12.06.2010

Santa Comes Early so a Rotten Roof can be Fixed

We have a little shed roof over our basement entry that failed our home inspection just over a year ago. It has two problems, first the wood that attaches to the side of the house is rotten and second, the pitch of the roof is nearly flat so that it barely sheds water and certainly doesn't shed snow. We're not expecting to get another record breaking winter for snowfall this year (at least S isn't, I'm expecting a repeat performance) but we've ordered a new basement entry door and figured we'd tackle both roof projects before installing the new door.

Since replacing the rotten wood means drilling into the brick and the whole hanging shutters thing with the cordless drill was a total chore, I decided to give S one of his Christmas gifts early. A Milwaukee 1/2" hammer drill, complete with a bow fashioned from a Home Depot shopping bag.
Merry Christmas, S.

This morning while I went to get an x-ray on my foot to see if it was broken after a pile of lumber fell onto it from a shelf five feet or so off the ground last night when we were buying supplies for today's project, S got to work supporting the shed roof with some 4x4 posts. By the time I got home from the hospital with a clean bill of health and a still incredibly swollen foot, S had the rotten 1x6 that attaches to the side of the house and the partially rotten 2x4 next to it chiseled out and the new pressure treated 1x6 up and ready to be hammered into place.
We found these masonry nails that expand as you hammer them into the brick for a secure hold, which are supposed to create a much stronger bond for wood to brick than the masonry screws we've used for other foundation projects.
The nails require pre-drilling so S whipped out the shiny new drill and got to work securing the 1x6 to the brick wall.
Then he hammered in the compression nail things and sure enough, they were way more secure than the masonry screw we tried first.
After the 1x6 was securely fastened to the wall, S cut some notches out of the 2x4 so each joist could rest on it and secured that to the 1x6.
With all the rotten wood replaced S moved on to increasing the pitch a little bit. If you notice above the notches are cut at an angle so the joists can move down just a bit. This made it possible to cut off a few inches of the 4x4 posts that the roof rests on over on the other side of the stairwell. Now the whole roof rests on new pressure treated wood and has a bit more of a slope, all without disturbing the roofing material itself.
We're picking up the new door that we ordered tonight so the whole area will get a total makeover very soon. S's dad suggested putting a skylight on the roof to let more light into the basement room through the window on the new door. We'll keep scouring Craig's List for a deal on a used one and maybe try our hand at a skylight this spring, once all the snow melts.

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