Palapa – Beautiful Hatched Roof


So after the passing of Tropical Storm Bud. And the house withstanding the extreme weather back to where we left of… the roof. The roof is actually the easiest part to make with natural material. Hatched roofs have been around for centuries or millennials.

So for the hack-shack we used palm tree leaves as commonly used in Baja California. There are different methods of how to place and hatch the leaves. Each one looks different and is not or less laboursome.

I decided for the “hoja-doblada” (in English: folded leave), simply because I liked the pattern look.


The load of Palm leaves for the Hack-Shack roof..

This technique requires quite some water to wet the leaves so they fold without breaking. Additionally a second layer of leaves go on top.

There is broad knowledge that goes with the palapa construction. The leaves should be dry when cutting them from the palm tree. Also it should be done at full-moon. Supposedly for the roof not to rotten…

The wood pieces are held together with dried cow skin that have been treated with lime. Local cow, of course 🙂

Here a picture sequence of the the making…


The first timber to build the roofstructure


Roofstructure almost completed…


To receive the leaves…


On the inside you see how layer by layer is folded.


Working from the lower end upwards to the roof top


A lot of scaffolds to work in heights and bring the loads of palm leaves from the floor onto the woodstructure…


Almost closing the top…


A beautiful completed roof providing a lot of shade.


So again we used only natural material for the roof. Palm tree, timber and cow skin…

I have to say, the whole process of the roofing was extremely fast. In less than 3 weeks the roof was finished.

Chepo, the palapero, did an outstanding job, creating a beautiful finish of the roof. Really nice handcrafted details that we will appreciate for many years, looking at the ceiling…

And I have to say that the palapa roof is one of the parts I like most. It made the house feel like a house and embeds a lot of warmth, protection and love to the building. Now I really look forward to live in the hack-shack…

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