properly and plumb.

Kathy W. holds the ladder while the Mikes finish securing the first truss. Dad puts the
level down and heads back to rig more trusses. Remember, the clock was ticking.

Dad untangles the chain...

... and rigs another truss.

The crane lowering another truss into place. Dad is off to the right guiding the truss
to keep it from swinging wildly and damaging the building or members of the crew.

There were 24 trusses in all. You can tell by the Foreman's
sweaty shirt that it was yet another hot day in West Virginia.
We are starting to wonder if it will EVER cool off!

Already Mike W. is looking like an old pro with the air nailer.

Kathy W. is standing by with a plank to whack The Foreman for making
she and Mike come out to work in the awful, sticky heat!

Just kidding, of course. They were happy to help. That plank was actually used
to secure the trusses to each other (to keep them from falling over and creating a
domino effect). Initially, the Mikes were using a level to check each truss for plumb
and space them properly. But Mike W. came up with a brilliant idea to make spacers
(the board below the one he is nailing) they could use as guides. We all had a good
chuckle when Mike W. nailed the spacer to the truss instead of the plank!

The Foreman securing a support plank.

Mike W. ducks as Dad and the crane lower another truss into place.

A view of the crane from the front.

The Weissners watch as the crane maneuvers to get another truss.

The crane operator (at left) lowers the crane for Dad to rig another truss.
The operator was using a remote control that he carried in a purse-like bag.

Notice how small the pile is getting?

Kathy W. and I took turns lifting the support planks so
the trusses could be slid into place underneath. I was doing
a lot of hustling to alternate between taking my important
documentary photos and pitching in as needed.

Dad was also responsible for unhooking the chain
after each truss was secured into place.

Gads. Here's a picture of everyone working except me!

By this time, we all felt like pros.

The Foreman guides the last truss into place.

Mike W. checks to make sure it is seated properly.

And Mike K. nails it to the wall!

The Mikes carefully look the truss over one last time.

Kathy hands my Mike the level so he can do a final check
to make sure the truss is plumb.

The crane being put away.

My Mike called it a "Transformer crane" because it folded
very neatly into a small, easily-transportable apparatus.

The Mikes congratulate each other on a job well done.
It took just over two and a half hours.

The Truss Crew poses for a photo.

It is REALLY starting to look like a house now!

Kathy W. and I went into town for ice and slurpees while the guys started to put the
sheathing on the roof. Even Meg agreed that the slurpees were quite refreshing.

Kathy, Dad and I handled the plywood while the Mikes worked the roof.

Dad hands the Mikes a sheet of plywood...

... and offers advice as they fasten the last sheet of the first row into place.

It had been a long, hot day and the Weissners had a 3+ hour drive
ahead of them, so they had to leave around 3:00. Of course, there
was plenty of daylight left, which meant only one thing ...

Since Dad HATES ladders, it was my turn to join Mike on the roof!
(Dad fell 40 feet from a ladder 25-odd years ago, breaking his back and really
messing up his knee. Can you blame him for not getting near a ladder?)

Mike and I worked the roof the next day, too. It was another hot one.
Dad supplied us with plywood (cutting it as necessary), nails, and the chalk
line. He also had the very important job of holding the ladder as we climbed
onto and off of the steeply-sloping roof.

Together, we managed to finish the back side of the roof.
Only 3 rows remain to be done on the front side.

Here's what you see from the bottom of the driveway now!

Mike takes advantage of the shade in the bedroom.

Here you can see the 3 rows we have yet to complete.

A view of the newly-sheathed back side of the roof from our break area.
That's Dad, still working, wrapping up after a long, hard day.

Next week, we'll finish the sheathing and cover it all with tar paper.
We won't be shingling (hopefully) until things cool off.


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