Putting a New Roof on the Critter Shed

We knew the roof had issues, but so did our bank account. We knew it was getting weaker and weaker every time it rained. And then the dripping started. There is nothing worse them walking into your animals’ home and the floor is covered in water. The topic of reroofing would come up every few month and we could never afford or find the materials to get it done. That is until the roof actually started collapsing!

I went out one night to lock everyone in for safety from predators only to hear my footstep splash as I walked in. I quickly took out my phone, turned on the flashlight, and gasped as I looked up. After three solid days of downpours, the drip in the roof had turned into a faucet turned on all the way. I quickly grabbed another tarp, but with it being dark and slippery I was afraid to try to put it on the roof, So I grabbed a staple gun and tacked it up inside the shed, hoping it would buy me time till dawn.

When dawn broke the next morning, so did my heart. The roof had started collapsing in. I was devastated. While the actual hole in the roof wasn’t directly over the designated animal area, it did affect them. Cause critters stay where they’re supposed to, right? Not to mention winter is coming and the snow and cold with it. Predators could easily climb or swoop in. It was disaster. So I grabbed some plywood and a tarp and put a temporary patch on the roof to buy me some time to figure things out.

But no matter how I crunched the numbers, I couldn’t eek out enough to buy the materials, let alone pay a roofer to put a new roof on the shed. I am NOT good at asking for help. It makes me feel like a failure. Like I messed up, so how dare I ask others to fix my problem. But I swallowed my pride and asked the folks on my Facebook page if they could donate towards supplies, if hubby and I did all the work. These folks watch our lives unfold day after day, and they know I wouldn’t ask unless we were between a rock and a hard place.

Can I tell you, posting that call for help was one of the hardest things I have done in a while, but the response made my heart burst. Within 12 minutes, our needs were met! 12 minutes!!! I knew there was a reason I don’t call the people who like our page followers, but part of our (mis)Adventures family. Our virtual family stepped in and help us shoulder the burden of keep the critters they have grown to know and love, safe and warm!

We measure. And we measured again. We made a list of all the materials we thought we would need. Now please keep in mind, we are not carpenters! We read, we watched videos, we thought we had a grasp on what to do, but we had never done something like this before. We picked up supplies and of course it began to rain, again. Three days at a time. The rain poured into the shed, despite my patch. The materials were tarped, waiting to go on. And it continued to rain.

On a Friday, upon returning from work, hubby announced we were demoing the roof the next day. Wait, what? There was a chance of rain the next day! He said it was now or never, the snow was coming. So on a bitterly cold Saturday morning, hubby and I headed to the shed. It was below freezing and the wind stung. Hubby refused to let me on the roof to demo with him. He said “If we both fall, who will drive who to the hospital?” Okay, so he had a point. He ripped the roof off and I piled it up. By noon we were done with demo, but there was no time to stop for lunch. Of course we had skipped breakfast too, but neither of us were hungry.

While ripping off the old roof (which was like three layers thick) we discovered three of the joist were rotten. So as my hubby removed the joist and pulled nails from the remaining rafters, I was on my way to the lumberyard. I also had to pick up some plexiglass to replace a windowpane that got broke during demo. Oops! I left strict instruction for the country kids to call 911 if something happened and begged them not to poke daddy with a stick first.

Once the rafters were in place, it was full steam ahead with the OSB plywood. I carried those heavy board all by myself and hefted them up to hubby who began putting the roof back together. I cut boards and hauled them all afternoon in the bitter cold, and spitting rain. Yes, it did rain on us a bit, but we had no choice but to keep going.

By evening, we had three quarters of the wood down, but night falls fast around here and we knew we wouldn’t make our goal of getting it all on. Those darn joist had set us behind. So we grabbed a trap (homesteaders always have tarps!) and cover the section that still needed to be done. It wasn’t pretty but it would help block out wind, rain, and deter predators for the night.

With a few minutes till dusk, we threw in the towel for the day. We were slightly defeated but the hundreds of Sandhill Cranes flying over on their way to bed down for the night was a pretty amazing way to end a ten hour day of physical labor. I was cold and sore, but watching these magnificent birds fly over hubby standing on the roof gave me a chill. Nature sucks sometimes, like all the rain, but to see the man you love, working side by side with you, surrounded by the beatiful side of nature is an amazing feeling.

As hubby climbed off the ladder, the critters walked into the shed, not missing a beat, and settled down for the night. Despite all the nose and commotion they knew they were safer in their half-finished shed, than out in the open. As they settled in for the night, so did hubby and I. Our backs and knees aching, but a satisfaction in our hearts that we had worked together and not killed each other!

Now the next day was a slightly different story! We were tired and sore, so we were both a little grumpy with each other. I’ll admit, I was the one who blew first, and I took off for fifteen minutes to cool down. I just wanted to get this project done! I was tired of hubby second guessing everything. My way may not have been the way the folks on Youtube did things, but the things were still getting done! I mean when things aren’t working the way “they” say it should be done, sometimes you just have to get creative! We did manage to lay the rest of the plywood, put up the trim, and start installing the drip edge. But then I had to take the littlest country kid to his basketball workshop. As I sat on the gym floor, aching, in a bad mood, I tried to smile for our little guy as he dribbled, well tried to dribble, the ball.

And as I sat there, rubbing my knees, my phone “dinged.” It was a photo, nothing more, but it put me in such a better mood. Hubby had continued to work after we left and had gotten the paper down and was starting on the metal roofing!

By the end of the second day of work, we may not have totally finished the reroofing project, we only got half the metal up and still have to put the flashing on, but for two amateur construction workers, we tried to do more then we could in the time we had. Saying that, we still kicked butt for just two amateur construction workers! We will get to our goal and get the roof finished, just as soon as it stops raining, but for now, I am proud to say the critters are safe and dry and hubby and I are still married!

6 thoughts on “Putting a New Roof on the Critter Shed

  1. Love those fluffed-up chickens! I've had a washtub and a row of plastic containers below a growing leak for more than ten years now; one year a relative donated a quick fix that lasted a month or two, but yes, a real repair is going to involve a whole new roof…I don't ask for donations. I ask people to sponsor my web site. So far they've done that to the point of paying for a few groceries or even a utility bill, but not a whole new roof.

    1. I don't like asking folks to sponser my website. I just don't feel right asking. But the roof was falling and I had no choice but to put the situation out there and hope others would care enough to step foward. Thankfully they did!

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