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close this book Handbook for building homes of earth
View the document Table of contents
View the document Foreword
View the document Chapter 1: Introduction - Types of earth houses
View the document Chapter 2: Soils - And what can be done with them
View the document Chapter 3: Stabilization of soils
View the document Chapter 4: Where to build
View the document Chapter 5: Foundations
View the document Chapter 6: Lightweight roofs
View the document Chapter 7: Preparing the soil
View the document Chapter 8: Making adobe blocks
View the document Chapter 9: Making pressed earth blocks
View the document Chapter 10: Making walls with earth blocks
View the document Chapter 11: Making rammed earth walls
View the document Chapter 12: Roofs for earth houses
View the document Chapter 13: Floors
View the document Chapter 14: Surface coatings
View the document Suggested references
Open this folder and view contents Appendix

Chapter 6: Lightweight roofs

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.