Roof Remodeling Supplies Eagle River AK
Certified Contractors Network (CCN)
Certified Contractors Network (CCN)
The Right Roof for You
It's one of those remodeling efforts that probably won't net much return. A buyer just expects that the roof won't leak. So be prepared to shell out no less than $2,000, even if you have a small house. And if you have a large home and exacting roofing standards, the bill can be many multiples of that.
Actually a leak is not necessarily evidence that you need a new roof. They can be caused by a variety of things, including ice dams in an incorrectly insulated attic. Roofs also leak around chimneys and vent pipes long before the shingles start to fail. But if you have bare patches on the shingles, granules in gutters, and curling, lifting or missing shingles, it's definitely time to find a good roofer who can spell out the options for you and help you decide.
Roofing estimates can vary greatly because the proposed job can vary. It is accepted practice to cover one layer of asphalt roofing with another. The roof structure can generally support the additional weight safely. The only time this might not be true is if the old roof is in such terrible condition that big pieces of shingles are missing and/or the plywood beneath is completely rotted. In that case, even if there is only one layer of roofing, it should be removed.
If there are already two layers of roofing, then the roofer will undoubtedly suggest a tear-off. That means, the roofer will take the roof down to at least its plywood layer. He may even pull that off and replace it as well, if it appears to be rotting. Then he will nail on a fresh layer of shingles.
This extra labor and material makes the roofing job far more expensive, but it is the right thing to do if you have more than one roofing layer. The extra weight caused by a third roof can put too much strain on the roofing structure and cause collapse obviously a more serious problem than just a simple leak. The only exception to this rule is if you are switching to lightweight metal roofing, which can be applied safely over almost anything.
Barrel-shaped clay tile roofs have been around for many decades because of their inherent durability and performance characteristics.
Cool Roofing Technology
In the last few years, the color of shingles has gotten a lot of attention as both a predictor of shingle life and as a way to control temperatures in the house below. The typical dark asphalt or metal roof will get as warm as 180°, says Paul Berdahl, a materials scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, where a study of cool roofs is being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Conventional black asphalt shingles are the hottest, absorbing 95 percent of the sun's energy, while lighter colors like tan absorb about 75 percent.
Berdahl says that from an energy point of view, the simplest solution is to make the roof white, but from the standpoint of architects and owners, white is unacceptable. So Berdahl is studying ways to lower absorption in darker colors. He says that there are no low-absorption asphalt shingles on the market yet, but there will be by next year. In the meantime, going with the lightest-color shingle you can aesthetically accept may help lower your cooling costs.
If you have a flat asphalt roof like those found on row homes on the East Coast or on Prairie Style homes in the Midwest or California contemporary ranches in the West, he recommends a single-ply polyvinyl-chloride roofing membrane. Companies like Duro-Last ( http://www.duro-last.com ) manufacture them to fit precisely. Available in any color, including black, the roofs reflect 87 percent of the sun's energy, which meets the standards of the Energy Star Products program. Berdahl says that while you can expect to pay as much as twice what an asphalt roof costs, if your home is air conditioned, you'll make it up quickly in energy savings.
Organic-base shingles have a Class C fire rating (the least resistant), while fiberglass shingles have a Class A rating (the most resistant). Organic types are more flexible in cold weather than fiberglass ones. Some roofers don't like to install fiberglass because they say their stiffness causes them to crack. Manufacturers reply that fiberglass installed properly is long lasting.
The two most common styles are three-tab, also called a strip shingle; and architectural, also called a laminate shingle. A three-tab shingle is a rectangular mat with two slots cut in its front edge. The slots provide stress relief as the shingle expands and contracts with the weather. An architectural shingle has a heavy base mat and another mat or sections of mat applied on top of it. Many people like the appearance of architectural shingles, and they are sturdier but more expensive.
There are considerations beyond appearance and fire resistance. In parts of the country where there's a lot of wind, roofers may recommend a T-lock or T-shaped shingle that has a higher wind-resistance rating. But roofing manufacturer Owens Corning says the design of the shingle has much less to do with wind resistance than with the performance of the sealant and that's affected by how warm it is when the roof is installed. For the sealant to activate properly, there needs to be enough sun to raise the roof temperature to 140° says Bert Elliott, product manager for roofing shingles for Owens Corning. If you're in a cold climate, he advises waiting to re-roof until March or April, when the sun is higher in the sky, in order to get a good seal.
