And it couldn’t have happened at a better time. Turns out that we’re in for a deluge of rain which should dump an entire years worth of water in the span of a few days. I gotta say I was so happy once the roof was completed, and in record time (2 days.) This is also an exquisite example of when to know your limitations, and when to hire a contractor. I mention this because in previous posts, I enumerated about the prior state of the roof. The few rains that we had before we were able to get the contractors in, showed both me and my husband how shoddy of shape it was in. There were several indoor waterfalls that we discovered during those cloud bursts. The reason we decided to go with a contractor rather than attempt to do it ourselves was: 1. My 70+ father in law and 75+ aunt were far to eager to do the work themselves. 2. My Brother-in-law insisted that he was a “mighty-mighty stage hand” (his words, not mine) once, and therefore heights and danger were in his second nature. 3. The 2 story height from the ground was just high enough to create broken limbs, or other possible broken bits. 4. No one in the extended group of family or friends who wanted to help knew the complete process for building a roof, as they had only done bits and pieces of the actual repair or construction. …That and my mother-in-law, my mother and I were all in agreement. Too risky, too long to complete with novices, so get a contractor. Contemplating the cost/benefit breakdown it was the smart decision. Here’s our calculation: 1. Demolition of the existing roof: a) We do it: Cost ~ $300- 2K. Time line for completion: 2 – 4 weeks b) They do it: $2k – 6k. Time line for completion: half of a day. 2. Putting on new plywood a) We do it: Cost $ 200- $400. Time line for completion: 1-2 weeks b) They do it: (same as above, and included in the price) Time line for completion: the second half of that same day. 3. Completing the roof, including felt, shingles, flashing and tar. a) we do it: cost $2k – 3K. Time line for completion: 4-6 weeks b) they do it: cost $4k – 6k. Time line for completion: the 1 day. The math is generalized, and you shouldn’t use it for anything other than just guesses. But the numbers won me over: a) We do it it would cost anywhere from 3- 6k. Approximately completed in 2-3 months b) Contractor does it, could be anywhere from 12k – 22k. Approximately completed in 2 days.
Archive for August, 2011
As you know, from previous posts, the roof was in horrible condition, prior to the replacement. One of the side-effects of the status of the roof was that it leaked. No it more than leaked, at one point we had an indoor waterfall during a mild rain. As a result of the water damage that came with the leaky roof, some off the flooring needed to be pulled up so that it could be replaced.
Normally this would be an “easy” process requiring about a day’s worth of work. Unfortunately, as things with this house are never normal that didn’t work out that way. My Husband and brother-in-law got started on the project with a sawsall and began cutting out the 3/4 inch flooring. In the process of unearthing the flooring, we found an unfortunate problem. Here they are in no particular order:
1. The joists were of uneven sizes, and not just irregular by like a 1/2 or 1/4 of an inch between each. Some were 2x 10′s, some 2×8′s, and others were 2×6′s. The problem was that where there were gaps the prior owners used other shims of different sizes to make the floor “level.” What this means is that although the flooring was ‘level’ (and I use the term loosely here) when you walked on it, it was in fact completely irregular underneath with a patchwork of wood shoved in to make it “appear” level when you place a foot on the floor, or put a level down on it. Again a saftey issue, because one section of the floor was ‘stronger’ than another due to the width of the joist supporting the floor.
2. The joists didn’t overlap across the center beam, some barely reached the center beam, and others were ‘jimmied’ to reach the beam. Unfortunately this is a severe saftey issue. When the joists (or the cross sections that form the platform of the flooring) don’t overlap, it means that there is an uneven distribution of weight across the floor. Plus for those joists that were ‘jimmied’ (basically a 2×6 that didn’t quite reach the beam so a 2×4 was placed on the center beam and then stretched across to meet the 2×6) could cause serious problems with the strength of the overall building basically making the entire add-on structurally uninhabitable.
3. The joists were also not shored up along the exterior walls. In non-contractor speak, when you build a “box” you want the structures that are going to support any weight to have an even distribution between them. In addition to make sure that the structure can support weight and shift, similar to Lincoln logs, you want to allow the internal framing to extend a little beyond where the actual weight will be placed. To get an image of what this is like, try and stack pens (or pencils) in a box by overlapping the edges. The more you overlap the edges, the sturdier the box, the less you overlap the edges the less sturdy… This is done for safety, but its’ also done to make sure that the building or box won’t shift too much under any pressure, say like an earthquake. The addition… well to put it mildly, didn’t have this in place, so effectively a minor to major tremor would basically make the rear of the building twist off the frame like a clumsy belly dancer.
4. For those joists that were actually “big enough” (2×8′s or larger) the previous owners did something that didn’t make a whole bunch of sense… they notched from the bottom of the joists to allow for power and water to go through them. Now normally drilling a hole in the center of a joist is okay – so long as it is not in the edge of the joist. Why? Because if it is a circle, and in the ‘center’ of the joist (midway between the edges of the width) the weight or pressure is distributed around the hole similar to an arch and therefore the strength of the joist isn’t compromised. Not it’s not advisable that you do this repeatedly, as it will make the beam weaker. However the prior owners didn’t do this, instead they cut square notches from the bottom of the joists, basically making the joists look like a Appalachian hillbilly. (All toothy, but mostly gaps) This means that the strongest point of the joist doesn’t exist, and utlimately made the whole addition a sham.
After seeing all of this work. My husband stopped working on the addition.