Thursday, September 2, 2010

The End Of Summer

I am convinced that as kids we really get to enjoy the summer. As adults we just have glimpses of what it used to be. I hope everyone is enjoying the summer. I find summers are a time where all I want to do is be outside and just soak in the sun, so I've taken a sort of internet break.

As we go into fall, this is an ideal time to get things done outside, without the overbearing sun beating down on you or freezing from the winter chills. Around this time, we were buttoning up the building, protecting it from addition weather damage. The top of the list was putting a top on the place- replacing the non-existent roof. There wasn't a whole lot to work with, so in reality, we were putting an entirely new roof on.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t brave enough to venture up the stairs and wander around before the roofing started, so I have very little recollection and no pictures of the starting point, like what remained of the original roof. Eventually I made it up there, and I’m glad I did. It was one of the greatest feelings being up there, being that much closer to the sky, in the crisp air, looking around with a bird’s eye view of what surrounds. One window even had a view when you stood at just the right angle. Being that I try to make the most of everything, that window was another place where my stubbornness won out. That window opening had to stay, and be used for something more than storage space.

Looking up from the street, I wondered how they’d get all the materials four flights up. My exposure to roofing prior to this was small roof repairs, where all you needed was a few bundles of shingles and a several 2x4s, quantities you could get yourself with a single trip pickup truck or van. Delivery of these roofing materials came along with a boom truck, where pallets could be raised directly to the fourth floor, provided the patches of floor could hold the weight, which it was able to do. One thing that helped is how much more solid structures were built way back when.

The roof itself was a gable style roof (where the side walls come to a triangular point) as opposed to a flat roof often seen on buildings. I think a gable roof adds a little more to the aesthetics of the building, but I find the thought of a flat roof where I could place a rooftop garden and enjoy the feeling of being up there on a regular basis very tempting. Our framework of the roof (the truss) consists of approximately 16 rafters (the beams that actually hold the roof up) and was topped off with asphalt shingles. This type of shingle is relatively common and doesn’t provide too much visual interest to the roof, but the roof line was high enough were the material really wouldn’t be noticed. If the roofing were more visible from a distance, I might have wanted a more original option.

The fingerprints meant someone had to paint again
We played up other aspects of the roof, things you might not even notice, They were visible, or invisible by design, if you ever decided to look up: the overhanging part of the roof. One thing we did was have Yankee gutters installed, rather than the exposed metal gutters you usually see today. Yankee gutters are gutters that are incorporated into the cornice, along the roofline and are not easily visible from the outside.

Choices were limited due to the style of the building (remember, this is in the historic district, and choices have to stay true to the original style of the structure) and the plain fact that there really isn’t a lot you can do to the roofline. The decisions that were to be made came in the form of the paint colors and the design of cornice (the part that sticks out past the walls). It was kept very simple. Everything was painted a white, providing a very clean look, except for the edge of the cornices. The cornice has a simple scalloped edge, and we painted that edge with a burgundy, just to provide some contrast to the white and help highlight the scalloped edge of the cornice.

The transition into the autumn season gave us the motivation to get the roof done, and with the roofing being completed, we were ready to take on colder days.