Tag Archives: roof

Before you knock down a wall

[caption id="attachment_695" align="alignleft" width="360"]Abattre Mur Construction ISTOCKPHOTO renovation iStockphoto[/caption]

Many of us dream of expanding a room the easy way: by knocking down a wall. It’s not a bad idea, but it does require a careful examination of the building structure.

A loadbearing wall is an outside wall that supports a building’s roof structure—the gable wall for example—and the floor structure. When the wall is part of the frame, it’s called a loadbearing wall.

Loadbearing walls are built solidly with resistant materials. Their static function forces them to bear weight at all times.

Used only to separate rooms, interior walls are generally called partitions. For obvious reasons, they’re built lighter than loadbearing walls.[……]

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Under Sibiu’s watchful eyes

It’s often said that the walls have ears. In Sibiu, Romania, the roofs have eyes. The effect is so striking that a paranoid person could panic while strolling the medieval city streets. ‘Why are the roofs watching me?!’ they’d think.

[caption id="attachment_527" align="aligncenter" width="427"]inusite_juin_2013 iStockphoto[/caption]

Look closely at the photo. Do you see that the roof is sleepy? Its eyelids are heavy; they’re going to close any minute now. Too much bad weather perhaps? Centuries of heavy rain, beating sun, freezing and thawing—it’s a lot for a roof to handle. And that’s not counting the weight of hundreds of years of history.[……]

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Imagine that on your roof!

[caption id="attachment_354" align="alignright" width="389" caption="Source: iStockphoto LP"][/caption]

No, not a Trabant, the odd East German car affectionately dubbed the Trabi, but an enormous stork nest!

In Europe, three species of storks prefer to make nests on rooftops rather than in trees according to Wikipedia.

In the GeoGuide de la Croatie, you discover that there’s even a European stork capital in the Lonjsko Polje National Park, in the small village of Cigoc. How many years do you think a stork nest can remain attached to a roof? 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, perhaps 100 years?

If you guessed 50, you’re right. That’s half a century!

And how much does a nest weigh on average? 10, 50, 100, 500, 700 or 1000 kilograms?

700! That’s 1,543 pounds!

Imagine that on your roof! The structure of the house better be solid if you don’t want to have storks landing in your living room like Santa Claus.[……]

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