Just for the record I’m good at math. I’m not afraid to calculate anything; ranging from the rate of return on your “investment” in a chromed out Harley to the odds you’ll get struck by lightning while having sex with a supermodel. (Hint: still higher than the ROI on a Harley.) Also, and I say this to prove I’m fearless (or stupid), I do my own taxes.
However, I loathe “carpentry” math. It’s a bullshit combination of medieval superstition, corporate malfeasance, and dipshit tradition. The units associated with construction materials are so gruesome that my brain takes flight and I start whirling around in circles until I fall down. (Try that in the plumbing isle and see if you can find a “sales associate” to help you find the right roll of aluminum flashing.)
The worst part is that everything, and I mean everything, is a fractional size that is almost but not quite something that makes sense. Why must they do that to me?
I hate the fact that a 2″ x 4″ stud is really 1 1/2 ” by 3 1/2″. It’s like saying the Easter Bunny is really a marsupial from Jupiter. Further, since everyone accepts that explanation I should just shut up and eat my damn candy. Really? I say no!
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a cosmic injustice involved in 3/8″ nominal plywood that clocks in at 11/32″. I implore the universe to make 3/8″ stuff 3/8″ thick. I’ll pay extra just to avoid getting emotionally hosed trying to evaluating an obscure fractional series while standing in the lumber isle.
The 1/32″ of wood the lumber companies squeeze is causing me to hate my fellow man and that’s too steep a price for society to pay! For that matter, I’d every time I buy a stud that’s not 2″ x 4″ I just know I’m participating on the death of something holy. Some day I’m going to buy a goddamn Woodmizer and make my own dimension lumber. A man needs to take a stand!
Now lets talk about shingles. Shingles are, in my opinion, proof that humans are just monkeys with cell phones. Asphalt shingles are essentially a sheet of felt, slimed with tar, and sprinkled with gravel. That’s the pinnacle of our monkey brained innovation? These slabs of pretend asphalt road are stacked on the house in an interlocking weave of suck. Then, because God hates us, they degrade and must be replaced.
Each successive generation of monkeys has to replace the roof. This year, I drew the short straw. Someone give me a banana.
It’s backbreaking labor to remove the old crap someone nailed up during the Carter Administration. Ibuprofen? Check!
Once there’s a mountain of shingles leaking nails on the lawn you’ve unearthed the tip of the iceberg. Now you can see how poorly the old roof was functioning. Not surprisingly I wound up with an axillary home improvement project involving plywood and angles.
Some things are better left unknown.
All this to nail up what seems like a comically crude roofing design for the sole purpose of not getting wet?
(Spare me the talk of metal roofs. I couldn’t afford that shit if I sold a kidney and smuggled cocaine in the empty cavity. For me it was a choice of architectural shingles or letting my house rot and selling it as compost.)
The rest of the story follows in part II.