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Old 05-28-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
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Porch roof rebuild


Hi, I'm a newbie to anything like this. I'm 50yrs old, bad back and shoulders, but the city says I have to replace the porch roof, and the house roof, too. I'm starting with the porch, thinking to make my mistakes there. No, I haven't the money to hire anyone, nor do I have any credit to get a loan. I've tried. Believe me.

So, I've got my building permit, since I have to rip off the sheathing, as well as the rest. I have no help, but then, I'm used to that. I've done a bit of home repair (plumbing, drywall, etc.) so I do know which end of a hammer to use. It's either I do it, or I lose a house that's been in the family for over 100 years. I've decided I'm capable.

What I need is both a support group and a help guide. Is there any way of tearing off a porch roof without climbing on it? The roof has holes, and is so soft I don't wanna fall through. I've started on the edge, but parts nearer the house are in good shape, which means I have to pull nail by nail. And yes, it has three layers of asphalt over one of wooden shakes, over one of asphalt, and another of shakes. Plus most of the framing has to be replaced.

I've been very tempted to take a sawsall to the lot of it, but I'm afraid I'll end up with more problems that way. any suggestions?

Thanks!!
ShadowPaetz


Last edited by ShadowPaetz; 05-28-2013 at 02:26 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:42 PM   #2
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" SOOOOO....... aside from that Mrs. Lincoln, How was the Play?"

Is the roof leaking? How do you know you need to replace the sheathing?

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Last edited by jagans; 05-28-2013 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:46 PM   #3
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I take it that you don't support my efforts. You know, this is difficult enough on me without that kind of attitude. Thanks anyway.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:05 PM   #4
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I don't think jagans was busting chops there and you have to realize he has a wry sense of humor.

I think we will need to see some pictures to give you a better idea of the scope.

It is also worth noting that was you are describing is probably not a good project to figure stuff out on. There is a reason that the guys that do it everyday are good at it and why they get paid for their labors and risk.

Be sure it is something that it worth tackling and will not expose you to undo danger and expense, should it not be successful, down the road.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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Well, you have to admit that your post was not too optimistic, and it contained absolutely no data regarding what you have to work with, so lets start with some questions.

1. Where do you live?
2. What kind of roof system is currently in place?
3. How many roofs are in place?
4. Is it a steep roof or a low slope roof (3/12+ or less than 3/12?)
5. How many stories is your house?
6. Have you ever installed a roof like the one you intend to install before?

And finally, roofing is tough, and steep roofing is a young mans game. The roof is the hottest place in the summer, the coldest place in the winter, and the windiest place whenever the wind is blowing.

Doing it alone is damn near impossible, especially if you need to re -sheathe

Steep roofs are especially hard on the back, because having your feet at different elevations tends to throw your back out.

You say that you are 50 years old, and your house has been in your family for 100 years. Is it fair to assume that it is mortgage free? Why cant you get an equity loan based on its current value? I guess I assume you are still working at 50?

Oh, and to answer your original question, if you make any mistakes, its best to make them on the back of the house where only you can see them. Got that one from my dad at about 10 years old, 56 years ago.
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Last edited by jagans; 05-28-2013 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 05-28-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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Even a young and able bodyed person would find trying to do this near impossible!!!
How do you expect to lift a sheet of sheathing up a ladder and get it on the roof by yourself without getting hurt.
I need three people for a job like that.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:48 PM   #7
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Well, there's a reason I said I was a newbie. Anyway, the data -- Iowa. Roof system is steep roof with asphalt plus shingles (no one tore anything off, so everything is still the original to when the house was built 100 years ago). I would say there are at least 6 layers of both asphalt and wood shingles. The house is single story. I have never installed a roof, period.

Heat and cold do not bother me much. I have lived with no airconditioning for years, and for five years we didn't even have a furnace.

Finances -- I have a mortgage on the house, to pay off school loans. No equity to speak of with the place in this shape. Credit is too low to get any kind of loan. No grants available for urban dwellings, only for rural. I can afford to buy the materials as I go. Hubby and I are both on SS disability, and he is bedridden. I stay home to care for him, or he would end up in the nursing home.

I will have some help from two men who have quite a bit of experience, but I'll be doing the work of tear down until they have time to help. I'll also be right up there with them. My doc has said I'm in good enough physical shape to do the work, so I'm doing it. And yes, I'm feeling overwhelmed and like it's something I will have trouble doing, but I really have no choice at this point.

