Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY.

Bob's Bloggers

A community of bloggers who live and die to DIY

The House Gets a New Hat

By At Home Alterations on Oct 07, 2011

We got a new roof!  This wasn't something we planned to do for a long time but we found out our old roof had hail damage and insurance would cover the cost - minus our deductible.  That sounded like a good plan.

The first thing the roofers did was drop off a dumpster.  We know we're too into renovations when we're EXCITED to have an ugly dumpster next to our house.  One of the hardest projects in the basement renovation has been figuring out what to do with all the construction debris.  We've already bought not one but two bagster bags AND taken a load to our city's free dump.  It's either expensive (baster bag is $120) or difficult to borrow/rent a truck to bring stuff to the dump so we had a pile of random wood in our garage and lots of piles of pipe, concrete, and random demo stuff from the past few months in the basement.  We asked our roofer if we could use the dumpster and he said it was no problem.  A few hours later...

Later that day some people went dumpster diving and took out anything metal to bring to a scrap yard and someone took some trim scraps that came with the house which we'll never use.  Oh, city living.  At least it's getting used/recycled.

With the dumpster in place, the countdown was on for when the roof work would start.



Katrina was up and ready for work (teachers start early) but I woke to the sound of a truck in our yard delivering shingles.

I reluctantly left for work as the roofers we getting started.  I felt like our house was in the hospital having surgery; I wanted to be home.  Dramatic, I know.  I kind of got my wish.  Our exterior receptacles don't have any power to them right now because of the basement renovation.  They were wired so horribly (and dangerously) that I cut power and took out all the wiring.  I intended to hook up an extension cord for the roofers but it slipped my mind as I was leaving.  A few hours later I got a call that they couldn't use their nail guns or saws until I hooked up the power!  It was about time for a lunch break so I headed home to get them power.  I'm glad I was able to stop by and see the progress.  Most of the shingles were already off by the time I got home.

I even got to go up on the roof and see how the house looks without shingles.

I was surprised to find out the roof decking isn't made of plywood, it was 1x6's running across the joists.  The roofers said it's normal for a house this age, I guess I've never seen an old house without singles... or at least a tarp.  Some of the boards were rotten so they were pulling them out and replacing them as they went.

They said they weren't going to put vents in because our finished bedroom leaves no attic space.  Its' the ceiling of the bedroom, thick insulation, then the roof.  Since there's no room for air movement, it doesn't make any sense to add a vent.  I had assumed this would be the case but I had a theory that the peak at the front left of our house and the space right above the front door were void.  Sure enough, I was able to see the space between the 1x6's!  I wasn't sure if there was any insulation in there but the only way to know would have been to open up our living room or foyer ceiling to find out.  I was happy to see there was some sort of blown in insulation up there.  It's probably not the best insulation any more but I'm glad there was something!  Because of these open spaces the roofers were able to put in several vents which will hopefully help with the ice dams we get on both sides of that peak.

I went back to work for the afternoon and when I got home they were basically done!  That's fast.  They did our roof and garage in about 12 hours.


We're super excited to have a new roof.  The exterior already looks better but we're not kidding ourselves, there's still a LOT of work to do on our yard/house.  Hopefully this is a start!

Visit At Home Alterations »

blog comments powered by Disqus