Author Topic: New roof advice  (Read 10341 times)

brotatochip

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New roof advice
« on: July 22, 2015, 03:09:39 PM »
So I was hoping to get some good insight on getting a new roof on my 1600 sf home.  Currently I've noticed a few leaks and I'm sure it has to get replaced.  The house is old and I'm sure the shingles are close to if not exceeded their life expectancy.  I purchased the house 5 years ago and it was an estate sale so who knows how old the roof is.  The home  inspector at the time gave it the go (FHA).  Now it needs a fucking roof.  I've been getting quotes and holy shit they are expensive!  Am I going about this the mmm way...getting a shit load of quotesquotes from multiple companies?

The_path_less_taken

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 03:28:12 PM »
3-5 quotes is good.

Is it a modified hip roof? As in....if you took a sheet of paper and creased it in half, does your roof look like that?

Or are there multiple planes/skylights/valleys/levels?

If it's a fairly simple roof and you're not afraid of heights...it can be done with a hammer and a roofing tool or Wonderbar. Although it might be quicker to rent air equipment if you wanted to use the gun staples....but that's one more thing to haul up there and trip over.

Rooftop delivery is usually free/no extra charge. It's hot, heavy work but it's not complicated until you have to cut sheet metal and weave valleys and flash around chimneys and skylights...although all still fairly doable. One duplex was a modified hip with six foot skylights and woven valleys, one was a mansard roof: that was a pita.

I'm 5'3" and female and  did two duplexes once. But I kid you not: I thought the heat would kill me.

brotatochip

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2015, 04:08:12 PM »
3-5 quotes is good.

Is it a modified hip roof? As in....if you took a sheet of paper and creased it in half, does your roof look like that?

Or are there multiple planes/skylights/valleys/levels?

If it's a fairly simple roof and you're not afraid of heights...it can be done with a hammer and a roofing tool or Wonderbar. Although it might be quicker to rent air equipment if you wanted to use the gun staples....but that's one more thing to haul up there and trip over.

Rooftop delivery is usually free/no extra charge. It's hot, heavy work but it's not complicated until you have to cut sheet metal and weave valleys and flash around chimneys and skylights...although all still fairly doable. One duplex was a modified hip with six foot skylights and woven valleys, one was a mansard roof: that was a pita.

I'm 5'3" and female and  did two duplexes once. But I kid you not: I thought the heat would kill me.

It's a bungalow with no skylights or valleys/levels.  I always do EVERYTHING as much as I can and I can't do heights!  I went up on my roof once and was stuck up there for an hour until I talked myself down so I will not be doing anything up there.  I was going to get three quotes but five sounds like a better number. 

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 06:38:37 PM »
I did roofing work in college, and have re-roofed 2 of my 7 homes (and a couple of church projects).  In my HCOL area, for my 1300 sq ft home, I got estimates from $8K to $10K.  My most recent roof was mandated by my lender, and they insisted I hire a licensed contractor to do the work, so I just watched, and caught them on some minor issues - overall they did a good job. 

With a typical composite shingle (3-tab or similar) roof, and you're not doing the job yourself, you want to insist on a tear-off for a roof that's failing.  Some do-it-yourselfers settle for installing new shingles directly over the old ones - a 'roof-over' - do not do this, as the new shingles will 'cup' sitting on the old shingles to a point where they can collect water, and cause ice damage in the northern states.  You can tell a roof-over roof by it's uneven 'ripply' appearance.  I've seen roofs with 2-3 layers installed.  From my perspective, 2 is too many.

Your contractor should inspect the roof deck, and may need to replace some roof decking materials - especially in the last 3-4 ft of wood just above the eaves - that should be included in the estimates.  New underlayment all around (tar paper).  New flashing around all chimneys & vents (bathroom, kitchen, heater vents, etc.).  New drip edge around the full perimeter.  Hauling off the old roof, and yard cleanup should be included - you don't want to be hitting roofing nails with the lawnmower.

Do you have gutters / are they in need of replacement / repair?  It's something to consider while doing your roof even if you don't do the work now - inspect what you've got, and decide if they can last another 20-30 years (or whatever your new roof is rated to).  Unless they're leaking, gutters are usually okay after cleaning.  I've been putting gutter guards on all my gutters for the past 5-10 years - it keeps down annual cleaning maintenance.

Good luck!

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 07:01:19 PM »
We need a new roof, following.

forummm

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2015, 07:42:48 PM »
If you're going to be there awhile, try to get quotes for the 30-year architectural shingles.

kendallf

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2015, 09:22:01 PM »
I was a roofer when I was younger, and I have done both of my houses myself in the past two years.  Those jobs were probably the most lucrative DIY projects I've done.  If your fear of heights is truly non-negotiable, so be it; but the job really isn't a bad one to DIY.  Hard labor, yes; difficult in terms of skill, no.

You've gotten some decent advice for finding a contractor.  There are large variations in code requirements from one part of the country to another, so for any more specific advice we'd need to know your location.

brotatochip

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2015, 03:58:08 AM »
I did roofing work in college, and have re-roofed 2 of my 7 homes (and a couple of church projects).  In my HCOL area, for my 1300 sq ft home, I got estimates from $8K to $10K.  My most recent roof was mandated by my lender, and they insisted I hire a licensed contractor to do the work, so I just watched, and caught them on some minor issues - overall they did a good job. 

With a typical composite shingle (3-tab or similar) roof, and you're not doing the job yourself, you want to insist on a tear-off for a roof that's failing.  Some do-it-yourselfers settle for installing new shingles directly over the old ones - a 'roof-over' - do not do this, as the new shingles will 'cup' sitting on the old shingles to a point where they can collect water, and cause ice damage in the northern states.  You can tell a roof-over roof by it's uneven 'ripply' appearance.  I've seen roofs with 2-3 layers installed.  From my perspective, 2 is too many.

