Thursday, July 23, 2009

Good Progress...Weather Permitting

Chuck Pukanecz gave us the following update from yesterday's construction meeting:

"Truss installation above the nave remains on schedule, with only the final 10-foot section of hips descending to the chancel connection remaining. That area was fully opened up yesterday, and work is proceeding to build that section of truss-work in place.

Meanwhile, the EPDM rubber roofing material is about 75% installed and the new gutters are being quickly installed, making way for the detail work to begin on flashing and fascia board. Next will come painting, with the scaffolding still scheduled to be removed August 17.

Workers are also currently pealing the roofing layers off the Chancel, which is not being rebuilt, but will get a new, smooth layer of sheathing and new gutters and EPDM roofing.

All the scheduling remains weather-dependent. Workers lost Tuesday to rain, and will be working this Saturday to make up the time.

During our semi-weekly Construction Progress Meeting yesterday, construction manager John Farrell of J.S. Cornell & Sons informed the project team that timing is getting very tight. 'Right now,' he said, 'it’s up to the weather. We have no float. We’re hard up against it.'

After the meeting yesterday, the team headed back up to the roof to examine the one active chimney that vents from the boiler room. Like the ones that were removed, it’s an old masonry chimney showing lots of wear. After looking at the masonry budget for the project, we decided while the scaffolding is up to shore up that chimney. It will be wrapped in metal lathe and get a ¾-inch coat of new stucco, extending its active life for decades."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Signage

If you haven't already seen them in person check out these pictures of the new signage for our construction project.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Terrific Progress and Some Spectacular Photographs

These pictures were taken in the nave today of the sunlight streaming through the currently empty light fixtures in the ceiling. Have no fear though. It's only a temporary situation because the new roof surface continues to be laid down even as this is being typed! Go to the Construction Photo Album to see the rest of Chuck's amazing pictures.
Chuck reported the following today:

"The last of the new pre-fabricated trusses were being installed today, nearly completing the main structural portion of this roof job. On Monday, weather permitting, carpenters will open up the final portion of the roof and build the hips that descend down to meet the chancel roof.

As the carpenters have been progressing this week, roofers were right behind them, installing the permanent EPDM rubber roofing surface.On Thursday, masons were also on site, rebuilding the top foot and a half of the walls in the very front of the church from the inside, shoring them up to hold new composite wood beams.

While the first old trusses to be exposed required major re-construction at the outside heel joint, the remaining trusses were in fine shape and required no additional work to secure the steel tie-rods that now span the 65-foot distance along the lower chord of each old truss to relieve the weight. That should save us about $15,000 of the total $40,000 budgeted for those repairs.

Meanwhile, Sexton Victor Psoras has removed one of the scrolls from the capital atop the columns in the front of the church. One of the scrolls fell to its destruction years ago. The removed scroll will be used to cast a mold to make several new scrolls. We are currently pricing cast iron, the material the originals were made of, and also a lighter and more durable fiberglass-epoxy material."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Probably The Coolest Roof Picture Taken To Date

This amazing photo, taken by Chuck Pukanecz yesterday shows the opening up of the 5th bay in preparation for the insertion of the new trusses that go into that section. If you look closely you can see the timbers of the ceiling inside the church shooting out in a sunburst pattern.
Of course the big news right now is that the permanent roofing has already been laid on the first 4 bays of the roof from the 13th street side back. That means that work is progressing on schedule.
Thanks to God for the safety of all the workers and crew and for the good weather that they are having.
For more of Chuck's terrific photojournalism of this project check out the Construction Photo Album link to the right.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Construction Update Meeting

The new trusses (light in color) along side the old trusses in the attic

Chuck Pukanecz wrote the following today,

"There’s been so much talk of trusses and structural issues that it was almost easy to forget that we’re actually getting a new durable permanent roof surface over the nave. But on Friday, roofers are expected to cover half of the roof, from the 13th Street side back, with the permanent new EPDM rubber roofing.

A team of seven Carpenters and laborers have been moving forward swiftly and have completed three sections of the roof, installing new, built-up wall plates and installing the new light-weight wood trusses that will bear the load of the roof. A fourth section should be done by Friday to allow for the roofing material to be installed. That’s half of the main job done. And in just 16 days, workers are expected to have the rest of the trusses and sheathing installed and have the crane taken away.

