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my old house
The finished gables over the kitchen

I recently wrote about maximizing the energy efficiency of my old house. I love having an old house since it keeps me busy. I am constantly doing repairs and updates, and I love to make it look nicer and better with every project. One that sucked up a lot of my time recently was putting on a new roof. We had some hail damage back in May, and since my best friend is my contractor I had to wait until his season died down before I could take advantage of his time and expertise. When you don’t pay for labor, it’s hard to complain about how long it takes.

 Tearing Off the Old

my old houseTo begin with we had to remove the old shingles. Now you can roof right over one layer of shingles, but it is always recommended that you take the time to rip off the old ones before putting down new. Since I’m getting old and I don’t heal up as quickly as I used to, we (my contractor friend and I) decided to save our backs and hire some guys to do the tear off. It didn’t take too long to finish it, and I’m glad I wasn’t up there trying to rip all of them off the house and the garage.

Building Gables

My house was built in 1948. The style at that time was to build the walls flush with the roof (or at least pretty close to it). What this means is that I don’t have eaves or gables build out to protect the side of the house. It also means that I already have the roof torn off, so why not make the project harder than it needed to be?

Any time I start a project it always takes me far longer to finish it than I originally plan. The reason is that I make everything much more elaborate than most people would care to do. In the end my house has some amazing detail to it, but it also means that a lot of hours of planning and labor went into those details.

Roof4On the house I opted just to extend the roof out 12 inches and provide a small gable. But on the garage I wanted a little bit more. So rather than a simple gable, it projects 12 inches at the bottom, and tapers to 24 inches at the top. I love how it looks, and when I get some lights installed in there and everything finalized it will look even better.


 Siding to Come

Roof2The hail managed to poke a bunch of holes in my vinyl siding. I’m not too shaken up about it because I hate the vinyl and the insurance is paying to have the entire house resided. With the money I save by doing the labor myself, I will be able to reside the entire thing with Hardie Board, install some new windows, and replace the broken screen door. By the time it is done it will be as though I have an entirely new house. I can’t wait to get started, but since we are in the dead of winter here in Montana, I am going to have to wait for a few more months.


I love doing projects on my old house for a number of reasons. First, I get to make it my own. I get to personalize it and stylize it to my liking. Second, it increases the value of the house. As a personal finance lover I enjoy building my net worth that way. And third it makes it look and feel better. I’m all about a comfortable place to live.

Having my job as a writer and SEO analyst in Billings, Montana I get the flexibility to work on these projects. If you want to keep me busy and away from updating my house, email me to find out how I can help you with your website.

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