Your contractor should inspect the roof deck, and may need to replace some roof decking materials - especially in the last 3-4 ft of wood just above the eaves - that should be included in the estimates.  New underlayment all around (tar paper).  New flashing around all chimneys & vents (bathroom, kitchen, heater vents, etc.).  New drip edge around the full perimeter.  Hauling off the old roof, and yard cleanup should be included - you don't want to be hitting roofing nails with the lawnmower.

Do you have gutters / are they in need of replacement / repair?  It's something to consider while doing your roof even if you don't do the work now - inspect what you've got, and decide if they can last another 20-30 years (or whatever your new roof is rated to).  Unless they're leaking, gutters are usually okay after cleaning.  I've been putting gutter guards on all my gutters for the past 5-10 years - it keeps down annual cleaning maintenance.

Good luck!

Great insight, thank you!  The first estimate quotted me with new gutters and the second didn't until I mentioned that the first contractor did.  Apparently the roof isn't vented properly and I was also quoted to add more vents around the soffets? 

brotatochip

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2015, 04:00:08 AM »
I was a roofer when I was younger, and I have done both of my houses myself in the past two years.  Those jobs were probably the most lucrative DIY projects I've done.  If your fear of heights is truly non-negotiable, so be it; but the job really isn't a bad one to DIY.  Hard labor, yes; difficult in terms of skill, no.

You've gotten some decent advice for finding a contractor.  There are large variations in code requirements from one part of the country to another, so for any more specific advice we'd need to know your location.

I'm in the northeast...suburbs of Philadelphia.  Any mmm'ers roofers out there looking for a contract??

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2015, 05:18:52 AM »
I was a roofer when I was younger, and I have done both of my houses myself in the past two years.  Those jobs were probably the most lucrative DIY projects I've done.  If your fear of heights is truly non-negotiable, so be it; but the job really isn't a bad one to DIY.  Hard labor, yes; difficult in terms of skill, no.

You've gotten some decent advice for finding a contractor.  There are large variations in code requirements from one part of the country to another, so for any more specific advice we'd need to know your location.

I'm in the northeast...suburbs of Philadelphira.  Any mmm'ers roofers out there looking for a contract??

Ditto DC area

GoldenStache

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2015, 05:53:53 AM »
Basenji - Check out B&B Exteriors - http://www.bnbexteriors.com/

I used them last year and got a great price and they did an excellent job.  Bill is always super busy in the summer so it might be hard to get an appointment at this time of year but very much worth the wait.

His estimate it is for the full job, won't nickel and dime you to death, so if you need 1 sheet of plywood replaced or 10 it is covered.

Got windows, roof and siding all done.

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2015, 06:00:38 AM »
Thanks GoldenStache!

psinguine

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2015, 06:01:47 AM »
I did roofing work in college, and have re-roofed 2 of my 7 homes (and a couple of church projects).  In my HCOL area, for my 1300 sq ft home, I got estimates from $8K to $10K.  My most recent roof was mandated by my lender, and they insisted I hire a licensed contractor to do the work, so I just watched, and caught them on some minor issues - overall they did a good job. 

With a typical composite shingle (3-tab or similar) roof, and you're not doing the job yourself, you want to insist on a tear-off for a roof that's failing.  Some do-it-yourselfers settle for installing new shingles directly over the old ones - a 'roof-over' - do not do this, as the new shingles will 'cup' sitting on the old shingles to a point where they can collect water, and cause ice damage in the northern states.  You can tell a roof-over roof by it's uneven 'ripply' appearance.  I've seen roofs with 2-3 layers installed.  From my perspective, 2 is too many.

Your contractor should inspect the roof deck, and may need to replace some roof decking materials - especially in the last 3-4 ft of wood just above the eaves - that should be included in the estimates.  New underlayment all around (tar paper).  New flashing around all chimneys & vents (bathroom, kitchen, heater vents, etc.).  New drip edge around the full perimeter.  Hauling off the old roof, and yard cleanup should be included - you don't want to be hitting roofing nails with the lawnmower.

Do you have gutters / are they in need of replacement / repair?  It's something to consider while doing your roof even if you don't do the work now - inspect what you've got, and decide if they can last another 20-30 years (or whatever your new roof is rated to).  Unless they're leaking, gutters are usually okay after cleaning.  I've been putting gutter guards on all my gutters for the past 5-10 years - it keeps down annual cleaning maintenance.

Good luck!

Great insight, thank you!  The first estimate quotted me with new gutters and the second didn't until I mentioned that the first contractor did.  Apparently the roof isn't vented properly and I was also quoted to add more vents around the soffets?

That actually is a thing. Poor attic ventilation will wear your shingles prematurely, increase summer Temps inside the house, and encourage the growth of mold. Just cutting in new vents on top of the roof won't cut it if the soffit ventilation is insufficient. Air In and Air Out are two balanced parts of one equation. You are depending on the superheated air escaping the top to draw in cool air from the eaves. Depending on just one or the other can be a recipe for unpleasantness. As an example, depending solely on roof vents and leaving soffit closed can result in air being pulled in through the roof vents, encouraging the entry of rain. It could result in air simply circulating in the top couple of feet of the attic, accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Balancing your airflow is important, is what I'm trying to say.

Le Poisson

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2015, 06:08:17 AM »
One other tip - when considering materials, think about 3 things (OK, 2.5 things)

1. What is the Lifetime Guarantee on the shingles/steel/cedar/whatever.
2. How long will you own the house
2.5 - How likely is it that you'll be dead before the roofing material?

When I was in my 20's and doing my first roof, I went all out and put on whatever the best shingles at the time were. They cost a lot. 2 years later I sold the house (at a profit) but no one cared about the life expectancy of the roof, just that it was intact.

In our last house, we reroofed with Architectural shingles that came with a lifetime warranty. We had considered a steel roof since we were planning on owning that house forever, but then jobs changed and lifestyles changed, and guess what, 4 years later, someone got a really nice roof out of us. At the time, we had considered a steel roof or a cedar roof. Now I'm glad we didn't spend that much money.

