A couple or three weeks ago I went up onto the roof of the chalet to spread out some black irrigation pipe so that it gets plenty of sunshine. Now that I have mains water to the front door, thought it the ideal time to install a basic hot water shower system.
The black, water filled pipe rests on the roof in the sunshine all day soaking up the rays of the sunshine, the water inside getting warmer and warmer, by mid to late afternoon I then have 25m of toasty hot water to draw off through a shower head. More than enough for a quick soaking before turning off the supply to soap and clean then plenty of warm water left for a decent rinse and light relax. Too long running and the cold comes through. It concentrated the mind to matters in hand and ensures that a minimum of water is used for ablutions. Next step, a way of saving this water for reuse elsewhere on site.
Anyway, whilst I was up on the roof I noticed some worrying signs. The nails had started pulling on the tarred felting, a waterproof layer that is supposed to keep the chalet protected from the rain. Several nails had pulled right through the felt, whilst others were well on the way. A more permanent covering is definitely needed. In the back of my mind I had thought that I would find enough second hand corrugated over a couple of years to give the shed a rustic, lived in ‘hat’, but this discovery changed my mind.
Within the week it’s done. I took advice, got a couple of prices for tin and timber then set too. The guy at the builders merchant couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw Percy the camper van reverse into the store to load up. “No,no,no. It’s not possible.” he told me when I got out. “It will never fit in that.” He soon changed his mind when I opened the back doors, revealing a clear passage through the centre of my home, large enough for the 4m long battens and rafters and all the 3m long tin sheeting needed. He’s great is Percy and took it all in his stride.
The first bit of roofing I have done, completely on my own. No one to discuss things with, take advice from or follow. I just got on with it. Vertical battens up the roof at 50cm spacings followed by horizontal rafters across the width of the roof. These I positioned directly above the structural rafters within the building so that they could be secured well with some hefty screws. I screwed straight down through the rafters, battens, felt and wooden roof structure right into the fabric of the building and it’s as solid as can be.
Thankfully the tin sheets were all but the right size for the roof, because without power on site, any cutting would have been a major undertaking. There is a little overlap around all edges, but that can only be a good thing. It all fitted together smoothly and without hitch, even though I did finish part of it early one morning in the rain. Foolish, as everything becomes real slippery, though it only took half an hour and the roof is watertight and the timbers protected. I’ll go up on the next dry day and just put in the last few fixings.
This now leads to guttering and rain water harvesting. I have been playing around with ideas for ages as I really need water in the vegetable garden which is about 75m away rather than near the chalet. Not that far, but with watering cans, far from ideal. My idea is partly in place, a pipe installed when I dug in the mains water last autumn. It will need a bit of playing around with, bit I am pretty sure I can fill my water butts in the veggie garden directly off the shed roof. I buried a second pipe through to the vegetable garden and hope that the levels are such that water will flow directly to where it is needed. Gutters first then a lot of messing about in the rain to see if it all works. I can’t wait.
|basic hot water shower|
|black heat absorbent pipe on roof|
|battens, rafters, etc.|
|new tin roof|