Insulation Starts

Day #106

October 6, 2019 – Sunday, day of rest…almost. There was not enough time to get the next roof section started so we decided to start the insulation. Off to Lowe’s we went. A little later we returned with several bundles of insulation. We have three different size cavities so we got one bundle of each to start. R-30, R-19 and R-13 basic, faced fiber glass insulation. It’s the itchy stuff.

Click here for more information on R-Values.

R-30, R-19 and R-13 insulation bundles.

With all the new roof framing there are numerous joist spaces that are open to the outside. Bugs and birds of all sorts have been coming in and out through these openings. Today we started filling them in with the appropriate size insulation.

R19 Fill
Filling the ceiling joist space above the exterior wall.
Gable End
Stuffing the spaces at the gable end.
Roof Rafter Cavities
Filling the roof rafter spaces along the rear exterior wall.

The final insulation will be installed after all the electrical wiring is complete. Filing these little spaces, atop the exterior wall between roof rafters should cut down on the drafts and help reduce the invasion of all the critters.

Next weekend I’ll start the framing on the last porch roof section. Our goal is to get the metal roofing on the whole project before the snow flies. We’ll be cutting it close.

Roof Decking, Felt Paper & Shingle Demo

Day #105

October 5, 2019 – Looks like nice weather today. We will be working on the plywood roof decking and felt paper on porch roof, section three. My Tinnler Roofing crew is here doing some shingle demo, taking off old siding and relocating termites. Should be a good day!

Yesterday, before arriving at the Cot-Taj-Mahal I made the obligatory trip to Lowe’s for supplies. I got twelve sheets of plywood for the roof decking and three rolls of 30lb felt paper.

Roof Decking & Felt Paper
Plywood roof decking and felt paper.

The plywood roof decking installation went off without a hitch.

First Sheet
First sheet on roof.
Porch Roof Section 3
Porch roof section three.
Roof Decking
Approaching the top of the roof.

As I was installing the decking my peeps from Tinnler were stripping the shingles off the last roof section and putting them in the dumpster. It was a well coordinated endeavor.

Tinnler Roofing
Shingle demo on the roof section four.
Tinnler On The Job
Cleaning up the shingles.

After the plywood was complete, I rolled out the roofing felt.

Felt Paper
Felt paper installation in progress.

Felt Paper

Working into the evening I covered the entire section. Before coming down off the roof I had to dry in the last section with the blue tarps. We are expecting rain tomorrow and I’d like to keep as much of it out of the Cottage as I can.


It was indeed a good day. We managed to finish the third section of the porch roof. Only one section remains and then we can put on the metal roofing. The deck is looking bigger and better every weekend.

Rinse and Repeat Day Two

Day #104

September 29, 2019 – Rinse and repeat day two. The roof framing in section three continues with the installation of the second span roof rafters.

First I remove the top rows of oak roof planking to gain access to the ridge board. Next I connect the new roof rafters to the existing ridge board with galvanized rafter hangers. The hangers are Simpson Strong-Tie adjustable 2×8 hangers.

Existing Ridge Board - Rinse and Repeat Day Two
Removing top rows of oak roof planking to access the ridge board.
New Rafters - Rinse and Repeat Day Two
New rafters fastened to ridge board with galvanized hangers.

The opposite end of the second span rafter sits on the mid span knee wall. It is nailed to both the knee wall and the first span rafter.

2nd Span Roof Rafters
2nd span roof rafter sit on the mid span knee wall. Rinse and repeat day two.

Eleven rafters complete this section. As always, the last thing that needs done is placing the blue tarps to keep everything nice and dry until next weekend.

Section Three Roof Rafters
Porch roof section three roof rafters complete.
Porch Roof Section 3
Porch roof section three dried in for the weekend.

Next weekend I will install the plywood roof decking and cover this section with 30 lb. roofing paper. After that, it is on to the last section, section four. Hip Hip Hooray!

Rinse and Repeat Day Number One

Bathroom View

Day #103

September 28, 2019 – This weekend I will rinse and repeat the construction sequence that I used on the porch roof section 2. These next couple of posts should be pretty short. Just a brief re-hash.

I finished up the solid blocking between the ceiling joists.

Solid Blocking - Rinse and Repeat
Solid blocking between porch ceiling joists.

Next came the obligatory trip to Lowe’s for framing lumber. My canoe trailer works out great for hauling 16′ pieces of lumber.

Canoe Trailer
Hauling 16′ pieces of lumber with my canoe trailer.

With a fresh supply of lumber, I constructed the mid span knee wall on sawhorses. After it is framed up I lift it onto the roof, over the outside wall, and nail it in place.

