| Handbook for building homes of earth |
Unless the roof of the house is to be made of heavy material, such as earth, you can build the roof right after the foundation has been completed.
If the roof is built before the walls, it needs to be supported by temporary or permanent studding of heavy upright timbers or, if available, any one of several kinds of metal uprights.
There are several practical lightweight roofing materials. Among them are corrugated asbestos sheeting, corrugated metal sheets, lightweight tile or thatch. If any of these are to be used, there are a number of advantages to building the roof right after the foundation has been completed.
Here is why a roof in place can be of great advantage to the builder before the walls are built:
1. The shelter makes a good curing space for building blocks or bricks.
2. It provides desirable shade for curing earth walls.
3. It makes a good work area and provides shade for the builders, especially in warmer climates.
4. Tools and materials can be kept under the roof to protect them from weather damage.
5. It can even provide temporary living space.
This method has the following disadvantages:
1. It is harder to do than building the roof after the walls are completed.
2. Extra material is needed for the roof supports.
In many cases, these supports can be left permanently in place. If they are not left standing after the walls are finished, of course, these timbers can be used again for something else.
Figure 32 shows the roof of a Korean house in place before the walls were constructed.
Full details on how to build roofs are covered in Chapter 12.