The superintendence of the various details of wooden construction described in this chapter is ordinarily quite a simple matter, although the work should be carefully inspected every two or three days to see that the material is of the quality specified and that the work is being executed according to the full-size details. The superintendent should see that where lookout or furring blocks are required they are not spaced too far apart and are well nailed, and that the finish is properly secured. He should also see that the various members are put together so that the joints will not be exposed to the weather, and wherever a particu-larly tight joint is required, that the parts are painted with white lead, slightly thinned with linseed oil. It is better to use white lead and screws for all work exposed to the weather than glue. It is also important to see that the shingles or clapboards are thoroughly nailed. It is not uncommon for shingles to be blown from the roof for lack of proper nailing. It will also be well to measure the exposure of the shingles to see that it corresponds with the specifications.
Where gutters are formed for lining with tin, the superintendent should not forget to see that the bottom of the gutter has a sufficient fall and in the right direction. If the position of the conductors is not indicated on the drawings he should locate them before the gutters are formed. He should be sure that the kind of sheathing paper specified is put on the walls and roof, and properly lapped, and that a tight joint is made around all windows.
The portion of the outside work that will require the closest inspection is that of the metal work and flashing. Many builders and metal workers are so used to doing a certain grade of work that when anything better is specified they are apt to overlook it, if given a chance, and to go ahead in the usual way. As a general thing the cheapest tin, the lightest galvanized iron and the least of it that will possibly answer, is used where the contractors have their own way, so that the specifications should always provide for a particular brand of tin, one that is stamped on every sheet, and for a certain thickness (gauge number) of galvanized iron, and it is the duty of the superintendent to see that these are supplied. He should also be careful to see that the tin or iron is painted on the under side before putting in place, that the metal is of the width specified or shown by the drawings, particularly in the valleys, and that all joints are well soldered.
The flashing is a point that requires the closest scrutiny, as if this is poorly done there will be great danger of leaks, and a leaky roof will injure the architect's reputation and be a source of great annoyance. In some parts of the country the counter flashing around the chimneys, or where a roof joins a brick or stone wall, is often omitted, or, if done at all, is done with tin and in a very slovenly way. It is always safest and best to specify lead counter flashings, and that they shall be built in, as then there is little chance for a poor job. The flashings behind the chimney are also often left perfectly level, which causes the tin to rust and often to leak. Wide chimneys should always have a cricket behind them, and narrow ones should have the flashing pitched at least an inch to one side. Another common fault in flashing is that the tin shingles are not cut large enough, and hence. can only be turned up against the chimney or wall about 2 inches. For this reason it is best to specify the size of the tin shingles that are to be used. (See foot note, p. 197.)
When counter flashing is put in after the walls are built, the superintendent should see that it is firmly wedged into the joints and that the latter are pointed with cement. The flashing against gable walls that extend above the roof (see Section 134), should be given especial attention, as these places are even more apt to leak than around the chimneys. If the architect wishes to be sure that he will have no trouble with leaks, he must not pass the flashing by with a glance, but examine it carefully and in all parts, as a single defect may cause a great amount of trouble.
On large roofs, or roofs that are much cut up, the superintendent should caution the workmen about leaving shingle nails in the gutters and valleys, as they are frequently the source of leaks through workmen stepping on them and pushing them through the tin or copper. This danger appears to be greater on large roofs than on small ones.
With a tin roof the points that will need to be watched are the quality of the tin, the fastening to the roof, and that acid is not used for a flux in soldering. Many of these points seem trivial, and the inexperienced architect is apt to think that the builder will look after them for his own reputation, while he (the architect) is more interested in the ornamental part of the work, and in seeing how it "is coming out." While there are builders who care for their reputation, there are also a great many who appear to think that anything that will pass is good enough, and who, if they do not willfully slight the work, are very careless, to say the least, and, as the owner looks to the architect to see that the work is well done, the latter will find that it is for his own interest to inspect every portion of the work very carefully and see that everything is carried out as specified, even if the builder does 6ay that he is "too particular," and that "it is all nonsense."