Raise the Roof

Alright, I have a very good excuse for not posting in a while… I wasn’t working on the house. But seriously, as I scrolled back through my blog today, I realized that my scheduled release for this post will be exactly one year after my last one. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

I’m going to give myself a little break. I got a nifty job at a non-profit and kept my restaurant job and have been working 6 days a week for a year now. Throw that in with a move and some tumultuous life events and you get roughly 9 months of stalled progress on the 160House.

I picked back up though and am back to making steady progress. Now for the good stuff!


The 160House has a roof! A real roof! It holds out rain and everything! Check it out!

Photo Mar 29, 4 24 13 PM
Wanna party on my roof? Because it’s type EDM!

Of course, nothing can ever be quick and easy so there were plenty of adventures on the way.  As usual, I probably pulled as many screws as I put in, extra parts had to be ordered, creativity had to be used.

However, the biggest pain in the ass was that f***ing skylight.

Let me explain, it turns out Velux does not make flashing (waterproofing) for metal roofs that fit the fancy roof window I was so excited about 365 days ago. So I ended up ordering a Frankenstein kit, bits and pieces of various flashing that I could hobble together into a functional seal.

Now, let’s revisit my last post for a moment. I was a tad bit frustrated with the Velux instructions, I believe I said that I was…

“pretty sure Velux writes their instructions to be as confusing as possible”

Well, we thought ONE Velux manual was fun to navigate… so imagine our joy when all of a sudden we had SEVEN!

Photo Jan 31, 11 36 45 AM
WTF Velux

After deciphering seven manuals made of nonsense…

Photo Jan 31, 5 24 20 PM

watching and rewatching and watching again the following instructional video from the 1970s(?) that made me feel like I was in gym class and we were about to start talking about my body…

And hours on the phone with technical service having conversations that went like this…

Me: Hi, the instructions say to nail the side flashing to my skylight but my skylight is made of metal and plastic.

Technical Service Rep Dwayne: You nail the piece to the wood.

Me: My skylight is made of metal and plastic. There is no wood.

Dwayne: Look on the side of your skylight and you will see wood.

Me: The side of my skylight is made of metal and plastic.

Dwayne: What did you attach the brackets to?

Me: Factory pre-drilled holes in the metal and plastic.

Dwayne: So not into wood..?

I was beyond frustrated.

It was then that my mentor and father stopped and dropped a wisdom bomb. He told me to quit following instructions. He told me that in the 40 years he has worked as a general contractor he has made a lot of mistakes, probably more than most, but in the time it takes another professional to deliberate and do an exacting job, he can have a project screwed up, fixed, and already be halfway through his next mistake. I admit I may have scoffed and rolled my eyes in the moment but shortly after, you know what I did?

I burned all seven instruction manuals as part of a ritual sacrifice to the Grecian god of Chaos, reported the Velux EDM Metal Roof Flashing instructional video to YouTube for sexual content, and blocked Dwayne’s number. I was going rogue.

I treated the remaining pieces like a puzzle and using my big honking smart gal brain, I managed to make a skylight that doesn’t funnel water into my sleeping space when it rains!

Photo Mar 18, 11 15 59 AM
This is not a good picture but it’s the one I’ve got so I don’t wanna hear it.

With the skylight finished, we could put the final touches on the roof.

I am so happy to finally be making progress on the house again and as part of my commitment to make sure another 12 months don’t go by before you hear from me again, I am committing to a regularly scheduled blog post every first Friday!

One last exciting bit of news before I sign off: the 160House is going to be in the Petaluma Butter and Egg Days parade as part of a float for Rebuilding Together Petaluma! Check it out if you’re in the area! (BTW, if you click the RTP link, I want you to know that I made that website. #bragging)

Poster--17-b-e
What is this diabolical machine turning cows into bicycles and wine?

Now thank yous: Thank you to my Dad, as always, for once more braving Velux instructions with me and for giving me the some of the best sage Dad advice I never asked for. And thank you to… I guess Dwayne. Even though he thought I couldn’t tell the difference between wood and metal, he still spent a couple hours trying to solve the puzzle of the Frankenstein kit with me. And thank YOU for reading or at least skimming and for still being interested in this project a year later. Maybe by next year I’ll have siding!

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