Shipshape and Watertight

Another morning on the roof, and we have a repaired roof!

Same routine: he shingled up the valley:

Shingling up the valley

The shingled up the plane of the roof to the peak.

Shingling up the plane of the roof

The real challenge was that as I mentioned, the peak of the bay roof sloped the wrong way. While you can shingle it as if it were a witch's cap, that's frought with peril and likely to cause leaks in the future, so instead Noel shimmed up the peak to make it slope the right way. You can see that the shingles are tucked nicely under the ones coming down from the rest of the roof, the better to shed water.

Shingled peak

All finished, and now we are watertight for this El Nino winter. Of course, it's supposed to be warm and sunny this week, so we won't get to appreciate our new roof for a while, but when it does rain we'll be up in the attic with flashlights checking for any renegade leaks.

Look at that peak

I must say, we weren't hugely worried about getting the roof done before the rain started, but now that it is done, it's a real relief. No more bucket arranging in the attic in the winter!

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posted by ayse on 12/02/09


The roof repair looks great! There's nothing quite like having a secure roof after dealing with leaks (or the threat of leaks) for so long. It really does look like a great job - does your "roofer" do work on the east coast??

Bryan, you cannot afford his consulting fee. :)

Wow, you're still working on this house! As an investment is/was it worth it? It seems you all have been working on it so long that you must have sunk a fortune into it. I know you do some of the work yourself but years of contractors I would think get very expensive. I suppose if you've got some kind of outside income source, it's fun and gives you something to talk about but I'm curious if there's a reasonable bottom line to it other than just enjoyment. Could a person or couple with typical college degree incomes afford to do the work required for a fixer-upper? Is there a trust fund involved somewhere? :)

Bill, the house is not an investment. It's our home. The only way we could use it as an investment would be if we are willing to sell it. I definitely do not recommend restoring old houses as a way to make money unless you're a contractor and willing to do a slipshod, careless job on the work in order to make it calc out on your pro forma. We don't intend to sell this house, so the bottom line is basically irrelevant. (Most of the improvements we have made have added to the value, but not as much as they cost. The best you can expect from a home improvement project is adding 80 percent of what you paid to the value of the house; you'd be better off investing in a real investment if what you want is to make money.)

And as for contractors and so forth, we do all of the work ourselves since our hideous, disastrous foundation job, because we have no more money for big projects, and because of the economy we have no equity in the house, either. Obviously we have *jobs* -- there is definitely not a trust fund (I wish!). We do all the work in evenings and weekends, or between work hours (both of us have considerable flexibility in our schedules, so we can occasionally work during the day on the house).

Is it possible for a pair of college-educated professionals to do this kind of work? Yes. For a house in the condition ours was in, you have to be willing to let it be your biggest hobby, which the house is for us. For a house in less dire straits, you might get it "done" faster and with less effort; you have to choose what level of work you are willing to do.

Do you need huge amounts of money? Maybe. It depends on how much of the work you are willing to do yourself, or able to do. You still have to pay for tools and materials, which can be considerable. The faster you want to get it done, the less you want to do yourself, the more it is going to cost. How much depends on where you live.

Yay for your guys. You've said it before, you bought your home also as a hobby. This is not an instant gratification situation but a lifestyle and process.
The immense satisfaction of working on one's home and enjoying the character of an old house, and the finds and friends you find along the way are at least as much reward as the end result!

Thanks, Carol. We do talk about the idea of a hobby house a lot, but I don't expect everybody to read every post before commenting. :)

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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