Lots of heavy and dirty work happened this past week on the project. M picked up scaffolding on Friday night, and started working on dismantling the side balconies over the weekend. A good portion of that time he was drawing and calculating the temporary bracing he would need to install in order to support the roof structure above once the huge posts were removed.
We have three roofs on our house – the front mansard roof is steeply sloped and nearly vertical at the front of the house. It’s the decorative showpiece – with a slate roof, copper details, a center dorner, and loads and loads of intricate painted woodwork on the cornice. Then we have a flat roof that covers the front 2/3 of the house and the entire third floor. It slopes slightly towards the rear of the house between the brick parapet walls on the sides of our house.
The third roof is over the back 1/3 of our house, which is just two stories tall. The kitchen is on the first floor and our fourth bedroom (what we call the “back room” – where we have our desks and tiny TV area) is on the second floor. This is also a flat roof, but its slope is perpendicular to the higher flat roof – the high point is on the west side, and it slopes to the east, over the balconies, and into a large box gutter and downspout that is connected to our underground stormwater system. The vast majority of the rain that hits our house ends up at that single escape point. The small amount hitting the front mansard drains to the copper downspout that connects to all those underground pipes we installed during our front garden work – anything over the amount that drains through small perforations at the bottom can bubble up in the pop-up emitters at the front sidewalk. That’s typically only when we have these massive dumping rainfalls.
That was a bit of a tangent, but still related – so thanks for sticking with me! The point is – we have to demo everything from the roof down where the porches are to build the new addition in their place – but, the roof is integral to the rest of the house, and so it remains. Temporary shoring is often a critical part of demolition – and what can make it really tricky, time-consuming, and expensive. I promise you it’s never as simple as TV shows make it look when they hand the homeowners a sledge hammer and some safety goggles
Saturday and Sunday were ridiculously hot and humid. M drew and sketched and measured and made several runs for hardware and lumber for the braces – and then he installed them himself, overhead, on a ladder on top of the scaffolding. I worked both of those days in the rear yard, starting to clear out for all of the underground utility work coming up. It was nasty weather for working. I spent about 10 hours trimming, digging up, and dividing hundreds and hundreds of daylily and iris bulbs to gift to others. I was hoping to finish, but a pop up storm delayed me some on Sunday. My shower that night was one of my best showers ever.
M continued to work a couple of hours each night, as the scaffolding rental was for just a week. It’s been a pretty exhausting week though, and the daylight is waning. But project clean slate is almost there!