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!