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I need to replace my whole roof, down to the rafters. I need the cheapest way to do this since we are living week to week. My roof has 4 layers (I'm told) of shingles and it is the original slat board roofing that they did in 1913. It all needs to go. I have leaks everywhere and I need a quick fix (not patch, it's too far gone). Please give me some ideas.
By Patty from Kentland, IN
Unless you can do the work itself, or barter it with somebody that you know, you will have to hire it done. I would reccommend calling different roofers and compare prices. Also check with with department of social services in your state and see if they know of any organizations that can help you. I do know that there are grants for things like home repair, but you have to live in the house for 5-10 years or you will have to pay a pro-rated cost. The name of the places that supervise these grants can vary from state to state and even city to city in one state. Some places call it Opportunities for Independant Living, and other places call it other things. I think these grants are given out by proving financial need and maybe even disability.
Call your city and county and see if they have any programs to help you! I once went through a city program and had the roof replaced (the way you need) on both my 1890 built home and detached two car garage plus all new energy efficient windows for a very, very, very small fraction of market cost and super, super low payments to the city each month! It's worth asking and especially because of the age of your home!
The 4 layers of shingles will need to come off and disposal of them. Check with the local dump for shingle charge. You can work one section at a time (this is hard work). Make sure you have tarps in case of rain. Once you get the shingles off you need to inspect the wood for broken or missing pieces. Replace the broken ones/missing boards.
Do you have drip edge along all edges of roof, sides and bottom? This is a good picture of it: http://www.this ,,193154,00.html
Ice and water shield is great stuff, better than tar paper, some is self sticking others you put down with staples. If you are up north go for at least 4 rows on decent pitch, if you have a ranch I personally will do the whole thing before shingles. Check the price of shingles, I was able to get 50 year shingles for only a little more than 25 year.
To put down shingles you cut some in half lengthwise. You want the solid side not the flap side *Save the cut off pieces. This is for the first row, put down the solid half all the way down the end of the roof (you work up to peak). Now using reg shingles on top of the solid piece do not match the seam up you might need to start on the opposite side or cut one shingle a little shorter. Continue up the roof, do not match seams, always stagger the shingles
If there is a chimney on this section of the roof, check the flashing around the bottom. Do you need to patch it? Do you need to repoint the mortar in the bricks? Continue to the top, toss tarp over the peak and do the other side. Once you are on the top again you use the cut off flaps to make cover for the top (look at roofs in neighborhood).
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My roof has had a leak for years. We have patched it and it still leaks. What can I do to fix or find the leak, besides replacing the roof?
By mkm1enonly from Whitesville, WV
Have you been in the attic while it's raining. If not try it, maybe you can find the leak. You can also patch it with tar, good luck. (09/08/2009)
I heard a repair show one time and it suggested that one person observe where the leak was coming in at and another person go up on the roof and methodically run a water hose on each area of the roof until the first person sees the water leaking. Then you will know where the water is coming in at. (09/08/2009)
By Your friend
Do you have a chimney? Our roof leaked. Had complete new roof put on. Still had a leak. After calling the roofer back and checking all the new roof work, he suggested the cracks in the chimney may be causing the problem. My son-in-law checked the chimney. Picked up bag of cement and patched the chimney: no more leaks. Just thought I would pass this on. Also, although a leak may show up in one area, it could originate from anywhere. Good luck. (09/11/2009)
I have a back porch that's about 8-10 ft. wide and about 20 ft. long. The roof is leaking badly and will need to be replaced. The flashing at the end was placed over the shingles allowing water to leak under and inside. The area around the jalousie windows may be ruined. Worst case scenario, ball park figure, is what I'm looking for. Also, any advice as far as what to look for and what to look out for? I was thinking a handyman would be cheaper than a roofer since some handymen do roofing too. Any advice welcome.
Denise from Woodbury, NJ
Except for the possible problem with the jalousie windows it isn't too big a job. A ten foot by ten foot section is called a square and 3 bundles of shingles cover a square, so you can figure your material cost plus you should lay down an ice and water shield which is a rubber membrane that has an adhesive side that will adhere to the roof.
I don't know what your labor rates are but in my area the roofer gets $30 plus an hour. I would think a job such as yours would be about 3 or 4 days. I would talk to a roofer and explain your problem. Ask questions and then if you hire a handy man you can ask him how he will do the job. From the info from the roofer you will know if the handyman knows what he is doing. It would be expensive to have to do the job twice. Good luck. (07/07/2006)
We have our own "handyman" that we hired to take care of our yard, house, and anything that needs to be attended to as my husband is a disabled vet. We pay him $10 an hour (trust me, he gets a lot done in an hour for us). This helps us and it helps him also as he needs the extra income for his family.
Good luck! Ask around at the senior centers or get someone at your place of worship. $10 under the table works out to be quite a hefty chunk of cash as if taxes were to be taken out its equivalent would be near $14 an hour.
By Paula Jo Carr
You might need a building permit for this much re-construction. (07/11/2006)