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Ashley Heeren

a design-build weekend: dancehall roof raising

Posted by on 10/2/14 at 08:15am

Last weekend, a team of LFers enjoyed getting their hands dirty in the great outdoors–we put a roof on a dance hall. And we have a time-lapse┬ávideo to prove it (cast your vote for the carpenter)!

The setting: Kickapoo Ranch, a beautiful property located a 2.5-hour drive west of San Antonio belonging to the Flato family.

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The mission: attach wood purlins and then corrugated metal roofing on the dance hall structure. This structure consists of a concrete slab and re-used steel oil pipe, which were fabricated and placed earlier this summer. (Note: dance hall was already tested and approved sans roof during Flake Lato, our annual office retreat).

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The team consisted of 13 people, including Ted Flato (“project manager”), Mike Long (general contractor), and 11 LF employees/interns. The group generally split into a few teams to take on various tasks throughout the day, which meant that most of us got to work on the ground, on the scaffolding, and on the roof at some point. My favorite was riding the scaffolding as we moved up and down the length of the hall.

First task: wood purlins. These had to be pre-drilled and notched before being lifted onto the steel and bolted in place. Some fit more easily than others, but we managed to keep a nice straight line along the side overhangs.

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After lunch, while one group continued putting the purlins on the back/short side of the roof, the metal team got to work. Most important on the metal team was placing the first line of metal sheets in exactly the right alignment, so that we kept straight edges and consistent overhangs on all four sides of the hall.

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Once the first corrugated metal sheets were screwed down, the metal roof moved fast. All purlins and metal sheets were finished by late afternoon.

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Not a bad place to be working.

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And finally, enjoying a few beers (and a whole new perspective on the ranch) on the newly completed roof.

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The next day all that remained was to attach the roof ridge and wrap up the project. And of course take a much-needed swimming hole tour.

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View of the finished dance hall from the dam below. I love how it sits in the tree canopy, and especially that our team can be proud of our weekend work every time we return to the ranch in the future.

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Thanks to all in attendance for the great photos, and to Wilco & Billy Bragg for the soundtrack!