I’ve been grounded due to my very round state during some big renovating that’s been happening over the last week. Being relegated to snapping pictures safely from below isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do, but it beats having two of us falling through the barn roof while repairing it. Plus, on the ground I can be readily available to phone the paramedics, and I can eat as many popsicles as I want. It hit 96-degrees again last week, there were lots of popsicles.
He’s only fallen through twice so far, no injuries yet. Knock on wood.
What’s happening out there is pretty manly, yo. I’m still not entirely sure why we didn’t hire it out, or at least bring in an extra hired hand, but Pete seems to be enjoying this massive DIY, listening to the radio, bitching about the rafter angles, arguing with me about whether we should call it a barn or a garage*, and sweating out more water weight than I’ve actually seen any human productively accomplish. He’d be the one to dedicate any internet space to a real tutorial on replacing a roof (though he probably won’t, claims it takes too many steps and is boring), because without having been up there heaving the nail gun or making complex birdsmouth cuts, I’m not exactly equipped to report on specifics. However, I can report on what things look like from down below (just picture me with a hard hat and safety goggles, a camera, and of course that popsicle) and I can tell you that things started out looking much worse than anticipated when we/Pete decided to take on this little/big barn renovation before winter hit. It’s gotta look worse before it looks better though, right?
The roof itself has been damaged and decaying for a long, long while, letting everything imaginable fall through (or gain access to our barn through) a south-facing opening about 7’x7′ wide. This isn’t a new development, and there’s no evidence of how the hole got there in the first place, but we knew the state of affairs when we bought the house. We have to presume that this crumbling barn didn’t add more than a penny to the value of the property, but the thing about it is that we knew that if we could repair the roof and some of the interior flooring, we’d immediately be improving our overall property value, which, in the long run, cha-ching. In fact, it’s probably the easiest of all potential property-value-enhancers with the most return on investment potential that we’ll come into with this house, regardless of its sex appeal.
Making repairs to the barn is neither a small nor inexpensive feat–right now we’ve spent somewhere in the $1,000-1,500 range–but again, we expect that if we were to sell the property (as if!) we would be able to redeem the expense, and in the meantime (until we die!), we’ll be able to at least use this barn as a functional storage and work space. All that considered, because we’re doing it ourselves (and sourcing all of the materials ourselves as part of that), we’re still trying to save a nickel and a dime along the way. Here’s how it’s going:
- We bought shingles from the local Bargain Outlet (did you know you can choose your local store, and see the inventory online before you even make a trip?). At $23.33/bundle, we saved approximately $9/bundle on the 20 that we purchased ($180). Side note: We were able to match the color of the shingles exactly to that of the main house, which to us only means that the “contractor” who did the roof a few years ago probably used the same discount shingles and probably ripped off the old lady who lived here (We met the gentleman when he stopped by our house during the garage sale this summer, and while he introduced himself proudly and left us his name and number in case we needed household repairs, he didn’t have a business to speak of, and also only had one eyeball, so, I judge.)
- Pete heavily researched and debated OSB vs. plywood sheathing. I didn’t tune into this part very closely, it sounds a lot like the ongoing debate between iOS and Android, and I’m not interested in trying to make sense of those radically different opinions either. We went the plywood route, for what it’s worth, but even though it was more expensive we saved 10% using a mover’s coupon that Lowe’s had mailed us recently.
- We used the same 10% off coupon when buying lengths of drip edge, two rolls of felt paper, and a new hammer tacker and staples to make it easy.
- Instead of renting a roofing nailer, Pete found a local guy on Craigslist who was selling his like-new Bostitch coil roofing nailer with 24 coils of roofing nails, for $150 (the gun alone is priced at $250 when new, and a full box of coils is priced somewhere between $50-80). Because we weren’t initially looking for something to buy outright (roofing nailers are only good for… roofing), we did look into renting (one of the local stores is priced at about $20/day), but the Craigslist deal was too good to pass up for this one-time roofing job, and when we’re done, we’ll put the nailer right back up for sale to keep the good vibes goin’ and give someone else a great deal (and hopefully make back some if not almost all of our investment, that’s the plan, Stan).
- We rented a truck for an hour to get materials home from Lowe’s. This is the first time we’ve ever actually done this, but god help us if we were going to try and get +/- 20 sheets of plywood strapped onto the top of my Jeep Patriot. Worth the $30.
It took a day to remove the shingles and the south-facing plywood which fully exposed part of the roof that was most damaged, and then another two days in between working hours to completely rebuild the rafters that were rotten. We learned at this time that it was easily the only time the roof had been opened up since the barn was built–the shingles were brittle, and just one layer thick, and the underlying plywood was delaminating from itself in an extreme way, peeling up in little layers.
Replacing the rafters was the most complex part of the project, according to Pete, thanks to the intricate cuts required to fit new pressure treated 2×6’s to the existing structure,
A few rain days held up the progress, but by Saturday morning, he had removed the rest of the existing plywood, and by Saturday afternoon the new plywood sheathing was going up.
We haven’t gotten a dumpster yet, but it’s coming soon enough. It was obvious early on in the planning process that we wouldn’t be able to get the dumpster close enough to the barn to be a big help, so we would be moving the trash two times anyways (from the roof to the ground, and from the ground to the dumpster by hand). We’ll get one here and clean up in the next few weeks when we schedule a real date and time to tear all of the carpeting out of our house. Double duty.
Plywood took two days, two 12-hour days. Only taking photos from below was starting to get to me, I’ve grown really bored with my perspective and eager to see what the backside of the barn looks like. I’ve been consoling myself by eating donuts.
As of last night, a week into the project, we have the drip edge installed and felt paper covering the sheathing! Next up, shingles! WTG PETE.
*It’s an architectural mullet… looks like a garage on the top with a garage door, but has stables on the lower level. I gave BARN its own category on the blog, so I think I won this one.