Roof-a-palooza 2012: Part 3 (Extending the roof)

Aside from making all foreseeable protrusions to the roof, we had another major project to complete before the roofers arrived- and that is extending the roof line in the front of the house.  This is arguably the most exciting of the roof projects as it’s the biggest impact.  Here’s what we were starting with:

Notice how there are 8 beams sticking out from the front of the house topped with a trellis?  The problem with this set up is that the beams themselves and the areas surrounding them are very susceptible to weather, specifically water intrusion (the white one in the photo above was in such bad shape the entire beam needed to be replaced).  There is also no eave on the front of the house to protect the siding from weather.  For these reasons and aesthetic ones, we decided that now is the perfect time to extend the roof line (by 33 inches to be exact) all the way to the end of the beam.  Several of our neighbors with the same model house have done the same thing- so we had plenty of examples to look at before we committed to this very large project.  Also, the back of the house has an eave over the extending beams, so it made sense to us for the front to be the same way.

I should mention that we considered hiring this project out, but after talking to several contractors, Andy decided that we would do it ourselves (by we I mean Andy and his little brother Tim with advice from our favorite contractor, Kevin and a tiny bit of help from Mary).

First, we removed the trellis.  Although several neighbors have added similar trellises and they are definitely better than nothing, they were not original and do not do a good job at protecting the house, so we wanted something better.  Judging by the condition of the wood, ours was probably about 5 years old.

This picture nicely demonstrates several concepts

  1. The siding on the front of the house is in really bad shape- notice the green tint and the horizontal seam?  I’m no siding expert, but I’m guessing those things are not good.
  2. The house is pretty ugly “naked” like this (in my opinion).  Some neighbors have naked houses and seem happy with them while others have gone a step further and completely trimmed back the beams so they are flush with the house and do not stick out at all- I’m personally not a fan of that either (although it may solve some of the water intrusion problems).
  3. We did this job (yes We, as in Andy AND Mary) after work one evening- hence the bad lighting.
  4. Andy really loves his Sawz-All.  It’s probably his most used tool after the drill.

Removing the trellis actually took a bit of engineering.  See, it was attached to the beams via nails so large they are better classified as stakes.  To pry the trellis off of the beam we used a combination of a steel post, the car jack and a sledge hammer.  Safe? No. Effective? Yes.

Next, Andy ordered the lumber which consisted of 1.5″x6″ tongue and groove, 10″ fascia (which we later trimmed down to 8″) and lots of 2×4’s (we had to make a second trip to San Rafael lumber for the plywood). He ordered all of the lumber (except the plywood) from Golden State lumber in San Rafael who delivers directly to our driveway.  Even though Andy has a truck now, this is still much more convenient considering the tongue and groove came in 16′ lengths and the fascia boards came in 20′ lengths and his truck bed is nowhere near that long.

Because my least favorite thing is painting tongue and groove ceilings, I decided to prime and paint the tongue and groove before it became the ceiling of the eave (so that once it’s installed, it will just need touch-ups).

Honey Brown was very curious about the 24 16′ boards that were taking over her back yard.  I only painted one side (the only side that will be exposed- as the under side of the eave).

Once the wood was prepped, the protrusion projects completed and Tim (Andy’s little brother) was in town, the extension officially began.  The first step was removing the flashing:

then the siding and finally the berm at the front of the house.  The berm basically extends about 4″ up above the tongue and groove that comprises the ceiling.  This step was nerve wrecking because it meant that we were seriously opening up our house to a complete soaking if nature decided to rain.  I believe a sawz-all, wedge and sledge hammer were used to remove the berm.

Once the berm was gone, the tongue and groove went directly on top of the beams (just like in the back of the house) and they started building a new berm from 2×4’s:

Plywood was added above the tongue and groove to try to bring the level of the eave up a bit so it wasn’t a low spot of the roof (we are enlarging our existing down spouts but did not add any down spouts to the eave):

And a fascia board was added.  This took a lot of debate over how to compensate for the un-levelness of the roof line- the fascia could be level or it could follow the roofline but not both- so we came up with a bit of a compromise.  Andy, Tim and I can see precisely how it’s not level, but hopefully it’s not as apparent to others.  We also confirmed that there are neighbors whose rooflines/fascias look way less level than ours.

And finally, the fascia board got topped by a new piece of flashing (this step was done by the roofers):

Sure, it needs a top coat of paint (everything is at least primed) and our house still needs new siding and paint, but we think it’s a huge improvement- both aesthetically and functionally!

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