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BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/19 7:19 p.m.

I'm very much not hoping to turn this into an epic build thread. Let's hope I can stick to that.

As some of you may recall, we moved from Northern Nevada to West Virginia late last year. One of the top items on both my wife's and my wishlist was that we'd get a house that offers a few critical spaces that we didn't have at our previous place. For my wife (who's a massage therapist) this meant a room that she could use if she wanted to run her own practise out of the house, and for me this meant a proper workshop. We both got our wishes, and this is my part of the wishlist:

The two closed off stalls have a concrete floor, the open one has just a gravel floor. The building is about two Answers deep and the door on the right is an RV size door. I know the building predates the house, but I don't know much about it otherwise. A Kenworth emblem bolted to a shelf made me wonder if someone originally used it for storage/shop for a big rig tractor as it would be just about big enough. Although there's a pretty steep drop-off right next to the flat area in front of the shop and I wouldn't want to maneouver a full size tractor in and out of there.

One big mistake I made was to not have the outbuilding properly inspected. I think the inspector looked in there and noted the presence of the wood burner, but that was about it.

That was one of the perils of trying to buy the house remotely - I had viewed the house in person, but the rest of the purchase was done from several thousand miles away. We got into town about three weeks before closing, and the previous owner generously allowed us to store our stuff in the basement as they had already cleared out the house and (allegedly) the shop.

When I poked my head into the shop at that time I found this:

Yeah, that wasn't ground water. Oops. Seller denied all knowledge of the leaky roof as the shop had been "her deceased husband's domain". Suuuuuure.

Our realtor was on the ball and got her preferred handyperson out to quote us how much the roof repair would cost. It's a metal roof and according to said handypersion, it just needed a couple of panels replacing and we should be good. Second mistake at my end.

Anyway, we bought the house, I covered everything in the shop so it wouldn't get too wet and not have the birds that lived in there relieve themselves on everything, too. And occasionally chased said handyperson about the roof. All that while I was traveling for work, then got pretty sick for a bit and worked on my bikes instead as they have their own garage in the house.

The excuses from handyperson got more elaborate, but I don't doubt that he's got a couple of sick family members and will be over soon to finally fix the roof. Or something.

Eventually I decided "eff this" and climbed up on the roof to take stock myself. After all, at that point I had a few grands' worth of vehicles in there and still had to carry all the good tools back and forth from their storage in the house. That's what it looked like on top of the roof:

See all that silver paint? That's where someone "fixed" prior issues with the roof.

Slippery GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/15/19 7:29 p.m.

Looks like a perfect job for Flex Seal laugh

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/19 7:35 p.m.

Turns out that the panels on the roof at 12' long and a bit too much for me to handle on my own right now. My wife is working weekends so in the end, I'll probably have to have the panels replaced professionally. But I somehow had to get the roof watertight, given that I've got both the S2000 and the Porker parked in there. A trip to Lowes Depot was in order to get some flexible rubber paint and most importantly, some flexible rubber and fabric tape to actually close up the holes. What holes?

The ones that you can't see in this picture until you start poking at them a bit:

And then you take a hard look at it and it turns into a skylight:

This one wasn't too bad either - and that's the "before I started poking holes in there properly" picture:

Anyway, this is what the roof looked like when I ran out of rubber spray paint and rubber tape - all the white areas are areas I had to fix holes in:

I still have to fix up a couple more areas, but those are over the open part of the shop and less critical.

It's getting a bit late in the year by now, but I don't think that roof has more than a year or two left. We either have to replace the majority of the roof panels or have a roofer remove the rusty sections - basically everything painted - and put new partial panels in.

Next step is to close off some of the ingress holes for the birds. Fortunately I know where they are coming in - the dividing wall between the open stall and the closed off portion of the building has a gap on top. That should be fixable with a can or three of construction foam.

Next steps from there are pulling some of the fibreboard paneling. There is insulation behind it, but the panels either got wet or soaked in oil. Touching the discoloured areas of the panels suggest the latter. In order to make the place less dark I'll have to put in some drywall, probably mold resistant one.

