Here’s a great book designed to educate homeowners about their roof.
I like this book because it gives the homeowner specific information to increase their understanding of home roofing installation and maintenance. It explains in simple language how to do things yourself and also how to avoid 60 ways your roofer can nail you.
The book is called The Complete Guide To Home Roofing Installation and Maintenance by John W. Chiles, Jr.
Here’s an exerpt from the book:
YOU CAN DO IT! This book will share with you not only the “how,” but the “why” of roofing with fiberglass asphalt shingles. In addition to the straightforward technical details of laying the shingles, this book gives helpful pointers that will save you labor and enhance the quality of your new roof. Much of the language you will need to know as well as some anecdotes, which help define what the roofing business is all about, are woven throughout the book.
The roof is the second most critical structural component of a building. (The foundation is the most critical.) Your roof is a crucial architectural element, and its color and texture are key6 features int the appearance of your home. The color of the shingles you select affects the durability of the shingles themselves, energy efficiency (future cost), and the comfort level of your home. The quality and finish of your roof will also have a dramatic effect on your home’s future marketability.
Your roof is a major investment of money and time – whether you contract for the work or do it yourself. Laying a roof is so labor intensive that it can almost be classified as a “handcraft.” This means that the details of the installation are extremely important. A properly installed roof is something you will not think about again for years. A bad roofing job, however, can cause major damage and will be aggravating, time consuming, and expensive to fix. In some cases, the homeowner – you – maybe forced to redo the work completely. Don’t worry. Whether you decide to do it yourself or contract the work, this book gives you the knowledge and insight you need to succeed. YOU CAN DO IT!
The average homeowner knows very little about the roof over his head. Lack of knowledge or incomplete understanding always means trouble for an eager do-it-yourselfer. Even if a homeowner is dealing with a reputable contractor, not knowing the basics about roofing may cause misunderstandings and tension. The worst possible case is a susceptible homeowner contracting with a disreputable contractor. Someday scientific studies will prove that vulnerable homeowners give off a scent that draws the jackals of the trades.
Quality contractors take pride in their work and want their customers to at least partially understand and appreciate what goes into it. Quality contractors don’t want to deal with a homeowner who says, ”A roof’s a roof; they’re all the same.
My customers were interested in my work. I was always glad to show them what I was doing and explain why I was doing it. Many told me I should write a book about roofing. For so many years customers took my advice and recommendation; now it seems logical that I accept theirs.
The first question I faced was, “What level of expertise will my reader have?” Too may times I have experienced the breakdown of the word “assume” into its three parts. The word “assume” makes an “ASS/(of) U/(and) ME.” I decided it was best to accept the risk of over-explaining things. I wrote this book assuming you know nothing about roofing.
A word of caution about roofing is needed. Understanding roofing is not hard, but roofing is hard.
Most roofs can be done in sections, and I will show you how to control the work required on any given day. However, pitched (sloped) surfaces place an unaccustomed strain on your feet, ankles, knees, and lower back. Please be realistic about your physical capabilities and limitations. You don’t want to tear off half of your roof then realize that you are too exhausted even to climb down the ladder, much less lay the new roof.
Every page will show you that you really can do it, but there is something I must say in the very beginning. I’m going to show you how to use roofing jacks and scaffold on your roof, l but I don’t want anyone getting hurt. If this is the first roof you’ve ever done and if your roof is steeper than a 6/12 (6 inches of vertical for every 12 inches of horizontal run), leave is to a professional. When a roof is steeper than 6/12, you can slip at the peak or ridge, claw and struggle as you slide down the shingles and pick up speed all the down to the ground. No fall on a roof is a good fall; there are only falls where you get less hurt than you might have. When the pitch is over 6/12, the risks far outweigh the potential for savings and sense of personal achievement.
I should also caution those of you who are planning to contract for work. The methods I use give perfectionist results. Most roofing companies don’t do this kind of finished work. This doesn’t mean the company is doing shoddy work on your roof. If I’ve done my job well, you will end up with a sound, fair contract with a quality contractor and you will know the difference between major “cheats” and minor “variations.” Let’s address your basic question first. Do you contract the work or do you do it yourself? In the first chapter I am going to discuss contracting. Whichever way you go, there will be a final exam during the first driving rainstorm.
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