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!

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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.

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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!

Project Roof: Week Four

Project Roof: Week Four

I am back to recap the final weeks of the roof renovation. Week Four turned our Roof Project into a full madness – and honestly it’s a little painful to look back at this time.

First let’s take a look at the project list and what we’ve crossed off this week.

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 two 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 one week

  • 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

Like we showed you in Week Three, over the weekend we removed all the damaged decking ourselves. Here’s a little detail on what we found under the decking.

Nail through electrical line

Electrical wire notched with nails (really safe!)

Insulation, gravel and dirt everywhere

Installation in most of the house (a big surprise) and of course a lot of gravel and dirt.

Insulation mess on the front yard

Now Week 4 was all about getting the work in the roof done. The week started with Jim and a couple of guys cleaning out bays and removing all the remaining insulation. Of course they didn’t really care about how they disposed of the stuff, so by the time I got home our front yard was littered with insulation and gravel. Nate wisely decided to order a dumpster to contain the mess.

Moving pipes inside the roof

I got home early on Monday so Nate and I could finalized plans with electrician and plumber. We wanted them to be able to take a look inside the roof so we knew exactly what needed to be done. We made a few last-minute decisions including moving the plumbing into the roof instead of above. We had been going back and forth on this for week, but in the end we decided the added bonus of having the pipes insulated inside the roof outweighed our nervousness of potential leaks hidden in the roof.

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Tuesday, the crew continues cleaning out the bays and worked on strengthening some of the joists especially in the great room. They also began installing the new plywood deck where we didn’t have any electrical or plumbing running.

Wet, tarped roof

Wednesday morning we were expecting rain so the whole roof was tarped tightly. Nate also cleaned up all the insulation on the front lawn after dinner so it didn’t turn into a giant mess with the rain. We thought we were pretty prepared for the storm until we heard water coming through our paneled ceiling at 4am.

Rain at 4am

I remember sitting up in bed after hearing the first drips and bolting into the front room. We had tarped all our furniture for the debris of the roof removal, but not for water coming through the ceiling. We first heard drips in the front room but soon found it coming in all our rooms except our bedroom. I spent the time moving paintings and other keepsakes into our bedroom where it was dry and putting pots and containers our under all the drips. Around 7am the rain stopped. Our carpenter arrived soon after to help us clean. Even though the roof was covered pretty well, the water pooled into the bays instead of running off the sides and eventually the plastic leaked.

Tracking the storm

The electricians were scheduled to begin work so the tarps were removed for them to get started. The weather report showed marginal rain for the remainder of the day so we thought we could get away with removing them. Unfortunately, by the time the tarps were removed the inside of our house was wrecked.

Rain soaked house

I took the day off of work to stay home and clean up. The electricians got to work and had to turn off most our power. We didn’t realize this also meant we wouldn’t get any hot water in our shower since it was a hooked up to an electrical water heater we were removing. By the end of the day, we had a wet house with no hot water and limited electricity. All of this was completely overwhelming, but we knew progress still had been made.

Running new electrical and plumbing

The rest of the week, the electrician and plumber continued their work. The electricians ran new lines in and began replaced all our outlets and lights. They also installed new lines in for the eventual kitchen remodel and garage.

New plastic plumbing

The plumber ran our new plastic piping in our roof. The gas pipe remained on top of the roof, but was consolidated to run just to our heater. He also began prepping for our new tankless water heater that would be installed in week five.

Mom picking up nails with magnets

And because we really needed someone there in case any of the vendors had questions, my parents were major dolls and housesat for us.

Nate cleaning out bays of gravel

As the vendors got their work done, we still need to finish cleaning the bays and then install the new insulation once they were done. Nate as a trooper and worked on a lot of this after work.

Removing the ceiling from the back of the great room

He also tore out the ceiling in the back of the great room so the electricians could install our new lighting in Week Five.

Installing insulation and the new decking

Saturday the crew finished installing the insulation and the decking.

Finishing the decking

Then they tarped the roof once again for rain. This time we knew we wouldn’t have any issues since the flat deck would allow the rain to run off.

Project Roof: Week Three

This week I will be sharing the Week Three update. Week Four quickly became overwhelming and I just didn’t have the energy or even the electricity to write up a post yet. So let’s rewind two weeks to the third week of Project Roof.

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 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 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

Project Roof: Back patio

The week started off well. Jim finished the porch overhang work and boxed the corner adjacent to our bedroom so we wouldn’t have future moisture issues (or paper wasps!) in that corner.