OTOH the shop has both 120V and 240V already although the panel looks like it has been wired up by Dangerous Dave.

Eventually I'm hoping to install a proper lift in there, too, assuming that the floor can hold it and/or that I can get a couple of new thicker and stronger sections poured.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/19 7:36 p.m.
Slippery said:

Looks like a perfect job for Flex Seal laugh

Funnily enough I used a slightly more generic product that also has "flex" in its name, plus I needed something that was compatible with some tape that could be used to cover the holes.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/15/19 7:49 p.m.

That roof is already in the negative years. You have any future plans for climate control in the shop? I'd think about a new roof and how to insulate it at the same time. 

Other than that, the gravel bay is a blessing, it lets you pour the floor you want over there. 

What is the window situation like? Lights?

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/19 7:58 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

No plans for climate control in there right now, although I hope to install a fan or two eventually and maybe a mini-split or two well down the road.

This place is suffering badly from deferred maintenance that wasn't obvious when we checked the place out and had it inspected. We had to replace the two a/c units for the house a couple of months ago and the water heater and several appliances are also on borrowed time. Right now, I'll have to get the roof done reasonably cheaply. I'm hoping to get a roofing company out soon to give me a quote on replacing the roof like for like and check if the purlins need to be beefed up if I wanted to stick solar panels on the roof. The roof is facing pretty much due south so it would be nice if I could mount some panels for a solar generator.

Bunch of strip lights are the only lighting so far. I have a few more LED strip lights I intend to mount once I replace the wall covering and get rid of the "dark cave" look that the place has.

Eventually I'd like to get some windows put in to the far wall high enough so people can't peek in, but that also has to wait.

I'll have to see where the quotes for the roof repairs and some of the other work I can't do myself come in at, because at some point it might be cheaper to get an crew in to knock down the building and then have some Amish craftsmen put up a better building.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/15/19 8:09 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

You know me, I'm all about tearing things down to the slab and starting over. I should have done it to my house. 

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/19 8:25 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

We nearly ended up with a house where that would have been possible if Comcast hadn’t demanded garage mahal money to put 21st century Internet in. 

Hasbro SuperDork
9/15/19 8:45 p.m.

Man, you could go in so many different directions with this project. This will be fun to watch!

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/16/19 12:22 p.m.

In reply to Hasbro :

Thanks. At the moment I'm shooting for "usable and not a pile of rubble".

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/16/19 12:42 p.m.

The secret to success is attainable goals :)

keithedwards New Reader
9/20/19 11:18 a.m.

My experience is that metal roofing panels aren't too hard to install, especially with a low pitch.

Did a 30X60 pole barn in the '80s, a 28X40 garage in the '90s, 1 10X20 horse stall, and a couple of smaller buildings.

Screwing is easier than nailing.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/21/19 8:19 p.m.

In reply to keithedwards :

I might try my hand at it if I can't find anyone else to do the work - I'm not exactly suffering from ample spare time so it would generally make sense to farm this out if I can.

Worst case I'll try to replace the badly affected panels before the winter.

And in other news we had the first proper heavy thunderstorm rain today. One of the holes I patched the first time around started leaking again - I'm not massively surprised as my first attempt at patching the roof got rained upon within fifteen minutes of me putting the tape down and putting the rubber paint on top. Let's hope we don't have another thunderstorm tomorrow that the NWS forgot to mention so I try to repatch this hole and patch the last hole I know of.

keithedwards New Reader
9/22/19 8:46 a.m.

I should mention that I found the metal roofing panels pretty easy to patch, when I had a branch fall and poke a hole in the middle of one. I removed a few screws, cut a short panel to achieve the right overlaps, and screwed it down. I forget how much of the damaged panel I cut off.

Dealing with shorter panels should make it a 1-person job. From the looks of your leaky areas, you could use short panels to slide under existing panels. Trim off rusted portions. Maybe easier than patching with tape and sealant.



BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/22/19 8:59 a.m.

