New Roof

I think its pretty safe to say that every summer we abandon all house projects and stay busy with all the summer events – weddings, backyard barbecues, traveling, etc etc. But now that summer is wrapping up and we don’t feel like we will die from heat when working outside, we figured we should try and get some projects wrapped up. A lot of the projects are small (like re-caulking one of our window frames), but a couple are going to be pretty big. Of course, we started with one of the biggest projects first: a new roof on my craft room!

The roof originally had wood shingles, which supposedly have a lifespan of 30-40 years. Ours were still holding on after about 50 years, but they were definitely needing to be retired. We wanted to completely replace the roof for two reasons, other than the deteriorating wood: to make the craft room ceiling look nice and to be able to move forward on our bar pergola – which probably won’t get done until next year.

You might never guess how loose some of those shingles were from so far away…

When we originally bought our house, the craft room had a low ceiling that really closed off the space. We ripped out the dropped ceiling to uncover the vault, but it was pretty clear why they covered it up. When they originally built the craft room roof, they spaced out the wooden support boards. Probably to save money, which I can understand. The problem was, with the dropped ceiling removed, you could see the black roofing paper coming through all of the boards. Definitely not pretty.

Right after we knocked out the ceiling. Man, look at that green!

From the beginning, I knew I wanted to make the ceiling feel almost like a cabin. I wanted to run boards along the length of the ceiling and keep all of the wood raw and unpainted. Once we got going, I realized how well it went with the pallet wall that I had already created.

Before we could start rebuilding the roof, we had to demo the existing one. Using crowbars and hammers, the hubby, my dad, and I pried off all of the wooden shingles and ripped away the black roofing paper.

The start of the demo!

I jokingly said I wanted to put in a skylight, but that got shot down real fast.

I still think a skylight would’ve been cool.

As we were rebuilding it, the hubby and my dad carefully pried off each existing wooden board so that they could reuse them. We alternated between the original boards and the new boards since they were different sizes. The original boards were about 1x3s and we got new 1×6 redwood boards to fill in the rest. Why different? Because we were originally going to slide the 1x6s between the existing boards without prying the up. The spacing wasn’t perfect though, and instead of spending time returning the 1x6s, we decided that alternating them would look pretty cool. Again, having the pallet wall definitely helped highlight the differences in the roofing boards.

Doing half of the roof at a time let me take a pretty cool before and after shot!
I couldn’t resist using some aged boards

By the end of Saturday, we had gotten all of the boards on the roof. For a second we thought about going with brown shingles because we really liked how the wood looked, but after talking it though, we thought that the future pergola would need some contrast, so we went back with our original idea of matching the house.

We spent all day Sunday finishing off the roof. We went with Owens Onyx Black shingles from Home Depot (not sure why they don’t have our color online…), and just the standard black roofing paper. We worked in rows for the roofing paper, and laid the singles along it as we went. Everything was pretty simple, but definitely time consuming. For the first, bottom-most row, we laid the black paper so that it overhung by about half an inch on all sides. We tacked it down with a couple of roofing nails, and then started laying the shingles. Since the bottom row isn’t draining on to more shingles (so there isn’t any overlap along the bottom half), we laid two rows of shingles, offset. The first row was laid upside down (I think to keep the surface smooth? Not too sure) and the second row was laid right side up.  The seams were offset between each set of shingles so that water doesn’t have a clear path to the black paper. From then on, we laid the shingles following the directions on the bag and tacking them a little over halfway up each row. We didn’t remember to take photos until we were almost done…



The very last step, once we had all of the main shingles up, was to place the caps along the ridge. These come pre-made, so all we had to do was line them up along the ridge of the roof and nail them down. You can decide if you want to layer the caps so that they meet in the middle (I think that is standard) or if you just want to run it the same way along the entire ridge. I personally like the look of them all layered in the same direction. Especially since this roof is so small.


So apparently re-roofing is a weekend job!*

*I would not recommend trying to re-roof your own house. Ever. Pros can get it done in probably 1/10th the time…



All new and crisp!


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