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Put a Rounded Roof on a Square House

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The roof on this cement block house was made of wood and corrugated iron.  The wood rotted out and I replaced it all with a domed cement roof.  

The roof is intended to be used as sort of a mini-park area, so I made a stairway to get up onto it, and a rebar trellis over it to provide shade for people and to help keep the house cooler.  

The roof is made of what I call "nylon-cement", a combination of nylon fishnet and cement; in this case over iron rebar.   It is similar to ferro-cement construction, except that one layer of nylon fishnet is substituted for the standard three layers of chicken wire.

Here you will see the steps I went through in doing this remodeling project. 

 
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Step 1: The Original House

The original house included two cement block buildings, the house and the "casilla" (shed).  The space between them is angular. 

The shed had a cement slab roof that was poorly made.  The rebar was set too low in the cement.  Rust had caused expansion of the rebar and destruction of the interior side of the cement slab. 

The house had a wood and corrugated iron roof.  "Polillas", kind of like microscopic termites, had eaten up the wood.  Booth roofs needed replacing. 

I decided to make a roof that would connect both structures, bridging over the space between them.
The rooftop could be used as a little park area once it had a trellis for shade over it.  The view from the roof is very nice. 

tbaltz10 months ago
This is truly amazing work!! Great job can't wait for coloring concrete
danzo3211 year ago
Amazing. Zipper stairs make so much sense but never seen them before. Aren't they always pulling abandoned/lost nylon nets from the sea, where they are a menace to sea life? You have a good re-use for them.
Thinkenstein (author)  danzo3211 year ago
Somebody should organize the recycling of all that material. When there is demand for it, then maybe it won't all go to waste. Nylon-cement is a great way to use it.
widget20071 year ago
I am green with envy, how gorgeous have you made your part of the planet. I would LOVE to have you as a neighbor for all the vicarious thrills I'd have watching you create (you might even let me help?), I admire you and your work GREATLY! You are a classic Reassurance man.
auto correct turned Renaissance into 'reassurance' ah how more perfect the world would be without autocorrect... Thinkenstein, you are a real Renaissance man. Maybe you offer reassurance to friends too.
Thinkenstein (author)  widget20071 year ago
So, that was auto correct at work. I thought it was a humorous substitution. Either way, thanks.
Thinkenstein (author)  widget20071 year ago
Thanks, Widget.
Toga_Dan2 years ago
I've read about how, when pouring a dam, they must pour layer 5 before layer 4 is 100% cured. If they don't, it wont bond. How long do you wait between layers? Have you experienced 1 layer not bonding to layer below it?
Toga_Dan2 years ago
Pretty cool. Have you also considered mixing some sort of fiber into the concrete mix? I've seen mix available with short fiberglass fibers in it for strength. Maybe short nylon would be as good/ nearly as good.

I look forward to hearing about how well your work weathers over the years.
Thinkenstein (author)  Toga_Dan2 years ago
I have heard of such fiber additives, but have never used them.

It's all holding up pretty well thus far. The unpainted iron rebar in my earlier work is probably the most problematic element, as far as longevity goes.
nianiania2 years ago
I am all agog! Feel like crossing the pond, finding your wiggly-smooth houses with resident friendly path-snakes and coming for a cuppa whilst I paint you (onto canvas) not onto your skin. In the UK it's rainy but you said, cement isn't affected by water... really??? (dashes out into garden , paces all over it, cackling madly...)
Thinkenstein (author)  nianiania2 years ago
Visitors are always welcome, especially creative ones who know how to cackle!
Well thanking you! I am so tired of corners. Not enough to stop me cackling though...
rredmon3 years ago
wow...I had seen your zipper stairs ible...and I thought that it was pretty cool...but the scope of this project is amazing. I want to see the finished product.
Thinkenstein (author)  rredmon3 years ago
If you ever come to Puerto Rico you are welcome to visit.
Thanks...I might do that one day :)
Evilink4 years ago
Is it safe to assume this structure is to code in Puerto Rico? I only wonder because I haven't seen anything quite like it, facinating...and I'd like to try this out in Canada for my own house!! I know codes will be different, but all the same, perhaps there's an alternative I can use here.
Thinkenstein (author)  Evilink4 years ago
Codes are a little lax this far out in the woods. Ferro-cement is accepted as a strong material, even for making ships. Design-wise, the dome is a very strong shape, and I consider the project to be a success.
Ghost Wolf4 years ago
Crazy look but very creative! 5 stars to you :)
dombeef4 years ago
You are am amazing person
mtngrown4 years ago
Love this! We're lookin' into this for our house. First saw the idea a few years ago from the ppl at flyingconcrete.com
klifurdyrid4 years ago
what country do you live in
Thinkenstein (author)  klifurdyrid4 years ago
Puerto Rico
I knew that design looked familar....My parents are from PR and I lived there as a kid a long time ago....do you have finhsed pictures of the house?
Thinkenstein (author)  bluenkight4 years ago
As far as I know, I am the only person in PR doing this kind of architecture.  Attached are a couple more photos.
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I meant the windows and the whole cement type house...I loved the homes in PR whan I was kid. The Tin Roof was the best for taking naps when it rained
Thinkenstein (author)  bluenkight4 years ago
Ah yes!  It has been many years since I last napped under a tin roof when it rained.   It seems like most people now have cement slab roofs.  They all seem to puddle water on top -- and they just don't sound as nice.
Barskor4 years ago
Just wonderful! I loved the twisted vine look on the windows too.

I like how you could fill in the top garden roof as a second story.

By sending out arches (With proper foundations) you can expand how ever you need. Very cool!
this is sustainable and design wise looks good like on extreme vacation homes. it goes to show what can be done with old archetecture. cement can also gain strength by adding special fibers. vanitian plaster interior reflects the light and is black mold proof 25 % of the houses in the USA have black mold issues this stuccor construction is the way to go now just and solar wind hybride energy system you would be best thing going
red-king4 years ago
 Pretty cool. 
Man, i gotta say i love your work, if i had the resources i would contribute to your termite mound city.
Thinkenstein (author)  corey_caffeine4 years ago
For now, just keep thinking about it.  Subscribe to me.  I guess that keeps us in contact.  More thoughts on the termite nest city idea will hopefully happen in the near future. 
lemonie4 years ago
You do some pretty cool stuff with cement, another nice one.

L
Thinkenstein (author)  lemonie4 years ago
Thanks Lemonie.   Glad you like it. 
Sort of thing I'd like to do, but not possible (yet)

L
Jayefuu lemonie4 years ago
Agreed! Be sure to post another photo after the plants cover the trellis.
=SMART=4 years ago
Wow that looks cool !
I love the steps :)

What country are you in ?
Thinkenstein (author)  =SMART=4 years ago
Puerto Rico.  Green all year.  I love it.