Like you said, the problem is the angle and my back, but I've put up with a lot of pain in my life. What's a bit more? I've been hauling rock for the last year or so to build a pond in the front yard (concrete chunks) and digging to level out my yard so I can get rid of the huge hump the people who worked on the plumbing out to the street left last year. If I walk away from the house now, the mortgage, and the 5k the city put into the plumbing last year will all come down on my head. I'd rather fix the roof.

I can and will do this. It's going to take a lot of time, but I can do it.

I got my son to take some pics...

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Old 05-28-2013, 06:05 PM   #8
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We have been though this a few dozen times here, home owners bound and determined there going to do it, every time they have came back and changed the mind real quick.
Your getting the advice to not even try it from people that do this stuff for a living and will not make a dime suggesting to stay off of this roof.
You do not have the safety equipment, the know how, the tools, to do this job.
Fall off the roof then what?
With all those layers of roofing it hase to be stripped in layers.
Do you have a dumb trailer to even haul all this away.
How do you plan on getting bundles of shingle that weight 75 lb. each up on the roof?
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:12 PM   #9
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Okay, I get it. Don't bother doing it, let the city take the house, and be done with it, right? If I had the cash, I'd have someone else do it so fast it'd make your head spin. However... sigh. Yes, I have a truck, full size, and it will manage to make it to the dump with a good load. I have a pulley system to haul the bundles up to the roof when I need. I also have a harness lent to me by a steel worker. Don't worry, I won't bother you or your friends anymore here. I'll just post a pic when I finish. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:00 PM   #10
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Joe is simply trying to keep you from getting hurt, as are the other people here. I have no idea how anyone could end up with six layers of roof when it is common knowledge that after two, all must come off. My Jaw dropped when you said your husband is bed ridden as I did not know you were a female.

All of us here admire your spunk, but you have to know your limitations, and I think you have reached yours with this one. I am sorry for your situation, but you better think this one out.

How about having your son put the roof on for you, and you take the pictures and help him out as you can? He must have a bunch of friends that can help you out. I assume the loans were for his education? None of my business, I know, but fair is fair.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:28 PM   #11
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Id pay just to see pics of six layers.

If your willing to take pics and ask what is next you should get plenty of help here. If your just going to do your own thing and ignore the consensus, then ask us how to remedy it, you probably wont get much help here.

Your in a tight spot, but if your willing to post pics of your progress and ask whats next, you will get the info your looking for. Folks here are very helpful.

If i happen to win to megamillions tonight i will pay jagans to do the roof while we watch him from lawn chairs and drink cold beer.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyWRS View Post
Id pay just to see pics of six layers.

If your willing to take pics and ask what is next you should get plenty of help here. If your just going to do your own thing and ignore the consensus, then ask us how to remedy it, you probably wont get much help here.

Your in a tight spot, but if your willing to post pics of your progress and ask whats next, you will get the info your looking for. Folks here are very helpful.

If i happen to win to megamillions tonight i will pay jagans to do the roof while we watch him from lawn chairs and drink cold beer.
Can I have a beer when Im done?
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:47 PM   #13
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I thought the consensus was that I shouldn't even try.

The mortgage on the house was for my own college loans, not my son. Took it out 20 years ago. I suffer from PTSD, and was put on disability then. Hubby's dad put the layers on, I'm pretty sure. He was like that. Never did anything the right way, just kept jury rigging everything to keep the city off his back.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:10 PM   #14
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That is the consensus, but your in a pickle. If there is no way to get it done by a pro then your only option is you.

My concern would be the condition of the roof deck and the potential for major repairs and possibly structural issues due the weight, age and layers on it. If you tear off you could be uncovering a can of worms which you probably can't handle. If you have a lot of rotten sheathing or rafters that will add yet another expense and way complicate the difficulty of this project. Now your stuck because you cant do the reapirs due the difficulty and cost and now you also have no roof. This reroof could very easily become out of control in no time at all.

If you could post a few pics of the house it would help, do you see any wood damage? If you do it is yet another reason this is probably over your head.

Jagans if i won you could have all the beers left in the icechest once your done
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagans View Post
Can I have a beer when Im done?

...a beer...

You are working cheap these days.

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