Roof, There It Is

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Disclaimer:  This post is wordy, full of run-on sentences and totally time consuming.  Grab a pillow for your rear end and settle in.  Otherwise I’ll catch you on the next post.  It does go somewhere, though.  Just not in a hurry!


I probably never shared the story of our roof and I guess it’s because I’ve tried to wipe most of the experience from my memory. It was summer and a very pleasant 102 degrees outside.  Our insurance company told us we had 60 days to put on a new roof or they would not insure the property.  We live in hurricane alley, only 30 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico.  Google hurricane Rita or Ike and you’ll know the hell hurricanes cause.   Every home in our area has to have wind storm insurance and every roof has to be wind storm certified by an engineer.  There was NO CHOICE.  It was the 2nd major thing we had to do.  First was to cut 26 trees from the property so they wouldn’t fall on, or screw up, the new $20,000 roof.  HOLY SHIT!  Yes, I had a cow too!

The summer was a rainy one.  It rained EVERY SINGLE afternoon for weeks.  This delayed our scheduled job for over two weeks.  The 60 days was closing in on us and I was in a panic. The roofers finally showed up. I was ready, but NOT excited. Our roof is what you call a butterfly or inverted roof. Instead of the rain flowing down the pitch of the roof and off the sides, ours flows to the center of the house and off two sides. It’s quite genius actually…. but after years and years of neglect the roof  was actually growing trees on it and it leaked pretty bad in several places when it rained. Most of the damage was caused by the massive number of trees that surrounded the house which then came crashing down on the roof when the terrible hurricanes hit our town in 2005 and 2008.


The roof currently has 4 skylights. We took one out in the office area because it was located right in the center of the house which is where all the water drains. We decided to nip that future leak in the bud by removing it.

I remember that day so well (even though I’ve tried to forget). The picture above shows two skylights in our new roof. One is located in the hallway laundry room and the other in the guest bathroom. They’re fantastic because these areas, unlike most of the house, have NO windows so they’re really dark. Thanks to the skylights we hardly ever have to turn on a light. When the roofers removed them they had to prepare for the chance of rain by having a tarp rolled at one side of the house that the workers could just unroll all the way across. Well, it poured! And it poured! And it poured! The thing is it would have worked beautifully if they had only remembered to put the pieces of wood they had cut to place over the hole and then place the tarp on top of the board. NOPE! The rains came so fast they didn’t have time. Meanwhile, I’m inside painting (of course!) and I hear them on the roof scampering like little squirrels.  I look up to see the holes where the skylights were begin to fill up with water and the tarp slowly sinking into the house. OH CRAP! (that’s not really the words I used)

I already had two ladders out because I was painting so I placed one in the bathroom and one in the laundry room. I ran back and forth, up and down those ladders, pushing the pockets of water up and out of the holes to keep the tarp from sinking into the house. This went on for what felt like forever. THEN… then, I start to see the rain slowly dripping all down my hallway. Yes, oh yes, it was raining IN MY HOUSE! Long story short, it was a mess and so was I. When the rains ended I think I hauled ass over to my brother-in-laws house, drank a beer and cried. It was a rough couple of days. If you’ve never smelled hot tar on a summer day then consider yourself lucky. As I write this I can smell it. And it’s horrible. Boiling hot tar. Our neighbors hated us.  We were the crazy people tearing the place apart, cutting down all the trees, smelling up the neighborhood with tar and creating general havoc.   That was such a low point for me. I’m happy it’s behind us. I’ve been told our roof should last for 30 years of more. I’m not sure if that’s long enough.  I’d like to think I’ll be in an old folks home by the time it has to be replaced.


Which brings me to the point of this post.  (a little back story never hurts)
The picture above shows the other end of the house where we’re currently working. One skylight is located in a small work area and the other is at the end of the studio hallway.  It’s good to think about just how far we’ve come. It’s also good to forget it. So I’ll keep trying.

My last post in the studio area we were hanging sheetrock …. and IT’S DONE!  Here’s a picture from when the Goode’s owned the house.  Again, this studio was his office for his architectural business.

Here’s what it looked like two days after we got the house. A view facing the office entrance.


Another before view standing at the entrance door looking the other way.

I know paneling is big in mid-century… but for this girl… it had to go.  Here’s the results.


Come on, it’s so PRETTY!  So bright, so clean, so US!  The lights went back up and our plan for this wall was to hang Richie’s beautiful guitars under each light.  Of course he wouldn’t allow me to do it because he was afraid with all the work going on we’d knock one off.  DANG!  So no pictures of that until later.  The wall will stay plain until we get to that point.

Okay, so maybe you’re thinking “what does this wall have to do with the damn roof”?  HA HA HA!  NOTHING!  Except it’s just one part of the space we’re working on.  At the end of this now pretty hallway is a skylight.  Ah ha… see, there is a point to it all.  So the hallway looks great but the skylight …..


