Posts Tagged ‘roof’

Along with my new roof, I just installed a Solatube skylight. Our bathroom is the only room in the house with no windows. It had one originally, but someone covered it up with a tub-surround years ago. The room is a cave. Even in the middle of the day, you need to turn on the light. So I thought it would be an ideal application of a small tubular skylight. Now it’s bright enough that we only need the light in the mornings and at night. Hopefully we can recoup the money in energy savings, but it will take some time. I went with Solatube and not Suntunnel by Velux or another brand because from everything I’ve read and seen, Solatube is the best. I was certainly impressed with the quality of their product. The inside of the metal tubing is like a mirror! I thought it would just be painted silver or something, but it is literally a mirror. Plus they have good customer service. The day I got home and opened the box, I found that the dome had been cracked in shipping. I called and they were very nice over the phone and I received a new dome in two weeks, free of charge. I got the more expensive model because you can take a 30% tax credit this year. So really, the $300 model is less expensive than the $250 model that does not qualify for the credit. Here are the before and after pictures. Each picture was taken around noon without a flash. Keep in mind this is November in the Northern hemisphere and the Solatube is on the North face of the roof. I imagine it will be brighter come summertime.









We just got a new roof! The previous owner of the house bought it in 1983 and never put a roof on, so we know that it was at least 26 years old. It had three layers of shingles on it and the original boards, no plywood. So we got six quotes. Some were as high as $15,500 and the one we eventually went with was $7,500. Our house is 1,500 sq. ft. and we’ve been told our roof is 17 squares. We got Barkwood (color) 30 year architectural shingles made by GAF Elk. It’s nice having a new roof over our heads, but not so nice having hardly any savings left in the bank. We got kinda used to having a $10,000 cushion. Well, not anymore! Here are some pictures. Before and after. Now we just need to paint. I put in a new skylight too, but that will be its own post. If anyone has any questions, just let me know.









So we need to get our roof done soon. The previous owner bought the house in 1983 and never put a roof on it. Rather than wait until our cielings cave in on us, we want to do some preventative maintenance. What does this have to do with chimneys you ask? Well, most of the roofing companies we got quotes from said that we need to have our chimney repaired before they would do the roof. One offered to do it for $600. I said I could probably do it myself for just a bit less than that. How about $30. Yeah, that’s right. $6 for some mortar, $24 for two ceramic flue liners, and a bunch of free, trash-picked bricks.

I borrowed some books on it and got to work. First I had to chip out all the old mortar and clean up/ remove the loose bricks around the top. Then I removed the old broken flue liners. Whoever repaired it the last time put the larger one in crooked so that the small one that serviced the furnace and hot water heater only fit when they broke one of the sides off. Then it was just a simple matter of carrying all my supplies out of our bedroom window and up to the chimney. Being a rock climber, I’m used to heights, so I didn’t tie off or anything. I was comfortable with that but you may not be. It was my first time working with bricks and mortar, so there was a learning curve. It’s not real pretty, but it will do the job. Here are some before and after shots:



img_1684For any home owner who lives where it’s cold, this is not a good sight. I don’t know if you can tell scale from the picture but that ice dam is about one foot thick at least. So I finally borrowed a ladder from my Dad and climbed up there and chopped it off.

The best tool to use is an ice tool (ice axe used for ice climbing) mountaineering ice axes work pretty well, but a tool specifically designed for vertical ice climbing is prime. These things rock. Where I might be able to shatter a few inches off with a sledge hammer, or wood axe, I can break off chunks several feet wide and deep with my ice tools. And now we don’t need to worry about leaks.

Here is a picture of my tools in the backside of a waterfall: