Thatched Roof

So I’m writing away (or trying to) in my alternative version of 11th century Ireland., when my characters had to thatch a shelter. Yikes, so how does one thatch a roof?

Screen shot 2013-12-24 at 5.06.01 PM

Note the straw/reeds are cut side down. Ahh…the aluminum ladder may be a bit difficult to find in 11th century Ireland…

Material:
A common reed (phragmites communes) is one typical plant used for thatching. Also wheat straw is used but care must be taken not to damage the straw during threshing (removing the grain from the stalk).
See: http://www.reed-thatching.com/thatch-types.htm

Modern construction:
Was surprised to find that the bottom (thicker) end of the reed is placed “downhill”.
See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtcaWfsLR0k
See: http://goo.gl/BpcNNS

And when you get done, you can trim the roof:
See: http://goo.gl/GCx4mB

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