I'm building the "Better Homes & Garden's" storybook playhouse for the
The plan calls for bevelled siding to be used for roofing material, but is
not too specific about how to leakproof the ridge, instructing only that a
ridge cap be fashioned from pieces of 1x4. There is roofing felt (and
plywood of course) under the siding.
If the ridge cap is to be leakproof, how exactly do I make it, and how do I
attach it to the roof?
The small figurines on the top of the roof (see link above) are cut from
plywood and set between two 2x2s, which are in turn "attached" to the ridge
cap. Again, how best to do this without producing leaks.
Typically two boards a simply butted together and nailed, laid over the
ridge, and attached with nails with the seam facing away from the prevailing
winds. Alternatively, a dado can be cut in one board, the other board
inserted into the dado and nailed--the board with the dado is generally a
little wider than the other so that they look the same width when assembled.
It wouldn't hurt to run a bead of construction adhesive along the joint
prior to nailing.
I cannot tell from the picture for sure but if you have a 12/12 pitch the
boards can probably just be nailed together. If the pitch is significantly
different from 90 degrees a bevel should be cut, or the dado beveled, so
that the boards lay on the roofing instead of sticking up with a space at
Yes, it is 12x12 pitch, which would make it really easy to butt together the
1x4s at 90 degrees.
Wouldn't nails through the ridge cap provide a channel for water entry?
Maybe I'm overworrying.
You could use a little adhesive roofing caulk under the ridge cap, where
you expect the nails to penetrate.
All roofs leak, at least at the shingle level. Shingles, and their
brothers, are really there to protect the roofing felt (tar paper or
similar), whose job it is to shed water downward.
Now this stuff about dealing with ice dams is something you're going to
have to deal with a Northerner about. To a Californian, it's pretty
much theoretical stuff. It snowed here once, about 5 years ago. We had
some hail this spring for 15 minutes.
Now fires & earthquakes, I can design for...
Old, traditional, wood shingle roofs were laid on open decking w/ no
felt/paper. They will keep a building water tight just fine...our house
has been that way for 90 years+ now. It gets a little wind-blown fine
snow in the winter, but never enough to be serious...
And there's a reason for that: They need to dry from underneath as well,
or they rot.
I am continually amazed at the creativity of our forebearers, what they
were able to do in the days before hardware stores and home centers, with
And I'm waiting for Andy to write one of his essays on the use of natural
materials in pre-Industrial Britain, and enlighten us on the various kinds
of bitumen used, and why.
The original footprint of the plan is 6'x4' so this might well have worked,
but I thought the kids would outgrow it too quickly and changed it to 8'x6'.
I also increased the ceiling height from 57' to 72' on the advice of the
illustrious members of this NG a few seasons ago while I was still in the
I just put up the plywood on the roof last weekend. It's looking good!
It's not dimensions that concern me, it's the two layers of wood--the
decking over solid ply that I think is asking for a moisture
problem...for the purpose, I'd just lay the decking as the roofing,
similar to a "classic" wood shingle roof so it has air movement on both
sides of the siding.
What is the siding material?
Yes, and most likely can...
I'm still concerned that it won't last nearly as long if you lay it over
the solid decking as it would if you just nailed to to the rafters so it
will have air access both sides...
A fiber ventilation mat is available for this purpose. It looks sort of like
Cobra Vent only much wider and thinner. The idea is to allow air flow
between the solid decking/felt paper and the wooden shingles.
If you use sufficient layers, yes. Roofing felt in lieu of heavier, more
expensive, or thicker materials.
Or so I've been led to believe.
So Larry, how do you feel about roofing with kindling?
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