Project Roof: Week Two

Project Roof: Carport structure goes in

Let’s start with an update on our project’s timeline because our timing has increased slightly.

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 – 1 to 2 days (moved back a week due to scheduling)

3) Interior work – one week

  • Update our electrical lines to code
  • Replace and repair decking & 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

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

Project Roof: Week 1 End

Here is where we left off last week with the carport structure upgraded.

Project Roof: Carport Week 2

This week, Jim added the new 2×10″ fascia to the full parameter. One early decision we made was to upgrade all the fascia from 1×10″ to 2×10″. It’s the one piece of the roof that will be visible so we felt it was an important splurge. And yes before someone asks, we are saving as much wood as we can for other projects.

Project Roof: New fascia

Jim hung the fascia slightly lower than the original which gives it this nice clean line compared to how the fascia and soffit boards used to meet.

Project Roof: Back porch overhang

He also began to work on our back porch issues. Our back overhang has always been an eyesore. It leaks water during the rainy season and sags miserably.

Project Roof: Back porch overhang

We’ve always wondered why it sags so badly and it was great to finally get the answer. This part of the overhang (different from all the rest on the house) was built to collect water and have it drain down one drain pipe. The rafters were an inch shorter (2×6″ instead of 2×7″) than the rest on the house which allowed the water to collect here. I am certainly not an expert on drainage, but what I do know is overtime this section of the roof became a sponge because the concept didn’t work.

Project Roof: Back porch overhang

On top of that, the original beam that ran the length of the overhang, was not secured correctly to our master bedroom wall (see above). Instead of sitting the beam on top of the studs in the wall, it was just secured to the plywood. Overtime, because of both of these decisions, the overhang began to sag even more. When Jim removed it, the middle was 4″ lower than the sides.

Project Roof: Back porch overhang fixed

To fix the overhang, Jim replaced the beam that ran the length of the porch. He sat it (correctly) on the studs in the master bedroom wall and built up the support on the opposite side as well. Next week, he will replace the rafters as well.

Over the weekend, I finally pruned back our lemon and kumquat trees to give the guys a little more room to work as well.

100314_iphone_0017

General Thoughts

It’s been great to see the fascia go up. I am so happy we went with the 2×10″s instead of the 1×10″s that were originally used on the house. These thicker boards give such a nice finished look to our roofline.

And I can’t talk enough about how different the back porch looks. Straightening it out just has changed the feel of the back porch. I know that sounds dramatic, but its like someone with bad posture compared to someone standing straight. It completely changes the porch’s demeanor.

Project Roof: Backyard setup

Next up

Our roof removal has been scheduled for Monday, October 13th which is a week later than we had hoped for. There was a bit of negotiating that had to happen on the price before we could schedule, but we are happy with the final outcome even if it’s a little later than expected.

Next week, the back porch and fascia will be finished up so we are all ready to go with the removal.

Project Roof: Week One

Project Roof: Original Carport

Hello and welcome to Project Roof! I cannot begin to tell you how excited we are to get this project started. It’s been so long in the planning.

The first construction project was removing a poorly designed extension to our carport. This part is not original to the house and overtime begun to sag at the seam. We decided to remove it to cut down on our roof square footage and to restore the carport to its original length. Eventually we plan on making it into a proper garage, but that’s something we will tackle later on. For the present, we wanted Jim our carpenter, to just remove the extension, repair the overhang structure, any major dry-rot he found and add new posts to the front that were actually cemented securely into the driveway.

Project Roof: Side view of carport

Here’s the side view so you can see the full extension better. Our best guess is that the old owner may have had a Cadillac to want the carport extended? Who really knows…

Project Roof: Carport sagging

From the opposite side, the sagging and dry-rot along the seam is pretty obvious. You can see a gap along the side where the boards have rotted and warped.

Project Roof: Removing the extension

Jim removed the extension and fascia along the entire roof line. This allowed him to get a good look at what was holding up our carport and overhangs. He found that our carport structure was pretty flimsy especially along the front and side. The photo above shows the replacement wood he added along the front of the carport.

Dry-rot on the carport

Here’s a bad photo of the dry-rot boards. Jim told me he also found a giant rats nest which he very nicely got rid of without showing us. All the damaged boards were replaced and Jim added extra support that was missing from the structure especially along the side.

Carport supports

He also dug and cemented new posts for the front of the carport. These guys won’t budge which is a good thing. The last set was not secured at the base and I’ve always been worried I might nudge them with the car.

Project Roof: Week 1 End

At the end of the week, the carport structure was done. Doesn’t the roof line look better? I am so happy with it.

General Thoughts

I thought the first week went really well. We not only got the carport part moving along, but we signed our roofing contract.

