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Disassembly and construction are two drawn out processes. You are not likely to complete your project before the next rain, and in my case not before the next rainy season. I tore the roof from 350 square feet of finished space, and rain proved quite a problem. I solved it with the application of five huge blue tarps. Fortunately, tarps are not exorbitantly expensive and are easy to use. Every night, after a long day of pulling nails and prying boards and reciprocating Mr. Makita, I constructed a tent-like structure over the day's labor.

I have found that you can use roofing nails to secure the tarps to 2X4s. This will do an admirable job of keeping out the dewy dampness of evening. Unfortunately, tarps have two disagreeable qualities. First, they sag under the weight of rain water, which means they require constant attention during a rain storm, and secondly, they make a terrific sail. On a few stormy nights I felt like Thor Hyerdahl crossing the ocean on his little sail boat, the Kon-Tiki. I constantly battled the elements, bailing rain water one moment and pounding a few more nails into a tarp the next.

But the blue tarps have their charm. On a cool fall evening when a light breeze is blowing up the street, swishing lightly through the urban forest, you can hear the tarps' light flutter. It takes you back to the days when you were a kid and your father took you camping. You lay on a cot and look up to the dim shadow of a 2X4 in the light of a street lamp. There is the croak of an occasional old lady. A car door slams. Just as when you were a kid, you curl up in your sleeping bag and pray that the weatherman was wrong, and that the rain doesn't come.

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Tools of the Trade
The Dump
The Blue Tarp
Dirty Work

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About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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