Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Sunday, March 8, 2009


We have been working on the roof again this week. Actually, to be more precise, we are working on the ceiling. We are doing it first, then adding layers of insulation, and then we will pour the concrete roof and gutters.

The ceiling consists of a wooden ridge pole and arched, wooden rafters, onto which we will attach smooth tin. Abe and a friend have been cutting and bending the boards - soaking them in water and then bending them over the finished room's roof and adding weights. It is now really starting to take shape. For photos, click here.

Meanwhile, another friend and I have been stuccoing the domed ceiling that connects the rooms we're working on to the one we've finished. We had at one point planned to do both the roof and the ceiling this way, but doing overhead stucco (from underneath) in a pain, quite literally. For photos, click here.

We have been through several ideas for how to do the roof, and we still do not feel that we have found the answer. So many people focus on walls when considering building techniques. They are not an issue - walls are easy and fast, no matter how you do them. The money and difficulty lie in the roof. Concrete is super strong and durable, but has no thermal mass or insulation. Tin is super fast, but has no insulation and is not durable. There are many different ways of doing it, but we have yet to find the perfect blend of cost, speed, efficiency, durability and energy.

We will continue to work on it and try out new ideas. The entance way ceiling is going to be brick, so stay tuned for photos on that next week-end.

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