Now in my 40's I'm looking at roofing, and even the cheapest 25 year shingles don't make a lot of sense. For actual failure, I take the rated life of the shingles and cut it in half, but I know that a lot of manufacturers will only cover materials if the shingles fail early, and even that is difficult to get since they will argue that teh installation was poor. So in my head, I take those plain 3-tab shingles rated for 25 years, consider that they will fail in 13 years. In 13 years, my youngest will be 20. I'll be retired. My lifestyle will no longer 'fit' this house, and I'll want to cash out the equity in it.

If the 25 year shingles make it to their forecast failure point, I'll be 65 and my kids will be in their 30's. No way we'll have a 4bdrm, 3 bath house. More likely we will have moved into a 2 bedroom condo, and with any luck we'll be spending our winters away.  So I guess for us, the cheapest 3-tabs with the 25 year year warranty are the best bet. Even if the architecturals are so much prettier.

Gobs of guys at work are moving up to steel roofs, cedar roofs, slate roofs, etc. And while they all look really nice, and most will last 'forever' none of them is as maintenance free, and low cost as ye aulde asphalt shingle. And when those high $$$ roofs fail, the repairs are incredibly not-cheap. At resale, a house with a steel roof might sell faster, but no one is tagging $10,000 on because it has a steel roof, and every day the steel outlives your ownership is an opportunity cost to you.

Le Poisson

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2015, 06:10:18 AM »
I did roofing work in college, and have re-roofed 2 of my 7 homes (and a couple of church projects).  In my HCOL area, for my 1300 sq ft home, I got estimates from $8K to $10K.  My most recent roof was mandated by my lender, and they insisted I hire a licensed contractor to do the work, so I just watched, and caught them on some minor issues - overall they did a good job. 

With a typical composite shingle (3-tab or similar) roof, and you're not doing the job yourself, you want to insist on a tear-off for a roof that's failing.  Some do-it-yourselfers settle for installing new shingles directly over the old ones - a 'roof-over' - do not do this, as the new shingles will 'cup' sitting on the old shingles to a point where they can collect water, and cause ice damage in the northern states.  You can tell a roof-over roof by it's uneven 'ripply' appearance.  I've seen roofs with 2-3 layers installed.  From my perspective, 2 is too many.

Your contractor should inspect the roof deck, and may need to replace some roof decking materials - especially in the last 3-4 ft of wood just above the eaves - that should be included in the estimates.  New underlayment all around (tar paper).  New flashing around all chimneys & vents (bathroom, kitchen, heater vents, etc.).  New drip edge around the full perimeter.  Hauling off the old roof, and yard cleanup should be included - you don't want to be hitting roofing nails with the lawnmower.

Do you have gutters / are they in need of replacement / repair?  It's something to consider while doing your roof even if you don't do the work now - inspect what you've got, and decide if they can last another 20-30 years (or whatever your new roof is rated to).  Unless they're leaking, gutters are usually okay after cleaning.  I've been putting gutter guards on all my gutters for the past 5-10 years - it keeps down annual cleaning maintenance.

Good luck!

Great insight, thank you!  The first estimate quotted me with new gutters and the second didn't until I mentioned that the first contractor did.  Apparently the roof isn't vented properly and I was also quoted to add more vents around the soffets?

That actually is a thing. Poor attic ventilation will wear your shingles prematurely, increase summer Temps inside the house, and encourage the growth of mold. Just cutting in new vents on top of the roof won't cut it if the soffit ventilation is insufficient. Air In and Air Out are two balanced parts of one equation. You are depending on the superheated air escaping the top to draw in cool air from the eaves. Depending on just one or the other can be a recipe for unpleasantness. As an example, depending solely on roof vents and leaving soffit closed can result in air being pulled in through the roof vents, encouraging the entry of rain. It could result in air simply circulating in the top couple of feet of the attic, accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Balancing your airflow is important, is what I'm trying to say.

Agree - and many contractors are now pushing ridge venting, but not adjusting any other vents when they put it in. I'm not an expert, but this seems like it would throw off that flow equation.

brotatochip

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2015, 06:13:22 AM »
I did roofing work in college, and have re-roofed 2 of my 7 homes (and a couple of church projects).  In my HCOL area, for my 1300 sq ft home, I got estimates from $8K to $10K.  My most recent roof was mandated by my lender, and they insisted I hire a licensed contractor to do the work, so I just watched, and caught them on some minor issues - overall they did a good job. 

With a typical composite shingle (3-tab or similar) roof, and you're not doing the job yourself, you want to insist on a tear-off for a roof that's failing.  Some do-it-yourselfers settle for installing new shingles directly over the old ones - a 'roof-over' - do not do this, as the new shingles will 'cup' sitting on the old shingles to a point where they can collect water, and cause ice damage in the northern states.  You can tell a roof-over roof by it's uneven 'ripply' appearance.  I've seen roofs with 2-3 layers installed.  From my perspective, 2 is too many.

Your contractor should inspect the roof deck, and may need to replace some roof decking materials - especially in the last 3-4 ft of wood just above the eaves - that should be included in the estimates.  New underlayment all around (tar paper).  New flashing around all chimneys & vents (bathroom, kitchen, heater vents, etc.).  New drip edge around the full perimeter.  Hauling off the old roof, and yard cleanup should be included - you don't want to be hitting roofing nails with the lawnmower.

Do you have gutters / are they in need of replacement / repair?  It's something to consider while doing your roof even if you don't do the work now - inspect what you've got, and decide if they can last another 20-30 years (or whatever your new roof is rated to).  Unless they're leaking, gutters are usually okay after cleaning.  I've been putting gutter guards on all my gutters for the past 5-10 years - it keeps down annual cleaning maintenance.

Good luck!

Great insight, thank you!  The first estimate quotted me with new gutters and the second didn't until I mentioned that the first contractor did.  Apparently the roof isn't vented properly and I was also quoted to add more vents around the soffets?