In reply to keithedwards :

That does help, thanks. My main concern is that the holes and other corrosion areas all are in places where the old roof panels overlap. Introducing another overlap by cutting the rusty part out of both panels and sliding in another one may introduce another potential rust spot. OTOH it'll probably keep the roof watertight for a few years and then I get to worry about it again and by then I'll have a better understanding of other potential issues with the building.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/29/19 8:31 a.m.

Somewhat improved news - the handyman who was supposed to initially fix the roof is able to run his side business again and managed to source the correct roofing panels. I should have a mostly hole free roof sometime the coming week. So far it looks like the patches are holding off most of the water.

Once the roof is done I'll have to close off some ingress points for small critters and then I can start thinking about replacing some of the wall panels with drywall. I have a few more shop lights that I'll be mouting high up on the walls at the same time.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/6/19 9:42 a.m.

Yay, the damaged roofing panels are being replaced as I type this.

jfryjfry Dork
10/6/19 10:32 a.m.

I highly recommend putting in some opaque panels that act as skylights.   I have a 50x50 steel building with 6 that are about 2.5’x5’ (just guessing) and they provide adequate lighting for many things without needing to turn on lights.  

I also recommend insulating and adding adding some sort of vent or vents to help let out condensation.  At least that is what I believe they are there for.  I have two on the peak of the pitch. 


BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/19/20 7:09 p.m.

It's a case of two steps forward, half a step back. As mentioned in the last post, the rusted through roof panels have been replaced. I'm not going to mention that the promise of "we'll pick up the debris in the next couple of days" seems to have worked on the same timeline as everything else. Oops, I just did, didn't I? I guess when it gets a bit warmer I'll have to cut the panels into a size I can fit into my truck's bed and find out where the local landfill is. Yay.

Speaking of "roof leaks fixed", there still had to be one, right?

Looks like the chimey for the wood burner in the building is leaking. Fortunately it's only a bit of a drip but still - grrrrrr.

On another note, it almost looks like water is coming up through the concrete floor. Not quite sure what to do about that - the shop building is on the side of a hill right next to our well, and I suspect that there is a lot of water pushing down the hill. Usually after heavy rain there are spots on the concrete floor that look like this:

On a different note, what's the recommended way to find out the thickness and quality of the concrete so I can see if it'll support a proper two-post lift?

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso Dork
1/19/20 7:16 p.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Rent an electric core drill with a 4 or 6 inch diamond barrel bit and cut a couple of cores in the appropriate area you want to put a lift. Measure thickness. Patch with non shrink grout. 

If you're really concerned with strength, take it to a local construction materials testing lab and have them cap/break it in a compression machine to determine its strength in psi.  PM me if you need additional guidance. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
1/19/20 7:24 p.m.

Water will come through concrete. Depending on weather you're as likely to get condensation from cooler water flowing under parts of the garage. My basement in Mochigan has a cold corner where I'm constantly fighting to move enough air to keep the condensation down. 

Vigo MegaDork
1/19/20 9:51 p.m.

Call me crazy but I don't take scrap metal to landfills.  In fact, scrap metal generally recycles itself if you let it. Just drag it near the street and put a CL/FB ad up and it'll go bye bye. 

Purple Frog
Purple Frog GRM+ Memberand New Reader
1/19/20 9:52 p.m.

I'm a builder.  Get involved with metal roofs a lot.

The roof panels are running the wrong way.  You can keep trying to put goo on those seems, but it will be a constant headache. All those grooves are supposed to be running downhill not across the fall line.

OK.  The correct fix is to remove those panels.  Then either deck the roof with OSB / plywood, or install 1x4 purlins running 90 degrees to the trusses, then reinstall the roof.  There is a chance you could reuse the existing panels to save some $$.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/20/20 8:25 a.m.

In reply to jfryjfry :

I was originally looking at opaque panels, unfortunately I couldn't find them with the same profile as the roofing material. If I get the shop re-roofed that's definitely on the agenda.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/20/20 8:34 a.m.

In reply to Purple Frog :

Thanks - this might be more of an issue with my photography than the roof installation for once. The grooves are indeed running downhill so at least that part seems to have been installed OK.

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