Knee Wall Framing - Rinse and Repeat
Constructing the mid span knee wall on sawhorses.

With the knee wall in place I set the first span of roof rafters. This is a nice view of the Lookout and the river.

Knee wall & Rafters - Rinse and Repeat
Mid span knee wall and first span of the roof rafters.

This takes us to the end of rinse and repeat day number one. Tomorrow I’ll continue the second span of rafters in this section. Stay tuned….

First Span Roof Rafters
End of the day. First span roof rafters complete. Placing tarps to keep it dry.

It’s very exciting to be approaching the completion of the framing for the porch roof. It is going to be quite an awesome space!

Section Three Ceiling Joists – Porch Roof Framing

Day #102

September 15, 2019 – Porch roof framing in section three continues today with the installation of the ceiling joists. The joist installation process is the same as it was in section two so I’ll keep this post short.

After setting eleven ceiling joists in section three I started the solid bridging installation.

Ceiling Joist & Solid Bridging
Ceiling joists and solid bridging.

I ended the day a little early so that I wouldn’t be to late getting back home. Next weekend the porch roof framing in section three will continue. I will be finishing up the solid bridging and starting on roof rafters.

Roof Section Three
Roof section three.

New Sliding Door At The Cot-Taj-Mahal!

Day #101

September 14, 2019 – Exciting day today! This morning our new sliding door was delivered! It’s a Pella 350 Series white vinyl door. It’s the first new door in the cottage since October of 2000. At that time I had to replace the front door because of a break-in.

While we waited on the delivery, we removed the old living room screen door, metal door, and frame for the last time. These went immediately into the dumpster. Good riddance.

When the delivery truck arrived we got the door up onto the porch. We unpacked it and gave it the once over. I was worried about the door delivery because of the rough condition of the cottage road. Thankfully, none of the glass had any cracks.

Sliding Door
New sliding door up on the porch.

Before we set the door, I prepped the threshold with Pella flashing tape and caulking / sealant.

Threshold Prep
Prepping the threshold for the new sliding door.
Inside Rough Opening
Temporary framing, screen door and metal door removed. Opening ready for the door.

We set, plumbed and fastened the door in place. Everything went very smoothly. It looks great!

New Sliding Door
Door set into the rough opening.

After the frame is fastened, Pella tape is placed around the door jambs and head to seal the flange to the building wrap. This makes for a water and air tight installation.

New Sliding Door

Slidiing Door Inside
Inside view of the new sliding door.

We will complete the inside door trim when we finish the interior of the cottage, some time in the future.

Thank you to Troy for his help getting the door off the truck, onto the porch and installed in the wall. I am very grateful!

I finished up the day installing some more hurricane ties and rigging up a string of temporary lights. Tomorrow I will be continuing the porch roof framing.

Door Blinds
Door blinds in the new sliding door.

Exterior Wall Demo & Porch Section 3 Roof Framing

Cottage Porch Framing

Day #100

September 08, 2019 – Today is renovation day 100. A milestone? Anyway, we continued the exterior wall demo in front of the bathroom. Late in the day I was able to start the roof framing in porch section 3. It was a pretty good day.

There is no more wood rot in the front wall! This morning Ryan and Robrandi removed the siding from the exterior wall in front of the bathroom. All of the oak planking in this area looks good. The last section, along the back bedroom was repaired way back in June of 2018.

Siding Removal
Exterior wall demo Continues.
Exterior Wall Demo
Oak planking at the bathroom.
Tinnler Roofing
Tinnler Roofing on exterior wall demo.

I forgot that the deck spans as we near the back bedroom are slightly greater than 8 feet. One is 8′-8″ and the next is like 8′-4″. I previously purchased 8 foot long 2×10’s to use in the porch beam construction. Obviously they are short and won’t work. While Robrandi and Ryan headed to out to get me some longer boards I continued the exterior wall demo along the bathroom.

When my team returned with the longer 2×10’s I built the next two porch beams. We installed them atop the next set of posts, plumbed them up, braced them off and called it a day. Next weekend I’ll start the porch ceiling joists and solid blocking.

Porch Framing
Porch beams in roof section 3.
Tyvek Building Wrap
Building wrap on the exterior wall at the bathroom.

Plywood Roof Deck & Felt Paper

Day #99

September 07, 2019 – Up early this morning. Lots of fog on the river. After our morning coffee at the lookout, I continued the plywood roof deck installation that I started yesterday.

Juniata River Fog
Fog on the Juniata River.