Shingles that have a high wind rating also may require six nails versus the usual four when fastening them to the roof deck. Installation of this type of shingle takes longer and costs more. Is it worth it? Elliott says let good sense prevail. If you're on a hill in the Midwest and the next tree is in Denver, you might consider getting a higher-rated shingle. But if you're considering buying wind-resistant shingles because you live in an area where there are occasional hurricanes, frankly, if your house is hit, you're going to have much worse things to worry about than whether you lost a shingle or two.
Shingles are also rated for impact resistance. If you live in an area where hail is a problem, consider a shingle with a Class 4 rating. They are a little more expensive, but insurers in some states will give you a discount if you have them.
Your roofer will probably ask you whether you want a 20-, 25- or 30-year roof. This refers to the manufacturer's warranty rather than the quality of the roofing material. Roofs last about 20 years. After that it is hard to make a warranty claim stick.
The Performance Based Studies Research Group at Arizona State University has been looking at roofing issues for the last 10 years. They have found that choosing the right roofer is much more important that choosing the right roofing materials. Researcher John Savicky advises, Call five or 10 of the roofer's customers from at least 10 years ago, and ask them if their roofs have ever leaked and what happened when asked for a repair. Did he fix it, and did it stay fixed? From among the roofers with good track records, go with the lowest price.
If you're contemplating investing in outdoor living, chances are you'll get your investment back. Remodeling magazine calculated in its 2003 return-on-remodeling section that even a simple deck would return 103 percent of what you spend on it. And if you're going to create a sophisticated outdoor living space with all the amenities, expect to spend plenty. At minimum, $10,000 will buy you a stainless-steel grill, some counter space and a place for friends to sit while you cook. But if you want something bigger and more elaborate, calculate the cost as if you were adding indoor space. Use $100 per square foot as a starting point, and double that number if you're adding roofing, a built-in fireplace, top-of-the-line outdoor appliances and a system to heat and cool the great outdoors.
A competent do-it-yourselfer might be able to design and build a simple, safe and attractive outdoor kitchen. But if you are adding even the most basic amenities like a permanent gas line, lights, electrical outlets and a sink with a drain that connects to your home's plumbing, you'll want licensed professionals to do those parts of the job. Here are some other things to think about as you contemplate an exodus to the great outdoors.
Location, Location, Location
There are lots of good reasons to locate an outdoor kitchen adjacent to the indoor kitchen. It's economical to take advantage of the ease of access to existing drains and waste pipes, electrical and gas lines. It's convenient to the pantry, pots and pans, and the main refrigerator. But being so close to the house can have drawbacks. Some people like having the outdoor living area far from the house because it gives you privacy, says Dave Tesh, president of Tesh Construction, located near Bakersfield, Calif. For instance, adults can entertain while children sleep and vice versa. Other location considerations include the concerns of your neighbors. Cooking odors, lights and loud music can make you an unpopular neighbor, so consider your options before you break ground.
Tesh, whose construction company has been featured building an outdoor kitchen on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, says the biggest mistake people make is underestimating the space they'll need for an outdoor kitchen. They don't factor in enough room for just sitting and chatting while the food is cooking. They think 9 by 12 is going to be big enough, but it's not unless all you want to do is stand there.
Before you make these critical decisions, study the infrastructure of your home. You may find it would be just as easy and no more costly to locate the outdoor kitchen next to the game room or even relatively far from the house near the run of the swimming pool lines. Good software will help you do this task yourself. Try 3D Home Architect Professional 5 from Broderbund ($39.99), or Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 6.0 ($99.99). Or hire a design company or an architect to give you some expert advice. For advice and drawings from which a contractor can work, expect to pay $1,200 to $6,000, depending on how elaborate the design is.
Overhead & Underfoot
Uneven surfaces are difficult to clean; furniture and appliances may not sit on them evenly, and will wobble and be annoying and maybe even dangerous, points out Ken Newberry, owner of Newberry Campa Design Studio, a Houston company that has created many outdoor kitchens. He particularly likes flagstone because it provides a flat surface, is easy to clean and won't be stained by spilled grease, Newberry says.
After you've decided on flooring, think about roofing. If you decide to roof a large portion of the space, then ventilation becomes a concern. Keep the grill at the edge of the roofed area or outside of it. Don't put it where your guests will be bothered by smoke or where the smoke will waft into the house.
The least expensive and most versatile roofing option is a large, removable umbrella. Tesh likes this option because it doesn't block the escape of cooking odors or smoke and can accommodate a quick rearrange of the living space. Other possibilities include retractable cloth or metal awnings, a standard shingled roof with or without a skylight or an arbor that doesn't keep out the rain but does provide some shade and a convenient way to hang lighting and fans.
