Category Archives: home improvement

Roof Rafter Repair

You will most likely need a new roof when you see water coming through your ceiling, or your old shingles have lifted in places or curled up.

Roof Shingles

Most shingles for roofs have a twenty to twenty five year life span, depending on the quality.

With todays climate change and the sunlight in summer seems to be hotter  it would be a good idea to check your roof every three or four years.

If you find the shingles lifted or curled up, then is close for a renew time.Shingle roof

Getting Roof Ready

If you wont to do this yourself then with a two story house is best to set up some scaffolding to work safely on, as a twenty or so foot drop is not always good for the body.

Or you can just hire professional roofers to do it for you.

The Rafters

In the case of this roof the level was down in the middle so the rafters were sagged down.

After removing the shingles and plywood and boards on this old farm house roof, we could see places that had rotted through.

Some of the old rafters were three feet apart, but that measurement varied from rafter to rafter.

Actually the roof looked like it had been built with second hand lumber, so I suppose a hundred or more years ago it was not as easy to get quality building materials, or just a lack of money at the time.Rafters

Rafter Sizes

Some rafters were two by fours and others were four by fours, seemed to be no set standard.

If you come across a situation like this then is best to put in some two by sixes to strengthen and straighten the roof.

You can run a line from one end of the peak to the other end getting it as level as possible, and use it as a reference to put your rafters up to.

If the roof is not sagged to much  then you might be able to sister two by sixes to the old rafters, or also put new two by sixes between the old rafters for extra support.

Vents

If you happen to have any bathroom vents coming into your attic then is a good time to connect there venting to the outside, as they will be easy to work on with the roof off.

Once all the rafters are up in place and level across, then the boards can be put back on and new plywood before installing your new shingles.

Then any roof vents can be cut out and new flashing put around chimneys, vents or valleys if any.Rafters

Underlay

Then the drip edge and underlay can be put on.

The underlay can be felt tar paper or the new self adhering underlay. The self adhering is an excellent product for shingle roofs, adding extra protection from leaks, and the rubberized asphalt seals around nails driven through it from the shingles.

Also would recommend it along the peak, under flashing around vents and chimneys, and in valleys before applying the shingles.

Tools Used for This Project

Hammer and pry bars.

Makita circular saw.

Reciprocating saw.

Dewalt drills 20 volt batteries.

Levels- 6 and 2 foot.

Chalk line.

Scaffolding.

 

Hope this left you with a few ideas  for repairing rafters in an old roof.

Any comments, always appreciated.

Wayne.

 

Furring Strips for Drywall

Getting a Room Ready For Drywall

If your stripping a room with one by three furring strips for drywall, they are usually placed at sixteen inch centers. Also making sure the last one at the four foot mark is centered.Furring Strips for Drywall

Sloped Ceilings

Many of the old farm houses will have sloped ceilings. If you wont to install a light in your ceiling, then just run a two by six  across the center of the ceiling.

This then gives you a place to anchor your light box so it wont be sitting on an angle in the ceiling.

This also gives strong support if in the future a ceiling fan would be installed.Furring Strips for Drywall

Closet Space

With the sloped ceilings in the room there is very little space to build a closet, so what I have done in this situation is at the three foot level on the slopes you can build either three levels of drawers, or put in shelves.

The drawer idea requires a lot of work to make, as it means making a frame work for the drawers where the drawer slides will run, and plywood for the drawers themselves with a face of pine or any type of wood you prefer.

Once finished will look great and give lots of room for storing clothes or anything else.

The shelf idea is quicker to make, just cut a piece of three quarter plywood, and fit it in at the height you wont. Or you can even go for drawers and shelves.

So at the same time that your doing the stripping you can take these things into account for what you wont to have for a closet space.Drawers for sloped ceiling

Electrical

Also as your doing the stripping you will wont to mark where you wont the electrical outlets in your room. Best to install the boxes for that, plus the wiring before the insulation is put in.

The electrical boxes are attaches with screws , and flush to where the drywall will be. The wiring is usually put through the two by sixes or two by fours that the walls were originaly built with drilling holes through these for the wire to pass through.

A Brick Wall

One wall  in this bedroom was the original brick of the old farm house, so in order to strip over it you can nail a two by four unto the floor at the bottom.

