Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When it Rains, It pours. (We need a new roof)

On the same evening we got rid of our pool, We had a roofer come and take a look at our roof.

When we got the inspection of our house before we bought, the inspector did put a camera on a pole, and took a gander at our roof. The result was going back to the table with a new offer - we got 2500 dollars knocked of the price of the house. It was mostly a matter of principle, It wouldn't really notice the difference in our monthly payments. Amortized over 30 years, we're talking about 7-8 bucks a month over our mortgage, but every bit helps. Basically we were told the front was in good shape, and the back needed to be done soon.

Turns out, the front is in pretty bad shape too. The shingles could last another 2-5 years, However the roofer that is giving us a quote basically said he'd refuse to do just the back.

We learned a few things, and the roofer explained why he essentially refused to only do the back:

  • On the Back half of our roof, the shingles are done. Most of them are missing a lot of the pebble, and are just curled bits of paper. I knew this already, and it was why I called a roofer in to quote replacing the back roof only.
  • Since the Waste bin will be in the front yard, the roofers would be walking along the front roof to throw the old shingles out. The front shingles were nearly done, but all that foot traffic would probably be the end of them, and we'd need a new roof up there anyway.
  • The front room does not have a drip edge (which is not required, but nice)  It also doesn't have any eaves trough, and combined with the lack of drip edge, the water curls around and is hitting our front wall, and the wood trim on the front of our house is rotting as a result. (I knew this, I had planned on replacing it myself (the rotting wood)
  • The Eaves troughs we do have, are painted steel, and are rusting through. They are also too narrow. With a proper drip edge and roofing job, The water will flow right over them.
  • Our roof has serious ventilation issues. It looks like the insulation has been blown onto the "intake" vents along the perimeter of the house. (Vented awning). The result is that our roof gets way too hot, and its killed the shingles pre-maturely (they're only 10-11 years old)
  • Our roof has the trusses 24 inches apart (which is within code) and 3/8th's thick Plywood (which is minimum code) However, they did NOT use proper "H" connectors to support the plywood. (which means it was never within code) So, there is a lot of sagging going on.
  • The plywood has dry rotted, and shrunk away from the studs - So there is no support for the roof in some areas - basically the shingles are holding it together. There are noticeable sags between the trusses, and in some of the worst ones, its almost to the point where water could pool, enough though its a sloped roof.
So, that's a lot wrong!

Looking around at all the identical houses to ours in the area, and most of them have similar issues - It seems like the developer cheapened out when putting our houses up. The sad fact however, is that our house is the worst of them all, mostly because of the ventilation issues.

We received a very reasonable quote to repair it all, and to do it right, so it'll last a good 20+ years.

However, Money is the main issue. This shouldn't wait until winter, it should be done this fall at the latest. We just weren't planning on a ~$5500 roof job so soon after moving in.  I don't think we'll be living here for more than 5-7 years, so we're debating just getting it re-shingled, adding a vent or two, and calling it a day. It'll last as long as we own the house.

It doesn't sit right with me, however, so I doubt we'll end up doing this. Aside from Family, Friends and Health, there's not much that's more important than the roof over your head.

So we started to look at ways we could decrease the costs:

The amazing roofer that came by spent 2 hours with us. He'd install:
  1. Drip Edge
  2. Ridge Vent
  3. Replace Plywood where needed
  4. Ice and Water barrier
  5. 50 year shingles
  6. Eaves troughs & down spouts
What could we cut out?

  1. Drip Edge isn't required by code - He just does this because it adds a very nice finished look to the edges, and ties in with the eaves troughs.
  2. Ridge vent may be overkill. Going to ask if a traditional vent is cheaper
  3. Plywood has to be done, no option.
  4. Ice and water barrier is now code. (it wasn't in the 70's when the house was built, they just used paper)
  5. 50 year shingles is all he deals with - the added cost over 25/30 year shingles is not a lot.
  6. He basically threw in the Eaves Troughs for free, so I can't cut that out (we don't really NEED new ones)

Its been a very expensive summer. 

He did say if we needed to cut costs, we could go to a "fly by night" roofer. They basically get you to supply the materials, and install it for you. However, We'd still be looking at replacing the front roof, the plywood, etc. We'd also pay more for the shingles than a roofer who gets a bulk discount, and be responsible for waste/leftover. We might be able to save upwards of $1,200, However we'd still be left with fundamental issues with our roof.

I think the bottom line is: We need to do it right the first time.

Once I've signed on with our roofer, I'll post a review here on my blog, as well as my favorite review site - www.Homestars.com

Good thing I love Kraft Dinner and Hot Dogs.

Edit:  For some reason, this post was listed as a draft - We have a new roof already - and I'll be posting about it in a few weeks. :-)