Sunday, January 30, 2011

beam me up

So the plan at this point is to expose the beam on the front porch and figure out what we're dealing with. The roofers gave their ok from up top, but we didn't really know how extensive the damage would be until we tore it open from the bottom. Honestly I was kind of scared to do this and feared the worst. As luck would have it, things looked pretty good. Major sigh of relief.

The beam actually isn't really a structural beam at all. My GC called it an internal truss system, which seems to be tied into the overhead joists from the porch roof. There are even steel rods that tie in at each column and span the entire length. Ok cool. So why was it sagging? Aside from minor settling, we actually found that the height of the roof isn't in perfect alignment. One side is approximately 3" higher than the other (approximately one brick). For some reason the right side was built higher than the left. The rest of the house and foundation is level so it wouldn't make sense that it was built that way on purpose because of the slope of the street. This was probably a minor engineering error that no one really noticed until it was too late. Either the masons built one column with an extra course of bricks or the carpenters built one side of the framing too high. The jury's still out who screwed up. I don't think the sag would have been very noticeable at all if it weren't for this issue. But the fact of the matter is this roof is solid as a rock. I could jump on this thing all day and it wouldn't ever move. All the wood is solid and in very good condition so we only need to do some minor cosmetic work.

The plan is to pull off all the fascia boards and rebuild them perfectly level. I'll show how we did that next time. For now, take a look at the truss in all its exposed glory.

See those water stains? Without any flashing on the porch roof, water was trickling in and making its way down here. Now that we have proper flashing this should no longer be an issue.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

porch restoration

So as I hinted at in the last post, we're getting the house painted. Let's see it's been 3 1/2 years or so since we got permission from the city to do this.. I would say I've taken my time, wouldn't you? Don't worry there's still plenty for me to do around here.. many projects lined up and in progress.

As the title of this post implies, we're restoring the front porch too. Why bother painting the front porch if it's not fixed? No, to do one job means we have to do the other. To ignore it at this point would be like putting lipstick on a pig. I've often grumbled about the sag on the porch beam, well now we're finally doing something about it. I was assured by the roofer that the beams from up top were solid and in good shape, but I needed to know what the story was from the bottom. If there was an issue, surely it would be there. The photos below highlight what my porch looked like prior to ripping it apart..

Holy cow it's been a while since the eaves have gotten some love hasn't it? Not to worry -- the love train is on it's way. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

new top hat

Let's all take a moment to admire my new roof..

Ah yes, that feels good. The flashing over the porch is kind of prominent, but doesn't bother me too much. I don't think we had any flashing with the old roof, so this is obviously superior. We also got some flashing on the chimney stacks which was also previously non-existent. A roof vent has also made an appearance -- hopefully we can cut those summer temperatures a bit. Didn't have any of that either. It's kind of hard to appreciate the color of this shingle. It's a little darker than the old shingle. Kind of light charcoal, with brown and green-blue highlights. I think it gives a much nicer contrast than the old roof. We're hoping to get the painters out soon to complete the look. More on that later..

Sunday, January 9, 2011

old roof shingles

Something kind of interesting about this roof is it still had the original wood shakes. From what I've seen around here it's still pretty common to see this as the first layer on your roof as opposed to plywood decking. Can you say "deferred maintenance"? Anywho, all this got ripped off and replaced with fresh plywood. Before it was all gone I was able to snap a few pics though. Kind of cool, but was in pretty bad shape. The house had three layers of shingle on the roof -- I could feel it just breathing easier without all that weight. Hopefully the house is happy.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

my toupee!

The roofers have made quick work of the old roof. Two days of demolition and the installation of the new decking is almost complete. My house looks like a major construction zone at the moment, but it's going to be sooo worth it. Kudos to anyone who got my vague Letterman reference.. :)