Building Modern on a Budget: Ep. 4 | Roofing & Windows

Saturday, June 13, 2020 -

*This post is sponsored by DAP Products and Simpson Strong-Tie. This post contains affiliate links. 

It's getting hot here. Like, 105° by 11 am. I guess since it's June in Arizona I shouldn't be surprised by that. We were lucky enough to get a really mild May for Arizona standards, just in time to get the roof up on the house. 

New here? Did you know my husband and I are building a modern-style custom house ourselves? Check out the links below to get caught up on the series up to this point. 

For all the details, check out the video. For more numbers and details, keep scrolling.

If you've been following along and saw the last episode all about framing the house, you'll know we are ridiculously over budget. It's kinda overwhelming. Up to this point we have been hemorrhaging money on things we've had very little control over. Even with us shopping around to get competitive bids, a 2 x 4 costs what it costs and there wasn't much wiggle room to bring the price down.

We decided we needed to roll up our sleeves and take on more of the labor ourselves, including some of the roofing. We considered doing ALL the labor ourselves but quickly discovered that roofing material suppliers won't warranty a roof unless it's installed by a professional. Since we plan on living in this house for several years, we didn't feel comfortable taking that gamble.

However, the detached workshop roof is a lot simpler. We figured it would be a smarter option for a pair of beginners to start there.

We definitely had a hard time finding a contractor who would work with us. Not many businesses are willing to provide materials and hold your hand, stepping you through the process. After making MANY calls, I finally discovered Jack the Roofer. Not only was their proposal closer to out budget than anyone else, the superintendent Joel was more than happy to help us DIY the shop. 

We've had LOTS of questions about what roofing type we were going to use. Kinda controversially, we decided to use Architectural Asphalt Singles. I go into lots of detail in the video explaining our choice and how we came to it, so I really recommend you scroll up and watch if you're curious. Here's a little bit of the information on the most common roofing types in our area which we used to make our decision.

Thankfully, we have a neighbor named Dave who is super handy and always willing to lend a hand. He actually used to roof houses when he was younger and he offered to come over and help lay us get started.

We borrowed an old roofing nailer from my father-in-law. The gun and I have a love hate relationship. I loved that I didn't have to drive the thousands of nails by hand, but I hate that I had to stop and un-jam the stupid nailer every 2 minutes.

When we went to order our windows we were warned there may by an extended turn around time. To make sure we had the windows when we needed them, we placed our order several weeks before it was time to install. Surprisingly, we received our order EARLY and had to scramble to find a place to store them.

We stacked them on top of 2 x 4's in the unfinished shop while we finished framing the house. They were somewhat vulnerable while we were still working, but it was the only option we had and it worked.

One of the most common areas to experience moisture leaks on a house is around the windows. We've worked WAY too hard to see our beautiful house be ruined by a little water. Enter DAP DYNAFLEX Ultra.

DAP DYNAFLEX ULTRA Advanced Exterior Sealant is 100% waterproof. Super important for our Arizona house, it resists UV fading and dirt build up so the sealant stays looking clean and new for a long time. 

Conveniently, it comes in black, so we didn't have to be worried about a little squeeze out around the edges.

Aluminum windows might seem like an odd choice in our hot climate, but they were actually the best option. The sleek and thin profile lends it's self best to the style of our home, but admittedly aluminum does transfer heat really well. To help off-set the temperature transfer, we chose thermally broken aluminum frames, and upgraded our glass to double-pane, argon filled and coated with a thermal reflective coating called Suncoat Max.

From the first time I saw our building plans, I fell in love with the MASSIVE 6' x 10' multi-paneled window in my office.

The installation was a bit dramatic. It took six guys to heft it into place, and originally didn't fit into the opening. We had to pull it out, modify the framing around the opening, and move it back into place.

Looking from the inside of the office outward is currently my favorite view.

Curious where we stand on the budget? Starting from the beginning, we have currently spent just shy of $30,000 out of pocket. 

Since we are trying to keep our mortgage as low as possible, we've actually been paying out of pocket whenever possible and avoiding drawing from our construction loan. However, the roofing and windows definitely set us back. At this point we have used $104,697 of our construction loan.

If you're curious how much we've spent vs. what we estimated, make sure to watch the video. Feel free to drop any questions you may have in the comments below, and make sure you're following along with my YouTube channel so you don't miss all the future progress!

If you like that, you'll love these ideas:


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