My least favorite part of house building? Easy call: the roof. While I enjoy the challenge of working complex layouts—such as skewed roof intersections at different pitches—typical trussed roofs present few intellectual challenges or aesthetic compensations. Given the risks involved with wrestling with heavy materials in high winds far above solid ground, I'd rather pass. Then it occurred to me that my crew and I could eliminate the danger and discomfort of framing and shingling a roof by doing everything on the ground. I was more than a little excited by the idea.With frigid weather fast approaching our area in...

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