Power & Light
Here are some of the basics to consider when you're planning your outdoor living area:
A sink with running water, a drinking fountain and an icemaker are all things that make outdoor cooking much more pleasant. In order to have those things, you'll need a drain that connects with your homes waste line. In some parts of the country, you might be able to get by with a gray-water line that simply runs into a drain that takes away rainwater. But unless you are very mindful of what is poured into the sink, this is an inadequate solution if for no other reason than it could attract vermin. If you opt for running water and you live in a cold climate, you'll need a way to turn off the water and drain the pipes in the winter. Otherwise they'll freeze.
Electrical outlets and gas lines. Providing sufficient power to operate appliances, lights and maybe even an air conditioner and/or a heater designed for outdoor use will probably mean installing a separate electrical line, multiple GFCI outlets and either propane or a natural-gas line. Tesh warns that trying to get by with less could be an annoyance at best and a fire hazard at worst. In many places code requires that gas and electric be buried in separate trenches, for which digging can be costly. Get an expert to handle this part of the job.
Lighting. Consider track lighting made for outdoor use, outdoor spots and ceiling fans with attached light fixtures. At the very least, you'll want to be able to see when you're cooking after dark. It's also nice to be able to light the area brightly for clean up.
A Good Grill & All the Trimmings
The grill is the center of the action. They come fueled by gas, charcoal or both, and various configurations, including all grill, a grill with side burners, rotisserie, smokers, warming drawers, and elements designed to hold a wok or a crab/lobster boiler.
Viking Range Corp. offers the most elaborate, including a unit with an outdoor-approved gas oven. Dacor grills have built-in halogen lights. Thermador, Wolf and DCS are other companies with elaborate outdoor-kitchen appliance lines. Rais Gizeh, a Danish manufacturer, sells a combination sculpture, fireplace and grill that is eye-catching as well as functional. Most of the high-end models are offered in built-in, drop-in and freestanding styles. Be careful building in a model that's not meant to be, because it may not be insulated, sufficiently and you risk a fire caused by combustion.
Built-in cabinetry and a workspace are almost essential or you'll spend a lot of energy running back and forth to the kitchen. Put nonflammable material on the counters surrounding the grill, which can damage less-resistant surfaces. Popular options are brick, cultured stone, ceramic tile, slate, granite and bluestone. At least 36 inches of counter on each side of the grill makes cooking easier. Kenmores Elite gas grills have optional granite-faced island cabinets that attach to each side of the grill for a 6-foot prep area.
Stainless-steel cabinets are the most weather- and vermin-proof, although units made from other kinds of material, covered with the same material used for countertops and sealed well are also an attractive option.
For many, a refrigerator and a sink with running hot and cold water are must-haves. If you have small children, consider installing an outdoor freezer, Newberry suggests. It will cut down on the number of trips kids make to the kitchen for ice cream bars. An icemaker is a nice addition, whatever your age. If you are a beer drinker (or your friends are), think about a beer tap. The refrigerated variety will keep the beer from going flat for a reasonable length of time. Another option is a beer and soda cooler built into the countertop.
Grill manufacturers also sell appliances specially made for the outdoors. Indoor appliances won't withstand the weather.
A comfortable chair and a television that the cook can watch while working add to the appeal of an outdoor kitchen. Newberry says a built-in flat-screen or plasma TV takes up the least amount of space, but may not weather as well as a more conventional model.
Evaporative coolers like those from Convair Cooler, which are a little like a fan blowing against a chunk of ice, won't make the outside as cool as the air-conditioned indoors, but they will cool down a cooking space or keep you from sticking to your lawn chair.
A firepit or better yet a built-in fireplace is also worth considering. If you're going to be cooking outside year-round in a cooler climate, consider patio heaters. The natural-gas models are the most convenient and cheapest to use in most places, but they need their own gas line.
And then there are products for those who don't want to be bothered with making all these different decisions. The Vintage outdoor kitchen comes with a 56-inch gas grill, side burners, halogen light, refrigerator, warming drawer, bartending center and trash compartment. While the Cal Flame Gourmet 3000 Sports Bar and Grill comes with a grill, refrigerator, CD/stereo/DVD entertainment system, mini flat-screen televisions, and an awning cover. Expect to pay close to $30,000 for either of these options, but they do cut down on the shopping. All you'll need to buy is the beer.
Jennie L. Phipps is a freelance writer based in Farmington Hills, Mich.