New roof

At this past Friday lunch meeting, Joe Gallagher took us through the process by which we will be building our new roof. We had made the decision to keep our existing roof, for historic and reuse reasons, but knew we needed to build something over it for insulation and protection. What we came up with is a super-insulated cool roof with so many layers of insulation that our models show it to have an R value of over 100. (If you don’t know what an R value is, it’s the measure of thermal resistance in a building. The higher the number, the better the building insulation’s effectiveness.) Most residential homes have roofs with an R value of 30, but as fuel costs are increasing, the number is shifting to 40+.

I could detail for you all of the layers, but I think if I can just summarize, you might read beyond the next sentence. Basically, what we’re looking at is layers of polyisoinsulation sandwiched between layers of laminated veneer lumber, covered with a white Duralast membrane. Is that good enough for you? Someone in the group said it’s like an Oreo cookie, but the Double Stuff variety, and I’ll add, covered in white chocolate. If you can picture that, you’ll know what this roof is going to look like. As soon as I get any sort of visual on this, I’ll post it. In the meantime, think Oreo.

This might sound expensive, but relatively speaking it’s not. We are using ALL recycled materials, except for the Duralast membrane and some brackets, and this is saving us a substantial amount of money.

Our roofer (QHR Roofing) says he has never done a 100+ R roof. They start next week, and it should take about 3 weeks.


Once we get most of the roofing materials out of the building, we are going to sand blast our interior ceiling and some walls. Actually, we’re not SAND blasting, but have decided to do SODA blasting with common baking soda. We learned that sand is a carcinogen, and that it is not safe for workers to ingest whatever is floating in the air. A bit of research turned up the idea of soda blasting – that’s what they used to clean up the Statue of Liberty.

Finally, we’ve reached the end of deconstruction and our place is chock full of materials we’ll be reusing and materials we’ll have to send out for use elsewhere. Tom O’Connor has done a masterful job of managing all of this stuff. If you want to learn more about what we’ll be doing with all this stuff, take a look at the following video.

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