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ok to install metal roof over shakes on 100 + yr old barn?

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    A barn restoration company came by yesterday. They have been in business under the same name for over 30yrs. He looked the old barn over and will be giving me an estimate for both tearing off the shakes and puting them metal over the shakes. (He's going to add 1x6's across the top of the shakes because my shakes are thicker than usual). He is going to provide me with references from previous jobs done 10 yrs ago. So I can call and ask if their roofs are leaking. He swears if it is done right, it will not leak and it will last at least 30 yrs. (After which I'll probably be dead and it will be someone else's problem)!

    He also found an issue where one of my joints on the north wall is separating, which explained why some of the siding was coming off on the north.

    Now I just have to hope that I can afford it! I have no plans to leave and interest rates are low, so I guess now is the time to do all this stuff. Although I do wonder if it's worth it. I could probably build an new barn with an indoor arena for what it's costing me to maintain this one. No wonder old barns are disappearing.

    Oh, and it's not as old as I was origianllly told. Probably only from the 1930's. They used old hand hewn beams from a previous barn but the evidence of sawed posts indicate that it is no older than 1930's.

    Comment


    • #22
      Hope it works out. Mine is a giant bank barn. Half of it is early 1700s, English forebay added in the mid 1800's. Luckily I know my way around a hammer and saw because I can't afford to pay others. I know all about old barns now.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Mischievous View Post
        There is not supposed to be contact between a metal roof and the under-structure, whether it be plywood or previous roof material. Metal roofs are screwed to lathe, applied for this purpose.

        OP, we installed new metal over old wood shakes on one part of our property, and over two layers of old shingles on our house. Both practices were entirely ok and function well!

        We actually were advised NOT to remove the shingles on the house, as those shingle layers add a wonderful level of insulation to the house.

        Good luck! Nothing worse than dealing with roofers!! Thankful for our Amish neighbors who do most of the roofing in this area.

        OP, we installed new metal over old wood shakes on one part of our property, and over two layers of old shingles on our house. Both practices were entirely ok and function well!

        It is against code for licensed roofers to do this in PA. One roof section of our 1691 house was done this way years ago before we owned it. I was informed when we put a new roof on it last year that it had to be torn off or they couldn’t take the job. Several said the same thing. I checked and it is against code. I am not saying it won’t work because IMO and experience it will if done right.

        I know a number of people that have run into code problems when using Amish carpenters. Just because they are Amish doesn’t by default make them good carpenters. My barn had been “looked after” by Amish as told by the previous owners. Pretty scary what they thought would “work”.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by gumtree View Post
          OP, we installed new metal over old wood shakes on one part of our property, and over two layers of old shingles on our house. Both practices were entirely ok and function well!

          It is against code for licensed roofers to do this in PA. One roof section of our 1691 house was done this way years ago before we owned it. I was informed when we put a new roof on it last year that it had to be torn off or they couldn’t take the job. Several said the same thing. I checked and it is against code. I am not saying it won’t work because IMO and experience it will if done right.

          I know a number of people that have run into code problems when using Amish carpenters. Just because they are Amish doesn’t by default make them good carpenters. My barn had been “looked after” by Amish as told by the previous owners. Pretty scary what they thought would “work”.
          Code in our area says metal can go over 2 layers of shingles. New shingles can go over only one layer. Reason is that metal is significantly lighter than shingles.

          Agreed being Amish has nothing to do with being good carpenters. Not being Amish does not make one good either! What I have found with the Amish, and we use them for a lot, is that they are far more reasonable in their pricing and are just as likely as other folks to be good at what they do. Example...the lowest rate we were quoted for the metal roof on our house from english roofers was 14,000, with the highest being 18,000. We had an excellent Amish crew do it for 7,000. I already knew that the materials were gonna run about 3,000 and that the job would take 3-4 workers 2 days. They did an awesome job, and at half the price of our lowest quote.

