Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Most Dreaded Project

The summer's most dreaded project is about 75% done.

I have one eave crannie that needed repairs. At first I thought I might get out of it by simply hiring a roofer to come out and be done with it. I rationalized that roofing supplies are not sold in small quantities, so it would almost pay for itself to hire a pro to handle it quickly and efficiently.

I had two guys out for estimates. One guy told me the whole thing was rotted out and gave me some vague plans about cutting into the rafter that extends out of the stucco & supports the entire overhang, as well as the bargeboard. He assured me that whoever had restored the overhang had replaced a truckload of rotted wood. I didn't really have the heart to tell him that I had done that work....and while there was rot on the overhang, there was none in that area.....and no sign of it now. His estimate - over $2,000. I laughed. I laughed out loud. I laughed until I got the second estimate for over $3,000. The second guy assured me he would "do it right," but was a little short on details.

Seriously? The old shingles need to be pulled out and the area needs sheathing. Then a EPDM membrane patch needs to be put on. It's ugly, dirty work, but come on. The current roof is 10 yrs old and this patch is in a protected area. $3,000 to give me something that will hold until I need to replace the roof?

So, my next plan was to buy all of the materials and hire the handyman I had used to install my storm door. Well, that plan didn't come off as well as I had hoped.

I put is off as long as I could, but Fall is in the air and I knew it had to be done and I was going to have to be the one to do it. I think it's a fear of running into a bat (specifically, a bat that flies into my hair) or some other living creature that has me on edge.

Yesterday, I hauled my ladder to the front of my house. Ripped off the old shingles and looked at the hole that indeed went directly into my attic. I looked for rot - none. Whoever did the roof back then simply didn't feel like dealing with cutting sheathing for that section. So, they ran roofing paper up and used tar to attach the shingles and then called it a day (and probably charged $3,000).

I carefully cut a new piece of replacement plywood sheathing. I installed the nicely fitting plywood in the spot and nailed it down. I sealed the joints with exterior latex caulk (EPDM patch does not stick to silicone). The thickness of the new sheathing actually matches up to the old sheathing. I put some expanding foam into the small gap at the very back of the repair to ensure a tight seal and provide a bit of insulation. The rock in the photo is not part of my work :-)'s just weighing down the wood while the roofing caulk dries. The worst part of the work is that you have to kind of stand on the ladder, twist around and lay across the right end of the front door overhang to reach this area.

Tomorrow I will have to trim the expanded foam and then cover the plywood with Eternabond. Finally I have a small piece of crown molding to cover the foam in the back where the new EPDM meets the beadboard of the eaves. It's currently not the prettiest situation (what was up with using all the roofing tar?), but I'm pretty confident that this is going to look quite good when it is done.

The flashing also needs to be yanked out, replaced with copper and run all the way back (the copper drip edge people were supposed to do that last summer - but that's a whole other story). Then the wood will need to be stripped & painted. If anyone has ideas on removing roofing tar from stucco, I'm all ears.

Of course, a photo of the finished product coming shortly.


Jennifer said...

Sounds like jobs I've been putting off, too...

looks like it was relatively painless, though! Looks like a good repair... and a good savings of a couple thousand!

Ryan said...

I have some under eave areas just like that on the back of the house and when we redid the roof this summer it took me just as long to remove the old shingles from that area as the rest of the back of the roof. Alas, mine isn't even accessible by ladder so I had to lay completely prone on the roof and then twist up behind that big fascia board. I hope the repainting is easier.

StuccoHouse said...

Jennifer - Thanks!

Ryan - I feel your pain. If I had to lay on the roof and twist around under it...I would be whining a whole lot more ;-) As it is, I'm sure my neighborhood enjoyed the lovely view of my rear end & legs sticking out of the eave.

SmilingJudy said...

I was going to ask - is your hair long enough that you can pull it back into a ponytail (you avoid bat attacks). But you already went and did most of the work anyway.

I hate jobs like this. Power through! You'll be proud of yourself when it's over.

StuccoHouse said...

SmilingJudy - My hair is long enough for a panytail. I'm sure I was quite the sight up there...ponytail, sun glasses and long gloves. Bats creep me out.

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