DISGUSTING!  Okay, roofers are great.  They give you a nice expensive roof that protects your house and keeps the rain out but they don’t give a crap about what it looks like INSIDE.  They pack up their boiling tar and haul ass.  The rest is our problem.  Well, these skylights looked horrible.


You could see the excess roofing material and all the tar they dripped inside.  The dome was full of dirt and filth and the whole thing was unsightly.  You have to do something.  It can’t stay like this, right?


Get creative, Stacey.  Get creative.

So I cut back the roofing.  Sealed the edges, cleaned the dome, sanded the wood, stained the wood, and had Richie cut me 4 small pieces of wood trim to create a lip on the very bottom of the trim.  Place a plexi insert at the bottom and the result was something I could live with.  BAM!  No more ugly skylight.


An exceptionally long post for such a small thing, but as I was working on this it’s hard not to remember all the hell you go through just to get to this tiny spot in the house. All that for this 14″ skylight.  Then you realize that you’ve lived with it looking so ugly for so long that you began to not even notice how awful it was.    SO many small things… so many tiny details take forever to happen. To have it finished and looking so much better is good for the renovation soul.


You can see the finished skylight at the end of the hallway.
Up next… my favorite thing so far.  An open closet under that skylight gets a makeover.  Stay tuned… this space is coming together!

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15 thoughts on “Roof, There It Is

  1. Dana@Mid2Mod

    Your solution for the skylight was genius! I have to tell you that your place is becoming more gorgeous with every project. I love what you’ve done with the office, workout room and hallway. I can’t wait to see the closet project!

    I feel your pain about the roofing issues. My main house never had a single leak, but it’s been nothing but leaks since I moved into my little house. One was the contractor’s fault, and he came out quickly and repaired it. They hadn’t sealed well enough around the conduit where all the electrical comes into the house. Then the other day, the bathroom sprung a leak. When he came back out to repair it, he found a huge pecan branch right where the leak was. (My yard is ALL 65-year-old pecan trees, and they’re notorious for dropping branches anyway.) Even though it was pretty clear he wasn’t at fault this time, he took care of it anyway. I had them cover the entire roof with a fiber tar this time…extra thick. I love the look of an almost-flat roof, but when there’s a problem, sometimes you miss for the steep pitch of a traditional roof.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thank you Dana! Oh my, you know my pain well. It’s so comforting to have someone say “I get that”! The trees are really the worst around any roof but especially a flat or almost flat roof. Ours does have a nice little pitch that keeps everything moving to the center but God for bid I get a leak in the center. I’m doomed if that happens. It’s great that you had good experiences with the contractors and they came back promptly. It’s when you have to keep nagging them and get ugly that makes me insane. I’m just happy it’s over and so far so good. Cutting all the trees was really the key to making this roof last.

  2. CT

    The devil is in the details . . . and the details make a difference. But only the real renovators consider and complete them even though they fly under the radar sometimes visually. It looks good and can’t wait to see the closet and all the guitars hung! We misplaced/lost two of our guitar wall hooks in the move (plus JT left all but one of his guitars in STL with his dad) so we need to get ourselves together and get everything (500 guitars and new hooks) together. The lighting there is going to really accentuate them! Cheers – CT

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey CT! Completing those tiny little details can be a real pain and I tend to put them off for longer than I should. Of course that’s stupid because the small things can make a world of difference!

      Oh the guitars. I thought of you and your husband so many times during that conversation about hanging the guitars. I know JT has a beautiful collection and treasures each one. Richie too. They’ll get up there one day and it will be a lovely display. Can’t wait! I had to laugh when you said some of his guitars are with his dad. Richie does that all the time. He spreads them out (esp if we go on vacation) He’ll store some at his parents house so any thieves who try to steal won’t get them all. Is that being paranoid? Or smart? I still love making fun of him, though. Thanks for the visit!

  3. ScrapAndSalvage

    LOL that title cracks me up. i had to say it three times for effect. and nice way to bring this post back around to the skylight!! i love a good skylight. plus how you save on your electric bill! you gave it such a nice little make-over (well, it probably isn’t “little”, but i use the adjective endearingly). i keep thinking there’s no way you guys can make anymore improvements and then you come up with something! and something great i might add! and now you have an “open closet” to feature. what the hell….i can’t wait!
    i love your fresh friday’s, but this post beats the socks off a rose any day ;) HAPPY WEEKEND, STACEY! i can’t wait to show you what we got in my next post. i just need jordan to move it upstairs to our room so i can photograph it. make him huuurrrrry!! :D

    1. Stacey Post author

      YOU crack me up! I know, I know… I was singing that damn whoop song the whole time I was writing the post. Tag Team all the way! So hilarious. It fit though.
      I can’t wait to show you the closet post. I hope it’s not a disappointment because it’s been one of my favorite projects in this house. But I’m EVEN MORE EXCITED to see what you got.
      The suspense will kill me. HURRY JORDAN! HURRY! The skylight is so much easier on the eyes. So happy to have it done. Thanks, girl. Have a great weekend. Love you guys.

