Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It. Is. Done. (The Roof That Is)

We actually finished the roof over a week ago, I just haven't gotten to updating the blog. My husband asked what I wanted for my birthday? I said, "to finish this stupid roof." Stupid roof finished. In a drizzly rain. On my birthday. But, it is done. Woo hoo!

Before we can get rid of the dumpster, we need to complete the interior demolition. Since this building had been a doctor's office, it is cut up into a bunch of little examining rooms off of the main hallway. This photo may not look like much, but it represents the brute labor of removing 2 of the walls to turn 3 rooms into 1. There's more sheetrock pulling and 2x4 smashing to come before all the walls are down, but it's looking more like a garage already!

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Weather is Wonderful!

The weather is wonderful! Or so says the fortune cookie we got recently. Maybe in China! We started work on the garage roof almost 2 months ago. As we may have mentioned, it keeps raining. And raining. In case you don't believe us, here are some hard facts from the National Weather Service in Blacksburg for June 1st through today. At least 27 of the last 42 days have had measurable rain. Measurable to the tune of 13.26 inches! And that doesn't include the rain we fought in May. We just have the ridge and chimney flashing to finish, but guess what, it's raining again!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Roofing Interlude: The Zimmerman House

We were so close to finishing the roof, we could taste it. Just 2 more swaths of roofing felt and the accompanying shingles and we'd be done. Not even a days' work. And...we got called out of town rather suddenly. 

While we were gone though, we got to see an impressive brick ranch house - the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House in Manchester, New Hampshire. If this had been the little brick ranch next to our house, you can bet we wouldn't be turning it into a garage! The Zimmerman House is a Usonian house and is similar to the Prairie Style that he is known for, but smaller and (supposedly) built for the common man, though the price tag would have been rather steep for most when this was built in the 1950s.

I loved the Garden Room where there were troughs to grow plants just inside and just outside the windows to make it feel like you're outside even when you're inside. 

Because the house was built into the land, you could reach the roof in the back. The roofing was supposed to be cedar shakes, but the city wouldn't allow that so it is clay tile instead. And, yes, in true Frank Lloyd Wright fashion, it did leak.

A fun interlude - now back to making sure the garage roof doesn't leak!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Roofing the Garage: Days 5-6

Finally! We were home for a DRY weekend! We finished the front of the house to about 2 rows below the ridge on Saturday and the back to just below the chimney on Sunday. Woo hoo! The end is near!

Just as exciting, we got the person who is salvaging metal from the building to clear the overgrowth (and poison ivy!) from the alley between our house and the garage. Since the alley is owned by the town, we asked them if they would chip the brush and haul it away for free if we cleaned up the mess. They agreed and the work was completed this weekend too.

Now we can see the garage from our house - much better for security. We're just hoping Tommy didn't get a killer case of poison ivy from his hard work!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Roofing the Garage: Days 1-4

The rain. It's amazing how much rain we've gotten this spring. And always when we are able to work on the roof! We did finally get some shingles up last week, but not until after some drama and...rain.

Due to equipment failure took 2 days to replace the few pieces of decking that were rotted. We haven't turned the electricity on to the garage yet, so we're using a generator. The generator had been sitting idle for a few months and, of course, it didn't want to work to power a saw and the air nailer. Plan B: use the new cordless saw. Wouldn't you know the new cordless saw's battery charger didn't work? Plan C: back to the generator. We finally got it running, but only had an hour left that day to work. Despite the setbacks (and rain) we did get the decking repaired and shingling finally started last week!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Unroofing the Garage: Days 9 & 10

"That's the same photo as in the last post," you say. Well, you're right. Things look pretty much the same so I didn't take a new picture. What you can't see is that we've removed all of the nails from the roof. The nails that held in the tar paper, the 2 layers of shingles, and the roll roofing that was put on top of the shingles. So, yes, lots and lots of nails. We were able to pull nails for the few hours last week when it wasn't raining. On Wednesday morning, the only place that it was raining in the entire area was over our house. Go figure.