That actually is a thing. Poor attic ventilation will wear your shingles prematurely, increase summer Temps inside the house, and encourage the growth of mold. Just cutting in new vents on top of the roof won't cut it if the soffit ventilation is insufficient. Air In and Air Out are two balanced parts of one equation. You are depending on the superheated air escaping the top to draw in cool air from the eaves. Depending on just one or the other can be a recipe for unpleasantness. As an example, depending solely on roof vents and leaving soffit closed can result in air being pulled in through the roof vents, encouraging the entry of rain. It could result in air simply circulating in the top couple of feet of the attic, accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Balancing your airflow is important, is what I'm trying to say.

Thanks for this useful input...I really appreciate all of this great insight/advice.  The second contractor said he would quote me with and without the additional ventilation and I'm seriously considering taking your advice and getting it done properly so that it will last for years to come.  This new roof is going to completely wipe out my emergency fund...FML!

brotatochip

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 06:26:22 AM »
One other tip - when considering materials, think about 3 things (OK, 2.5 things)

1. What is the Lifetime Guarantee on the shingles/steel/cedar/whatever.
2. How long will you own the house
2.5 - How likely is it that you'll be dead before the roofing material?

When I was in my 20's and doing my first roof, I went all out and put on whatever the best shingles at the time were. They cost a lot. 2 years later I sold the house (at a profit) but no one cared about the life expectancy of the roof, just that it was intact.

In our last house, we reroofed with Architectural shingles that came with a lifetime warranty. We had considered a steel roof since we were planning on owning that house forever, but then jobs changed and lifestyles changed, and guess what, 4 years later, someone got a really nice roof out of us. At the time, we had considered a steel roof or a cedar roof. Now I'm glad we didn't spend that much money.

Now in my 40's I'm looking at roofing, and even the cheapest 25 year shingles don't make a lot of sense. For actual failure, I take the rated life of the shingles and cut it in half, but I know that a lot of manufacturers will only cover materials if the shingles fail early, and even that is difficult to get since they will argue that teh installation was poor. So in my head, I take those plain 3-tab shingles rated for 25 years, consider that they will fail in 13 years. In 13 years, my youngest will be 20. I'll be retired. My lifestyle will no longer 'fit' this house, and I'll want to cash out the equity in it.

If the 25 year shingles make it to their forecast failure point, I'll be 65 and my kids will be in their 30's. No way we'll have a 4bdrm, 3 bath house. More likely we will have moved into a 2 bedroom condo, and with any luck we'll be spending our winters away.  So I guess for us, the cheapest 3-tabs with the 25 year year warranty are the best bet. Even if the architecturals are so much prettier.

Gobs of guys at work are moving up to steel roofs, cedar roofs, slate roofs, etc. And while they all look really nice, and most will last 'forever' none of them is as maintenance free, and low cost as ye aulde asphalt shingle. And when those high $$$ roofs fail, the repairs are incredibly not-cheap. At resale, a house with a steel roof might sell faster, but no one is tagging $10,000 on because it has a steel roof, and every day the steel outlives your ownership is an opportunity cost to you.

Point taken.  I'm 34 and and track to FIRE at 55 and I will be moving close to a beach, preferably by the gulf...cheapest COL I can find. 

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2015, 06:27:21 AM »
One other tip - when considering materials, think about 3 things (OK, 2.5 things)

1. What is the Lifetime Guarantee on the shingles/steel/cedar/whatever.
2. How long will you own the house
2.5 - How likely is it that you'll be dead before the roofing material?

When I was in my 20's and doing my first roof, I went all out and put on whatever the best shingles at the time were. They cost a lot. 2 years later I sold the house (at a profit) but no one cared about the life expectancy of the roof, just that it was intact.

In our last house, we reroofed with Architectural shingles that came with a lifetime warranty. We had considered a steel roof since we were planning on owning that house forever, but then jobs changed and lifestyles changed, and guess what, 4 years later, someone got a really nice roof out of us. At the time, we had considered a steel roof or a cedar roof. Now I'm glad we didn't spend that much money.

Now in my 40's I'm looking at roofing, and even the cheapest 25 year shingles don't make a lot of sense. For actual failure, I take the rated life of the shingles and cut it in half, but I know that a lot of manufacturers will only cover materials if the shingles fail early, and even that is difficult to get since they will argue that teh installation was poor. So in my head, I take those plain 3-tab shingles rated for 25 years, consider that they will fail in 13 years. In 13 years, my youngest will be 20. I'll be retired. My lifestyle will no longer 'fit' this house, and I'll want to cash out the equity in it.

If the 25 year shingles make it to their forecast failure point, I'll be 65 and my kids will be in their 30's. No way we'll have a 4bdrm, 3 bath house. More likely we will have moved into a 2 bedroom condo, and with any luck we'll be spending our winters away.  So I guess for us, the cheapest 3-tabs with the 25 year year warranty are the best bet. Even if the architecturals are so much prettier.

Gobs of guys at work are moving up to steel roofs, cedar roofs, slate roofs, etc. And while they all look really nice, and most will last 'forever' none of them is as maintenance free, and low cost as ye aulde asphalt shingle. And when those high $$$ roofs fail, the repairs are incredibly not-cheap. At resale, a house with a steel roof might sell faster, but no one is tagging $10,000 on because it has a steel roof, and every day the steel outlives your ownership is an opportunity cost to you.

This is super helpful. DH and I were struggling with the various options and how to weigh cost/durability.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2015, 06:59:15 AM »
Totally agree with the "how good by how long I want that roof" equation.

Only other thing is that in some fire prone areas, home insurance is lower with a metal roof. Even just the cheap standing seam.

I heat with wood...I'm probably going to spring for it next time just because: wind happens, embers fly. And even with the proper tools....metal roofs are a two man job so I'll farm it out.

But comp roofs are doable for one person.

