It’s official…we are completely done roofing our house. A few weeks ago we shared with you our “roofing the main part of the house” story where my brother Anthony, his friend Adam, and Colby managed to hammer out (pun 100% intended) re-shingling the main section of the house. That just left the much smaller porch roof to shingle, which took us precisely one Sunday morning to complete. And by we I really mean Colby since he pretty much did the whole thing while I took a quick trip to Target. Tomorrow I’ll get into the details of “How To Shingle Your Roof” but today I thought I would bring you the “Roofing Tools Of The Trade” as part of our little “Roofing With The Campbells” series.
Roofing tools aren’t something we would necessarily purchase for our own use. They’re not something that we would use often, especially roofing nailers, thus we went the route of borrowing my brother’s equipment, since he shingles roofs for a living. But if you so happen to want to go the extra step and purchase tools to do your roof, I’ve compiled a little list of some the tools and equipment you need. All of the products (and pictures) below come from Lowes, but can be found in pretty much any hardware store.
A roofing nailer is pretty much one of the most important tools you will use. This pneumatic Hitachi nailer costs a whopping $269 but is worth every penny considering the amount of nails you will go through.
You don’t want to be nailing each of those suckers by hand. It sure makes for a LONG day. The Hitachi nailer is one that my brother uses and swears by. Supposedly…it has even survived a few drops from the roof.
2. Air Hose
Air hose is kind of a given considering the nailer is pneumatic and needs to run off compressed air. When looking for air hose, make sure to buy the right diameter so it fits your tool. Also consider the length that you’ll need since your compressor will most likely be on the ground while you’re working on the roof with the nailer. This air hose is another “my brother swears by this” recommendation. In fact, I ran out to Lowes mid-job to pick up another coil for the roofing team. A certain husband of mine just so happened to shoot a nail through the air hose they were using. Whoops. Turns out that air hoses don’t work so well with holes in them. #accidentpronehusbands
A compressor is also absolutely necessary if you’re going to be running pneumatic nailers. There are non-pneumatic roofing nailers out there like the Paslode system, but they cost some serious coin. And I’ve heard they’re a little less reliable than good ol’ compressed air nailers. But a compressor is versatile in that you can run an entire fleet of air tools off of it. We borrowed one of my brother’s compressors but it is a piece of shop equipment that Colby is jonesing for.
And to go with it you’ll also need utility knife blades.
These blades are specific to roofing. They’re hooked allowing you to cut materials with them such as shingles, linoleum, carpet, fabric and more. These particular blades, which are made by Bostitch, are specifically meant to cut shingles because of the deeper hook. Cutting shingles is one job that occurs often while roofing. You can either go this route (utility knife/hook blades) or you can go the snip route.
Snips are another option for cutting and slicing down shingles to make them fit. This was the method of choice for both my brother and Colby. They used the 10″ snips quite often, so often that Colby developed one serious blister/burn and I swear his hand is going to fall off any day now. It’s so gross. Maybe it’s time to amputate! I kid, I kid. Anyway, the crew chose to use snips mostly because of the amount of utility knife blades they would end up having to use. Blades don’t stay sharp forever and snips seem to last alot longer.
or 8. Adjustable Roof Brackets
Are another necessity. They help the job go alot more smoothly and safely with the addition of a plank. The roof brackets help provide a work surface so you don’t slide off the roof. The only difference between the adjustable brackets and the fixed brackets, is that with the adjustable brackets you can change the angle. So depending on the angle of your roof, you can change the angle of the platform so it’s more parallel with the ground.
No brainer, right?! You gotta get up on that roof somehow. Just make sure that when you’re shopping for a ladder that you get an extension ladder long enough to reach your roof surface. This is one “every homeowner should own” item that we still don’t have. But we have a neighbor with one that has given us free use of the ladder whenever we want. It’s convenient. In fact, we pretty much commandeered that ladder for the majority of the summer. It still might be in our yard but I swear we’re returning it soon!
So these are the basic tools necessary for roofing. It’s by no means an all-inclusive list and you still need some of the basics like a caulking gun for roof tar, a hammer for errant nails, and good gripping work gloves. But these tools should give you an idea of what you might want to beg, borrow, or steal from those you know if you’re trying to tackle your own roof. Scratch that…I by no means encourage anyone to steal from their friends or family but feel free to beg away.
Pssst…I’ll be back tomorrow with a big ol’ roofing how to. I’m warning you now, it’s a doozy! And just to be clear, I was not paid or perked by Lowes to showcase their products. But if Lowes is reading, feel free to hook a blogger up! Haha!
