Friday, September 09, 2011


As I sit here right now, I'm nervous, a bit shaky, and bathed in sweat. I decided that "today is the day" that I install the bathroom vent in the roof. I'm currently taking a short break.

A bit of background: I'm terrified of heights/falling, but since the portion of roof in question is only about a 6 foot drop to the garage roof, it's not such a big deal, but it still involves climbing ladders, and working on a roof with about a 45 degree pitch. The job itself is actually pretty simple, though. Drill a hole, fit a vent/pipe, then fit and install the cap. I could hire someone else to do this, but I'm too poor/cheap to do this, and I feel that if *I* do it, I know it will be done properly. Having just been up on the roof, I can see that some of the other vents/plumbing stacks were done a bit sloppily. I don't know if this is from the roofers who redid the roof in 2001, or if this was done badly in the first place (when the plumbing stack was switched to ABS.

So far, I'm about halfway there. I have all my ladders set up, and I had to install a temporary 2x4 ledge near the roof edge so that I can get on and off the ladder without falling (this is way trickier than it sounds). I made this at the last minute with just a 2x4, maybe 3 feet long, and 3 metal strips, screwed to the back. These strips are not the strongest, and are NOT made to be load bearing, but they're all I had on hand. They are the kind used to hold ducts in place. But I used three, and I'm being careful not to put too much weight on it. The other ends of each strip are held with a roofing nail *under* a shingle (so that the hole won't cause a leak later).

I'm taking a break after finishing the most difficult part of the job, which is to drill/cut the hole. I had intended to use a 4" hole saw, but the plywood really killed the battery on my drill, and I could see that it was going to take forever, so I switched to using my crappy jigsaw instead. I only needed to drill 2 pilot holes, then cut the remaining. At least with the hole saw, I had an accurate line that I could follow, but remember that getting the tools up there is quite tricky.

For the most part, I'm holding my essentials in a very large pocketed tool belt, but things like the saw (because of the incline) just slide down the roof. This is where that temporary ledge comes in handy.

Photos soon, of course.

If all goes well, my length of aluminum duct (to pass through the roof) will fit just snugly, I can screw it in, and then it'll just be a matter of trimming shingles, fitting the vent (which will also just want to constantly slide down the roof), nail, cement, etc. The rest of the connections can be done inside.

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