Wednesday Renovation Recap: Getting Warm For Winter

Hey friends! On this edition of, “things we did to the house in the past week that I normally publish on Wednesdays so I refuse to change the name” we’re covering insulation and putting a new roof on! Are you excited yet? I bet you are, probably because I’ve already used two exclamation points. I’m also writing this from our “new” bedroom. Don’t get excited. I simply mean I’m sitting on the plywood because I need to spread my legs out of the cramped original house. Thank goodness for wireless internet. In other news, my new bedroom space is pretty fantastic and gets pretty light in the evening. It looks a little something like this.

Renovated Bedroom Progress
via Instagram (c) Like A Cup of Tea

Moving on.

On Friday night I celebrated my last day at the company I had been at for just over two and a half years, and have had a good relationship with for many years before that (my husband also works there). It was bittersweet. I’ve known for months the day was coming, so I have actually been pretty excited for whatever comes next but it was also pretty bittersweet because it’s a great company and I really enjoyed my time there. To celebrate this bittersweet moment though I headed out on Friday night to for some food and drinks with a couple of my girlfriends. While we were getting drinks at an Asian restaurant in town, and then dinner at a taco joint (it happens) I knew Andy was here working on the house. I’m a fantastic wife.

The point is that hugely long and detailed intro was just so I could say I assumed the windows were going in. You know, these ones I talked about here.

What I found out on Saturday morning, because I got home so late on Friday (Holla for 10:00 being late) was that there were in fact no windows installed. Why?

Because the roof on the original house looked like this!

If you follow me on Instagram (likeacupoftea) or Twitter you saw some shots of the progress throughout the day, and knew I was up scraping the rest of the tar bits off the roof at about 8am despite my no caffeine coma. Here’s something I may have mentioned once before, I don’t drink coffee (and only herbal tea). The only caffeine I have in my diet is chocolate and that’s still pretty rare. I love the taste of coffee, but even the small amount in decaf throws my body for a loop. So I haven’t had any coffee in about two or three years. I am always the first awake in the morning and going, but if you expect hard labor out of me when my energy reserves are still low…oh man, I move slow. Despite that I womaned up, and went to work. The roof had to be put on and Andy has busted his *beeeeep* on this house.  I can scrape a little tar paper.

While Andy nailed some board back down, I went ahead and got off all of the chunks of black you can see in the photos. The tar will never come totally off, but the paper needed to be removed so the roof was flat. This also including hammering any nails that were raised back into place.

Once the roof was smooth(er) the boys laid down two inches of insulation. This house is going to be so super toasty warm I expect we’ll all be sitting around in our underwear by the wood stove and drinking scotch on the rocks. That’s probably not true, but it’s amusing to think about.

Once the insulation was laid down and secure, it was time for a little spray foam around the edges and down the center. Here’s a tip: once the spray foam get’s all foamy and big and settles, you need to take a utility knife to cut it flush. No tar paper and roofing until it’s flush! See that, I put an exclamation point on the end, because it’s that important.

With the insulation in place, it was time to put the new tar paper down, secure it, mark for the strapping, add the strapping, put trim up, add drip edge, and then finally put on the roofing.

We saved a bunch of money by using other pieces of trim/wood from the house as strapping. We did have to put some new stuff on but Andy got the bundle for free through a contact he has. Oh God, that sounds like drug hocking of the lumber world – I swear it’s not some weird back end deal. What I’m trying to say is that the strapping cost us $0.00.

The strapping is placed with a gap so if water gets underneath of the roofing (but above the waterproof tar paper, where it will stay) the gaps will give the water a channel to get out. If you abut all of the strapping tight to each other the water will just sit and rot the strapping. Bad news.

I didn’t get a photo of the drip edge going on, but here’s the trim. We did the best we could getting it straight and right but as any of you know who have renovated a house, you work with what you have. We aren’t replacing the soffit on this side or the back side of the original house which made things a little easier. Eventually we will power wash, possibly sand, and then paint it to match the rest of the house.

For the roofing we used a combination of the original roofing and new roofing on one side, and then just the original roofing on the other side. There were hatchet marks on some of the old roofing from breaking up ice over the years, long before us. The benefit of having steel roofing is how easily it can be reused, and repaired. If we had a typical shingle roof we would have had an extraordinary cost to replace the entire thing. The shiny vs. dull you see is because of the old vs. new. The style is slightly different too. The roof is at a pitch though that you can’t really see it from the road so we honestly don’t care.

Each sheet was labeled so we knew where to put it down and then it was as “simple” as hauling them onto the roof, lining them up and screwing them down.

Steel Roofing Installation
via Instagram (c) Like A Cup of Tea

In the photo above you can slightly see a black piece around the pipe. That is to help seal the water out and it actually goes on after the roofing is on. It’s sealed down with both adhesive and screws and the base of it has a piece of metal that forms around the shape of the roof.

I’d be lying if I said this was really a “weekly” update, as this work was all done between Saturday and Sunday, but let’s just pretend it was an entire weeks worth.

Until next week!



P.S. In case you missed it, I got a little bored this week and made a “cooking” video which I posted to YouTube. It’s both awkward, and informative.

6 thoughts on “Wednesday Renovation Recap: Getting Warm For Winter

  1. You’re building such a great house, congrats! Finishing the roof first is a good idea… autumn would strike at any moment.

    You know, I had a bias against steel roofing because here in Spain is mainly used in warehouses, with no insulation, paper or wood underneath. Its terribly cold in winter and killing hot in summer. But your look very… cozy (can a roof look cozy?) And I like you are reusing the old roofing. Can’t understand why people throws away perfectly fine things only because they are a bit worn.

    I would say you’re going to have a comfy winter with your new roofing. 🙂

    1. Hey, Anna! Autumn has already showed up. It’s suppose to be 40 tonight! We’re still waiting for the chimney to be finished off so we can start a wood fire. We’ve been cooking to help warm the house up, and lots of blankets and sweaters!

      Steel roofing definitely isn’t for everyone, there’s no doubt about that. It made sense to keep what we had since it was in good condition, and it’s a lot more sustainable too. Using “cozy” is completely acceptable, because it really is. When it rains you can hear it pinging off the roof and it’s such a soothing feeling. We are in the same boat as you, perfectly good items must be reused! We initially were going to shingle the house (a very New England thing to do) but we received a bundle of free siding from someone and we’ll be using that instead. I can’t wait to write about when we get to THAT step!


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