One of the keys to finally finishing painting the corner hutch, which we revealed back here, was our investment in a paint sprayer. I haven’t always been pro spray painting. You could say that I’ve crossed party lines. Sorry…I couldn’t help myself throwing in a little election night pun. Consider yourselves lucky that I’m not posting a vote on the blog about whether or not buffalo check is the new chevron. But back to the hutch. I started painting it with my typical brush tendencies. But over thirty minutes into priming the first coat, I had barely finished cutting in the strange angles in the upper cabinet area. I made early projections of it taking precisely 18
electoral votes hours to finish painting it. Just call me Ohio! It was a battle ground state but I was leaning paint sprayer and finally pulled the trigger. Since Lowes is practically in our back yard, I started doing research on the Lowes website, poured over tons of reviews and compared prices before finally settling on the Graco Spray Station 2900 for $119.00.
So off to the store we went to pick up said spray painter and bring it home with us.
This is where I admit to you all dear blog readers that I am 100% chick when it comes to all the girly things in life (makeup, cleanliness affinity, decorating, pink, fancy dishes, and most importantly bling) but when it comes to direction reading, I’m 100% dude. Seriously…sign me up for my man card and throw me some Carharts. I don’t do instruction manuals. Ever. Even when the instructions come with a fancy instructional DVD, like the paint sprayer did.
So out came the paint sprayer and I quickly put it together, which included attaching the air hose to the sprayer and filling the paint container with primer, and dove right in.
And then I went to town spray priming away.
Now this is where I tell you everything that I did wrong so you can learn from my mistakes. A life lesson of sorts. My main piece of advice to you…READ THE DIRECTIONS AND FOLLOW THEM. I learned by trial and error, consulting the instructions when I ran into problems. So here are a few tips:
- All paints have a different viscosity. And a different viscosity sprays differently. The spray painter kit came with a viscosity tester and a guide to help you determine how much to water down the paint. I opted to use the trial and error method instead which may not have been the way to go. But I did learn about how much water to add to my primer vs. gloss paint. I’ve got it down pat for the perfect finish.
- Thin and even coats are always best. I learned, again by trial and error, that setting the paint sprayer for a lighter spray and moving the sprayer steadily was my preferred mode. I tend to be an oversprayer so the finer the spray the better. After three coats with the paint sprayer, I had excellent primer coverage.
- Don’t water the paint down too much. When you do, it splatters, doesn’t adhere to the painting surface, and generally looks awful. But trust me, those air bubbles come out seamlessly with a light sand and another coat of paint.
By the time I got around to painting the interior of the cabinet navy, I had the paint sprayer pretty much figured out. I owned that paint sprayer and coats were getting quicker and quicker. I could put a coat of primer onto the whole cabinet in less than fifteen minutes. Shortly after I finished painting the hutch’s interior blue, it was hurricane Sandy time. So we moved the hutch inside and turned our vacant front porch into a spray painting station. We plopped down some drop cloths and plastic-ed up the windows in the unfinished space. But overspray was minimal with the sprayer, especially with the nozzle set on low.
To protect the navy interior from glossy white paint, we taped up a piece of cardboard, which also served as a nice little surface to test my paint settings on.
Now that I was working on the finish coat for the hutch, I wanted a really nice, smooth finish. But for some reason, no matter how perfectly I nailed the viscosity/water down the paint combo, I kept getting splattering. Then I discovered something. The smoothness of my finish was directly correlated to how clean the spray nozzle was. After three primer coats and three coats of navy, the nozzle was starting to clog with the three coats of glossy white paint.
Armed with a paper towel, I wiped the nozzle clean periodically while spraying the cabinet. Worked like a charm! Another key to the perfect finish with a paint sprayer is practice, practice, practice. Between coats, I would let the paint sprayer sit dormant on the porch. For some reason, when I picked it back up an hour or so later, the first few “sprays” ended up splotchy. It was like there was air or moisture pooling making the paint finish inconsistent. This was remedied by first spraying on the cardboard until a consistent paint spray and finish comes through.
I learned alot about how to properly use an air powered paint sprayer. By the time I finished the cabinet, I felt I knew what I was doing, had learned my paint sprayer, and was ready to spray paint EVERYTHING in our house, Goose included. I think he would dashing in green! So now, I give you the official Graco Spray Station 2900 rating…Siskel and Ebert give it two thumbs up…I mean…Angie gives it four out of five paint cans.
I scored the paint sprayer four paint buckets out of five. Here’s why:
Pros: Lightweight, long hose, many paint settings, easy to clean, excellent trouble shooting guide in the directions booklet, great value, multiple directional spray settings, sprays in all angles, uses less paint than traditional paint brush painting, minimal overspray.
Cons: If you don’t REALLY push the hose into the sprayer it pops out (the hose is hard for me to push in but Colby handles it like a dream), nozzle clogs quickly.
I would absolutely recommend this product. I love it and I can’t wait to whip it our again for another project. I’ve got a few lined up, including thrift store chair painting. Stay tuned.
Pssst…How about you guys? Have you made the switch from brush to sprayer recently? What machine did you go with? Any of my other fellow ladies out there have dude tendencies? Like in instruction reading?!
