Roofs, “remodelling”, Oct. 21, 2015

Every so often, I discover buildings that have been remodelled (perhaps “remudelled” is a better word!) in a way which stands out for its strangeness or awkwardness.

I went for a walk in the Adirondacks a few weekends ago when the weather was really nice. We encountered this little building with a strange roof shape:


It took me a few moments to understand the architecture – the why’s and reasons for the structure.

It is clear that the original house shape is underneath a new roof. I suppose there were issues with water infiltration, and the owners wanted to have a single slop front and back top shed water and snow.  Great idea…..only it would have been nice if the carpenter had cut off the old eaves at the same time and had the new fascia follow the line of the new roof.  Instead, they decided to extend the fascia from the original to the new line.  Hmmm…it just does not work for me! What do you think?

As carpenters, we are somewhat responsible for the finished look of the structures we build. We have to consider the aesthetic look and feel of the project: is it awkward and unbalanced? Does it have an appeal to the senses? Does it respect the tone and feel of the house that it is a part of? It it a positive or negative addition? Are you comfortable signing your name and attaching your reputation to it?

Sometimes the client will insist that he/she does not care, just do it the cheapest or easiest way….bottom line: you do not have to do the project against your will….walk away and find a job that will bring satisfaction as well as income and that will highlight your unique ability to make a bit of art as well as structure.

Good luck!


About jhcarpentry

I am a teacher in the Construction Carpentry Program at the Chateauguay Valley Career Education Centre (CVCEC) for the New Frontiers School board. This blog is a way for me to connect with my students.
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2 Responses to Roofs, “remodelling”, Oct. 21, 2015

  1. marc robidoux says:

    there will always be that client that wants something that you know as a carpenter can not be done properly. and usually the structure would end up not sound and it probably wont look good as you said john you are better to walk away i’ve been there and its not worth losing sleep over. looks like snow drifts on the roof and I bet all the roof screws are on the flat and not on the rib the canadian way eh!! I agree it is not good carpentry, we can hope that maybe the home owners did this and not a carpenter.

    • jhcarpentry says:

      Yeah, so true….the trouble with our trade is that “everyone/anyone can do it” which givs truth to the old adage that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!
      Moral of the story: be true and honest to yourself!

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