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Labor Day

September 2, 2013

Not much of a holiday here.  We did have steak for dinner though to celebrate…the end of full days on the roof project for a week.

Second half

Second half coming off

Cedar Shakes

Cedar Shakes

Somehow we missed getting a shot of the pile from the first half – this is the second half.

Pulling nails

Pulling nails

Dutiful daughter pulling nails and sorting.  In addition to being go-fer.

The sort - kindling or keep

The sort – kindling or keep


The nail bucket is filling.



Taking a break between handing up sheathing, and getting up there to throw off shakes.

My handyman :)

My handyman 🙂

Not a bad view…from my vantage point on the ground.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2013 11:13 pm

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you get enough clear days to get your roof project completed… oh, and thanks for the bit of eye candy… always appreciate seeing men who know how to DO things!

    • September 3, 2013 4:41 am

      IT, who knew another benefit of having a greenhouse was that you will always have copious amounts of plastic sheeting around. The last job last night was to cover it up before the rain came.

      Cue ZZtop – Sharp Dressed Man, and add a tool belt 😉

  2. September 3, 2013 2:54 am

    🙂 I like that you’re reusing what you can in any way you can. I always try to do the same. Wish more people did, too! What will you be putting up there as a replacement?

    • September 3, 2013 4:38 am

      J, oh we have a use for it, we heat with wood, and the broken shakes will become kindling, and the others will be siding. The photo in the Our Food System post with the kitty on tin is the roofing. The view from my kitchen window has changed to green. I’ll miss the shakes, but I’m really liking the idea of not having to replace that roof again in my lifetime.

  3. A.A. permalink
    September 3, 2013 4:42 am

    Not to say I’m surprised, but very few people these days would bother to pull nails and sort through the roofing. I’m sure I would too, though. 😉 I guess you could say there are people who pull nails and people who don’t 🙂 It wasn’t that long ago that nails would be included in a person’s will, if they had any to bequeath.

    Related, just yesterday a friend bit older than you told me of a neighbor from his childhood. They had four milking cows and no hay fields to themselves. They would cut and haul all their hay from roadsides and corners nobody wanted. For four cows. They may’ve had a share of reeds from a lake for a small part of their winter feed, as was common, but they didn’t live close to a particular lake.

    To bring this back to roofs, apparently wood for shakes was easier to acquire, because they’d replace a straw roof with a shake roof just to have the straw in return to feed their animals. It could’ve been a hungry winter when that happened, probably was, the story wasn’t sure about that.

    With the winters we’ve got, I wished the previous owners who replaced the barn shake roof with sheet metal had left the shakes in place. One end of the barn still has them, the other end that’s kept warm doesn’t. It makes a huge difference in terms of keeping winter condensation off the supports with the shakes to go between the warm air and the steel. I’m sure the shakes were more rotten on that warm end, but they might’ve still helped. Anyway, not to say anything about your open barn by that, except congratulations on getting the roof done!

    • September 3, 2013 5:01 am

      If only it were done…but that’s another story. I guess we are really do-it-selfers. So many folks I know say they are doing this and that project, but really what they’re doing is paying someone to do it. Build a fence, make hay, put in a gate, add a couple of buildings, or a barn or two or sheds on the barns you have…pffft. Nothing if your check book is big enough, and the ego to match to say they’re doing the actual work. Makes my hand hurt thinking of writing all those checks. There is still a stigma attached to doing your own work and labor, as if we aren’t smart enough to pay to have someone do it for us.

      We briefly toyed with leaving the shakes on, but we’re afraid of the extra weight, the problem here is freak 5′ snow storms, winters are fine and easy here until you get one of those. In 1980 we had one of those, 55″ of snow in the same number of hours non-stop. Lots of new-style pole barns(wide spaced trusses, metal roofs), collapsed with animals in them. Too flat, and not enough support made for a mangled mess. 😦 It doesn’t get that cold here, but it does get damp, so open side sheds are perfect for cattle, keeps them out of the weather, but allows for some air circulation.

      I often think of how many animals I would have if I had to put up winter hay by hand. I come up with 2, the milk cow and her calf. An amazing amount of work.

      Love your comment – and I owe you an email or two 😉

  4. September 3, 2013 6:04 am

    We have metal on the roof of both our sheds and house for the same reason : )

  5. Barb in CA permalink
    September 3, 2013 6:43 am

    So will the used shakes be siding on the barn? Or somewhere else?

  6. Chris permalink
    September 3, 2013 7:43 am

    Not smart enough to hire other people to do work for you, that is usually half assed anyway? Hah! You guys are way ahead of the pack in the intelligence department, if you ask me! 🙂 And you have the satisfaction at the end of each day, looking at your beautiful work…in the garden, the fields, your buildings and finally on your table!

    • September 3, 2013 9:22 am

      Chris, and add in the fact that we like to be by ourselves…we know the quality of work if we’re doing it. I doubt we could find a contractor who would be anal enough about the nail issue, you have to be pretty careful with nails around livestock.

  7. September 3, 2013 9:11 am

    That’s exactly what we did this weekend! Only on our house, and we can’t reuse the 3 tab we pulled off…. Three 12 hour days have me all worn out today though (although it’s nice to sit and listen to the rain pitter on the metal, it stayed nice just long enough)

    • September 3, 2013 9:18 am

      Adalyn, that’s sure a nice feeling isn’t it? Reroofing should be a crossfit exercise, ladder climbing, walking on slanted surfaces while carrying armloads of wood, dodging nails, etc., we’re beat. My DH joked he needed to go back to work to get some rest! Congrats on your new roof!

  8. Chris permalink
    September 3, 2013 1:00 pm

    Be by yourselves?? And here I was going to come down there and hang out with you guys for a few days! 🙂

  9. Kristin permalink
    September 3, 2013 5:08 pm

    I know what you mean about people saying they did this, built that themselves. We built our own house. Hammer & nail. Hired out 2 things: finishing the slab & tiling the floor. Everything else with our own two hands! Most who “build their own house” are acting as contractors only.

    My father put a shake roof on our house when I was a kid (1970s). It was a lot of work! It is sad to see them go. All that time, materials, and craftsmanship!

    • September 3, 2013 5:59 pm

      Kristin, good for you guys! I think my hubby is about built out. First his log home – Swedish scribe method and large shop and now working on this place…poor guy. We just poured a slab too, ugh, he and a contractor friend did it and gosh what a lot of work – I stayed away and fixed lunch, made my arms ache just thinking about it.

      It is sad to see the shakes go, I loved them. And the bats are a little perturbed too 😉 They really liked those shakes. If your dad did that, then you know how much work is involved. I hate to think of all the shakes that went to California for ranch style houses, only to waste away in the sun or burn up 😦

      • Kristin permalink
        September 4, 2013 3:20 pm

        After a not so honest experience with a finishing contractor, my husband and son started finishing their own slabs. Concrete is hard on the skin. Yes, I was young but I remember it was a lot of work! Shakes in California? Seriously?

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