Project Roof: Master Bedroom Fascia

Next he replaced our sloped roof fascia board and started pulling off the shingles. The guys quickly found a soft spot in the corner where water had accumulated. We will add that to the decking that needs to be replaced.

We met with our plumber Larry to finalize his part of the project. We talked through the tankless water heater install as well. He gave us a couple of models to research. We want a 8 gallon tankless that has a built-in re-circulation pump. This will keep the hot water moving in our pipes and speed up the transition to hot water at any of our faucets. We are installing it on the outside of the house near the laundry area so it will be able to be hooked up to the gas pipes that heat our dryer as well. We played with the idea of installing the tankless in the middle of the house, but we really don’t have room and outside it will be fully accessible.

On Wednesday, we also got word that our roof removal was moved up to Friday (October 10th). This was great news except we had a ton of work to do inside the house to prepare.

Project Roof: Taking down the twinkle lights

I started by taking down the twinkle lights in the great room. The process was a little bittersweet. We loved having these up and rarely had a night without their pretty glow since I put them up last year. But by taking them down, we are getting an insulated roof plus a brand new ceiling and lighting.

Cat's Anxiety Pills

I also picked up anxiety pills for the cats. They each get a 1/4 to a 1/2 a pill to “relax” them for 8 hours. We are definitely giving them meds when they tear off the roof. I’m not sure what we will do next week yet.

Project Roof: Covering the furniture in plastic

Then Nate and I attempted to lining our ceilings with plastic. We expected a lot of dust, gravel and random debris to fall through the ceiling board as the roof was removed. We wanted to protect our belonging as best we could.

Unfortunately, I bought the heavier plastic sheeting that was impossible to put up without a staple gun. We started installing the sheeting late Thursday night and realized we had no staples. We tried tape which didn’t work so we decided to just cover the furniture and hope for the best. In the great room, Nate nailed up the plastic sheeting on our rafter boards. We had to cover that are since we knew a lot of debris would fall into the room without a ceiling.

Project Removal: Deck removal

I was told to expect the work crew at 7:30am on Friday, but they had already started when I drove up to the house at 7:15am from the gym. Luckily Nate had already given the cats their meds before leaving for work and I had thought ahead and showered and laid my clothes out for work the night before.

The removal was so loud and actually quite scary. I quickly got ready for work and got out of there. The cats would not have been able to handle it without meds.

Termite text from Nate

Later that day, Nate send me this text message. I got home expecting the worst, but the termite damage seemed to be contained next to the fireplace. We had a good idea we may find more in this general area after the Bath Crashers project so this wasn’t a huge surprise. (Bath Crashers replaced all the damage in the bathroom, but was not required the find the full extent of the damage that extended past our master suite.) Regardless, it was an additional amount of work for Jim to fix.

Project Roof: Great room mess

In the great room, the moldy patch of decking was gone. We think someone may have fallen through the deck there. The rest of the plastic sheeting was holding an enormous amount of gravel and debris that fell when the roof was removed.

Project Roof: Nate cleaning up gravel

Because it was a little precarious and the fact our stupid cats kept jumping down into it, Nate used the shop-vac to clean it up later that night.

Project Roof: Decking

Here’s the what the roof decking looked the next morning. As you can see, many of the planks were damaged in one way or another. The whole deck was soft to walk on and you had to tread pretty carefully to avoid all the pitfalls.

Project Roof: Removing decking

We had grand plans to remove the deck, clean the bays and install installation ALL over the weekend, but by Sunday evening, we had finished removing the deck and half the insulation with help from my uncle Terry, cousin Moses and our friend David. We actually paid both boys to help as an incentive – and it was totally worth it given all the work they did. (We just paid Terry in food, beer and bear hugs.)

Project Roof: Deck removal

Doing the deck removal ourselves was a tremendous amount of work, but it did allow us to move to get the electricians out on Monday which was the whole point.

Project Roof: Nate's hole through the roof

Unfortunately poor Nate did have a couple missteps over the weekend including busting through the sheetrock in our hallway. Luckily he didn’t hurt himself badly – just his dignity as my dear cousin Moses stated.

Project Roof: Deck removed

Here’s what the roof looked like with the deck completely removed. You can see found insulation in the main house which was a major surprise. There is also a bunch of gravel that overtime accumulated from the roof.

Project Roof: Pile 1

Here’s our giant pile of decking and insulation in the front of the house.

Project Roof: Pile 2

And here’s a sneaky photo of David working on organizing the back pile. There’s a lot more deck work coming up – and I’ll go in great detail of what we found as well. Stay tuned.

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.

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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.