Archive for the 'shed' Category

DIY Roofing: Not for the faint of heart

Two weekends ago we re-roofed the shed/detached two car garage with shingles we bought from the roofers who re-roofed the house before we bought it.  The house’s shingles were just 11 years old when they needed to be replaced because of ice damming.  The shed has 35 year old shingles so they really needed to be replaced.   Friday the dumpster was delivered and we drove around picking up the supplies we would need including tar paper and roofing shovels.  Then on Saturday morning Flannel Man and I started the tear off.  The day sort of went like this…


Flannel Man starts tearing off his first shingle and I document the momentous occasion. 


Flannel Man shoots me this “why are you taking pictures instead of helping me” glare.


Whoa, settle down Flannel Man it’s only 10 am! 

Yay! The first shingle is off!


Then I put down the camera and start helping tear off shingles.  FM catches this shot when he gets off the roof to go get more water:


Then it starts getting hot and FM decides that he wants to run for GQ Roofer of the Year…I can’t believe I’m posting this but it shows our personality and how we have fun even while we’re roofing.  But really it’s because FM forgot the address of this blog so he’ll probably never see this.


Stop starring ladies he’s all mine.  You gotta admit though he’s got decent biceps for a guy whose rib cage is showing. 


Whoops, there’s that look again. I better get back to work.

Anyway, we get the entire roof ripped off including all of the tar paper and nails.  Then as we started looking forward to getting off the hot roof Papa Flannel shows up and we get a head start on laying down the shingles.  By 6:30pm we had half the roof done and we quick laid down tar paper on the other side incase it rains overnight.  It was a very long tiring day.  We went from 10am to 6:30pm with only water and bathroom breaks.  Yup, there’s no such thing as a lunch* break when your husband eats one meal a day.  Which explains his visible rib cage in the previous picture. 

Three people were the perfect number of people to work on this size roof (900 sf).  We had one person working the nail gun, one person feeding the nailer shingles, and the last person worked finishing up the edges and nailing the shingles by hand.  For the most part I was the shingle supplier, FM was the nailer, and Papa Flannel was the finisher.  This is not to say I didn’t use the nail gun ‘cause like Liz I’m a powertool wielding badass but FM is horrible at thinking ahead which is the whole point of having a shingle supplier.  I would bring the shingle over, FM would get it placed perfectly, and I would help hold it down while he nailed it. 


Meanwhile, Papa Flannel would start the staggered rows on one end and finish up the rows on the other end. 


As the supplier I had to sit on the hot tar all day and hold myself up with my hands.  The shingle rocks would get in my gloves and by the end of the day my hands were rubbed raw.  Oh, and this is what it looks like when you sit on tar paper all day:


I can’t believe I just posted that. 

The next day we started bright and early at 9:30am (keep in mind FM doesn’t usually get up until 3pm) in an attempt to beat the heat.  Well that didn’t work out so well.  It was hottest day of the year so far, the sun was shining on that side of the roof in the morning, and unlike the day before there was absolutely no wind.  We finally finished up shingling the other side and the peak at 1pm that afternoon.  Those 3 ½ hours were 10 times worse than the 8 ½ hours the day before.

That day we were also visited by a mother bird who had built her nest on the motion detector lights right below the roof we were nailing into.  She spent the day dive bombing us and yelling at us for getting so close to her kids. 


The final product ended up looking really good.  I gotta say these slate colored architectural shingles are very pretty as far as shingles go.  They give a nice amount of depth and now the shed’s roof matches the house’s new roof. 


I’m working on a DIY roofing tips post for those of you brave enough to try it out yourselves. It can be very cost effective and it is relatively easy so almost anyone can do it.  You just need a weak mind and a strong back.


*FM does actually have a “lunch” break but it’s at 8pm because he works second shift.




Our Summer To Do List

Between all of the matches and kayaking trips we have a lot to do on the house this summer. Besides maintenance and upkeep these are the major projects we want to get done:

  • Re-roof the shed
  • Put gutters on the house and fix the gutters on the shed
  • Put in a new, working patio door in the basement
  • Convert the shop area back into a garage by cutting back in the garage door
  • Re-insulate the attic
  • Paint entire house


Re-roof the shed

We’re getting right on this list by re-roofing the shed this weekend. We had bought extra shingles from the roofers who redid the roof on the house before we closed so we don’t have many other supplies to buy to finish the project. I just ordered a dumpster and we’re picking up the flat shovels used for tear off from Papa Flannel tomorrow. Flannel Man and I will be tearing off the old roof and laying down the new tar paper on Saturday and Papa Flannel will bring his roofing nail gun and help us put on the new roof on Sunday. Hopefully everything will go OK because FM and I only sort of know what we’re doing.


