The (start of a) roof

Very shortly after we first decided to build this wooden tapered yurt, we also decided that the roof would be metal.   This, despite that the 300 or so wooden yurts before our’s were roofed with cedar shingles.  We could all see the potential benefits, and “metal roof” was written on the yurt plan Bill Coperthwaite drew up.  A cement slab, a metal roof, to cut down on the amount of yurt raising workshop time, increase roof longevity.  There was no way we’d have the energy to put on three cedar shingle roofs after going through those workshops.  And then put it on again in 10 years, 20 years, when it needed replacing.  No way.  Metal roof.

Call us crazy (it’s been said before), but last week Josh drove to Longfellow’s Cedar Shingles and brought this back….

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Last weekend he (and all of us in bits) started doing this…

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Clearly the long, long winter gave bodies and imaginations time to recuperate.  Time to keep trying to visualize that metal roof.  And to keep wondering what the difference could be between a metal roof that costs $19,500, versus $40,000, versus $75,000, the three estimates we received.  None of the roofing companies were telling us anything markedly different, other than the price tag.  And the myriad other questions that couldn’t be answered until roofers showed up and put on something that may or may not be in line with what we envisioned, and would be with us for better or worse for the rest of our time here.

I woke up one morning to Josh saying,  “I’m thinking cedar shingles.”  Despite understanding the practical side to metal roof speed and longevity, I’ve wanted cedar shingles all along.  Yes!

We’re far enough to see that it’s going to be a very, very, very long process.  The sides of each shingle must be custom tapered to fit around the roof curve.  But we’re also far enough along to see that the yurt is going to love it.

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And far enough to see that it’s the antidote we all needed for this long, cooped up winter.

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We stand on snow on the north side of the roof, and must pause for the snow that STILL occasionally falls from the sky.  It is invigorating to stand up there and put on this roof one shingle at a time until my fingers are numb with the cold.  To hammer, and feel the difference from when I was hammering shingles onto the Good Life Center yurt 2.5 years ago,and Bill was telling me to learn by listening to the sound of the hammers around me.  That was just before we moved onto our land, into our fabric yurt.  To think it took a weekend with a crew of a 10 or so to reroof that one tiny wooden yurt…

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It’s a good thing we’re all for a handmade life, because these hands are going to be busy for a long time coming!

There’s another hand project to do now when not up on the roof with Josh:  making braided rugs.  I bought a booklet on it years ago, but have finally learned I’m not much of a book learner.  Thankfully a friend’s mom showed the way, and the book now makes much more sense.

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A little bit of roof, a little bit of rug, and a little bit of spring…  It’s the beginning of April, and finally there is mud, glorious mud.

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It might be long, long overdue, but finally, after much anticipation…

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Those buckets finally started to fill with sap at the very end of March.  Now we’re boiling down 9 gallons, the most we’ve had come in from these 10 taps.

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And while nothing green is appearing outside yet, we’ve taken the matter into our own hands, and into our own wee yurt space.  No matter that watermelons are not the most practical choice for Maine.

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2015_March05 028Bit by bit…

4 thoughts on “The (start of a) roof

  1. Those cedar shakes look so familiar, since that’s what I’m doing for siding on our house. I’ve been staining ours and stacking them up, getting ready for better days to nail them on, along with a few other projects that need doing after living here for 30 years. See you soon.

  2. OMG. thank you. That’s what I should be doing with my hundreds of egg shells. I was delighted to see yesterday that my little Siberian kale plants that came up last fall from self-seeding survived the winter. Tomorrow I’m moving them into a real bed.

    Loved the blog entry. So glad and you won’t regret. Be sure to triple layer that edge. It’ll be the most beautiful yurt ever. JoAnna

    In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love. Mother Teresa

  3. Mel, I seen some people recently taking the cedar shingles off a house, the shingles were black from the oil and being on there for 92 years, a little later I seen the same house with shingles going back on, at first glance I thought they were new shingles until the owner showed me the old shingle pile and the fact that they were just turning them over! The old house looks brand new with just a few shingles replaced.

  4. Good call on the shingles, guys. I couldn’t stand to put a metal roof on any building I make. Too industrial looking. May be okay for a storage unit building, but not for a home.

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