The topping out celebration

Things are moving quickly on the house, and after just 5 days for the perimeter walls, we started on the roof trusses and these were all up within two days. We chose a very simple, Mediterranean style roof, as we will be putting at least 3,6kW of solar panels on the roof.

Guillermo, Alex and Wladimir installing the first roof truss.
Whilst installing the trusses, we had to put in the metal frames for one of the internal walls in order to provide support for the trusses. So exciting to start seeing the inside of the house taking shape.
End of day 1
End of day 2

Having the roof trusses up is a milestone in a construction project, and so it was time for the “topping out ceremony”.  This celebration is linked to an ancient Scandinavian religious rite, where a tree or branch was placed on the highest roof truss to appease the tree-dwelling spirits that were displaced during the construction. The custom migrated first to England and Northern Europe and then to America with the arrival of Scandinavian and German carpenters. It has been an important component of timber building projects over time and has become an honoured celebration in all types of constructions, even skyscrapers.

Today, it is not a tree branch that is placed on the roof trusses, but rather the national flag.

In our case this meant putting up the Chilean and South African flags.

In Chile, the celebration is accompanied by a typical “asado” (a “braai” in South Africa or a barbecue elsewhere), for the construction team to celebrate this achievement.

In our case, we had a lovely “asado” with Guillermo, Alex and Wladimir, as well as Rodrigo´s mother, his oldest brother, sister-in-law and niece. Thanks to Wladimir and Alex for being the braai-masters.

It was a good end to the 6th week of construction.   

Rodrigo, Guillermo, Wladimir and Alex – a great team!

2 thoughts on “The topping out celebration”

  1. Hallo Ingrid,
    my name is Ursula, I‘m from Germany.
    It is very interesting to follow your German manner of building your house.
    Good luck 😺
    Kind regards Ursula


    1. Dear Ursula. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. We are very excited to be using the German standard and although it is a huge challenge achieving the quality required, we are very happy with progress so far. Keep reading, because in the next few weeks there are some exciting things that will be happening from an energy perspective.


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