Jack

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2015, 07:37:16 AM »
That actually is a thing. Poor attic ventilation will wear your shingles prematurely, increase summer Temps inside the house, and encourage the growth of mold. Just cutting in new vents on top of the roof won't cut it if the soffit ventilation is insufficient. Air In and Air Out are two balanced parts of one equation. You are depending on the superheated air escaping the top to draw in cool air from the eaves. Depending on just one or the other can be a recipe for unpleasantness. As an example, depending solely on roof vents and leaving soffit closed can result in air being pulled in through the roof vents, encouraging the entry of rain. It could result in air simply circulating in the top couple of feet of the attic, accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Balancing your airflow is important, is what I'm trying to say.

That's the issue I'm having: my post-WW2 "American Small House" (note: PDF link) doesn't have eaves -- the roof ends flush with the wall. So in addition to just re-roofing, I'm also planning to have the roof structure extended to add them (along with either ridge vents or large gable vents). And of course, I plan never to sell the house (if I move, I'd keep it as a rental), so I'm planning on a metal roof. I'm expecting the job to cost a lot. : (

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2015, 07:54:57 AM »
Don't use Russell Roofing. I saw them seal rain under a roof. If you are in the northern suburbs I can give you the name of the guy that did a great job on mine, but he's super busy and might not have time this summer.

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2015, 08:16:25 AM »
DH has been getting updates from me all morning on this. Think I'll just have him read the whole thread. Ha. His first question, if roofers are busy all summer, would it make sense to try for September/October? Here in DC it's still decent weather. Can you get a really good price if you schedule the job for the least busy time?

Le Poisson

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2015, 08:45:14 AM »
If you DIY, then Fall is the best time (its cooler) but a lot of roofers get busier in late fall since folks are in a push to git-er-done before snow flies. Its also prime time for your install since the shingles stay cool enough not to deform underfoot, but warm up enough to seal to each other. Up here, roofers will install year-round. Winter installs are easier to schedule since weather is less of a factor (you can't shovel rain off a roof) as long as you aren't hit with freezing rain.

Ask the roofers if they can offer a discount at any time of year, or if you can go in as a standby job (ie. flexible date). If you go standby it means they can showup anytime it fits their schedule (materials for another job don't show up, someone cancels, etc.) You may be able to offer to take delivery of the shingles early and store them until your slot opens in their schedule. Some roofers like this since it locks you in as their customer, others won't want this since they have to hump all the bundles to the roof (slows them down).

Seriously though - look into DIYing this. If you guys can overcome your issues with heights and get good fall arrest equipment, you can save a metric butt-tonne of cash.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 08:54:33 AM by Prospector »

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2015, 08:50:10 AM »
If you DIY, then Fall is the best time (its cooler) but a lot of roofers get busier in late fall since folks are in a push to git-er-done before snow flies.

Ask the roofers if they can offer a discount at any time of year, or if you go in as a standby job (ie. flexible date). If you go standby it means they can showup anytime it fits their schedule (materials for another job don't show up, someone cancels, etc.) You may be able to offer to take delivery of the shingles early and store them until your slot opens in their schedule.

Seriously though - look into DIYing this. If you guys can overcome your issues with heights and get good fall arrest equipment, you can save a metric butt-tonne of cash.

I hear you. Will discuss all of this with DH. I told hom how MMM hired a roofer to teach him how to roof. Will look into the other strategies. So happy this thread was started!

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2015, 08:56:16 AM »
However...what about the code issues, things like do I need to replace/redo gutters, fix venting? I like the idea of doing the shingles ourselves (well, no, I like the idea of saving money), but we know nothing about assessing the situation and being sure we take care of problems we may not even see.

ETA our problem is leaks we think are from water following nail holes through the roof. DH has patched a few of those problem areas, but we don't know what's happening elsewhere.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 09:00:48 AM by Basenji »

Le Poisson

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2015, 09:07:49 AM »
I'll teach you to roof! Come up here and do mine with me! :)

Roofing isn't hard at all. Remember that most roofers have only got a GED - you are at least as smart as that. What they have is experience and judgement, and thats hard to get in a hurry.

If you have rot in your roof deck you will find it by going into the attic and looking for stains, or by finding soft spots when you tear up the roof.

Flashings and valleys are teh most difficult parts, but if you are careful in your tearoff, you can salvage and reuse the old ones, which means a material savings as well as a lesser chance of new leaks. The exception to this is that around chimneys, the flashing is often feathered into the rows of shingles. Pay attention in the tear-out and you'll see how to rebuild. Building a cricket behind a chimney (google it) can be tricky, but if you took geometry in high-school you can figure it out.

If/when you find your leaks, you'll need some judgement on how to make sure the problem doesn't repeat. You can often find that information online, or in books at the library but with your roof exposed you don't have weeks to think about it.

We also now have materials that likely weren't available when your roof was first laid (if your house is as old as mine) things like ice & water shield either weren't available or weren't popular years ago. Research them now so you at least know what a contractor is talking about, or you can judge whether & where you need them in your install.

I would also go up on the roof with a camera and take pictures of everything so when you are talking to a contractor you can show him what your concerns are. If you don't hire him, at least you know what his solutions would be - but be careful, these guys time is worth money, and free tutoring is not their business. Paying for the estimate time is a way to reimburse them at least a little for the training you get.

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2015, 09:28:01 AM »
I grok you, do some fucking research!

neo von retorch

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2015, 09:53:12 AM »
I have a 1300 sq ft and it's all one floor. It's a pretty big roof and some of it was an expansion. While I got one shady quote for $15k which was quickly dropped to $9k when they found out I would get other quotes, my cousin, a friend and two places I found on AngiesList.com all gave me quotes in the $4500-5500 range. AngiesList - I went with a very popular, very local guy with basically all 'A' ratings. (I started the join process of AngiesList but kept quitting and it kept emailing me cheaper join rates. Paid maybe $12 for 1 year of subscription.)

GoldenStache

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2015, 10:01:22 AM »
Basenji - You might be able to save $1k by doing it yourself but no where near worth it.  Depending on how high your roof is, you will be lugging those bundles up a ladder unless you rent a lift ($200), you know you have leaks so you will also be lugging sheets of plywood up a ladder (very hard with two people).