Then at the ceiling  another two by four is nailed to the rafters. In this case with the room being small the two by fours were nailed on there flat in order to give more room on the stairwell.

After the other two by fours are in place then the one by three furring strips  are added every sixteen inches up the wall for the drywall.Stripping over a brick wall

Insulation

Once you have all the stripping put on and the electrical boxes for plugs in place then next would be your insulation.

Many people today are having the foam sprayed in, and it does give an excellent insulation and no air leaks.

Over the years I have seen when the fiberglass insulation is installed in walls and ceilings the mice and squirrels will tear it apart for there nest, leaving your walls and ceilings rather poorly insulated, just something to think about.

Windows

If you have any windows in the room be sure to add the furring strips all the way around the window, so it gives you a place to nail your window trim to.Furring strips around a window

Drywall Joints

Also when installing your drywall on a ceiling it is a good idea to put short pieces of the one by three furring strips between the sixteen inch strips where the joints in the drywall meet.

I have had to patch  quite a few ceilings because of cracks showing up where the joints are and this is most often the cause.

Repairing Ceiling and Wall Cracks

If you ever have to repair any of these cracks that appear in the ceilings and walls just take a knife and cut a v  where the crack is , then tape it and apply a coat of a product called Durabond 90 which prevents cracks from appearing again. It takes about an hour and a half to dry then smooth over with joint filler and a light sanding when dry and your ready for primer paint and a top coat.

I have also used the durabond to patch dog and cat scratches on the wood work beside doors, it seems to work really well for this also.

Tools

For all the cutting of the furring strips and two by fours am still using a Makita circular saw seven and a quarter inch, as its one of those tools that just keeps on running. Highly recommended if your ever looking for a saw.  Makita saw

Ideas

Well I hope this gives you a few ideas on installing  the one by three furring strips before you get prepared to put the drywall on.

Any comments just drop me a note

Wayne.

 

 

 

 

A Stone Arch Monument

Stone Arch

Here is a few ideas on building a stone arch monument, and having never built one before this turned out to be an interesting project.A Stone Arch Monument

Time to Build

This arch took about two weeks or more to make with the help of my son. We built it for a local man in the community, who had lost his son to drugs and wonted a monument to remember him by.

The Base

To start building this you will require a very strong footing and base, and where we decided to build this the bedrock is only a foot or so down, so not much digging to do.

Stones

It would be recommended to use any of the larger stones on the bottom, and cementing them together as you build up. Sitting on bedrock there less likely to move in any direction.

Length of the Base.

Is best to extend the base out from where the arch will start, we went out about four feet for this one. The base needs to be very well made and sturdy.A Stone Arch Monument

Design of Arch

Once the stones are up high enough to start the arch, then I made a few drawings on plywood to give the owner the curve of the arch he liked best.

The Supports

After picking one of the arch designs out, then comes the project of making a support to hold the arch up while you build it.

You can make this out of plywood and two by fours making sure to support the arch very well. We used four by four post for supports under the plywood forms.

Stones for the Arch

The arch stones are usually wedge shaped, and as we were using stones from a river and old stone walls in the area. This took time to come up with the right  stones to fit in.

The stones can usually be shaped into a wedge design with stone hammers and chisels, With some practice you can become quite good at shaping stone.A stone arch monument

Finding Center of Arch.

The center of the arch, or the center distance between the columns is where you will fit the keystone that will finish holding your arch up. You can measure the distance, and then holding a level mark the center on your plywood forms.

Continue the Arch

After your first row is complete just continue on in the same way until you have the thickness of the arch that you wont.

Removing Supports

On this stone arch monument we waited about a month after it was completed  to take out the supports and plywood forms, giving the cement and stones a good length of time to bond in place.

And well its been over ten years now and its still standing, with nothing moved.

Working With Stone

Today there are saws that cut stone and brick to the desired shape you like, so this way is much easier then the hammer and chisel. Have seen brick and stone already shaped for arches at some cement suppliers.

So I hope to have given you some ideas on creating an arch for your home or backyard. They do take time to build , but once finished will probably out last you.

Wish you the best of luck on these projects , and if any questions just leave a comment and will get back to you.

Wayne.