Our most expensive home item to date is putting a new roof on the Monroe House. BOY LET ME TELL YOU.
This was such a GIANT job. And I mean that with all caps. If I had written it in lower case you wouldn’t understand the volume that I was yelling at and the emphasis that giant really holds. It was huge. Like imagine a tank riding a space shuttle into a star holding an atomic bomb. That is the magnitude of which I speak.
So first let me explain a little something….when we bought the house we knew that the biggest and most expensive thing would be the roof. Immediately we had it tarped.
The tarp was a quick fix because we wanted to be sure that we picked a reliable roofing company and one that would give us exactly what we wanted….a solid non-leaking roof and would educate us on the process a little.
When we got the first quote back, we literally were in complete shock. We fell on the floor and let the kids fend for themselves. Thank goodness they knew how to access the Honey Nut Cheerios. Seriously though – that first quote was over $28k and we didn’t know how to recover from that shocker.
So obviously we did what any normal human would do…..chalk it up to being a mistake and got another quote.
Again….over $20K. WHAT THE WHAT?! Three and four and five quotes later we realized….this is the general price for the roof. It was a big fat bummer.
Apparently our sweet little Monroe House was still sporting it’s original shake roof under all the layers of roofing. Let’s process that for a hot minute. This puppy was holding up FIVE layers of roofing in some parts.
After we did a bunch of research, we landed on a local Atlanta roofing company that is family owned and operated. Jeremy knew the couple from working out at the gym and when we asked for a quote, they were super informative (we like getting ALL the info) and were the one company that we felt was the most honest and actually concerned with getting the job done right. They said – we can give you a quote for the stuff we can see….but there might be more that we can’t see….so we can give you a run down of what additional things might cost but we hope it doesn’t come to that. PLUS, since this roof has so many different transitions, each detail was thoroughly discussed. It made us feel so much better writing that big ole fat check knowing that there was a lot out of the generic run of the mill roof and that it required expertise. It also made us feel better to hear from a roofer that doesn’t charge extra in case of unforeseen costs…that it would be addressed if those issues actually happened. So we picked out the darkest architectural shingle they had and signed on the dotted line.
Their crew came out the very first chance they got. First – all those tarps went to protecting the rest of the house and for easy clean up.
As they started peeling back the layers of roofing, we realized how much there actually was….
The front side of the roof only had three layers….which actually came off relatively quick.
And as they peeled it off, we saw the materials that they used to create the roof structure. Look at those giant boards! Those are over a hundred years old 🙂
During the time when the roof was getting peeled off, the materials for the new roof arrived.
The front yard was starting to look a little crazy….
It was right around this time that we got a call from the builder/engineer. The roofing company had him come out to look at the house because they were planning on taking off the planks and replacing it with new decking. But the builder said that he didn’t think it was a good idea. With such an old house, he was afraid that the structure underneath might get unstable without a roof that was holding it together. He said the house was solid to hold up the weight of all that roofing material for so long but removing the existing planks might render the roof structure as unusable and we would need to possibly start from scratch.
His recommendation was to leave the planks up there and put the new decking right over it. We agreed!
And when we said there was so many layers….it was SO MANY.
Eventually they got to a place where they could start the decking. The builder started working on repairing and sure-ing up some of the support beams in the roof.
To see all the damage under the roofing – it blew our minds. There were giant leaking holes from tree branches and just years of neglect.
We were so happy to see all the old nasty wood get cut out and the new structure go up!
It was also so interesting to see the materials change from various parts of the house to others. Like this was obviously where a new part of the house was added on.
As the front side of the house was getting decking, the backside was getting all sorts of fixes.
After decking comes underlayment felt. This goes directly over the sheathing.
They were super fast at this stage.
Then they started with the shingles. We have a metal flat roof on the porch so that section didn’t get shingles…but the other parts looked so good!
The boys were allowed to stop by and see the crew go to town on the roof and I think they would have watched all day if we let them!