Contractors get better deals on the shingles saving you $$, and usually have a team (4-6) working that can also knockout a decent sized roof in about 5 hours - taking off the old shingles, fixing damage and adding new shingles.  It seems storms keep popping up all of the time so you want to get it replaced as quickly as possible.  One heavy rain could cost thousands in repairs.

The little things can cost you a fortune in DC (shingle delivery, ladder rental, lift rental, trash removal, magnet roller) most contractors have all of the tools needed to cover this in house.

bacchi

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2015, 10:05:42 AM »
Gobs of guys at work are moving up to steel roofs, cedar roofs, slate roofs, etc. And while they all look really nice, and most will last 'forever' none of them is as maintenance free, and low cost as ye aulde asphalt shingle. And when those high $$$ roofs fail, the repairs are incredibly not-cheap. At resale, a house with a steel roof might sell faster, but no one is tagging $10,000 on because it has a steel roof, and every day the steel outlives your ownership is an opportunity cost to you.

A standing-seam metal roof is about maintenance free as one can get. When it hails, my neighbors are calling their insurance adjustors. I don't give it a concern and receive an insurance discount to boot.

You're right about the opportunity cost. If you plan to sell within 5-10 years, that cost won't be returned in the sales price.

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2015, 10:16:10 AM »
Basenji - You might be able to save $1k by doing it yourself but no where near worth it.  Depending on how high your roof is, you will be lugging those bundles up a ladder unless you rent a lift ($200), you know you have leaks so you will also be lugging sheets of plywood up a ladder (very hard with two people).

Contractors get better deals on the shingles saving you $$, and usually have a team (4-6) working that can also knockout a decent sized roof in about 5 hours - taking off the old shingles, fixing damage and adding new shingles.  It seems storms keep popping up all of the time so you want to get it replaced as quickly as possible.  One heavy rain could cost thousands in repairs.

The little things can cost you a fortune in DC (shingle delivery, ladder rental, lift rental, trash removal, magnet roller) most contractors have all of the tools needed to cover this in house.

I actually figured that was the case and that after excitedly researching I would find it is out of my league. But I like to entertain notions here in the forums that I probably won't really execute. In my personal mustache growth, I'm trying to be open to things that used to seem impossible. What I WILL do for sure is research the hell out of roofing so I can speak with contractors in a slightly educated manner. I'm grateful for the opportunity in this thread to spitball ideas. I'll report back if we find ways to save using the tips here.

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2015, 10:18:13 AM »
I have a 1300 sq ft and it's all one floor. It's a pretty big roof and some of it was an expansion. While I got one shady quote for $15k which was quickly dropped to $9k when they found out I would get other quotes, my cousin, a friend and two places I found on AngiesList.com all gave me quotes in the $4500-5500 range. AngiesList - I went with a very popular, very local guy with basically all 'A' ratings. (I started the join process of AngiesList but kept quitting and it kept emailing me cheaper join rates. Paid maybe $12 for 1 year of subscription.)

Where are you?

MetalCap

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2015, 11:18:15 AM »
Literally just got the new roof completed yesterday.  The good ole Home Depot did it in a day. 13 squares (1300 sq ft) for 9k, new gutters and downspouts.  They were the lowest of the 5 bids and had 2 years 0% interest (halts the CC churn for a bit though).

I have a cape cod with a 12/1 slope though so a bit of a "premium" on that.

Service sucked but in the end the job got done in a day and in decent quality (workers were fine, management was not).

The other bids we 15, 14, 12 and 11.5k off of Angies List and Sears.

So a couple things to keep in mind.
  • We're only going to be in this house for MAX 5 more years.
  • Reroofing is one of the better investments on a house for ROI (not 100% though)  and with a Cape cod it represents half of the curb view of house.
  • We weren't going to make it through the winter without a leak.  If oyu have leaks fix it now or pay double or more for structural repairs/damage in the house. Don't put it off.
  • Architectural shingles do look better but don't let them sell you on a % premium, the difference should only be about $0.30 per sq foot ($400 for me)

Happy to respond to any questions on it.  Could have done it myself over a week but this was cheap, no interest, decent quality, good look, etc.

EDIT: I'm in MD just north of DC.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 11:25:10 AM by MetalCap »

MetalCap

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2015, 11:23:15 AM »
DH has been getting updates from me all morning on this. Think I'll just have him read the whole thread. Ha. His first question, if roofers are busy all summer, would it make sense to try for September/October? Here in DC it's still decent weather. Can you get a really good price if you schedule the job for the least busy time?

A lot of times you can get better quotes.  If you're up front with them on timing it shouldn't matter the pricing but good contractors are more motivated to keep their crews working even on fewer jobs to prevent brain drain.

September/October is still busy season (not as hot as summer either but enough hard rains to show issues).  Dead season is Dec-March.

Le Poisson

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2015, 12:02:23 PM »
Basenji - You might be able to save $1k by doing it yourself but no where near worth it.  Depending on how high your roof is, you will be lugging those bundles up a ladder unless you rent a lift ($200), you know you have leaks so you will also be lugging sheets of plywood up a ladder (very hard with two people).

Contractors get better deals on the shingles saving you $$, and usually have a team (4-6) working that can also knockout a decent sized roof in about 5 hours - taking off the old shingles, fixing damage and adding new shingles.  It seems storms keep popping up all of the time so you want to get it replaced as quickly as possible.  One heavy rain could cost thousands in repairs.

The little things can cost you a fortune in DC (shingle delivery, ladder rental, lift rental, trash removal, magnet roller) most contractors have all of the tools needed to cover this in house.

Our experience in Toronto is the polar opposite of about everything in this post. Not to pick a fight but...

Buy from a decent roofing supplier and you still get delivery to the roof. Including all materials, No one humps everything up a ladder anymore. Yeah, you may be off by a sheet or two of ply, but with planning, you shouldn't humping loads of materials up to the roof at all.

We can knock off a good sized house with a team of three by stripping on a Friday after work and installing Saturday-Sunday.  As for storms, watch the weather - not rocket science.

