Putting the roof on depended on three critical factors: the weather, the uncle, and the availability of enough helpers. When the morning of the assigned day came it seemed that all three had aligned. The family assembled, the iron was unpacked, the uncle organised his tools and gave instructions... Then we began. A sheet at a time we passed the iron up without bending or buckling and the uncle screwed it into place over the sisalation.
The whole day went really well - in fact I was surprised how quickly it all went up. Alas! I imagine there is no project of this size that doesn't have an injury or two. The only two of note (and both were relatively minor) during the building of the house involved sheets of iron. Dad cut himself when putting up a sheet along the back wall and this day on the roof I lunged to catch a sheet that had been picked up by a gust of wind and ended up with a gash across my forearm.
|The scar - a lasting memento|
A trip to hospital for a tetanus shot and a couple of butterfly clips and I was back for the after-lunch session.
In retrospect I wish I'd thought to paint the rafters and battens that were to be left exposed before we'd put them up onto the frame. It would've made life so much simpler to run along them with a roller while they were on the ground than it ended up being painting up on a ladder and having to avoid getting paint on the iron. As it was I managed to find a few hours to paint at least some of them with white undercoat before the iron went on. If I ever build again (which is most unlikely!) I'll know better...
Every stage of the building process was revelatory. Day after day, week after week, the ideas in my head became solid. The night the iron went on I had a picnic in the house. Just me an a beer and some bread and cheese. Home.