          In either case, due diligence is needed. I don't rely on tradesmen to tell me what my code requirements are. I know what they are because I own property. I also don't rely on religion or lifestyle to determine skill set. It is an owners responsibility to make their own decisions on how work is to be done!

          Interesting though, how code varies so much from place to place. So, what is the limit for shingle layers in PA? Also, is there really only one set of codes for the whole state? Where I am, each town has codes. We have owned property in several towns, and each town is different. Very frustrating!
          Last edited by Mischievous; Mar. 19, 2015, 08:04 AM.

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          • #25
            Mischievous-good point about codes varying. The codes also evolve over time, and what worked legally previously, may not be legal now either.
            You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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            • #26
              By us, barns fall under no code or inspections whatsoever. Only setback and flood plane.

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              • Original Poster

                #27
                I ran into "code" issues when reroofing the house. Got two estimates. One was for $14,000 and the other was for $6000. I asked the guy with the low estimate why he was so much lower and let him look at the other estimate. The high estimate was going to remove my 2x10 foot plank subroof and replace it with plywood because plywood was "code." Nevermind that the 2x10's were actually much better than "code!"

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                • #28
                  I tore off the cedar shingles from my 60 y/o barn as about 25% of them were rotting under about 8 inches of accumulated pine needles. That part was easy but nasty. Basically it was already composted. The rest was surprisingly sound but I tore them off anyway, and put Ondura on the very good oak purlins.

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                  • #29
                    The real question is whether the old structure can handle the metal roof’s weight. Probably that why your roofing contractor said no.My commercial roofing contractor recommended me to use this Tpo roofing
                    http://www.empireroofingcorporation....f-tpo-roofing/
                    it suits our climate and it is not heavy as metal roofs.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Jones what is your climate?

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                      • #31
                        I've talked to three roofers about doing this with a composite roof. Two say "no problem" and one says "no way." Each has their own reasons.

                        All say that you don't nail the metal on the existing shingles; you build a structure on top of the shingles and nail to that. This method adds weight and cost but prevents the existing material from affecting the metal and ensures that the metal is firm attached to the structure. The biggest advantage is that you gain a bunch of R-factor because of the air space created by the new structure. You also can save money in that you don't have to dispose of a bunch of waste material and you don't run the risk of damaging anything as the old roofing is removed.

                        As long as there are no regulatory issues and the underlying structure is sound I can't think of any reason why not.

                        G.
                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Ended up doing the tear off. You can put metal over old shakes because they didnt use tar paper back in the day so the shakes could still "breath". Mine were newer and had tar paper so I did a tear off. So far so good. Found a good company from MI who did a good jpb according to my hay farmer who looked it over when delivering my hay.

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                          • #33
                            We had metal installed over our shingled barn roof. i did not want a complete tear off because of all the nails that would be everywhere in my horse pasture that I would never be able to find. Yes, magnets get some of them, not all. Its been 4 years and no problems whatsoever. MUCH less expensive than tearing off eveyrthing and starting new again. Amish did it in 2 days. Awesome.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by blueribbonpanel View Post
                              We had metal installed over our shingled barn roof. i did not want a complete tear off because of all the nails that would be everywhere in my horse pasture that I would never be able to find. Yes, magnets get some of them, not all. Its been 4 years and no problems whatsoever. MUCH less expensive than tearing off eveyrthing and starting new again. Amish did it in 2 days. Awesome.
                              The OP asked about installing over WOOD shakes not common asphalt shingles.

                              Most if not all states/jurisdictions allow new shingles to be applied over at least one layer but most places allow 2 layers.

                              As

                              I don't know about other states but as I said in my post in PA roofers are not allowed by code to apply over wood shakes. I think it is a fire issue.

                              Roofers who do quality work will not allow nails to be thrown all over the place. Quality roofers will put down tarps at the base of the tear off area to easily catch everything. There is no reason for nails to go 'flying' outside the tarped areas if they know what they are doing.

                              As Airhorse said some states farm structures aren't subject to code inspection.

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