  4. D'Arcy H

    Boy, does this bring back the painful memories! Ten years ago I hired a questionable roofing contractor on a friend’s recommendation. He did a decent job on the roof (it’s never leaked), but it took him forever to finish the job. He hadn’t tarped the dormer, and one evening it POURED rain. Water gushed into the attic (stained mom’s antique dresser), and I discovered a “water feature” dribbling into the middle of my mattress in the bedroom! I wish we could have a drink and I could tell you the whole story–you’d laugh till you cried. But I sure wasn’t laughing then!! I was, however, laughing at the thought of you running from bathroom to bathroom trying to push the water back up! Sounds like an episode of “I Love Lucy”! :) Nice skylight treatment, btw! The hall and office transition is looking great!

    1. Stacey Post author

      Blah ha ha ha… a water feature. You’re too much! Yep, I didn’t ask for an indoor water fall and I’m sure you didn’t either. It’s a moment of sheer panic. And then you realize you can’t do a damn thing about it but get some towels and mop up. (laughing) It was not my finest moment. But yours is much worse since it stained a precious antique. That would really upset me. I would definitely laugh til I cried and then maybe just cry a little after because crying seems to make me feel better in those situations. Beer and crying!

      It was, it was like I love Lucy! HILARIOUS!!!! Up and down that ladder pushing that water up and out. All I needed was some grape stomping and chocolates on a conveyer belt in between and it would have been a LUCY combo. The thing that makes it worse is that nobody knew I was in there doing that. They (including Richie) were all on the roof so they had no idea what was happening. HELP HELP HELP!

      Love your comment and story. It’s good to share those things. Makes me happy, sweet friend!

  5. Karen Lewis

    No one can appreciate as much what you go through when re-doing a house. I can relate. I chuckle when I read this because it brings back so many memories. At the time you were ready to kill anybody if they did anything wrong because you are so sick of looking or working with it. But then years do wonderful things with those memories — tame them, then eventually bring out a smile.
    Our biggest dilemma was the stairway going to the second floor. We ripped it out because it was too narrow and I didn’t want the pie shaped steps at the turn. I wanted a landing then two steps up to the second floor. We put that project on the back burner, but every day for 3 1/2 years we would try to figure how to do this because if we made them to code, it would only leave us with a narrow space to walk through at the bottom of the steps and that just wouldn’t work. We re did the entire house using a ladder to reach the second floor. In the end, we decided to put in the landing, and increase the rise (not to code-but not to worry as we have no codes here.) It was basically the same rise as it was when the house was built in the mid 1800’s but with a few tweeks.
    I love every time you post a story. Can’t wait for another with the guitars!
    I just noticed your new pictures and I’m loving your cat.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Karen! Oh time does heal, that’s for sure. That’s a good thing too because that kind of anxiety non-stop will kill a person. (laughing!)
      This too shall pass. Hopefully quick! Glad you understand and I know you truly do. Renovation isn’t for wussies!

      Oh goodness doesn’t “CODE” get in the way. I mean seriously, how about what works in this space (within reason). I can promise you that there are probably things we didn’t do to code but what they don’t know won’t hurt them. HA! Sounds like you came up with a good solution but I do understand taking a while to get there. Boy do I! Love hearing your stories too. I’m thrilled you share them with me. It makes my day. XO

  6. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    I am so glad that story had a happy ending. I was getting very nervous just reading about it! Great solution for the ugly skylight. I cannot wait to see what is coming. I have a big surprise I am planning to reveal this week as well, but I doubt it is as big as yours.

    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks Jessica! Yes, we’ve had lots of happy endings but sometimes the stories are scary and make you want to scream. Ha Ha! It ended well and thankfully it usually does.
      Looking forward to your surprise.

  7. Natalie

    Stacey, I am in love with that last pic…. ok, the misery to get there… ya poor thing!!! But so worth it when I see that last image!!! The plants, the counter, the floor, the lighitng, the art… oh and of course the skylight!!!! Ahhhhhhh…. so fresh!!!! Great job!!!


    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks, Natalie! I love posting after photos… they are the best! Too bad it takes so damn long to get to the “after” part. I’ve slowed down so much in the last couple years but still get pretty excited about even the smallest of projects getting done. I guess we all do. Thanks for being here to cheer me on!

  8. the home tome

    As always, your attention to detail on that lil sky light is admirable. Your ability to get ‘er done is remarkable. And…your workmanship (workwomanship) is out of this world!

    As the hubs and I sat in our attached apt today, we fantasized about putting a skylight in there…we have several in the main house so we know what a difference they can make…we’ll see, we’ll see…


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