Roof Rant: Part I

Just for the record I’m good at math.  I’m not afraid to calculate anything; ranging from the rate of return on your “investment” in a chromed out Harley to the odds you’ll get struck by lightning while having sex with a supermodel.  (Hint: still higher than the ROI on a Harley.)  Also, and I say this to prove I’m fearless (or stupid), I do my own taxes.

However, I loathe “carpentry” math.  It’s a bullshit combination of medieval superstition, corporate malfeasance, and dipshit tradition.  The units associated with construction materials are so gruesome that my brain takes flight and I start whirling around in circles until I fall down.  (Try that in the plumbing isle and see if you can find a “sales associate” to help you find the right roll of aluminum flashing.)

The worst part is that everything, and I mean everything, is a fractional size that is almost but not quite something that makes sense.  Why must they do that to me?

I hate the fact that a 2″ x 4″ stud is really 1 1/2 ” by 3 1/2″.  It’s like saying the Easter Bunny is really a marsupial from Jupiter.  Further, since everyone accepts that explanation I should just shut up and eat my damn candy. Really?  I say no!

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  There’s a cosmic injustice involved in 3/8″ nominal plywood that clocks in at 11/32″.  I implore the universe to make 3/8″ stuff 3/8″ thick.  I’ll pay extra just to avoid getting emotionally hosed trying to evaluating an obscure fractional series while standing in the lumber isle.

The 1/32″ of wood the lumber companies squeeze is causing me to hate my fellow man and that’s too steep a price for society to pay!  For that matter, I’d every time I buy a stud that’s not 2″ x 4″ I just know I’m participating on the death of something holy.  Some day I’m going to buy a goddamn Woodmizer and make my own dimension lumber.  A man needs to take a stand!

Now lets talk about shingles.  Shingles are, in my opinion, proof that humans are just monkeys with cell phones.  Asphalt shingles are essentially a sheet of felt, slimed with tar, and sprinkled with gravel.  That’s the pinnacle of our monkey brained innovation?  These slabs of pretend asphalt road are stacked on the house in an interlocking weave of suck.  Then, because God hates us, they degrade and must be replaced.

Each successive generation of monkeys has to replace the roof.  This year, I drew the short straw.  Someone give me a banana.

It’s backbreaking labor to remove the old crap someone nailed up during the Carter Administration.  Ibuprofen?  Check!

Once there’s a mountain of shingles leaking nails on the lawn you’ve unearthed the tip of the iceberg.  Now you can see how poorly the old roof was functioning.  Not surprisingly I wound up with an axillary home improvement project involving plywood and angles.

Some things are better left unknown.

All this to nail up what seems like a comically crude roofing design for the sole purpose of not getting wet?

(Spare me the talk of metal roofs.  I couldn’t afford that shit if I sold a kidney and smuggled cocaine in the empty cavity.  For me it was a choice of architectural shingles or letting my house rot and selling it as compost.)

The rest of the story follows in part II.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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6 Responses to Roof Rant: Part I

  1. davefreer says:

    Heh. Which is why we’re now milling our own 2×4’s. Which are 2×4. I still haven’t got a cheap, durable reliable answer to the roofing material issue though. Don’t even mention thatch. By the way I am sure you could find a supermodel of negotiable virtue (They’re not cheap, but definitely purchasable), and then all you need is a copper antenna attached to your butt, and a nice high hilltop in a thunderstorm and your heirs too can have a fantastic appreciation on that Chromed Harley. Simples, really compared to re-roofing here, where the wind blows hard an indecently large amount of the time.

  2. Wolfman says:

    Meh- tin roofs still have to be replaced on a similar schedule, but by that time, all the plywood has rotted away as well. Unless you’re talking huge snowload, I never recommend them.

    • I am taking a huge snowload and I’d love to have snow slide off instead of sitting up there weighing a lot. Unfortunately my roof has all sorts of angles which would make a metal roof harder to install. Plus they’re expensive.

      Thanks for the heads up that they’re not as awesome as I imagined. I thought metal would last indefinitely. Now that I know better I’m slightly less annoyed with shingles.

  3. Southern Man says:

    I roofed a fair amount in my younger days. Now if you want me to roof your house or shed or barn or whatever you’d better be (a) me, (b), a close blood relative of me, or (c) sleeping naked with me on a regular basis. No exceptions.

  4. Douglas2 says:

    I had a problem where one face of roofing had rotten decking under the shingles.
    Purlins and Fabral barn roofing were cheaper than repairing with new decking and shingles. The ribbed metal panels are stiff enough that the decking isn’t structurally needed.

  5. Doubletrouble says:

    Tomorrow I’m gonna put the cap on the roof I did a few days ago. I still can’t figure out why the AR shingles are 41″; everything else in construction land is wacky too.
    Must be a reason for it, but I’ll be durned if I know what it is.
    ARs are easier than 3-tabs, anyway.
    AND, roofing is a young man’s game; the old knees are not happy with their recent treatment.
    Good luck!

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