We also had a bit of excitement on one of those rainy days. See that tiny pile of lumber in front of the dumpster? Someone thought it was free for the taking, pulled his pickup in and took a few pieces. Not all of it, mind you, just a few pieces. Like he was trying to finish a project and was too lazy to drive the 2 miles to 84 Lumber. Since we live next door, we saw him leaving the yard, but didn't get the license plate number. It was less than $50 worth of supplies, but it was the principle of the thing. That and the loss of peace of mind - we've lived here 10 years and haven't had any problems with theft in the past. We're storing our lumber on the roof from now on.

We're finally officially done unroofing now and on to roofing!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Unroofing the Garage: Days 7 & 8

We had a bit of a hiatus between Days 5 & 6 and Days 7 & 8 of unroofing the garage because of this:

Who's to say no to a trip to the beach? The garage roof has been leaking for years, what's another week? We had plans to finish removing the last strip of roof on Sunday when we returned, rained. All day. So it was Monday before the final unroofing was completed. That took more time than expected because one of our crew of 2 (me) came down with a cold and felt a little too wobbly to be on the roof.

Roofing supplies arrived on Monday also. The delivery truck didn't have equipment to place them on the roof, so that was up to us. We rented a ladder hoist. Which was fine, but it didn't come with instructions for putting it together, or using it, so it took a couple of trips into the house to check the internet to get it right and then we only figured out that it would dump the load at the top of the roof by accident. The hoist also had a partially stripped belt so it would only lift 2 shingles packages rather than the 400lbs it was rated for. The other problem is that one of us (me) isn't strong enough to be hefting squares of shingles. So that left it all to the man on the roof. Load the hoist, send 'em up, climb the ladder, place them on the roof, repeat.

It took all day Tuesday to get all of the shingles and roofing felt up on the roof and placed, but he did it. Direct quote, "Don't ever let me replace an entire roof again." Duly noted.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Unroofing the Garage: Days 5 & 6

We had the dumpster pulled from the front of the garage and a new one placed in the back on Thursday. Our end-of-week plans changed so we ended up with the gift of two extra days to work on the roof.

After waiting for the roof to dry out after torrential rains on Wednesday night, we got to the roof Thursday afternoon. Friday was downright chilly with a stiff wind, but actually good weather for roof work - no worries about overheating.

Just one more day of unroofing and pulling nails and the roof will go back on!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Unroofing the Garage: Days 3 & 4

This whole unroofing thing would be going much faster if we had more stamina, fewer other commitments, and control over the weather! We got the rest of the front portion of the roof off in Days 3 & 4. 

This led us to the conclusion that...we had to get the dumpster moved. There was just not going to be any good way to get the shingles from the backside of the roof to the dumpster on the front side. We tried throwing them and missed about half. We tried putting a tarp on the ground and dragging the tarp full of shingles to the dumpster, but overfilled it and spent more time emptying the tarp than we did taking down shingles. That just wasn't going to be sustainable. 

Since we'd also been working on removing plasterboard and insulation from the interior, the dumpster was already over half full, so we decided to pay the extra fee and have it pulled so we could get  a new one placed on the back side of the garage this morning. We scrapped the #1 copper that was in the valleys of the garage yesterday and that paid for cost of the extra dumpster pull. Win-win! 

Now we're just waiting for the roof to dry out after yesterday's rain. Before it rains again this afternoon.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Unroofing the Garage: Days 1 & 2

When we last blogged, we were thrilled to have bought another house. Then life intervened. Until early April. So here we are, in May, finally working on turning that house into a garage. We have puddles inside when it rains, so the first order of business is a new roof. 

We had great plans to get that done in a week. Turns out our local landfill now requires certification that what you're putting in your dumpster is asbestos-free. So, to get the dumpster, we had to take samples of the things we would be putting into it to a lab to have it tested. Which they had to send out. And there was a weekend in there before we got the results back. Last Thursday, we got the dumpster. 

We had a productive day and a half of removing the old roof, then it rained. And it rained. And it continued to rain. Now we have even bigger puddles in the garage and are wondering if we'll EVER get the roof off, but we're on our way!