Dollhouse Blogs

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Roof and Attic Floor: part 1

Hello everyone,
I hope you are all doing well!
Monday was Thanksgiving Day in Canada, and I managed to take Tuesday and Wednesday off. Naturally, I spent all my free time on Dewell Manor. I had hoped to finish the whole roof before going back to work, but the hardware store was rather busy so the mdf panels won't be ready before Friday. ..but I did get the structure done:
Including the Loggia, the house measures 37 inches deep, 103 inches wide, and 50 inches high.

I made the roof in 3 section seperate from the 1st and second floor structures so that I can take the house apart if  I ever have to move it. The subfloor is 1/2 inch mdf, the roof panels will be 1/4 inch mdf, and the frame will be 1 1/2 x 3/4 inch lumber.

The first step for the roof was figuring out the angles I wanted for the gables. I wanted the rooms in the attic to be at least 8 inches high. Since I don't want the rooms to be too small, I figured for every 6 horizontal inches, I'd go up 8 inches....hummm...maybe this drawing will help
The drawing above is the gable over the Kitchen/ Dressing room section of the house which is about 21 inches wide. I used the "8 for 6" rule for each gable, this way they will all have the same angle.
Next, I cut out all the triangles in cardboard and had a test run to see if I liked the proportion of the roof with the rest of the house:
I was happy with the design so I took the lumber I purchased for the roof structure and drew it onto the cardboard triangle. This is how I created the pattern for each piece of the 13 triangle supports that needed to be cut.
I then proceeded to cut all the pieces I need to frame the roof. When they were ready, I just glued them onto the 1/2 inch mdf subfloor with carpenters glue and held everything in place with masking tape
When the glue was dry, I added cross beams,again with carpenters glue. This time I used parcel tape and clamps to hold the beams in place while they dry.

I then took out a measuring tape and figured out the dimensions of each of the mdf panels. I made a cutting plan and went to my hardware store to have everything cut. In total there are 16 panels to be cut in 2 48 x 96 inch sheets of mdf. Unfortunately I'll have to wait till Friday to pick them up.

The last step is to insert screws into each joint. The glue should be enough, but since some of the frame pieces weren't 100% flat on the mdf subfloor, I decided the screws would make sure nothing falls apart later on.
For the first time I can realy see my vision coming to life. I can't wait to get the panels on... however I'm scared tot hink how many shingles I'm going to have to cut and paint to cover the entire me!

I hope everyone has a happy Thursday and Friday, and I will definetely try to have the roof done by Sunday.
I wish you all the best and I thank you for taking the time to follow my progress... I really appreciate all your feedback and encouragement.


  1. WOW! It is looking Fantastic! I can appreciate the size of this house! That is part of what makes your Manor so elegant and true to scale.... you did not hesitate to make it BIG!

  2. Congratulations!!! It is looking soooo wonderful. I am so glad you gave us the measurements. I have to get out my measuring tape now so I can truly appreciate the size of your beautiful house.

  3. Wow it is HUGE! I shall look orward to Sunday, I am veryvery curious abot it. Have a nice day, Rosanna

  4. Good grief it is BIG! But looking rather wonderful. Now I understand where that back hallway is, the one you were working on in the previous post. I quite like the fact that you can only see it through the bedroom doors (but I already said that I believe).
    I really like the way your roof is looking, all those different hights make it very attractive. But oh! those shingles! I don't envy you. I have been shaping roof tiles for my roof for a while now, it seems endless! And my roof is half the size of yours...

  5. ¡Hola Giac! Has conseguido una estructura muy sólida, se ve que esta casa durará por muchos años!! Se ve enorme!! El techo así, con tantas y diferentes alturas, le da mucho movimiento a la casa, por lo que le confiere un aspecto muy realista. Estaré pendiente del resultado final. Mucha suerte y paciencia con las tejas!! Un abrazo enorme!!

  6. I wish I'd read this post when I was making my own roof. You make it look so easy. Good luck with the shingles O.o

    Looking fabulous!

  7. Wow! The roof structure is grand!

  8. Votre travail ne cesse jamais de me surprendre, Giac! Vous êtes simplement magnifique! Félicitations!

  9. I look the site of Thornwood Casstle. Ohohoh...... what's thàt unbelieveble beautiful.
    I feel so much respect for you to constructed this.
    You have painted the wood inside or is this original wood?


  10. The house is looking GREAT!

    It is certainly large and with all that mdf, it will be heavy. I hope you don't have to move it too often!

    Good luck with the shingles ... and your sanity!


  11. It is certainly a serious roof and the sizes were useful to imagine the size of it now. I'm looking forward to seeing it completed at the weekend but don't envy you the task of tiling it!

  12. I haven't visited the Thornwood Castle yet, still in the plan. We live 4 hours from it. Nice progress on the building it. Can't wait to see when it is completed.

  13. Hello , Giac , là on peut avoir une belle vue d'ensemble de ta gigantesque demeure !
    Bon courage pour les tuiles du toit !

  14. Hello :) Your house is looking fantastic. I love watching the progress of this wonderful house you are doing such an amazing job on it.
    Hugs Maria

  15. Wow Giac! This house is really big! I really like the structure of the roof, and your explanations are very useful and interesting, especially to use the card to get an overview of the roof finished, a very useful trick! Now I'm curious to see it finished!
    Good job,

  16. Oklahoma Hello Giac - The roof supports look great! Are you going to do some sort of 'slate' looking shingles? I am curious to know how you are going to roof handle connections where your house sections come apart? I have sketches for a house I want to start and am contemplating these same issues. Keep up the good work

  17. Giac, are you sure you're building a DOLLhouse and not planning on moving in there, yourself? It's HUGE! And over-the-top fabulous!

    The roof-line is beautiful and rambling, and perfectly Victorian. You are right about the shingling being a daunting task...good luck with that!

    Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!

  18. Me gusta el ático, el trabajo que está realizando es muy bonito y laborioso. Le mando todo mi ánimo en la realización de las tejas, el esfuerzo va a merecer la pena. Un saludo, Eva

  19. It is wonderful to be able to follow your progress. I hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving. Cheers, Jean from B.C.

  20. Hi Giac,
    With the beginning of the roof it really turns into a great Manor. Keep up the good work!

  21. I forgot: Nice new pic on your profile too :o)

  22. Hello everyone.
    I can't thank you enough for your great comments. Your encouragement and kind words makes me want to do even better work. I thank each and everyone of you for taking the time to write to me.
    John, I'll be honest, I had no intention of building a house this big in the beginning. But I figured I'd rather have one big house with every room I wanted to create rather then several smaller ones.
    Roseanna, I'm glad you approve of my new profile picture ;)
    Troy, you guessed it, I want the roof to be dark slate. I am going to try creating the tiles with egg cartons...I've been collecting them for a year and a half. I have an idea for the technique, but I won't talk about it until I've tried it out first.
    In regards to the roof section, there are 3. In the first picture, you see 4 gables. The larger ones on each end are 2 sections. The higher part of the roof in the middle is the third. The middle section will open upwards so the 2 smaller gables will be attached to the opening section. I'll try to make this clear in the part II post.
    Happy weekend everyone. I'll try to post by Sunday, but they still haven't called me to say the panels are ready!
    Best wishes to all,

  23. Hello Heleni, I apologize for forgetting to answer your question. All the wood inside the house is painted. Real walnut and Mahogany were too expensive because I need so much of it.
    Happy weekend,

  24. Wow - this is truly a mansion! Awesome work!