Last year, my company was hired to frame a large addition on a ranch. Most of the building was to remain, but at one end we had to demolish the roof and walls without damaging the floor system below. Tearing down the roof in place would have been slow and dangerous, so instead we brought in a crane to lift it off in sections.
In preparation, we gutted the interior, cut the trusses free from the walls, and broke the gable roof into three sections by slicing through the sheathing and truss braces.
Next, we cut four holes through each section of roof and tacked LVLs to the bottom of the trusses. When the crane arrived, we dropped cable through the holes in the first section of roof, wrapped them around the LVLs, and used shackles to connect them to the lifting straps.
After the crane operator lifted that section and placed it on the ground about 50 feet away, we repeated the same steps with the other two sections.
Since the crane was there anyway, we also used it to lift some of the exterior walls.
The $900 it cost to bring in the big machine was well worth it: Dismantling the roof on the ground turned out to be safe and quick.
This article was originally published on October 1, 2005.