Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Raise the Roof

We're almost 3 weeks into the New Year and we are getting more and more moved in by the day.  The garage was organized over the weekend, we're ordering a new energy-efficient, textured fiberglass "oh-it-looks-just-like-wood (no-it-doesn't)" front door and we're starting to think about rugs, accents and window dressings.  But you know what I could really go for right now during this rainy, cold January?  A new roof.  

Luckily the roofer dudes who live and work in this area know what they're in for--unlike, say, us.  You know, because we like noise, old shingles & nails littering the yard and rolling the dice on inclement weather.  In all honesty, we knew when we bought the house that the roof was old.  There have been no leaks or issues thus far but we've been told its a ticking time bomb and with the torrential rain, snow and crazy a$$ wind ripping up through here--just since we've moved in--we decided to fast track it.  

There is A LOT to know about roofing when you're bidding out.  I had no idea there are so many aspects to the job and the number of products too.  What's worse is that the bids are all organized differently and to make sense of them you have to go through them very carefully.  It was reassuring to get referrals from friends who were happy with the companies they worked with and cross reference with Angie's List.  But it just so happens that Ken's middle brother is a former roofer and his guidance was fantastic.  We went through 2 bids with him and he told us what was important and what was not.  
  • Reputation of a company and their being around well after the roof is done is very important so a cheap roof may not be all it's cracked up to be if it's not backed by an able and trust-worthy company.  
  • For our situation, sheathing was a big deal because of the age of our house and current roof.  One of the companies didn't think it was necessary to replace it even though most shingle warranties void out if they don't have new or fairly new sheathing underneath.  That struck me as odd that they were willing to extend their own labor warranty but would likely void the product warranty (red flag).  
  • Also for added protection against water intrusion an ice/watershield felt underlayment and cricketing (which builds up an angled slope behind the chimney so that water/snow does not build up behind it) were must-haves for our wet weather.  
  • Thumbs-up on ridge vents, lead pipe flashing and plywood for sheathing (no OSB).  
  • In terms of shingle brand, Ken's brother liked GAF and not so much Certainteed.  But we are going with a local product called Pabco which will do the job just fine.  
  • Warranties are a big thing to look at not just the shingle warranty which can be 20, 30, 50 years but also the warranty of the labor.  
  • There is also the added bonus of warranty transferability in case you move soon after the roof install and need to pass it to the next owner.  That's a good thing to ask about.

So today was the delivery of the materials which I thought they would just drop off in the driveway.  Silly me. No, they arrive with a crane and put the materials, you know, on the roof.  But that is not as easy as it sounds because in our case you have to get a clear shot to the roof without hitting trees or power lines and then all of the stuff needs to be secured down.   Did I mention how frakking loud it was when they put that stuff up there and the terror it inspired as I thought the house would collapse under the weight of it?  Oh and it was during nap time so that was exciting too.  I was hoping simultaneously that the house would not collapse and Sidney would sleep through all of it.

Tear-off begins bright and early tomorrow.  More updates as they happen.

Special Delivery

Whatever you do, don't drop that right now ok?

Right before the loud thump sound.

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