Jim was able to a take a look at the roof deck when he pulled off the fascia. He thinks that most of the deck (the layer of wood sitting on the rafters) will need to be replaced. From what he could see, there was a lot of mold. To combat this in the future, we plan on adding vents to the underside all the overhangs to prevent moisture buildup.

Our biggest decision this week was who would subcontract our the roof removal – Jim or the roofing company. In the end, it made more sense to have Jim do it so he could begin working on the dry-rot. Unfortunately since Sacramento got a little rain this week all the roof removal companies are booked up for the next couple weeks. A little rain apparently bring roof hysteria in these parts. We are still waiting to find out when we can schedule the removal, but are hoping it will be next week.

And finally, the cats. Loki has spent a large chunk of the week in our clothes closets hiding from Jim. He seems to be okay in the evenings, but I am still going to call the vet to see what I can do for him when there is a lot more activity on the roof. Pixel, of course, is absolutely fine with the work so far.

Project Roof

Project Roof

Project Roof is on!! Can you believe it? The much-anticipated new roof is coming!

Contracts have been signed and our loan will been funded this week so we are legitimately ready for this. We have hired a carpenter, electrician, plumber and a roof company so far on this job. We still need to find someone to do the insulation or decide to do it ourselves.

As I have reported before, our flat roof is more complicated than your average sloped roof because all of our utilities run on top of it. Plus, our ceiling is tongue-and-grove so we have no access to the interior of it. So, we are taking this opportunity to update all our existing utilities (electrical, plumbing and insulation) from the top down.

Instead of writing up a tutorial type post for this project, I am going to give weekly updates talking about the scope of the work and what assumptions/goals we’ve made for each part of the project. Then I’ll report on how the project moves forward, what pitfalls and surprises we find and our general thoughts on how it is going.

Scope of Work + Estimated Timeline

Project Roof is going to be broken into four major parts so we can address all of our issues. The timeline is estimated based on what we can assume with the scope of work. We have scheduled our carpenter for the next two weeks to start and are working on scheduling the rest of our vendors right now.

1) Preparation – two weeks

  • Remove pergola on back patio
  • Removing the 3′ addition on the front of carport
  • Prune bushes and trees away from the roof
  • Remove remaining ceiling in our Great Room
  • Replacing 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 – 1 to 2 days

3) Interior work – one week

  • Update our electrical lines to code
  • Replace and repair decking & 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

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

General Thoughts

I am really excited to get moving on the roof. I am sick of looking at moldy rafters and worrying about leaks.

I am worried about all the moving pieces and scheduling the contractors correctly. I don’t want to have an open roof longer than we need.

I am excited to work on projects we have put on hold until the roof got fixed. Our prison bath has been on hold for over a year once we realized the ceiling had issues.

I’m also worried about the amount of money we are spending on the roof, but know we’ve done all the research necessary. Plus, we are getting so much done in this project that will greatly improve our home.

Regardless of my feelings, I am so ready for this. Let’s do it!

Next week, I go over the first part of the project and what progress has been made. Yahoo!

Quick update and Skylights

Sea Ranch 2014: Walk to Shell Beach

It’s been at least a few weeks since I last posted here on the blog. The weather has been fabulous and it’s been hard to focus on a computer screen. I have a ton of posts of summer DIYs, vacations and new projects to write about and hundreds of photos to edit. I plan on just adding a few summer posts with the “current” ones until I get caught up.

As I have mentioned many times, this blog the place for me to document our goings on. I don’t take myself too seriously here, but I still like to post when events and projects are fresh. I often get stressed when I get backlogged, but that’s just life.

I see a pattern of me being über focused on the blog, then stepping back, then becoming intense again. September is such a good time to recalibrate. I’ve been evaluating a lot of my habits and daily processes lately. My new goal is to fan my intensity out a little so I am more even paced here and elsewhere in my daily to-dos.

Luckily, the last days of our summer have been relaxed and easy. It always gets a little intense right before school starts, but we both tried to slow down and enjoy as much as possible before the tide changed once again. We are now in the second week and finally getting accustomed to a normal work schedule. With football starting this weekend, I can see Autumn on the horizon even though it still feels very much like summer in these parts.

*****

Installing New Skylight Screens

Installing New Skylight Screens

When you last saw me, I showed you my lovely new front window screen, but that wasn’t the end of the full project. Once the screen was installed, I moved on two our skylights. We had to replace the skylight screens for a slightly different reason than that windows. Although both had the same culprit – those darn cats.

Installing New Skylight Screens

You see, not only to cats love to hang on and attack screens, but they also will sit on them. I guess that mesh allows them get a little airflow on their furry backside. Well, lo and behold, the screens couldn’t hold up to repeatable abuse and weight of the cats. So for the last year or more, we’ve had broken screens in our skylights.

