How To Re-Roof Your Home In Step By Step Instructions
Most likely, if you’re to the point where you have to re-roof your home, you’ve put it off a few times, made some repairs, been advised that you’re past due and now you really have to get started. Roofing is like that, the entire roof never fails all at once, the ridge cap is the first to go but it can be replaced, Then the valleys, and those are a little harder to do by themselves, and of course, things like flashing and seams always need regular maintenance. The side of your roof that points north will get the most moss, lichens, and weather damage, then the part that gets the most sun usually lasts the longest. Once you see the shingles loosing their fine gravel covering in a wide area, it’s time to start seriously considering getting a new roof.
Start By Calculating The Square Footage
For the first part of your project, you’re going to need the approximate square footage of the roof area of your home. From the ground, you can count the rafters and figure how far apart they are to get the entire width of the roof. Then, take a carpenters level, measure 12 inches on it, hold it level and measure how much the roof rises in that 12 inches. That your rise, slope, or roof pitch.
You can measure the level horizontal depth of your house from the peak to the edge while on the ground and then multiply times a number off the internet to get the length of one half of your roof. Just do a search like “estimating roof area using pitch and width” and you’ll find nice tables that will show you the multiplier to use. If you have a really complicated roof, here’s a trick that will do all the work for you.
Call up several local roofers and tell them you want an accurate estimate of how much it would cost to re-roof your home. The first thing they will do is calculate the square footage of your roof to know how many shingles you need, how much labor it’s going to take, and the number of sheets of plywood if you need sheathing. They’ll give you all of those calculations in their estimate in writing for free. Get two estimates, just to make sure they are telling the truth and aren’t exaggerating. But now, you know how many square feet your roof really is.
You’ll Need To Do A Tear Off In Most Cases
Now that you know the square footage, call up your local dumpster rental yard and find out how much that will cost. They’ll be able to tell you how much it will most likely weigh based on the number of layers of old roofing and the square feet of tear off. They’re pretty experienced in figuring how much their dumpsters hold, both in volume and weight, and the cost is based on that.
When they bring the dumpster, try really hard to get them to place it in your driveway as close to underneath part of your roof as possible. This is a huge time saver if you can take the torn off shingles and throw them directly into the dumpster from the roof. This is so important, that if there is any way you can work it, do it.
To tear off the roof, a flat bladed shovel will work, but there are also special roof tear-off shovels that have stronger blades, and an edge that will pull nails. These are another time saver that are worth the investment. You’ll also need some flat pry bars and some hammers as well.
Take the roof off in layers so that you still have something to walk on until the last layer. On the final layer of roofing to be torn off, if it’s older wood shingles, you’ll only have bats to walk on, so start at the farthest corner from the dumpster first.
Once The Tear Off Is Complete There Is Still Some Cleanup To Do
Now that you’re down to just the rafters and bats, you’ll note that there are thousands of roofing nails sticking up all across your roof. Those will all have to be either pulled or hammered down so that the sheathing will lie flat.
Laying the sheathing is easy and goes quickly, since they are 4’ X 8’ pieces of plywood, use an air driven nailer to make quick work of attaching them to the rafters and bats.
Laying Your Shingles Is Easy But Getting Them Straight Is Important
An experienced roofer can use a roofing nail gun and finish an entire roof that’s completely prepped in about a half day. A homeowner will struggle to get it done in two days. The key for the newbie, is to use a chalk line for each row to keep them perfectly lined up all the way across. Have helpers bringing the heavy bags of shingles up onto the roof and laying them out so all you have to do is grab them and nail them, no walking around. Have another helper doing the flashing around the chimney, on the edges, and around any other protrusions like dormers. With all the right help, you’ll get the job done in due time.
Roofing your own home is a major project but one that can be done. The key is, to plan everything in advance, have all the tools to do the job right, have plenty of helpers on hand and study some videos online. If you don’t think you can do it you can always have the hard parts contracted out to a professional and still save money on the tear-off and clean up tasks if need be.
Want to know more about the DIY roofing cost? Check out the next article for more information.