Trash removal is a bin rented for a weekend. The only disposal purchase should be tarps to catch nails/debris. When I tear-off, its one dude on the roof and 2 on the ground. The ground crew is clearing into the bin as fast the roof dude is stripping.

Tools to own will include:

Gloves/kneepads/glasses - PPE
Tear-off gear - a shovel/garden fork, tarps.
Roofing jacks and walking planks. (Maybe rent - I got mine in a pawn shop for $10)
Air compressor/nail gun (maybe rent? Depends how often you will end up doing this, but nailers are so cheap now, why not buy.)
Skilsaw for cutting plywood
Chalkline, knife, screwdrivers, tinsnips
Ladder to reach the roof - preferably with stability wings at the top (Maybe rent, but I use ours every year for gutter cleaning/christmas lights/etc.)

Rentals
Air compressor/Nail gun (??) see above.
Ladder - See above
Roofing Jacks and walking planks (See above)
Disposal Bin/Magnet

Material purchases
Shingles
Fasteners (Nails or staples)
Replacement vents/ridge vents
Caulking (look for the stuff for roof work)
Sheet metal flashing
Ice & Water Shield
Plywood for deck, lumber for fascia/soffits if needed

Do the math and compare. In our case we found that even with the costs of stuff above (much of which we already own) the sweat was worth a lot more than $1000.

neo von retorch

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2015, 12:04:01 PM »
Near Harrisburg/Hershey PA. So yes - that's not a HCOL area.

Le Poisson

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2015, 12:09:24 PM »
Gobs of guys at work are moving up to steel roofs, cedar roofs, slate roofs, etc. And while they all look really nice, and most will last 'forever' none of them is as maintenance free, and low cost as ye aulde asphalt shingle. And when those high $$$ roofs fail, the repairs are incredibly not-cheap. At resale, a house with a steel roof might sell faster, but no one is tagging $10,000 on because it has a steel roof, and every day the steel outlives your ownership is an opportunity cost to you.

A standing-seam metal roof is about maintenance free as one can get. When it hails, my neighbors are calling their insurance adjustors. I don't give it a concern and receive an insurance discount to boot.

You're right about the opportunity cost. If you plan to sell within 5-10 years, that cost won't be returned in the sales price.

Really depends on the install. The screws used on steel roofs all have neoprene washers behind them. If they were over driven or underdriven, the neoprene is compromised and will eventually leak. The response to that is usually for a homeowner to go up and put a coat of epoxypaint on the roof to try to seal the screws. This will stem the flow for a while, but is not permanent since the metal is constantly expending/contracting against teh washers, and the neoprene now has a hard coating over it.

If your screws are set to the right torque, you will have a long time before that neoprene breaks down. But sooner or later it will go. Hopefully your installer left the old asphalt shingles under the roof and your purlins have proper gapping to allow the water to flow. IF that is the case, then when the neoprene breaks down, the sub-roof will buy you time before you see intrusion. With luck, you will even catch water seepage at the eaves.

And when that failure happens, you will be able to remove and replace each of those hundreds of screws and neoprene washers to hold you over for another cycle.

No roof is perfect. Some are just more dollars when they fail.

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2015, 05:29:43 PM »
Man, I love a good roofing debate. Thanks for all this info! Will start looking at options...

bacchi

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2015, 06:47:57 PM »
A standing-seam metal roof is about maintenance free as one can get.

Really depends on the install. The screws used on steel roofs all have neoprene washers behind them. If they were over driven or underdriven, the neoprene is compromised and will eventually leak.

Wait, what? Are we talking about the same thing? There are no exposed screws in a standing-seam metal roof. Water never reaches the screws.

http://www.burasconstruction.com/core/imgs/products/clicklock-standing-seam.jpg

Le Poisson

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2015, 11:41:32 PM »
Sorry Bacchi - my bad. Curious though, what was the cost per square foot for that roof and did you do an ROI comparison when you had it put in? How many years to break even compared to standard 3-tabs?

bacchi

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2015, 01:21:33 AM »
Sorry Bacchi - my bad. Curious though, what was the cost per square foot for that roof and did you do an ROI comparison when you had it put in? How many years to break even compared to standard 3-tabs?

It was $7.3/foot^2, all in (labor + materials). After the insurance payout, it was $6/foot.

Standard asphalt install was about $3/ft at the time because of high gas ($4/gallon).

That gives an ROI of about 13 years, or when a 3-tab would need replacement in a very hot climate. There's also the opportunity cost of the extra upfront money but that's somewhat decreased by the insurance discount.

Le Poisson

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2015, 05:38:57 AM »
Thats a really good deal. Glad you're happy with it.


Mother Fussbudget

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2015, 12:49:14 PM »
Basenji, this *IS* a really good thread, thank you for starting it.

Not being able to look at your roof myself, but from your descriptions, you describe two potential issues:
1) Active leaks, & 2) Ventilation issues. 

Your roof is a system to keep the elements out of the house.  Both water and extremes of temperature of sun and heat/cold.  Beneath the roof-deck, homes typically have insulation to keep the living space "insulated" from the environment.  The roof system is supposed to keep moisture out of the attic space - that's job #1.  And insulation can only live up to it's R-value when it's kept dry (exception:  foam insulation - for a separate topic).

But a roof deck has to live and breathe in the conditions-of-the-day.  You *want it* to be warm when the weather is hot so there's no condensation (i.e. moisture) underneath.  You *want it* to be cool in the winter so any snow doesn't thaw & refreeze causing ice-dams which work their way beneath the shingles, and damage the singles, and roof decking.

Soffit vents are for air to come IN to the attic - covered with screen to keep pests out (birds, mice/rats, etc). 
Ridge vents are for heated air to escape OUT of the attic.  Warm air rises, so done correctly, you have a fairly constant flow of air through the attic space, and not much moisture (since the soffits are typically dry / under the eaves overhang, etc). 