Installing New Skylight Screens

Climbing on the roof, isn’t one of my favorite activities, but I was determined to finally get this task done.

Installing New Skylight Screens

The biggest difference in skylight vs. window screen repair is the removal/install. Skylights have to be unhinged or opened so the screen can be taken out. In our case, we also had to unclasp the chain that moves the skylight up and down because the chain actually attaches through the screen on these models.

080214_0370b

So I climbed up onto the roof, took off the skylight hood and unclasped the chain so I could hand the screen to Nate who was waiting below. Then I climbed down and worked on fixing the screens with the same basic process I used before.

Installing New Skylight Screens

On the second skylight screen I found an issue. The frame was broken at the corner. I needed to run back to the hardware store to get a corner replacement, but had to postpone the trip until after work the following day.

Installing New Skylight Screens

Then, the next day came with a potential thunderstorm in the early evening. This seemed highly unlikely to me, but as soon as I left work, raindrops began to hit my windshield. I didn’t dally and got the part I needed, but once I got home I remember we had plans that evening. So instead of installing the screens, we went had a nice evening with neighbors. It rained a little, but nothing much. I got the frames put together, but needed help getting them installed. Nate was going out-of-town and we just didn’t have enough time to get them in before he left. So we had the holes open in our roof for a week before we were able to install them.

Installing New Skylight Screens

It actually was nice to have the openings. Obviously not practical for the long haul, the week without screens was mild so we got a ton of light in and just enjoyed the extra airflow.

Installing New Skylight Screens

When we finally had time to get the screens in, Nate climbed up on the roof with me and held the skylight cover in place so I could get the chain clasped in.

Installing New Skylight Screens

It was a little harder than I thought laying on the hot roof trying to thread the clip in. We were sweating bullets by the time we finished the second one and quickly got done to admire our handiwork.

Then guess what happens a couple of days later…

Cat on screen

I crossed my fingers and hoped the cats were just testing it out and would eventually leave the screen alone. But no – less than a week after the install the back screen busted. Nate gave me the bad news Friday night.

Damn cats.

I am not sure how to proceed from here without adding spikes and other impaling instruments around the frame. I am going to take a little time to cool off and think this through. Any ideas?

Replacing screens

Replacing Screens

One of the things you have to remember about cats is that they are first and foremost hunters. Loki and Pixel are always hunting bugs, lizards and occasionally even a small mammal.

lizard

Now hunting doesn’t mean catching especially for our two felines. Most often, they catch moths and lizards. Nate and I do our best to rescue whoever we can.

080214_0397b

Since moths flock to the porch light, the cats are often crouched near by. It doesn’t seem to matter if there may be a screen between them and a potential prey. They will attack without remorse for their victim or the screen. After four years of torture, our front window screen was finally done and ready for a replacement.

Buying spline for my screens

Replacing window screens

For this project, the only thing I needed to buy was spline (cording that holds the screen to the frame). I had already purchased the screening and had all the tools from the first time I replaced the screens five years ago.

Spline buying

I took the old spline to the hardware store with me so I could make sure to get the right replacement. The spline comes in a variety of sizes and colors. I liked how there were samples to compare the old piece to. This is easier than trying to measure through the plastic bag of the products.

One I was back home I compiled all my tools and got started.

Use the old screen as a pattern to cut the new one

1) Use the old screen as a pattern.

After taking the old screen out of the frame, use it to cut your new one out. I usually give myself another 1/2″ of clearance just in case.

Clamp the new screen to the frame

2) Clamp the new screen to the frame.

This was my ah-ha moment on the project. Last time I used tape to secure the screening to the frame which is really silly. Clamps work a lot better. Plus you can easily adjust them as you go.

Press spline into the frame

3) Press the spline into the frame.

After I was all clamped in, I started running the spline into the frame using my spline roller. This is a nice tool to have. The roller makes this process pretty easy once you get started. Press the spline in completely, but be careful not to cut the screen in the process.

080314_0300

4) Use a screwdriver to press in the corner.

When you get to the corners, use a screwdriver to secure the spline in. Sometime I will even start it on the next side and then go back and secure the corner. Whatever works for you.

Cut at the corner and press in.

5) Cut at the final corner and press in the end.

When you reach the end, cut the spline so you finish with a tight corner.

Trim the excess screen.

6) Trim the excess screen.

If you have any excess screening, trim it as close to the frame as possible. I used scissors, but a straight-edge would also work well. The screen will be visible in the window so you want the edge to be as clean as possible.

Once the screen is done, pop it into the window and you are good to go.

Finished screen

Ta da. What a beautiful sight. An untarnished screen.

Finished window screen

Glorious. So pretty I almost didn’t want to put it in because you and I both know it’s only a matter of time until the screen comes between a cat and moth.