Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Some parts of building a Tiny House is tough and some parts are tougher.  Using standing seam roofing is a great option, I'm glad I chose GulfLoc and I love the look. Challenges persist even to this moment, primarily because the supplier didn't include any extra material (which is typical for any construction effort) and didn't include the special putty tape spec'd in the installation guide. What did I know then?  Well, not much.

The biggest issue is that the 6.25" ridge caps were not wide enough. I didn't even know they offered at 10" ridge cap, but that was what I had to have.  On Friday, I met a delivery truck traveling between Sarasota and Alachua so I could pick up the new, 10"ridge caps.  Gulf Coast Supply wasn't accepting any responsibility so I own three unused ridge caps.  Apparently, unless you have a standard pitch, they are considered custom bends and are not returnable. Blame is useless, but it is frustrating that this happened even after supplying detailed diagrams, exact measurements, and even photos. With a 4x6 ridge board and my space for a vented ridge, it was obvious that the smaller ridge cap would have NEVER worked.  And to make matters worse, the driver wouldn't even take I-275 back North forcing me to meet him along the Suncoast Toll Road--- about an hour away. Grumble Grumble.

I also thought that Gulf Coast Supply's installation manual was great (and it is very good) but it missed the mark of greatness in a few ways. For example, the manual didn't state the order of installing the roof items, so unless you know, you could be a bit lost.  One place where it mattered was installation of the gable flashing and ridge cap. Research determined there are at least two options and I chose an aesthetic option  --- making the ridge cap flush with the gable flashing (see picture).

Fortunately, a local building handyman offered to help me install the roof - John Marshall. He could walk on the ridge beam and do a dance without even coming close to losing his footing or balance!   Neither of us had installation experience with GulfLok, so we learned together. John had much more knowledge about metal roofing, had no fear straddling the ridge beam, and could laying on searing hot metal on a 96 degree day.  I really wanted to finish the roof before the cooler days of Florida winter disappeared. Alas.

Roughly, the roof installation required 40 hours of John's time. I was his full-time assistant for almost every hour.  Did I learn a lot? Yes.  Would I have been able to do this alone? Not a chance. The roof is one place where experience is key.

In tonight's flood warning thunderstorm, I trudged through four inches standing water in the yard to get into the Tiny House. I found no leaks anywhere!  Yea!  John Marshall is amazing --- he cares about 1/8th of an inch and I appreciate his attention to detail.  He is also easy to work with, cares about your satisfaction, and is simply fun to have around.  I'm grateful for his skills and for his patience.  If anyone needs a general handyman, construction help, or roof installer, I would not hesitate to recommend him. When he gets a website or FB page, I'll update this. In the mean time, write me for his phone number. 

I still need to put the roof on my battery shed and the roof on my box window. The problem is, since I didn't have one inch of extra Gable Flashing, I have to somehow get one more piece of flashing for the box window since I want to keep the same look.  How hard would it have been to have the company just include one extra piece of everything?  Take my recommendation: ask for 10% more so you don't run out in the middle of the installation, or worse yet, have to delay part of the installation for days or weeks for one stinking piece of metal! I suppose I'm heading for a another 4 hour round trip to get to one more piece of Galvalume flashing.  Now that's frustrating.

My earlier decision to raise the ridge board by 1.5" appears to be a good one and it simplified the installation of the ridge caps of two different pitches. So I estimate I saved -- with the help of John (who I paid by the hour) -- about $1000 by DIY.

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