I moved into a new house in December - this house had mold in the attic caused by excess moisture.  Most of it was from air-flow confusion. When I moved in, the roof had soffit vents around the full house perimeter, a full-ridge vent, and older vents located 1-to-2 feet below the ridge spaced every 4 feet.  Air was supposed to be drawn in at the lower edges of the roof, and vented at the peak.  But the amount of mold in the attic led me to believe the older mid-roof vents were having air (and moisture) drawn IN.  When I replaced the roof (this past January), I sealed the older mid-roof vents, and left the full-soffit & full-ridge vents to do their jobs.  I also ducted/vented a bathroom fan that had previously dumped air & water directly into the attic.  The gutters were damaged & full of debris, so they were replaced, and covered with inexpensive ($1.95 per 3 ft section) 'gutter guards'.

Good luck, and here's some additional resources I recommend.  I did my first soup-to-nuts roof project as a home owner (rather than a college 'shingle-mule') after studying an old VHS copy of video #1, so I know this is all you really need for a DIY project.  But, I also realize DIY isn't for everyone - if you go with a contractor, get multiple quotes, and go with the one you feel best about.   All the best!

Resources: 
1. Hometime - 23 min Roofing Project video overview.
2. Hometime - Roofing DIY How To Guide.
3. Hometime - more detailed roofing DYI video - (start at 2:30).
4.  What's up with Dean Johnson and his MANY 'wives'?  ;-)
 

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2015, 07:02:37 AM »
Basenji, this *IS* a really good thread, thank you for starting it.

Wasn't me, but thanks for your info!

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2015, 07:31:41 AM »
So, DH called a few places. B&B, recc from GoldenStache, said, "I'm so busy that I don't even want to come out for an estimate because you'll feel like we're doing business and I can't guaranteee when I'll have an opening. Call me in 2 weeks." DH calling around everyone again this week.

We have a 1939 brick-shithouse, in a good way, I guess. How do you say? 1.5 stories, the original house was practically a perfect square of two courses of brick with plaster and lath walls. Three extensions have been added over the years: a small backroom that's more like a three-season room, a front living room, and a bathroom added to the back and side. These three add-ons all have lower roofs than the main v and they make for a somewhat complicated roof. The main house roof, however, is just a V, with an old, unusued chimney in the back, a leaky in-roof vent fan, and various venting pipes. The "attic" is finished (within the last 10 years, not by us), but has room to stand only in the middle, with the ceiling sloping down. We store stuff upstairs and have a TV with bean bags up there.

It gets hot upstairs and the only a/c is a in-window unit. There's a vent fan in the roof that needs to come out. DH wants to replace it with solar fans, but I think we should put a fan in the wall or through the window. We don't use the fan when the a/c is on downstairs, only when no a/c is on. There is baseboard heating up there in the winter, an extension of the radiator system downstairs.

I shudder to think what's under the roof and in the ceiling above the drywall. I guess we'll find out soon!

DH just laughed when I mentioned DIY. But he is learning as much as he can so we can make sure things are done well. He says we need new gutters. At least some of the gutters were hung badly and water pools and leaks in places.

This is becoming my roof journal...

« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 07:47:39 AM by Basenji »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #45 on: August 03, 2015, 07:38:30 AM »
Consider asking folks to include removing your unused chimney when they go up on the roof. You don't want it to fall through your roof, or on somebody's skull.

Basenji

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #46 on: August 03, 2015, 07:43:20 AM »
Consider asking folks to include removing your unused chimney when they go up on the roof. You don't want it to fall through your roof, or on somebody's skull.

The whole chimney still exists, down to the ground, it vents the furnace, which is in the back furnace, water heater, laundry room. I think the chimney never had an actual fireplace. Is that possible?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #47 on: August 03, 2015, 08:02:11 AM »
Oh, so it isn't really unused. My chimney only vents my furnace and water heater. I know a guy who put in a fancy new high-efficiency furnace/water heater that vents directly outside nearly at ground level, so he didn't need the old chimney anymore and when he had a guy up on his roof anyways had the chimney taken off. You could see daylight through it from the ground, so I think that was a smart move.

Le Poisson

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #48 on: August 03, 2015, 08:30:12 AM »
WRT the chimney - at least check the pointing on it (the mortar between the bricks) outside the house it will freeze up in the winter then water works its way into the mortar breaking it down. If its fine, leave it, but if that mortar has started to fail (pretty normal on an old house) then you may as well have it taken down to the roof line, and get the roof rebuilt over where it used to be. Not a big job, but an extra.

On an old house we fixed a failing chimney by putting a pipe down it, and then leaning on it.  The whole chimney fell off the side of the house. Unfortunately with yours in the middle of the roof, that's not an option.

Our roof is commiserating with yours. In the last 2 big storms we had we've had water in the house. Looks like I have a job to do this fall.

<Edited because I need to take a typing course>
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 10:52:08 AM by Prospector »

gillstone

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Re: New roof advice
« Reply #49 on: August 03, 2015, 08:37:58 AM »
Finding a roofer and getting it done can be a huge hassle and expensive, but remember, if this is done right, you'll never have to do it again while you live there, even if you live there for 20 years.

If your roof isn't vented, your local code likely requires that any new roof include vents.  Soffits under the eaves and a ridge vent can be an effective way to vent a roof and there are no moving parts.  It will add to your bill, but venting will improve the energy efficiency of your home as well as its comfort in the summer.  Also an unvented roof can shorten the lifespan of shingles.

We recently did our roof and from my experience I would say:
- Get 3-5 detailed bids and require that they furnish proof of insurance, workman's comp, their contractor's license, and references
- Honesty can count more than money.  We took the mid-line of bids because the contractor was honest about roof condition, what needed to be done, and what would work best for our situation.
- On advice of a relative who has spent 30 years roofing, we chose to go with Malarkey's 50-year architectural shingles.

We have been very happy with our roof so far.  Our house used to be hotter inside than outside in the summer and now we stay above 5 degrees cooler than outside without using AC.  And it still holds heat when it matters.  A week ago it dropped into the high 30s and almost snowed and we never had to turn on the furnace.