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Upon removal of drywall and insulation above the dining area we found two steel tie rods anchoring a portion of the ridge to masonry between the kitchen and dining area...probably why this portion of the window wall didn't sag or bow.
Exposed roof framing over living room looking toward the window wall. The roof is being jacked to level in preparation for the new steel flitch beam ridge. The collar ties are temporary.
Looking toward the north gable end.
Shoring walls in place once the ridge is leveled.
Detail photo of a removed transom stop...the original ceiling color (pale yellow patch at edge) was found beneath a layer of warm white paint.
Roof is now mostly level.
Window wall outward bow is gone.
Three layers of shingles atop a remnant of the original roll roofing starter course. The successive layers of shingles were applied to an increasingly conoid surface...jacking level has caused them to buckle. The outer face of the northern half of the double 2x6 fascia beam (to the right) has been removed in preparation for applying a steel flitch plate.
Living room corner sans sagging eave.
Years of carpenter bee infestation at the sagging eave corner left the wood rather hollow and light...I hadn't known carpenter bees produced honey, it has the consistency of a glue stick.
Framing repairs at area of bee infestation.
Window wall opened for transom removal and mullion post replacement.
First new mullion post; note mortising for transom bar at each opening, as opposed to original construction with continuous transom.
Portion of continuous transom bar to be removed. All cypress is being salvaged and reused where possible. Transom bar to be cut into pieces to fit between new mullion posts.
Good luck on your progress! Very exciting!
The roofing contractor was at the house to remove a portion of the living room roofing to allow the steel to be installed. They also removed all of the roofing to 24" back from all fascias around the house to allow prep work for the built-in gutters and to get a sense of the condition of the decking at the edges. Some interesting things were found:
As expected, the roof edge decking was rotted at a number of areas from 60+ years of ice damming. It was worst where the yew bushes where overgrown and laying on the roof when we bought the house....the water sat in the accumulated needles and worked in.
The original roll roofing was indeed still on the house, so was the Sweeton's 1970 layer of shingles, and the Clark's late '80's shingles, and lastly, the Clark's 2000 layer. The only thing that had been stripped off prior to a re-shingling was the original batten strips at the roll roof leading edges. Talk about a load on the 2x6 framing.
Wright's original roof spec was not followed: the roll roofing (36" wide rolls) was to be laid and lapped 18" with a 14" to 16" exposure at the battens....as-built, the roofer in 1951 cut the rolls down their length to make 18" wide strips that were lapped only the width of the batten strip. The batten strips were nailed to the roof only, no mastic beneath them. There is tar on the roll roofing to indicate that the tops of the battens were tarred to accept the next course of roll roofing. I had seen some tar bleed through on the under side of the roof sheathing which caused me to believe the roll roofing was hot mopped to the deck which is standard practice. It was not. The bleed I saw was from end joints of rolls or at battens only...except for the starter course of roll roofing which was mopped, the rolls were nailed directly to the sheathing, with no layer of roofing felt between the rolls and the sheathing.
Needless to say, the roll roofing came off easily....good for us and the rest of our project, but the original installation was bad for the Sweetons and the house. I have found nothing regarding this issue in the construction correspondence other than reports of sporadic leaks throughout the house. I hope the Sweetons at least benefited from a material cost savings in 1951 (only half the specified amount of roll roofing was applied), and were not cheated, but the house's eventual non-flashing related leaking was likely a result of this deviation. As soon as the battens shrunk or warped, wind driven rain or ice damming had little to stop it from reaching the tongue and groove decking seams. It would appear Wright's roofing detail was not at fault for the leaking.
The top 24" of roof sheathing was removed at the living room ridge to allow setting of the steel flitch plate.
The east board of the double 2x6 ridge from the fireplace to the north gable was cut and removed and the rafters on the east side of the ridge were cut back to accept the new steel flitch plate and sandwich board.
For some reason, Wright chose to place the structural mullions (which are on 48" centers) on the east side of the house 24" off grid from those on the west. This sets up a system in which the structural mullions at the windows are on a 4' slab unit line on one side of the house, and in the middle of a slab unit on the other. The mullions are each centered on a rafter, which are on 16" centers, thus the 8" offset found at the ridge is done to prevent a mullion being between rafters.
This is the same system we have used in the restored bedroom and the workshop with good results.
I commend you for grabbing the bull by the horns and making the extensive structural repairs. It makes a huge difference for longevity of the house.
Also the corner double cantilevers will also be somewhat fragile even when complete. I suggest installing temporary bracing at your beautiful cantilevers while roofing work is being done. I would also tell them where they can and cannot place their roofing material on the roof prior to putting it down. I would tell them where to place their ladders for roof access.
Ridge sheathing removed and top of north gable end CMU wall exposed. Small triangular solid blocks to be removed and open cells grouted for anchorage of new steel.
Same area from underside of roof.
What the Sweeton house would look like with a ridge skylight.
A 1" thick x 5" deep x 21' long flitch plate is to be inserted into the ridge from the gable end of the roof. A guide was made and mounted to a lift to assist....the temporary collar ties installed by the carpenter will hold the plate in place until it is bolted to the existing 2x6 ridge.
The lift and its target.
The eave at the master bedroom wing has deflected hardly at all in 60+ years. We found out why....
A steel flitch plate! Not shown on the original drawings. In the correspondence, mention was made by the Sweetons of some roof deflection, but no specific location was identified. Davy Davison wrote back saying, "Wes recommends inserting a steel flitch if the problem grows worse"...nothing further was noted in the correspondence. One must assume this was the result; one also wishes they didn't stop here.
Our new fascia flitch at the living room.
Now the 5" tubes are to be installed to cantilever from the NE living room pier to bolster the fascia flitch beam.
Tubes set and welded to the base plate anchored to the top of the CMU pier.
One of two steel channels bolted to the masonry above the fireplace to capture the south end of the new ridge flitch.
Ridge flitch beam bolting complete.
Rafter flitches welded to ridge flitch.
Tubes seen from underneath eave.
Bolted connection of rafter flitches to new mullion posts. Note protection wood strips mounted on mullions to prevent chips and gouges.
Temporary shoring removed and eave holding level. Steel. The little blue pill for the sagging Usonian roof.