The new roof has a low pitch so the plywood roof deck is not difficult to install. The hardest part is getting it up onto the roof!

Plywood Roof Decking
Plywood roof decking in progress.

Although not show here, between each row, I place metal deck clips to help support the plywood edges.

Plywood Roof Deck
The Lookout from the new porch roof.

I like to chalk line the rafter locations so that I know I am hitting each rafter as I nail down the plywood. Not every carpenter does this, I’m just anal.

Plywood Roof Deck - Chalk Lines
Chalk lines to guide the pneumatic nailing.

Early in the afternoon I finished the plywood decking and immediately started to roll out and nail down the roofing paper. Because the first roof section we completed had 15 lb. felt I rolled a layer of 30 lb. felt over top. We had a pin hole leak at one of the plywood deck joints.

Carpenter Gyeem
Gyeem Raj-Du-Kamar nailing down roof paper.

I worked a bit late but managed to get the entire section covered with roofing felt. We now have two porch roof sections dried in. Tomorrow we will start the third section. Hoo Raw!

Second Span Roof Rafters

Day #98

September 06, 2019 – Yesterday I completed the roof rafter installation on the first span. Today I am continuing the roof rafters on the second span. The second span runs fron the mid span knee wall to the ridge of the existing roof.

Roof Rafters First Span
First span roof rafters complete.

The roof rafters in the second span must connect to the existing ridge board. In order to gain access to the ridge board I need to cut and remove sections of the old oak roof planking. With the planking removed I can fasten the new rafters to the ridge with galvanized joist hangers.

Holes In Roof
Holes in the existing roof to access the ridge board.
Second Span Roof Rafters
Second span roof rafters in progress.

Tinnler (Tinder?) Roofing

As I am installing the rafters, one of the “Tinnler Roofing” employees is stripping the shingles from the next section of roof. Man that Tinnler (Tinder) Roofing is really great! I think their slogan is “Get a Date and Go Up On a Roof” (or something like that).

Tinder Roofing
Tinder Roofing on the jerb!

With the rafters in the second span complete, the plywood decking can be installed. To cover this section of roof we need 12 sheets of plywood. Since we are not keeping a large stockpile of material on site, once again we are off to the Lewistown Lowe’s.

Second Span Rafters
Second span roof rafters almost complete.
Lewistown Lowe's
Lewistown Lowe’s for a load of roof deck plywood.

We got back with the plywood but the sun was on the way down. I only got two sheets installed before we had to quit for the evening.

Roof Deck Installation
Roof decking installation.

Tomorrow I will complete the plywood roof decking and hopefully the roofing felt. This will dry in this section and we can move on to section three. When this section is complete we have two more identical sequences to finish the new porch roof. Our goal is to complete the roof structure and hire a “real” roofing contractor to install the metal roofing material. We will see how that goes.

Closed Up
Tarped over and dried in for the night.

Mid Span Knee Wall & Roof Rafters

Day #97

September 05, 2019 – The ceiling joists are complete. The next step is to construct a mid span knee wall to help support the roof rafters. Our roof span on the new porch side is 24 feet. The midpoint of this span is at the exterior wall of the cottage. The mid span knee wall is constructed on top of the exterior wall. Simple as that…

I build the knee wall framing on the ground on saw horses and then I hoist it onto the roof.

Mid Span Knee Wall
Framing for the mid span knee wall on the roof.

Once the framing is plumbed up and nailed into place, I face the knee wall with 5/8″ exterior grade plywood to keep it square and help stiffen it up.

Mid Span Knee Wall - Plywood Facing
5/8″ plywood facing on the knee wall.


At this point I am out of lumber so I cover the roof and make a make a quick trip to my favorite store, the Lewistown Lowe’s. Be back soon…

Roof Tarp
Covered over for a quick trip to Lowe’s.

Whew, I’m back….

With the plywood facing complete, I begin setting the roof rafters in place. The first span of rafters run from the porch edge beams over to the mid span knee wall, atop the exterior cottage wall.

Mid Span Knee Wall - Roof Rafter
First roof rafter set in place. Bearing on the porch beams.
Mid Span Knee Wall - Roof Rafter
First roof rafter in place. Bearing on the mid span knee wall.

I continued setting the first span of roof rafters until it was time to clean up and grab some dinner.

Roof Rafters
First Span – All roof rafters set.

As always, before I left, I closed it up for the night.

Roof Trap
Tarped over and closed in for the night.

Tomorrow I will install the second span of rafters. They will run from the mid span knee wall up to the ridge board of the existing cottage roof. Nearing completion on the second roof section, exciting stuff!