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Huff and Puff

There have been few times over the last 2+ years of the build that I have been as relieved as I was upon returning to the build site the morning after last Thursday’s wind storm.

I was at the site several times between 10:00 – 11:30 PM Thursday night as I watched helplessly as Mother Nature took her best shot at wiping my tarp off the face of this planet.   I watched as gust after gust came through and violently buffeted the tarp up and down.  I heard groans and creaks that I have not ever heard before. I could see in the darkness that the tarp position had changed, it was much lower to the second floor deck than it was earlier in the day, but after several minutes walking around the site, there was no obvious reason why.  On several of the stronger gusts, the whole structure would shake as the tarp buffeted one way then the other.  I eventually could not take it anymore and just went home as I had every expectation that within the next hour there would be a catastrophic failure as the strain on the tarp and ropes reached the breaking point.

So imagine my shock and massive relief when I awoke the next morning to find everything basically intact.  A thorough inspection showed no overt physical deterioration of the tarp or any of the tie downs.  But there was some major sag without any obvious cause.  Some of the main support ropes may have slipped or stretched, but what I think happened was that when the tarp was billowed upwards it stretched to the tune of 1-2 ft overall in length.  I spent have a day on Monday tuning up the rope tarp support and re-torquing all of the tie down ropes on the front side and was able to remove most of the sag.

But on the whole, I am supper impressed with how durable this new B.A.T. has been.  The highest wind level I have previously recorded at the job site was the 18 mph that destroyed the very first B.A.T. in the fall of 2014.  Last Thursday night’s max of 20 mph shows the new tarp fabric, rope structure, and tie down methods are much more durable than any of my previous attempts.

But now we have another series of storms coming through starting Wednesday night (tomorrow).  I just need another month or so and would then have the roof on and waterproofed, but I am not sure I should risk trying to get through a series of storms.  So tomorrow I will attempt to lower parts of the tarp and ‘batten down the hatches’.  The risk is if the tarp is not tight, it will flap in the wind and probably rip, so I will need to get creative in how I can lower it down and still secure it.

The last couple of weeks have seen the office roof framed including the overhang’s ladder framing, half of the trusses installed for the upper south roof trusses, basic installation of garage trusses, and finishing the plywood at the top of the walls along the front of the house and garage, and the garage north and south walls.  I had some minor delays while I sourced the water and air barrier membrane I will be using on this project (more on this in a later update).

Over the next week I will work at finishing the garage truss installation including the overhang ladder framing.  I am quite disappointed regarding the garage truss package.  Most of them have a bow from front to back in the 2″-3″ range.  So it is going to take a bit of work to ensure they are secured to the cross purlins with no more than the required 1/2″ off a string line.

These trusses for the office roof represent the densest nailing patterns I have ever seen. The 2x8 Top Chord Doubler was specified with three rows of 3" nails at 3" O.C.
These trusses for the office roof represent the densest nailing patterns I have ever seen. The 2×8 Top Chord Doubler was specified with three rows of 3″ nails at 3″ O.C.
Some of my favourite web cam photos are these night shots using the InfraRed spots.

Once I get the garage roof framed, I will finish the second half of the upper south roof before decking all three roofs (office, garage, south roof). I will tackle the final upper north roof last as it is the highest, steepest slope, and most difficult to install, and quite frankly I am a little more than concerned about dealing with my irrational fear of heights. I will be wearing a harness, but know that I will be less than thrilled with the elevation.

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