From a 200 year old ruin to a workshop, a 3 year journey... #12: Getting a roof on the workshop

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Blog entry by Serradura posted 05-25-2013 08:40 PM 3221 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Not just another brick in the wall... Part 12 of From a 200 year old ruin to a workshop, a 3 year journey... series Part 13: The last stones (we thought) »

The big wall was repaired, but to get the roof on I needed to put the steel beams on the side wall, and one on the street side wall. The problem is that the street is so narrow, that if would put the roof on in a conventional way, it would stick out of the wall at least 15 cm. It’s not that I had nightmares about the farmer from next door getting thru the street with his tractor and hitting the roof, but he scraped the wall before so…

I had to come up with a solution. I just went out to see how problems like this were solved in the narrow streets of Tomar, and found out that roofs are just halfway on the wall, with the gutter build in.
This seems to be a solution people came up with in the 30-tees, when the first little trucks had to be able to deliver goods in to town. Before that it was never a problem because the biggest transport around was a wagon and some horses. The world has changed a lot in 8 decades.

Because the wall being 70 cm thick, it wasn’t a problem to integrate that solution to my build. The only downside is the hosepipe going inside the building at the top and out again at the bottom. And no, we don’t have a sewer system over here.

Having completed the structural things, I asked some friends to help me with one of the few things I couldn’t do alone or with just the help of my wife; putting up the 7 meter long roof plates. It’s nice to find out that after a few years living in a new country you’ll make friends that are on your doorstep as soon as you pick up the phone.

Going down the pictures of this build made me realize that it’s a great way to grow a grey beard..

It took just 2 hours to put all plates up, cutting them to the wright length and screwing them tight. The diner and drinks, after the job done is a different story…

next time: The last stones…

-- Não só Serradura, Tomar, Portugal

7 comments so far

View Promod1385's profile


19 posts in 3528 days

#1 posted 05-25-2013 09:41 PM

Very cool! Are those an insulated steel roof panel? I recently consulted on a project involving them, they seem to be a nice product.

View Serradura's profile


195 posts in 3398 days

#2 posted 05-25-2013 10:41 PM

@Promod1385: Yes, these are ready made insulated roof panels with a red coating on the outside and ahite coating on the inside. So they are maintenance free and (I can say this now after a warm summer) keep the heat out in summer and the cold out in winter. I know there are many extra parts sold that fit this system, but not over here in Portugal. So, I had to make me some profiles to close up the sides myself. It’s a very good product, also usable on an almost horizontal roof (about 4 or 5 degrees). We had to pay 13 Euro’s p / m2 over here, so it took 90% of the total budget of the project.

-- Não só Serradura, Tomar, Portugal

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3461 days

#3 posted 05-25-2013 10:50 PM

Yikes, 90% of the budget for the roof means you’re gonna hafta REALLY tighten the belt somewhere else. Watching this build is almost like being there. I’m almost sweating just reading your blogs (and I’m not even winded:-)

And hey, just what’s WRONG with a grey beard? :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 4235 days

#4 posted 05-25-2013 11:51 PM

Grey beards are IN !
It’s great to see the progress, and the many hands make light work aspect, even if you
do have to break a sweat, but the after must be great, dinner and drinks..(have you developed contacts with the local vineyards yet ?)

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4297 days

#5 posted 05-26-2013 02:50 AM

Where’s the building inspector…LOL! Looks like you’re problem solving as you go. What’s the rain like there? Those are some long sections. What’s the pitch?

What a great adventure! Hey my beard has been greying in my thirties. Better grey than gone. Nice to have friends. Salute!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4788 days

#6 posted 05-26-2013 09:28 AM

It was interesting to see how others have solved the ‘tractor’ problem. I can’t imagine that you get a lot of rain there, so drainage shouldn’t be a big problem. We get a lot of rain where I live and we need two sets of drainage pipes, one to get the ground water around the base of the foundations and another on top of that connected to the roof gutters. The roof platters looks very good and actually easier to install with their long lengths. They will surely be more watertight that way too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Serradura's profile


195 posts in 3398 days

#7 posted 05-26-2013 09:52 AM

@stefang: drainage isn’t a problem here. Yes, we got 5 months of rain last winter… the worst in 20 years. But we are living on a hilltop, wright on the top. So all the water runs down to 4 sites! Next to that, our house and the “workshop to be” are build on solid rock. That’s easy, we don’t need to dig foundations etc. The only thing that is difficult is getting plumbing and cables into the ground. It took us weeks to make a trench for the pipes of the sewer system in to a septic tank that is halfway down the hill.

The good thing about the long roof platters is that there are only 4 connections on the whole roof, so it’s absolutely watertight. I am aware that this wouldn’t work in a place like Norway because it couldn’t hold the weight of all the snow in winter. Although the company who makes them says the can hold 300 kg.p / m2 if supported with beams every meter. (it’s the strength of the beams that count, and the angle of the roof)

Thanks for being so interested in my blog about this rebuilding. Sometimes it’s just taking to long and it’s nice to get all these interested comments here. Now… I have to finish it all to get an ending at these blog series (in time)!

-- Não só Serradura, Tomar, Portugal

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