Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Michelle's purlins, roof and cladding

Michelle had been really fretting about her floor, as it had now been exposed to the elements for more than the recommended 3 months and was starting to show signs of deterioration, so we got stuck into her end as we had the steel 150 X 50 purlins already available to put straight up.

On the original shed structure, the purlins stuck out beyond the shed walls at either end but we did not fancy cutting colorbond sheeting to fit around them especially at Michelle's end of the building as it was 7 metres high. So we cut them off so as we could run the sheeting flush over the ends which also meant they were protected from moisture and consequent deterioration.

Getting the purlins up was actually less onerous than I had though it would be even though they were quite heavy and long. Our system required a ladder each to simultaneously get the purlins on to the top plates of the cathedral ends of the frames and the use of tek screws and triple brackets to secure them.

We were now we were ready to replace the roofing sheets on to the now almost completely rebuilt shed.

Doing the roofing was not a job I was feeling at all comfortable with for two reasons. One, I am not particularly enamoured with heights and two, I destroyed the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in my right knee many years ago and if I needed to get myself down from a great height I really only have one good knee to use to absorb the fall and I did not want to risk destroying that. As you can see from the image above, fortunately, Michelle has a good head for heights and in the end completed all the roof sheeting herself with me assisting below or at the top of a ladder.

Our first job was a little frustrating, as we needed to place reflective insulation foil on the purlins before laying the sheets so a wind free day was essential.

This made it a little difficult to get the zincalume sheeting on as the foil would get in the way and the job was further complicated because Michelle was endeavouring to use the existing fixing holes. In the end she resigned herself to using silicon to fill any holes that were not lined up enough to use and was now ruing a little having bought the shed with the idea of reusing it to further minimise building costs.

For sometime now our $11,000 worth of beautiful black aluminium windows and sliding doors had been carefully stored inside the framing and it was now time to see if some of them would actually fit the spaces we had created in the framework before cladding Michelle's end with the existing woodland grey colorbond sheets. We were really looking forward to seeing how they looked but before we could do that we needed to wrap the framework in breathable insulation foil as the frames were constructed of timber which was a very challenging job as we had to do it from inside the building because of the height.
I can report that, thankfully, the windows and doors did fit with little problem. What a relief!

We were now ready to get the cladding on and I had been really concerned with how we were going to manage sheets of colorbond over 6 metres in length at a height of 7 metres and was considering that we may now have to hand the job over to a builder.
As we had been going so well with the building so far, I decided to investigate the cost of scaffolding to allow us to continue although I was worried that it might be expensive. The first quote, I received to deliver, erect, disassemble and pick up, came in at couple thousand dollars or so confirming my fears.
I decided to drop in at another scaffolding business for a 2nd quote and discovered that it would be easy enough to assemble ourselves and that delivery and pick up of the amount of scaffolding we needed would cost around $500. I was rapt and arranged for the delivery immediately.

So now we had to erect the scaffolding having never done it before.
This was a most interesting and challenging experience as Michelle and I had a fair amount of disagreement during this process.
We got it up eventually and I was pleasantly surprised at the manner in which I happily climbed and swung around on it like it was monkey bars even with my now somewhat diminished through neccessity fear of heights!

Accurately cutting out the openings for the windows and getting those massive sheets up to such a great height was still a huge challenge, and again complicated due to trying to use existing holes to fix through, but we did it and stood back proudly to view the emergence of our new home.


  1. What a couple of bloody legends, especially that 'Michelle' character.

  2. There are very informative comment about roofing. Zinc roof claddin is fire-resistant in nature.

  3. Very nice blog. I like your idea of roof and cladding. Quite interesting.
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