Put gutters on the house and fix the gutters on the shed

The house currently doesn’t have gutters and never has in the 35 years since it was built. This has caused the windows and doors on the exposed basement of the house to rot from the water constantly dripping on them. By not routing the water away from the house the foundation has begun to settle on one side along with the front walkway which now angles water towards the house. We want to add gutters to the house and run the downspouts underground so that we don’t have to worry about moving the arms every time we mow. We also want to add some downspouts to the gutters on the shed because right now there aren’t any. The water collects in the gutter, falls through the hole where the downspout should be, puddles in front of the garage door, and floods the garage. In the winter time the water freezes and prevents you from opening the garage doors.


Put in a new, working patio door in the basement

Because of the lack of gutters water from the roof runs off the roof and hits the house on the two story side. This has caused the wood on the windows and doors in the basement to begin to rot. The patio door is the worst. It is completely rotted out so that it no long can move. When we moved in we discovered that the door was actually open by 1/4″ and also has a 2″ round mouse hole in the corner. So for right now we plugged up all the holes and gaps with expanding spray foam to prevent bugs, mice, and air from coming in and out of the house. I can’t imagine what all those hose did to previous owners heating bill. We would like to replace this door so that we can use the patio sometime this summer.


Convert the shop area back into a garage by cutting back in the garage door

The previous owner converted one of the garage spaces into a carpenter shop and then used the garage doors in the shed to park in the winter. They even left garage door on the ceiling so it could be converted back easily. We want to convert it back into a garage so that we can both park in the house and not have to tromp across the front yard in the winter. We’ll have to cut the garage door back in, remove the wall between the two garage spots, and close up the ductwork that was used to heat the space.

[Note the garage door at the top of this picture.]


Re-insulate the attic

There was only minimal insulation put in the attic of the house when it was built and over time it has compacted down to only three inches of insulation. There is also evidence of mice living up there in the winter time that have dug pathways everywhere though the insulation. The lack of insulation is most likely the main reason the previous roof was completely shot after only 11 years. There was a lot of ice damming that occurred because of the heat leaving the roof. We want to look into both batting and spray in insulation.


Paint entire house

With most of the house having white walls and almost white carpet we’d like to add some color to the walls. We also need to paint all of the ceilings because there are water stains on almost every ceiling from the previous roof. It would be nice to cover up the horrible goldenrod color in the study and the dog blood in the dining room, hallway, and master bedroom. We actually picked up some paint samples last weekend and now have spots of paint all over the house. I think we’re going to be painting the master bedroom first before our new bed arrives.



Kayaking In Our Back Yard


This past weekend we also got our kayaks from Flannel Man’s parent’s house and gave them a new home in the shed (aka. the detached garage). FM made some nifty kayak racks out of bent electrical conduit and pipe insulation. Now we just need to buy some brackets of some sort to hold our paddles.


We also took the kayaks out for the first time this year out on our pond. FM has been dying to go kayaking in the ponds before they separate into two ponds again. Mama Flannel and Brother Flannel (I just made that up) stopped by and took a few pictures of us for our We’ve Moved cards. I thought it would be more interesting than just a picture of the front of our house. They turned out pretty cool:


The ponds were a lot murkier than I thought they would be. I thought you might actually be able to see something in the center but no it was just black. In the areas that the pond has flooded too you could still see the tall grasses just below the water. Paddling under the willow tree and through the cattails was fun. When we went around to the smaller pond we found a deer stand in a tree that looked like it was on our property. It happened to be very close to the place I saw the deer last week.

We’ll have to do it again sometime but when we’re wearing kayaking clothes not jeans that could soak up gallons of murky water. We were hoping to be able to go kayaking out on a nearby lake this weekend but it was too cold. Oh, well maybe next weekend.



This is the story of two twenty something newlyweds who are learning to adjust to life in their first house, a 1973 fixer-upper.
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