We expected to encounter some surprises in this old building, and sure enough - they’ve started to roll in.
This week we learned a little more about our roofing system … or more appropriately, the complete lack of any system for what was previously been holding this building’s roof in place. The building suffered a fire a while back - we knew that from the charcoal-stained bricks as soon as we removed the old plaster. And we knew that the existing roof joists had been badly damaged - many of these were charred and crumbling when we reached them, and the builders quickly “sistered” each of them to a brand new 2x10 for additional strength. But then we reached the roof itself, and learned that at some point a previous owner had dumped about 2” of low-strength concrete over the whole thing … and then covered that with a tar roof membrane. It was a mess, to say the least.
Removing that DIY concrete meant bringing a jackhammer up onto the roof of this fragile little building, and very carefully breaking apart the concrete pan that was preventing us from repairing the roof deck. Even careful jack-hammering is still jack-hammering, and this process pretty much trashed what was left of the roofing boards while covering the future living room in debris. Showing up to a job site full of unexpected concrete rubble is a good way to give your architect a heart attack! At this point we’ve decided to remove 100% of the roofing boards and start from scratch - at least now we know this tiny house will be covered by a reliable, safe, and dry roof.