Shop Renovation #2: Roof and Skylights

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Blog entry by Lenny posted 09-16-2010 03:34 AM 12617 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Shop Renovation #1 Part 2 of Shop Renovation series Part 3: And the Wall Comes Tumbling Down »

Today was a big day. My skylights went in! But, I get ahead of myself. On my last post, 12 days ago, I left off showing where the roof trusses were to be placed. John, my contractor, designed and laid out an elaborate rafter system to, in essence, tie together three roof lines. You can see in the first picture there is a family room roof in the foreground, a garage roof to its right and the existing roofline of my shop. John put in these half trusses and then, as I said, proceeded to marry up the 3 rooflines so it now appears more uniform. He has a tad more shingling to do tomorrow and the roof is done. John and I discussed the location of the skylights and I think/hope I made a good choice. At times they appear too close together, but from inside the room, I think they are just right. I still have to imagine what it will look like with the wall that is coming down, no longer there. I neglected to take a picture of the inside view today so I will include that in the next update. The skylights are 8 feet apart along a stretch of 18 feet. I believe one of them will be right above my TS and assembly table. (That is once I make one!) Anyway, I am quite excited to have these installed. John was impressed with the quality of the product and the installation procedure. He assures me they will be leakproof. Thanks for checking in on me.

This first photo shows the half trusses. John, continued the line of the trusses towards the existing peak and slightly above it. He then added a return piece down to the existing peak. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of this before he sheathed it but see the second photo for an idea of how this works. He also built up the existing garage roof (to the right of the downspout) so it became level with the family room roof (to the left of the downspout).

Below is a shot of John installing the skylights today. If you look at the gable end, you can get an idea of what I meant about the new roofline being higher than the old and how the return pieces I mentioned were incorporated.

Next, is a shot of John’s progress mid-way through the installation. The white material is a rubber membrane that envelopes the walls of the skylight. The photo also gives a good angle of the finished rooflines. Left and right of the downspout are now one plane and the new shop roofline meets it in a valley in the corner.

Below, the skylights are fully installed and you get a good shot of the rooflines. Oh yeah, in the background you can see that Lenny the Snail has sheathing on the shed roof. Oh well, no hurry I guess.

I hate to detract from my shop renovation but I am quite proud of these shed rafters that I made myself with John’s encouragement and advice. Well, I am proud that I made them, not the end result. I actually feel they came out awful but it’s a shed not a piece of furniture so I will live with it. It is not evident from the angle of the photo but they are not flat and even and since I did them one at a time instead of batch cutting them, I had to return my miter saw to the necessary angle each time. Needless to say, they are not all “spot on”. Still, I made them myself and they work. I am proud to be building this shed from the ground up.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

25 comments so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 09-16-2010 03:45 AM

real nice progress Lenny, looking at it from the outside, it’s a tremendous addition of space to your existing shop! way to go.

plus with that cool shed holding all the non WW related stuff, that can only get better.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View patron's profile


13608 posts in 3368 days

#2 posted 09-16-2010 03:51 AM

lenny ,

you are a genius .

who would have thought ,
to put a roof over the shop ?

anywhere i can stand is a shop at times ,

very happy for you ,
when that wall comes down ,
your dream will happen ,
and you will be lost in there .
till you put in all the tools . lol

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3912 days

#3 posted 09-16-2010 04:12 AM

It’s coming along well Young Man….....!!!! ;-)
I’m happy for ya’.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3850 days

#4 posted 09-16-2010 04:19 AM

It looks grand Lenny all I can say is I’m envious, can’t wait for the topping off party, enjoy and thanks for the update …BC

View swirt's profile


2786 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 09-16-2010 05:26 AM

Looks fantastic. Very jealous here.
You might want to err on the side of caution for at least a season with putting the table saw directly under one of the skylights. They do have a tendency to get condensation on them or in the flashing and can lead to water dripping down from them. Ours did it for a while before we got them all sealed up right. You wouldn’t want water dripping down and sitting on your table saw for extended periods. Sometimes it has nothing to do with who installs them, it is more related to how you heat your space.

-- Galootish log blog,

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3801 days

#6 posted 09-16-2010 05:34 AM

Hi Lenny

Your shop is coming along nicely. Looks like you have found a good contractor that knows what he is doing. Is your shed for yard stuff or shop jigs, off-fall and wood? Keep the pictures coming!

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Woodwrecker's profile


4154 posts in 3602 days

#7 posted 09-16-2010 05:38 AM

Really coming along Lenny.
Way to go!
I’m green with envy.

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3134 days

#8 posted 09-16-2010 05:40 AM

Looking good Lenny,
You are going to enjoy this this winter. Rand

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3218 days

#9 posted 09-16-2010 07:20 AM

Looks great Lenny!!!!

And you are invited to Wisconsin, anytime you want to build me a

Nice shed like that!!!!

Looks like it’s all coming together great, and John, sounds like a good friend

as well as your contractor.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Lenny's profile


1596 posts in 3554 days

#10 posted 09-16-2010 09:07 AM

Thanks for the positive feedback everyone. Sharon, while the shed isn’t intended to free up space in my shop, it serves that function for the garage and that makes my wife happy. And as you know, if the wife is happy…The shed is actually her idea. We looked at them at HD and I said I could build one for far less cost than they want, with one caveat, I get to buy a framing nailer. It was a done deal. Tom, the shed is intended to be for yard items: snow blower, lawn mower, wheelbarrow, rakes and shovels, lawn care products, ladders, etc. I recently met a neighbor a few streets over who is a woodworker. He keeps saying it would make a great spot for wood storage. Particularly the “attic” area. Once loaded with yard stuff I will see what I can do. David, there are no flies on me, huh? Pretty ingenius of me to think of a roof, right? Thanks again for the caution swirt. I may have to employ plastic covers for my tools until I see how the skylights work out. Bob, I’m not sure I am prepared to make sheds for others, although I have learned a lot about building construction from this project. You are right about John being a good friend. All during elementary school, his daughter and my youngest were best friends. Unfortunately, his daughter switched to private school at the middle school level and their friendship waned. He used to live a few streets from my home and we often attended block parties at his house.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3459 days

#11 posted 09-16-2010 12:28 PM

Really coming along, Lenny… you’ll be in there in no time. I particularly like the idea of natural light from the skylights for working. I think it helps with both the lighting and the feel of openness. Looking forward to our visit!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3700 days

#12 posted 09-16-2010 03:24 PM

Lenny, I like the way your shop is coming alone.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#13 posted 09-16-2010 03:39 PM

Hey, whatever the shed stores and keeps from other places is good, be it shop, garage, or the kitchen (mmm..maybe not kitchen).

FYI, I was watching finewoodworking (old) videos about framing walls, floors , and roofs. all (mostly) the cuts for the rafters, miters and all were cut with a circular saw – on the roof itself after the 2x material was put in place – there was no batch cutting on a miter saw station. regardless, this is another skill that is developed over time – and I think for a first (and second and third) the sheds roof looks fantastic! I wouldn’t think twice about it, and I have a feeling you won’t either (or at least I hope).

Enjoy the weather.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3142 days

#14 posted 09-16-2010 09:45 PM

thank´s for the update
good to see the progress :-)

take care

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3330 days

#15 posted 09-16-2010 10:56 PM

this is all fantastic lenny…you did a great job and i love the skylights, cant wait to see the inside after the wall comes down…your going to have to have a party when you get it to the usable point…congrats ..grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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