VICTORIA | OAK HOUSE

THE EAVESTROUGHS, THE ROOF & THE TREE

First, before we get started: reshingling the roof, removing the tree and installing new eavestroughs, soffits and fascia boards were all 2017 projects, but I’m only getting around to sharing these updates now. Not to worry! I have not yet broken my promise to only tackle projects if they’re on the list this year.

Back in October I shared that we had our roof reshingled. But wait, wait — first we had our roof patched (just in case we didn’t get to the full roof job this year), our roofline raised and then we had our roof reshingled. Effin roof.

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Our eavestroughs, soffits and fascia boards were due to get replaced next. I have manila envelopes in the basement that date to 1976 and detail every home project that went on here over 30 years (the notes stop around 2006). The eavestroughs never make an appearance! (Before us, the roof was last done in 1992.) So we knew it was time.

But first, this large cypress tree had to come down. We have better ideas for the front of our house than a too large tree planted in a much too small space. We hired a couple called Climbing Fox Tree Service and they did a great job taking this tree down to a stump and cleaning up some other leggy plants on our property.

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Oh, hello house! Taking this tree down meant the eavestroughs company (we used Victoria Gutter) could actually access the gutters. We’re also having the exterior of the house painted this spring (one of our 2018 projects) and having the tree gone as well as having a lot of the foliage around the house trimmed back will be helpful to the painters.

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In late November, Victoria Gutter arrived to remove our old gutters, revealing wooden “rafter tails.” These notches would have cradled our original wooden gutters! I thought this was pretty neat, but recognized this old feature was probably going to add a little time and cost to our job. The guys were scratching their heads and asking me things like, “When did you say this house was built again?” Not necessarily words you like to hear from your trades. The solution was that they would trim off the rafter tails and nail new, wood fascia boards in their place. Then, the new soffits would completely cover the old rafter tails (the bits of wood running between the soffits) for a very clean look. It would save us on maintenance (having to scrape and paint the rafter tails) and, just generally, mixing wood and drainage is not a great idea.

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Alas, when they removed the soffits we discovered that our soffits were purely decorative — there was absolutely no venting beneath the soffits (which is sort of the g.d. point of soffits) to allow air to flow into our attic space and exit through the brand new vents in our roof. No one with Victoria Gutter said anything to us about this, but Pierre caught it, thankfully. He immediately called the company (Admirals Roofing) that reshingled our roof as I just couldn’t handle having another conversation with anyone about this roof. Admirals came back for a visit and agreed they needed to add additional vents to our roof. They promised to return sometime in January.

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That sometime in January was last Wednesday — you know, at the exact same moment that I was trying to have a strategy call with an author and take care of Frankie, whose babysitter called in sick at the last minute. Thankfully, that situation is so 2017 — with the exception of this hiccough, things have actually been languid and lovely around here since we flipped the page on a new year.

The roofers put in six new vents then climbed into our attic to make sure all that good air was flowing around up there. It was! Hooray for proper ventilation. So six months and… $18,000 later our roof is level, vented, water-tight and moving water away from our foundation. And, assuming we stick to our plan of selling the house once we’re empty nesters, it will be up to the next owners to reshingle and retrough in 2038 or so. We should never have to put another dime (or moment’s thought) into this roof! Amen.

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