Fiberglass roofing can be very expensive.
But when it’s made right, it can save you time, money, and energy.
In this episode of New York Mag, I talk with a roofer who knows a thing or two about the art of fiberglass building.
The man is the founder of New Jersey-based FIT Fiberglass, which designs and installs fiberglass roofs on more than 40,000 residential, commercial, and business buildings in New Jersey.
In the next two weeks, I’ll be sharing with you how to find the perfect fiberglass flooring for your home.
First, let’s talk about how fiberglass floors can save money.
But first, how to build your own fiberglass walls.
Here are the three steps to getting a great roof.
Choose a roofing product to build on.
There are many choices for fiberglass construction, but a fiberglass board is probably the most common option.
There’s no need to go out and spend a ton of money on a board; there’s a whole industry of people who build fiberglass houses on them.
Choose your fiberglass sheeting.
Fits on almost any roofing substrate—think tile, corrugated plastic, etc. You can choose the thickness of the fiberglass that fits on your roof.
Choose the roofing system you’ll be using.
Fiberglass is a versatile product, so you might want to consider options that can be applied to different roofing systems.
But before you get started, consider the fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) that you’ll use to build a new roof.
FFRP is a non-reactive product that is made of fiber-coated polyethylene (PCPE).
The most popular roofing material in the U.S., it’s used for exterior walls, including windows, and it’s also used for insulation.
The panels are heated to a temperature of about 800 degrees Fahrenheit, so the panels will last for decades.
FRP panels are also the most rigid material that’s available to build fiber-fiberglass roofings.
Select a fiber-glass panel that will hold up to a 1,000-pound load.
I usually use FRP, but you can also use other materials, like aluminum or carbon fiber.
Choose one that will support a load up to 1,500 pounds.
If you’re building a new home, I recommend that you use a large, flat sheet, because the panels don’t have to be completely flat to protect the house.
Cut the fabric for your fiber-covered roof.
Fiber-reins are generally made of 100% cotton, but there are also many other fabrics that can withstand the weight of fiber.
You’ll want to cut a sheet of fiberboard that will be the same thickness as the fiber you’re using.
Cut about 1.5 inches wide, 2.5 by 2.0 inches deep, and 0.5 inch thick.
Use a ruler or a large cutting mat to measure the width of the fabric.
This is your template.
Cut a template to fit the fabric of your new roofing.
If your template doesn’t have a grid or is cut out in an irregular shape, it’s a good idea to cut out your template at a 1/2-inch grid.
That way, you’ll have a clear cut of where to cut your fabric.
When cutting the template, make sure to cut across the fabric so you don’t cut through the corners of your fiberboard.
If the fabric doesn’t seem to fit, cut it out at an angle, which will allow the fabric to be more easily adjusted.
Cut your fabric into 3/8-inch strips.
For the top half of your sheet, cut a 2-inch strip at an 11-inch angle.
For a 2×4-foot roof, cut out two strips that are 1.75 inches wide by 2 inches deep.
Cut fabric strips that will fit your template to 1/4-inch-thick boards.
For this project, I cut two 3/4×3-inch pieces of fabric that were 1.125 inches wide and 1.25 inches deep (this will make a 3×3 inch board).
Then, cut strips that were 4-inches wide by 3-inches deep, 1.375 inches wide at the corners, and 2 inches wide along the sides.
The thickness of each strip should be approximately 1/8 inch or 1/16 inch.
You want your panels to be strong enough to withstand the load you’re applying.
For your 2×4-feet roof, you can make a template that will work on 1×3, 1×4, and 1×6-foot boards.
You will need to make the template exactly like the one on your template so that it will fit the panel you’ll want for your 3×6 foot roof