Sealing Up Walls & Roof
Pouring the foundation and framing out the addition were pretty straightforward. Getting those steps done allowed us to "dry-in" the addition making it weathertight.
We put windows in then moved inside to rework the interior framing for the new sunroom and kitchen expansion and to start the mechanical rough-ins.
On this page, we've collected notes about the following topics (including info we couldn't fit in the show):
Matching Window Styles
One goal a lot of people have in remodeling older homes (and it's one of our Golden Rules) is to blend the new elements in with the old.
That goal made it almost mandatory that we go with custom double-hung windows trimmed out to match the home's existing windows. It added to the costs, but blended well with the older windows.
The old multi-unit windows (as in most older homes) featured wide mullions between the individual window units to hide the pockets for the weights connected to the sashes to hold them open.
Those pockets aren't necessary on modern double-hung windows. But we needed the wide mullions in our new multi-unit windows to match the look of the old windows so we included those in our order.
NOTE: The wide mullions in new windows are usually hollow, so be sure to stuff them with insulation inside and cover them with vapor barrier before trimming over them!
If you're adding on to a house, it's a good idea to get the windows and doors installed as soon as the roof is sheathed and felted to prevent moisture penetration and seal out the elements.
But putting in a finished exterior doors at this early stage of construction -- especially if it's solid wood -- isn't a good idea. Because they can really get dinged up during the rest of the building process.
What builders and remodelers usually do is put in a temporary door which they move from project to project till most of the work is done. It's usually a beat-up old door salvaged from another project.
If you don't have one, you can build one like we did, creating a frame with dimensional lumber to fit your opening and covered with oriented strand board or plywood.
You can hinge it directly to the framing or set it in temporary jambs, and for security you can lock it up tight with a hasp and padlock when you're done for the night.
We decided to separate the new kitchen area from the sunroom with a double set of pocket doors, the doors that slide right into the wall when you open them.
That requires some special framing which you build into the walls. Pocket door framing is available at lumberyards but only in single door formats.
So we got two of the single pocket door frames, took off the vertical stops on the open ends and joined them, reinforcing along the top with a 2x4.
We centered the resulting "double pocket door" frame in the opening, shimmed it plumb and level all the way across (which is critical to permit the doors to slide freely) and then screwed up through the tracks into the framing above and down through the bottom into the floor.
We covered the new roof with a laminated fiberglas® shingle from Owens Corning.
The laminated shingles are basically two shingle layers bonded together to create a dimensional, raised profile on the roof, a texture similar in appearance to a wood shake that gives a roof an "architectural" quality.
Also, the tabs on the top layer are cut slightly out of square at the factory, so they look more natural and less manufactured up on the roof.
Each shingle layer has a fiberglas® mat sandwiched between layers of asphalt for better weather protection.
CAUTION! Roof work can be extremely dangerous, so always use proper safety procedures, approved ladders and scaffolds, roof jacks and harnesses, and whatever other precautions your roofing situation demands.
The shingles we used measured 13 1/4" by 38 3/4" which is larger than the standard 12" x 36" three-tab shingle, so we didn't need quite as many to cover the roof.
Installing them was pretty much the same as with other shingles, beginning with a starter course of shingles with the tabs cut off (score the backs and snap to cut them), leaving an overhang of 3/4" beyond the end of the roof.
A course of full shingles goes right over the starter course with the bottoms lining up. Move up the roof from there spacing them with the 5 5/8" exposure recommended by the manufacturer.
On the hip roof, we first covered each of the three main hip areas, letting the ends hang over the hip ridges then cutting them all at once after finishing each surface.
The two side hips of our roof run into the house wall. To protect the seam where the roof sheathing butts into the house we used step flashing.
The flashing is made of galvanized metal or aluminum about 1' square with a 90° "break" or angle down the center. One piece of flashing is needed for each course of shingles hitting the wall.
Lay down the flashing on the roof with the side against the wall and the angle snug in the wall joint. Lay the end of the shingle down over it, align the bottom of the flashing with the bottom of the shingle, maintaining the proper exposure on the shingle below. Nail the shingle in place through the flashing to secure both.
As you move up the roof, place a piece of flashing under the shingle to end each course, creating a "step" effect which will keep rain from backing up under the shingles and penetrating the joint.
Later, run siding down over the vertical half of the flashing to protect it from rain/snow.
The ridges of a roof also need extra protection from moisture. Although many manufacturers provide special ridge shingles, roofers often cut the tabs off three-tab shingles and use them to cover the ridge.
That doesn't work with laminated shingles because of the way they're made. So, we got a few bundles of three-tab shingles in the same color and cut the tabs off to cover the hip ridges.