This is when we really saw a difference….not only in the roof itself but in the crew. They finally had a surface that they could walk….I think they might have been a little afraid of falling through before!
The sides took a little more time because the builder had to sure up a truss and replace some other rotting structural damage.
The middle section in the back of the house has some crazy bits too. The center had a flat roof and water was streaming into the house when we bought it. They had to build that up on a slope so that it would properly run off.
Eventually they got everything back into place and it was a literal DREAM COME TRUE.
Yes, this did cost a really REALLY pretty penny (mostly because of the multiple layers of shingles, structural building and all that) but we felt confident that everything was done perfectly and that our little cottage was going to be dry as a bone.
And now for the real kicker…the before and after….
Doesn’t it look so good?!
I literally can not stop staring!
And the sides with the giant gaping holes….
Level and no holes! Wahoo!
Even the backside looks SO much better. And that bit that was taped is coming off the house. It was an add-on later and completely unsafe. It used to be a laundry area and eventually the deck will be there so we didn’t want to pay for a new roof only to rip it down!
And if you are looking for a roofer….this is the name of the company we used. We were 10,000% happy with their service. They since have changed their name to HydroTight Roofing but the number is still the same. And here is their website.
All in all, with the builder, all structural change, materials and all of the dumpsters that hauled away all those layers of roofing, the final cost was $21,281.32 … see what I mean about details? We have peace of mind that the roof is really well done and that if we need anything else, that HydroTight will address all of our questions or concerns. (And you know that we can count on them because they already took care of the roof when TWO giant trees fell on our roof! Read about that here.) If you are local you definitely want to get a free inspection. A lot of times you can prevent some serious damage, mold and all that mess!
So the next bit of Monroe House is the demo! We shared with you all the plans for the outside and now comes the really fun part…actually moving inside to share all the before pics and the demo!
jean moyer says
you don’t have to print this in the comments but don’t you mean shore up?
Yikes! That’s a big job, but worth it!!
I look forward to seeing more of the process
Karen T. says
My jaw is on the ground. An amazing transformation and holy cow, those piles of shingles. I can’t even imagine. Worth every penny!!
Amazing transformation so far!
Emily Morrison says
Is this a house y’all plan to sell? Rent? Or would your family move into it? I love the architecture of it ❤️
The neighbours must be so happy that this place is being fixed up! Can’t wait to see more progress… especially the awning coming down. So exciting!
We don’t know 100% yet. We are keeping the options open but we know right now we don’t want to sell.
xo – kb
Was this the roof that was crashed by a tree?
Quick FYI- its “shore up” and not “sure up”
This must have been awhile ago? Isn’t that baby your youngest boy?
Thanks for sharing this! Just wondering – how many days did it take? Roof prices around me are sky high & it’s crazy to think these companies make tens of thousands of dollars for like 2 or 3 days of work. It’s not going into the pockets of the laborers, I’m sure. But I digress – the transformation looks awesome.
Yes – this was about a year ago! We saved this post because we didn’t have anything else to follow it with 🙂
xo – kb
Yes it is! The same roofing company came out and fixed the roof after that!
xo – kb
It was a big job. It took about six…two for demo (usually they do that in a half of one day) and then the structural stuff took two and then the rebuild of the roof took two. It was very lengthy considering most roofers can do a roof in TWO.
xo – kb
Just wanted to point out that roofing prices do seem astronomical and you are right, the money does not go into the pocket of the workers. Good roofing companies are not easy to find and that is because it takes a LOT of money to run a roofing company well and legitimately. Insurance rates for roofers is the highest of any of the construction trades because the risks are high. So know that a large portion of what you are paying for is actually the ‘cost of doing business’. The temptation might be to go with an under the radar company (or group of guys), but don’t take that risk!
Oh man! I thought $12k for our new roof was a tough pill to swallow. Looks like they did a great job!
Literally drove me nuts trying to decipher this nonsense:)