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Preparing for the K-Span Roof

We’ve very excited about the K-Span steel arch roof that will be covering our container house. But of course, we need something in place to which the steel roof can attach to the containers. Kevin has been busy preparing for the roof installation.

If you want to find out more about the roofing system we will be installing, here is our original post on the system we have chosen.

There were a few things that Kevin had to weld together and install on the construction:

  • C-Channel on the exterior walls on the North and South side of the building
  • Raised C-Channel on the interior of the North and South side of the building
  • Steel arches (the wall plate) that will follow the curve of the roof on the East and West side of the building

First of all though, we needed all the steel.

A Delivery from Steel And Pipe

There was obviously only one company from which we wanted to get our steel. Steel and Pipes for Africa have worked closely with Small Scale Engineering for years now. Therefore, Kevin called them up and ordered several tonnes of steel. Delivery was made shortly thereafter.

Steel delivery as required in order to prepare for the roof installation
Steel and Pipes for Africa arrive on site with all our steel

Kevin helped to offload while I stood by taking photos and doing a quick double check of our order.

Offloading the steel required in order to prepare for the steel roof K-Span
Kevin and the Steel & Pipe team offload the truck

Preparing for the K-Span Roof: Interior and Exterior C-Channels

The exterior C-channels were the easier section to weld into place. Kevin and Louis clamped the channel against the side of the container. After that, they went along the length and welded it where necessary. Kevin welded the channels with the open side facing outwards. This should allow the C-channel to flex a bit when the K-Span steel arch roof is bolted on. You might also note in the below photo that the C-channels have been pre-galvanized in order to reduce rust. We touched up the welding seams with red oxide paint.

c-channel welded onto side of shipping container
C-channel in place on the side of the shipping container

The interior C-channels were a bit more complicated because they had to be raised above the height of the container itself in order to meet the roof. Kevin welded several upright posts in place. On the lower container, Kevin, Louis and myself stood on the roof and helped Kevin raise the C-channel into place. We held it still while Kevin welded it to the uprights. I was not able to help with the double-storey (North) side as I was not on site that day.

C-channel welded into place on the uprights, ready for the roof installation!

Preparing For the Roof – The Steel Arch

After some careful calculations, Kevin took three lengths of rectangular tubing. At regular intervals, he cut through the steel, leaving the last side intact. He then bent the tube in against itself and welded the seam. He joined the three smaller arches and made one very long arch that is at the same radius that the roof will be.

Steel arch lying on the ground after painting with red oxide paint.

Next up, was to weld the arches on the East and West side in place. Again, Kevin used upright steel posts to further strengthen the curved wall plate and hold it in place. The roof plates thesmelves won’t be relying on the arch for stability, but we will use this frame and the arched wall plate to fix the cladding to make a wall.

Steel arch wall plate in place, one misty morning

Now we are (im)patiently awaiting the roof installation. Black Block Industries and Horizon Roofing have been hard at work milling the roof plates, but that’s a story for another time…

Before we go, we have two more photos of interest to show you.

Bonus Photos

The view from up here is pretty good!

A friend took an aerial photo of the project for us! How awesome is this? Can you see the steel arch wall plate over the white (East) container? Can you spot the Nissan we recently refurbished?

3 thoughts on “Preparing for the K-Span Roof

  1. This is an important step, because the roof is an important part of your home, as we all know. In fact, Noddy advocated putting the roof on first when building a house – “Then if it rains we shan’t get wet”. But in order for the roof to perform its function effectively, it must have a reliable base to sit on. And that is why this an important step.

    1. I am glad you understand the importance of this step. I must say, I have thought about Noddy’s advice (and therefore you) several times since we started this project! 😀

  2. Also: amazing aerial photo!

What do you think? Let us know!