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!

Sprinkler on the roof

Sprinkler on the roof

Last Monday morning, I took some lovely photos on my morning walk. We had our first freezing temperatures over the weekend and the morning stillness was incredibly beautiful.

Sprinkler on the roof

I had a nice meditative walk before the day truly started. Monday was the first day back at work for me after a restful two-week vacation. We also were expecting Nate’s dad to arrive for a weeks stay later that day.

It’s funny to look at these now because only a couple of hours later all hell broke loose. Literally five minutes after arriving at the office, I got a phone call from our across-the-street neighbors. They had seen what looked like a sprinkler going off on our roof and were worried it might be a busted pipe.

I told them where the water main was and got back in my car to drive home. By the time I arrived, our super-amazing neighbors Lee and Carol, had turned off the water and inspected the cause. I joined them up on the roof. Not only did we have a busted water pipe, but most of our pipe insulation had deteriorated or was missing. This was probably the root of our pipe problem. It’s hard to have a frozen pipe when they are nice and cozy in foam insulation.

Sprinkler on the roof

As we inspected the roof, the water from the sprinkler was beginning to freeze. Lee and Carol offered to sweep off the water while I called reinforcements. The pipe split was too much for me to take care of so I googled plumbers, read a few reviews and called my leading candidate.

The reinforcements have arrived #bustedpipe #plumbing #copperpipeonroof #notadiyprojectforthisgal

Glenn arrive a few hours later to fix the pipe. He got to work on the busted section and then called down for me to turn on the water to check the water pressure.

Sprinkler on the roof

Good thing we did because what we thought was one split turned into three. Each break is slightly smaller than the last and it was only when we tested the water pressure Glenn found them. Once all three breaks were repaired, Glenn left and I ran to the store for pipe insulation.

Sprinkler on the roof

The first store I went to was sold out, so I sat in the parking lot and called six more stores before I found the pipe insulation in stock. I bought 72 feet of tubular pipe insulation and a big roll of plumbers tape.

Sprinkler on the roof

By this time, Nate and his dad has arrive at home. So the three of us climbed up on the roof to remove the old insulation and install the new stuff.

Sprinkler on the roof

After we removed the old insulation, we worked as a team to get everything on before the sun set. Bill laid out the new material, I installed it and Nate helped me tape it up.

Sprinkler on the roof

The insulation I bought was pre-slit, self-sealing rubber in 6 feet lengths. This particular product was the only one available for my 1 inch pipes. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I would have probably bought the less expensive option if I had a choice. With our limited daylight left, I was glad to have the self-sealing feature. It made the install much quicker. I added tape every few feet and around any fittings for extra protection. The whole process took about an hour to do.

Sprinkler on the roof

Later that night, I left a trickle of water running through our kitchen sink all night to prevent any potential freezing. To be honest even with the extra precautions, I was a little nervous all night long. I may even had done a few ceiling checks at any creak I heard in the house that night. But all was well and since then (knock on wood) we’ve been good. I am very thankful we got this fixed so quickly and that our amazing neighbors saw the “sprinkler” when they did. This post would be a lot different if that water had continued to run.

So yeah, 2014 is definitely going to be the year we get this roof and all the plumbing, electrical and god-know-what-else-is-up-there fixed. We’ve been lucky so far and I don’t want to push it.

The full story of our roof

Trimming the tree

When I bought our home in 2009, a local roofer “certified” the roof for two years. I write certified in quotations, because the roofer told us that he could do a visual inspection, but hot-tar-and-gravel roofs can disguise issues well and since we had no history of the roof (owner deceased), we should assume it would need repair within five years.

Roof update

This was fine with me, because honestly the roof was really the last thing on my mind when buying the home. Given that most our house is concrete, I wasn’t worried about leaks damaging our floors or walls. So once the house was ours, we focused on updating the house project by project.

Roof Update

Fast forward seven months to January 2010 and we began noticing some issues. First our two skylights began to leak a little and then we had a bunch of flooding outside because the water no longer drained to our gutters.

