About to start a DIY re-roof.


Old 08-28-14, 02:38 PM
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About to start a DIY re-roof.

I am getting ready for a DIY re-roof starting tomorrow, and had been posting for advice fairly regularly on roofing.com, which seems to have disappeared all of a sudden. Which is sort of the way my luck usually runs. Heck, I'm surprised to see that the long term weather forecast doesn't call for a hurricane during the time the boys (young adult grandsons) and I have set aside for the task. But, anyway, since that site is gone, and since I had an account here from a while back, I thought I'd come post here instead (or maybe even as well as, if the other site ever comes back up).

Even though I've done a lot of studying on the Internet during the last month or so, this is the biggest job I've considered doing in a good long while, since the wife and I put down 1700 square feet of laminated flooring about 15 years ago, and something I have zero experience with, but the quotes from professional roofers were just too tough to swallow - $12,000 from a guy with no license or workman's comp (but who actually does really nice work) to $13,000-$16,000 from guys with proper roofing companies. With materials coming in around $6,500 for everything (and I mean everything - down to and including the nails), I figured it was worth the savings to have a go myself. I mean...how hard could it be?

Fireworks are going to be allowed in the city again starting next year, after a long ban on private use, so this thing is a disaster waiting to happen come next Independence Day, what with all the illegal fireworks that seem to pop up in surrounding cities around that time (it's like the British are invading all over again around here!). It is also leaking rain into the garage a bit during the winter, which is neither here nor there based on the mostly irrelevant location of the leaks, but it can (or maybe is already) cause dry rot and mold problems that mean we probably shouldn't overlook them for much longer.

So this is an old-school wood shingle/shake roof over skip sheathing. There is a single layer of shakes on the front, and two layers on the back - shakes over shingles. We intend to tear-off (per local code) and replace with GAF Timberline Ultra HD comp architectural shingles. I actually wanted Certainteed Landmarks myself, but the wife got overly enamored with a particular GAF color. And these will go over 7/16 OSB sheet sheathing and GAF's Tiger Paw synthetic underlay (with their I&W product under the valley metal and roof penetrations).

Tear-off will be tomorrow, and we'll be taking the stuff to the dump ourselves on Saturday morning. Then rafter and eave repairs on Saturday into Sunday (we've got a few rafter tails that are really bad - possibly way up the rafter - and some shiplap in the eaves that is toast); a bit of painting on Monday into Tuesday, as we wait on the sheathing inspection; valley work and roofing felt on the Wednesday; then laying shingles Thursday through the following Sunday. Or at least that's the plan.

So, as previously said, we've $6,500 in materials, and I had to buy some tools to the tune of about another $600, but $400 of that is in Hitachi pneumatic nail guns - one for roofing and the other for framing - with the other $200 being for tools that I don't seem to own for whatever reason that will help remove the old material (garden forks; shingle removers; pry bars; tarps).

Wish us luck!

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Old 08-28-14, 05:32 PM
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mwalsh, you might want to cut down on your post and ask the basic questions you are concerned with. Too much detail is not always a good thing, though sometimes it's a necessity.
Old 08-28-14, 05:32 PM
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We welcome people to the forums with questions or just wanting to hep others or just read for information. However this seems to be a blog. Blogging is not allowed. If you have questions please repost with your questions.
Old 08-28-14, 05:34 PM
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You say that you used to be on this forum, so welcome back.

Seems that you have a well thought out plan. Hope for dry and cool weather. Let us know how it comes out.
Old 08-28-14, 06:01 PM
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Since all the other mods posted here.... I will too. Just some observations....

these will go over 7/16 OSB sheet sheathing
Pretty thin sheathing..... I'd probably fall thru it. I'm guessing (hoping) minimal snow load.

the boys (young adult grandsons) and I have set aside for the task.
I don't know the age of your grandsons but you have a major undertaking there.

I'd be shaking if the roof was off my house for a week.

Good luck on the project. Keeps us posted... and remember..... penny wise and dollar foolish.
Old 08-28-14, 06:35 PM
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Oops, sorry. Did mean to come off "bloggy", just wanted to give you an overview.

7/16 OSB will be over 1x6 skip, and no snow in SoCal yet (other than in the mountains). Well, not without more severe climate change.

Will ask questions ( and I'm sure I'll have some I haven't already found the answers to) under separate cover. Oh, and the boys are 21 and 19 respectively.
Old 08-28-14, 07:10 PM
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Good Luck!

If you were closer I would come and watch.
Old 08-28-14, 07:32 PM
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What do you have in the way of staging, ladders, roof jacks, planks, safety harnesses and tie downs?
Are you going to carry all of the shingles up or have the lumber yard drop them on the roof? (not all in one spot)
Step flashing, valley flashing, drip edge, ridge vent, soffit venting, coil stock for trim and a bender, roofing tar.

Just rattling off some tools and materials just in case you forgot anything. For myself I would be wearing my knee pads.

Nail guns can be set for automatic (they fire when the nose strikes the shingle) or single fire. I never mastered the automatic and found I wasted a lot of time correcting my mistakes.

In case it rains, make sure your insurance company is ok with your policy covering any damage or injuries.

Old 08-28-14, 08:48 PM
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All the above (including knee pads) except for roof jacks - pitch is only 5/12, so those aren't really necessary. We're not doing roof delivery due to the timing - city requires all materials be on the job site at the sheathing inspection and we're trying to get the sheathing inspection on Tuesday morning, right after Labor Day. I mean I suppose we could have gotten the materials delivered that morning, but knowing my luck the inspector would get there and the materials would not. So I've built a rather nifty (even if I do say so myself) shingle elevator to transport materials to the roof from the ground (I'll post a picture when I have a chance).

Not sure I'm good with the nail guns being set for anything other than single shot either. The only pneumatic I've had experience with until now is a brad nailer (though I have tried both new guns already, just to make sure they actually do work).
Old 08-29-14, 08:41 AM
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Interested in seeing your elevator. Working by myself most of my life I have had to improvise often. Last roof job with my son doing all the work up top, I built a slide and pulley arrangement where I could load and pull the shingles up with my Kubota. Worked slick.

With no experienced roofers on the job, and only the internet to rely on, you will be challenged to avoid simple mistakes. I'll start and maybe the others will list a few.

Measure top to bottom and divide by your exposure to be sure your last row isn't a shorty. Your exposure can easily be reduced a bit to adjust as needed, but never stretch the exposure.

Also measure left to right to avoid skinny shingles on the end.

Work several rows at a time so you can do more in one place. The Pros can share their preference.

Ice and water shield, I know no ice, but it serves a purpose.

Once all the old shingles are removed and all is cleaned up, I would use a good underlayment and cover everything to protect from rain. It has to be fastened securely so it doesn't let go and turn into a slide. I use/d red caps, but not sure what a modern solution is.

Remove any hazards below. Falling on the ground is bad enough. Falling on a picket fence is a disaster.

Use a tarp below to catch the debris, especially all the nails.

Just a comment. In my younger days I helped on some DIY roof jobs, of course no internet. But with no experienced workers they took forever and had many complications. I wish you better luck.


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