CATEGORY: PORT TOWNSEND HOUSE
The original back porch roof was hipped at the outside corner, so in order to extend it out and around the corner of the kitchen, I had to tear off the original roof back to the beginning of the hip. That took off so much of the roof that it was easier to tear off the whole roof and re-build it.
By that time a carpenter, Clif Crandell, had moved into the basement apartment. One day I was on the porch roof tearing off shingles when Clif happened to walk by that side of the house. I had not supported the roof because the porch was in a corner and I assumed the end roof joist was nailed to the side of the house. I thought it was safe because the joists were being held together by the heavy old 1 x 6 shingle batts, and the outside corner was supported in a make-shift way by the new porch framing. Clif insisted that I get off the roof, while he made a temporary supporting wall across the outside edge of the porch.
After I got the shingles torn off, there was flashing across the south end of the roof nailed to the main house wall. I pulled the nails that were holding it, and when I pulled the last nail the whole roof, with me on it, went “who-o-o ff” and settled onto the temporary support that Clif had constructed. The end rafter had not been nailed to the house after all. Clif saved my life! There was no porch floor under the roof at that time. It was open into the basement with only a plank across from the old porch steps to the kitchen floor. I would have fallen all the way through to the basement concrete slab floor.