Roof update

At this point, I was confident we could fix the issue with the skylights. I trekked on the roof looking for signs of leaks or damage and soon realized the roofer who certified was right. It was very difficult to find where the leak started so how was I supposed to patch it? Roofers could hot-mop the section of roof above the leaking, but there wouldn’t be much certainty that portion of the roof is where the problem is. There are also some DIY materials you can use to patch, but Nate and I decided to hold off on repair and just deal with the leaks until we came up with a more thought-out roof plan.

A well needed roof update and plan

Time went on and almost two years later, we noticed our great room ceiling was beginning to ripple due to moisture. Was it the roof leaking or could it be plumbing in the rafters? We hadn’t a clue, so decided to investigate by ripped out the half the ceiling. Luckily we only found wet insulation and a little mold. The problem turned out to be only a roof issue (no pipes in the rafters) so again we decided to wait and confirm our suspensions. Over the winter there was a couple of wet boards during rain storms but no other issues.

Roof Update

The following spring, we took out the remaining ceiling to check for any other damage. We didn’t find any more issues, so again we went forward with our plan to have the roof patched.

Nate dutifully began calling roofing companies (including the one that certified the roof). A few came out for an estimate and they all recommended the same thing – replace our whole roof and consider vaulting it. Well, after a bunch of deliberation, we decided to keep the original look of the home and stick with the mid-century flat roof.

A well needed roof update and plan

Once we decided on the roofline, we realized that replacing the roof also gave us the opportunity to update on our electrical and plumbing. Then we looked into roofing materials and really liked single ply membrane materials. This sort of roof is common on commercial buildings and they are designed to be installed in one layer so have no leaks (!!!). There are also a huge number of options for insulation and the exact type of materials that are used.

Nate reached out to a general contractor who could help us merge all these ideas. After our initial meeting, we didn’t hear back from the contractor and eventually learned they were booked for the season. About this time, the wet boards were becoming worse. The boards were warping and leaking during rain storms. With no prospective contractor on the horizon, we just put off the roof project until after the wedding.

roof_2013

Now a year later, the rafters has gotten worse. The water damage has turned into dry rot and the mold has come back with vengeance. There’s no more putting this project off. Looks like 2014 (five years after we bought the house) will be the year we take care of this lingering issue.

The plan moving forward

Research for the roof

1. Research

The first order of business is to find the right general contractor for the job and figure out what sort of financing makes sense for us.

I am going to spend the next few weeks getting referrals for a few contractors who has worked with a flat roof before.

We know we are going to have to finance this project since it could be as much as $30,000-40,000 depending on all the details. I am going to look into getting pre-approved for a home equity or improvement loan.

Also on a long shot, I want to look into green roofing as well. I’ve wanted one ever since I visited here as a kid.

2. Evaluate and hire a contractor

Once we get a couple quotes and feel out the contractors we hope to nail down exactly the scope of the project.

Our wish list would include:

  • Remove old hot-tar-and-gravel roof plus some of the fascia boards
  • Remove the extensions on the carport and back porch and potential replace
  • Replace dryrot and fascia
  • Insulate the rafters (we are not sure if it’s currently insulated)
  • Update our electrical lines to code
  • Install a new membrane roof with insulation
  • Rework our water and gas pipes so they run more efficiently
  • Insulate the new plumbing
  • Run gas pipes to the master bathroom and fireplace
  • Install tank-less hot water heater in our master bedroom and potential in the laundry area
  • Prep the ceiling for our kitchen remodel by installing new range exhaust system
  • Install new gutters or drainage

3. Schedule the project for next year

There is a good chance we will need to evacuate most of the house during the project. We’ve expect a ton of dust to rain down on our home due to wood paneling ceilings with no insulation so we will take as many precautions as possible.

Then there are the cats. They hated the Bath Crashers experience so I don’t know what we will do for this. Send them somewhere else? Let them hide outside and hope for the best? We can worry about that once the rest of the project is worked out.

Well I think I have said all I need to for now. This will be the biggest project we ever take on, but I’m excited to finally get it done.