Raise the roof

A couple big days of progress at Turtle House yesterday and today! We didn’t make it out yesterday to take photos due to the Michigan Beerfest (an event which doesn’t lend itself to driving afterward…). However, we went out this morning with my college roommate Jen and her hubby Mike (in town for another weekend event, the Blue Angels’ Thunder Over Michigan show). It was super fun to see them and to show them our future abode.

The framers made a lot of progress yesterday on the east side of the house – check out the bones of our garage!

They’d also started the roof over the new entry.

Here is the view from the back yard (north side):

While we were there today, the roofers were finishing up removing all of the old shingles from the roof (on a Saturday!). I didn’t have my camera on me, so I went back later in the day to snap these shots.

From some angles it seems that 75% of our house is made of tarps right now.

Before all the tarps were up we could see that they’d removed all the shingles as well as the underlying plywood. The existing roof actually wasn’t in terrible shape, but we are replacing all of the fiberglass insulation in the house with more eco-friendly (and health-friendly) blown-in cellulose. The original plan was to add insulation to the inside of the roof (i.e., the ceiling), but we decided this wouldn’t work because we really wanted to keep the existing visual aesthetic of the ceiling.

Insulating from the inside would have meant covering the beams and decking with drywall, which would have been a huge bummer. And since the roof was going to need to be replaced in the not-too-distant future anyway, we decided that doing it now and insulating above the decking was the way to go. We originally considered spray foam insulation, which does have a higher r-value than cellulose (in other words, it prevents heat exchange better). However, I got spooked after doing some research and finding a number of accounts of it off-gassing nasty smells and chemicals, sometimes for years (!). It has been really interesting to learn and think about what “green building” means, and how it can mean different things to different people. Some would opt to maximize r-value, which is a totally legitimate choice, but we decided to take a bit of a hit there to go with a natural product that we knew was completely safe.

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