Happy Black Friday everyone! In honor of one of the biggest shopping days of the year, I thought I would indulge in a little Black Friday goodness here on Angie’s Roost, complete with a freshly designed logo in honor of the “Angie’s Roost Twelve Tools of Christmas”. I have compiled a list of twelve must have tools (according to Colby and I). The list is split between some of our favorite DIY tools, the ones we use the most and are obsessed over, and the ones we’re droooooling over this holiday season (so perk up moms!!!). Without further ado, I bring you the Twelve Tools of Christmas:
The First Tool Of Christmas:
Neither Colby and I are big users of dust masks, like these from 3M. Call it a new year’s resolution if you want, but we’re bound and determined to start using these puppies (and start protecting our health) when we’re doing demo work or sanding drywall. AND they’re relatively cheap so they make great stocking stuffers (hint hint Mom & Dad….I know how you LOVE those stocking stuffers).
The Second Tool Of Christmas:
We didn’t learn about this tool, the Black & Decker Auto-Leveling Laser, until this past weekend when Colby’s Uncle (who is a builder) was swearing by this tool. Thus, it’s officially on our wishlist. This bad boy projects horizontal & vertical lines, automatically leveling, to make installing shelves, cabinetry, even picture frames a snap. And it’s pretty cheap for such a cool little sucker. It runs about thirty dollars at host home improvement stores.
The Third Tool Of Christmas:
This Coleman Cable halogen worklight is a MUST in my book. Where we often work in rooms without lights or power, a light source is needed. We’ve used old lamps before but these 500 watt babies SERIOUSLY illuminate a room. Think you’ve finished sanding down the drywall? Think again! Light it up with this guy and you’ll see so many areas that you’ve missed. It’s an essential in my book and one tool I live by.
The Fourth Tool Of Christmas:
This mini pH tester for soil is another one of my wishlist items. And ringing in around eight dollars or so (depending on where it comes from), it makes a great little gift. I’ve been cultivating my gardening skills (har har har…bad pun…bad pun) and have learned that the soil pH is important to most plants. My most recent planting project was the three hydrangeas in the front of the house. Hydrangeas are interesting plants since they change color depending on the soil pH. My mom swears by these little tools and so did my Papere, who was a master gardener back in his day.
The Fifth Tool Of Christmas:
We own a few of these Irwin Quick-Grip bar clamps/spreaders and they have come in handy on many occasions. They come in various clamp lengths from 6″ all the way to 50″ for various project needs. We’ve used them while assembling our desk top, working on the media cabinet, and other furniture building projects. They easily clamp up by squeezing the trigger and also quickly release in the same fashion. They even quickly and easily convert to a spreader.
The Sixth Tool Of Christmas:
This spray can adapter from Krylon is definitely on my wish list (Lowes carries similar models in their spray paint aisle). They latch onto a spray can and convert it to a trigger spray can. I hate how traditional spray cans hurt your trigger finger after extended use and tend to drip all over your finger/hand. This, according to many users, eliminates that and makes your spray painting projects that much easier. Why pay more for a triggered spray paint can when you can convert the cheap cans with this trigger adapter for less than three dollars?!
The Seventh Tool Of Christmas:
This bad boy, the Milwaukee M12 Multi-Tool, is by far our most used tool in our arsenal. We’ve used it to remove grout, shave down too-long trim pieces, sand in awkward angles, remove balusters, and more. It’s versatility is endless! For those of you who don’t own a multi-tool…go get one…go get it now! It used to be the Fein Multi-Tool was the dominant tool in the market and was popular with professional builders, but seriously expensive. Now, many tool manufacturers have similar models that work with all the Fein accessories but come in at a much lower cost. We chose the Milwaukee M12 version because we gravitate towards the Milwaukee 12V line in general. There are tons of tools in the 12V line from drills, drivers, hack saws, pipe cutters, and more. All the tools in this system run off the same battery/charger system which makes it easy to add bare tools (tools only, without a battery or charger) to your collection at the fraction of the cost of a kit (which includes batteries & a charger).
The Eighth Tool Of Christmas:
Speaking of the Milwaukee 12V line, this radio runs off those 12V batteries and is definitely on the wish list. It’s a bare tool, so it doesn’t come with batteries or a charger, and works with our current 12V system. We have a couple of radios but they’re all corded so we end up running extension cords to the yard when we’re working outside and need some tunes. This radio is super durable and can be dropped, thrown, hit, and generally neglected and will still run (but we’re not about to attempt it nor do we recommend it).
The Ninth Tool Of Christmas:
Colby is a big fan of his Paslode finish nailer and uses it all the time, almost as much as the multi-tool. The popular uses lately have been to install trim throughout the house, add beadboard on the stairs and in the bathroom, and even to tack down the wide pine board flooring. This tool was a freebie, given to us by friends who were moving and didn’t want to lug all their tools with them. Score! So we love the Paslode even more. Essentially, it runs off propane cartridges and a rechargeable battery, avoiding the need for compressed air and power cords. It’s genius! