Sunday, August 23, 2009

Carpets and Roof

Last Saturday, at 5:45 am I woke up to the stumping sound of people walking on the roof. It was indeed the roofers who came 15 minutes early. By the time I got up to the roof, about 10-15 minutes later, it already was stripped to the boards!

Luckily, there were backerboards, so no hot asphalt drizzled through the exposed wood ceiling boards underneath it, though we were prepared for that scenario as well.
It took them a little longer to scrape all the old asphalt and prepare the roof for the insulation boards and the multiple layers of new asphalt.

These are the insulation boards, with one of the roofers showing off

Preparing the asphalt: first, take the paper cover off...

Then, carry it to the hot oven

Put it inside...

And this is what you get after some time: hot liquidy asphalt...

...that you mop onto the roof sheets that are layered on top of the insulation

The result:

The old roof is in the dumpster, the new roof has a step - that's where the insulation ends (no need for insulating the garage, the porch or the eaves.

The roofers had to come multiple time later to finish up things, remove the old cooler's vent, put in a new double dome skylight, and coat the roof twice, and now it's finished.

Our snowy roof. Notice the "step"?

The roofers we used are West Coast Roofing. They were the ones who gave us the lowest bid, which was about $2000 less than all the other bids. The company is fairly new (though the people running it are experienced) and that's how I explain the difference in pricing. We did ask for references, which we got, and they seemed okay. After they started they explained all the staged to us very clearly and were very informative and seemed to know what they were doing. They also saved us more money when the saw opportunities for it. For example, the front porch roof seemed okay to them, so they reduced the price a little and left it there. They also promised to give us a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant, but somehow we didn't end up getting it.
There was one problem though: in one southern edge of the house the eaves were not as deep as on the other sides, and since the roofers assumed equal distance between the edge of the roof and the beginning of the wall, they left a bit of roof uninsulated. This was noticeable more before the white coating, so we complained. Of course, once everything is in place, you can't go back and add more insulation, so instead they gave us the new skylight for free.

All in all, the expenses on the new roof amounted to $5040. We already feel the difference. On Tuesday, when the carpet people were scheduled to come, Mark went to Tempe for work, and I had to come back from work around noon. Before leaving the house 4 hours earlier, we turned off the AC, especially since the roofers had a few spots open around vents and skylight. When I came home, the temperature was only 84 degrees F - something like 15-20 degrees less than the outside temperature! Pretty neat, ha?

And yes, the carpet people came around 12:30 - pretty good for a window of 12 to 4 - and finished installing it by 3 or 3:30. It looks so nice! I don't have "before and after" pictures, because I'm not sure the differences would show, especially since the old carpet didn't look too bad. Instead, I will post pictures when the rooms will be completely done. The carpets were from Home Depot and cost us about $1100, including installation and waterproof padding. The installers were from Western States Flooring, and seemed very knowledgeable and ready to explain whenever I had questions.

So now we have a new roof over our heads and new carpets under our feet. Which feels nice. But there's still a lot more to be done!


  1. White roof is a good idea. And insulation is a good idea, too.

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