The roof

What a challenge! The roof has really demanded us. All in all we invested three months into the planing and building of the roof. My friend Lukas was the architect in charge for the drawings in Switzerland and my former boss Walter from the carpentry Zürcher took care of the wood measurements and the statics of the roof. Thank you very much for your support! We decided to carry out this elaborate planning in Switzerland so that we would have a secure and stable roof construction. It should then be able to hold our planned solar system. The entire construction of the collar beam roof was therefore made in Switzerland according to Swiss standards!
The biggest challenge in the further procedure was the understanding of the construction plan for the local builders. I have sent the finished construction plan to Kenya with a certain amount of expectation, thinking that most of the work was done and that the construction work would now progress quickly. I was to be proved wrong and my expectations shattered like a glass on the floor. Harrison was to send me a picture report of the roof every day so we could monitor the steps closely. I was astonished, when I received the pictures after the first day and there was a completely different roof construction on the first room, than we had drawn on the plan. Full of desperation I stopped the construction works and tried to find a solution for the problem. Actually, I should have know better because the same things do happen here in Switzerland. Plans are implemented differently because they are interpreted in a different way and no one is explaining them precisely. After several phone calls and discussions, Harrison and I were finally able to to explain the construction plan to the site manager in an understandable way and he was now ready to build the roof exactly according to our plan.

After the construction workers had understand our plan, however, another problem showed up: According to the site manager the walls were not strong enough for that roof construction and we would have to install some wall reinforcements. We followed the advice and had two cement pillars built, which would then carry the additional load of the roof. One cement pillar we had already built, because it was needed in the corner room to hold the ridge. For the pillars we had to interrupt the construction works for two days.

All in all the builders needed fourteen days to finish the roof. You can follow the construction step by step in the gallery. Of course, the costs of such an elaborate construction is adding up. In the table below I have listed the total cost of the roof. We decided to invest so much money so that the stability of the roof with the solar system and so the security of the children is guaranteed at all times and that it will also last for several decades! For the builders it was a completely new construction and after finishing they found that they now want to build all roofs like this in future. They were as impressed with the final result as we were.

Construction works/MaterialCosts
– Ridge: Mahagony, 5x20cm 215ft
– Beams: Pinie 5x15cm 2850ft
– Roof lats: Pinie 5×7.5cm 1650ft
– Fisherboard: Pinie 20×2.5cm 390ft

CHF 818.-
CHF 1566.-
CHF 482.-
CHF 247.-
Roof sheets
– Mabati Covermaxx CX780 28G + 380 Roll top ridge

CHF 2’925.-
– Roofing nails 48kg
– 6″ wire nails
– 4″ wire nails
– 3″ wire nails
– Washers

CHF 101.-
CHF 127.-
CHF 61.-
CHF 58.-
CHF 68.-
Wood preservative 20ltrCHF 17.-
Paint brush 6pcsCHF 10.-
Gladiator termite protection 1ltrCHF 15.-
Hoop iron 1 rollCHF 55.-
White paint 4ltrCHF 10.-
Center pillar cemented in corner roomCHF 343.-
Labour 14 daysCHF 2’472.-
TotalCHF 9’375
Costs roof

We also have decided to use a different coverage than for the first roof. The Covermaxx sheets are made of an aluminium-zinc mixture, which keeps them rust-free. We increased the thickness to 28G so that we are also well prepared for rougher weather. The improved material was of course reflected in the price, as you can see in the table.

The final result of the roof has really made us happy! All the effort was absolutely worth it. We now have a roof made in Switzerland at our school! As next step the solar system will be installed. We will keep you updated on that!

Categories: English

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