Project Roof: Week Five+

Finished deck

1) Preparation – two three weeks

  • Remove pergola on back patio
  • Removing the 3′ addition on the front of carport
  • Add additional support in carport
  • Repair porch overhangs
  • Prune bushes and trees away from the roof
  • Remove remaining ceiling in our Great Room
  • Replace all our fascia
  • Fix our skylights
  • Prep plumbing
  • Put up plastic sheeting in the house to prevent debris from filtering down
  • Get the cats anxiety drugs

2) Tear off the existing roof – two days

3) Interior work – one week

  • Update our electrical lines to code
  • Replace decking & some soffits
  • Insulate the rafters
  • Rework our water and gas pipes so they run more efficiently
  • Installing a tank-less water heater
  • Prep the ceiling for our kitchen remodel by installing new range exhaust system and new electrical plugs
  • Install new exterior plugs for holiday lights, etc.

4) Roof install and Finishing – 3 to 4 days

  • Install fireproof base layer
  • Install insulation layer
  • Install thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofing membrane
  • Install any vents that are needed
  • Install shingled roof on our addition
  • Install drainpipes
  • Finishing the plumbing on top of the roof
  • Install can lighting in the great room
  • Install sheetrock in great room, plaster and paint it

Alright – so breaking from the rest of these Project Roof posts – I am going to summarize how all the electrical and plumbing work finished and explain the whole roof install process. It lasted longer than a week, but after Week 5 the work slowed down considerably.

Project Roof: New electrical installed

Our electricians worked on connecting all wire work inside and outside the house on Monday and Tuesday. Inside, they replaced all our existing outlets, added new lines to the kitchen for the eventual remodel and installed new recessed lighting in the great room. Outside, they rewired our porch light, added new lines to the carport for our eventual garage conversion, and (my personal favorite) installed plugs in the soffits for holiday lighting and extension cords.

We had hoped to reuse all our ceiling lights, but the office and kitchen lights wiring was rusted and falling apart, so I bought found the least expensive and offensive lights at home depot for them to use instead. I expect we may replace some of these later on, but they are all fine for now.

Project Roof: Recessed Lighting

We installed four recessed led lights in each half of the great room on dimmer switches. We felt this made a lot a sense for TV watching and dining.

Moving pipes inside the roof

The plumber simplified our gas line on the roof to one pipe running from the gas hookup to the heater unit in the kitchen. The gas also runs along the exterior of our house to our washer/dryer and the new tankless water heater. I am going do a whole first impressions post on our tankless water heater since I think it’s a subject many people are interested in.

New plastic plumbing

He also converted all our copper water pipe than ran on the exterior of the roof to PEX plastic piping that ran through the rafters. As I have said before, we made this call last-minute after debating it since the project began. Our decision came down to the security of the pipes insulated in our roof.

Running the copper piping through the rafters would have cost us a lot of money and time for the plumber so when the idea of using this “new to me” material called PEX was very interesting to us. The main advantages of the PEX is it resistant to bursting because of its flexibility, it doesn’t sweat and you don’t need to solder joints. Instead you crimp metal rings over the piping.

Of course after the PEX was all installed, our roofer told me a horror story of one summer a client having rats eat through PEX to get water, but by that time it was too late – and we have seen no evidence of rats in our roof during the last 50 years so I think the chances of them getting in are slim.

Finishing the decking

I talked about the decking in the Week Four post. It was installed after the electricians and plumbers were done with their work on the roof. Then Jim installed a 2×2 along the perimeter of the decking. This board would be how the roofing would be connected. And once he was done – we were finally ready for the new roof!


On Thursday, the roof install began. They started by adding the rigid insulation and base layer on top of the decking. The base layer is a fire-proof, moisture barrier between the decking and the roof.


The thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) layer was laid on top. They welded all the seams together and made joints around all our pipes and other penetrations in the roof.

They also worked on installing new drainpipes. Besides all the original ones, we wanted to make sure we had adequate drainage in the areas that we knew were lacking.

We expected rain over the weekend, but the roofer assured us that we were water tight. I thought this rainstorm was a perfect opportunity to test out all the new drainpipes and give the roof a dress rehearsal before the project was completed.

Sunday morning, it rained consistently for a couple of hours. I went around with my iPhone and recorded all the runoff. We definitely needed to beef up the drainpipes in the carport and near the bedroom sloped roof. We saw little rain in our original drainpipes in the front beds. Later that day I found water dripping into my ceiling light in my office. It was a steady drip and the more I watched it the more it pissed me off. Water tight? Yeah right. I called the roofer.

Too his credit, our roofer came right over and said the even though the seams were technically done, they still hadn’t checked for areas that didn’t seal correctly. Plus on Monday, they would reinforce all the joints and penetrations to make absolutely sure the roof was watertight.

Therefore the rain came through an unchecked seam into my office. He squeegeed off the water and said that water should stop and dry out. He even offered to install a vent to make sure the area was completely dry, but I didn’t want to add another penetration for a temporary issue so I decided to just let the spot dry.

On Monday, I did a walk around with the roofer to decide where the additional drainpipes needed to be installed. We added one to the front of the carport, another to the side next to the sloped roof, and one on the other side near the gate. The roofers triple checked all the seals and did find a leak above my office that was fixed.

Project Roof: Roof completed

With those final parts done, we were very close to completion. About a week later we did a walk-through with the roofer to have him fix little issues we had. Once those were fixed, we wrote him a check and finally put an end to the exterior of this project.

Next week, I will walk through how we finished the inside of the great room, hallway and bathroom – remember it was still open!


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