“Schedule-wise,” said construction manager John Farrell of JS Cornell & Sons, “I feel good about it.”

Today, during the every-other-week construction progress meeting with the project team, we started finalizing details for an OSHA-approved harness system to protect workers (namely Sexton Victor Psoras) who have to ascend the roof for maintenance like clearing gutters of leaves and debris.

The team also got a glimpse of a template for the new gutter position and size, and took a climb up to the roof to consider gutters and the possible removal of a third, old, defunct chimney.

We also began reviewing an RFP for a painter contractor so the Vestry can consider the value of having exterior painting done this summer while the scaffolding is still in place.

Some good news helping to move things along is that it appears the worst surprises of the existing, 170-year-old trusses have been uncovered. The first several that were viewed from above had some hidden, and severe deterioration at the very outside joint that was impossible to fully examine until the roof surface was removed. Those had to be formed out and reinforced with fiberglass rods and an epoxy fill so they could hold the new steel plates and tie rods that are being installed along the entire 65-foot span of the lower chord to relieve the load on the old wood.

Finally, after a good bit of designing, redesigning and weighing of options, it’s been decided that the valley where the nave roof meets the chancel area furthest from the 13th Street side of the building will be rebuilt onsite. There was a last-minute consideration of using pre-fabricated trusses in that tricky area, just as have been used so effectively in the rest of the roof. But time constraints have the team favoring going back to the plan to build those trusses in place."

What In The Heck Is That Thing?

Glad that you asked! What Lou's holding is a plywood template for the profile of the edge of the roof. One of these will be attached to each of the trusses to guide the placement of the cornices, flashings and moldings. The square cutout space right below Lou's outstreatched arm is where the new gutter will go.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Roofing Terminology

Much of the terminology used by architects, contractors and engineers to describe roofs and their components is unique to their trade. Since so much of it appears in the updates on this blog it seems like a good time to provide some definitions so that everyone can understand.

Bottom Chord - A horizontal or inclined member that establishes the bottom member of a truss. ( The Top Chord would therefore establish the top member of the truss.

Dead Loads - Any permanent load such as the weight of roofing, flooring, sheathing, insulation, or ceiling material, as well as the weight of the truss itself. (

Fascia - The flat surface located at the outer end of a roof overhang or cantilever end. (

Heel­ - Point on a truss at which the top and bottom chords intersect. (

Masonry Walls - Wall comprised of brick, stone, cement, etc. (

Purlin - A horizontal member attached to and placed perpendicular to the truss top chord to support the roofing. (

Sheathing - Plywood, gypsum, wood fiber, expanded plastic or composition boards encasing walls, ceilings, floors and roofs of framed buildings. May be structural or non-structural, thermal-insulating or non-insulating, fire-resistant or combustible. (

Sill Plates - Horizontal member laid directly on a foundation on which the framework of a building or the roof of a building is erected. (

Structural Tie Rods - a rod or bar in a truss or other frame that transmits tensile stress (

Trusses – An engineered structural component assembled from wood members, metal connector plates and other mechanical fasteners. Designed to carry its own weight and superimposed design loads. The truss members form a semi-rigid structural framework and are assembled such that the members form triangles.. (

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Chuck Pukanecz gave us the following update today:

"Yesterday morning, workers removed the roofing material from the section between the second and third old trusses from the 13th Street side of the church and, by 2:30 p.m., had installed the new trusses in that section and had new sheathing on that section of roof. Working swiftly again today, they had pealed the roofing off the section between the fourth and fifth trusses and were installing the new trusses and expecting to have truss and sheathing work in that bay complete by the end of the day today. To keep even loads on the side walls, they are completing every other section of the roof, then back tracking to fill in the gaps.

The pace of this work has been fast, and surprisingly without any surprises. The next several days will find workers in the attic, tying together trusses, adding supports and building and installing the new sill plates atop the masonry walls to hold the next set of trusses. They will also be exposing the ends of more of the old trusses to see if they need to be rebuilt before the structural tie rods are added to them to ease the load on the bottom chord."

For all the pictures of the construction project check out the photo album on our website at: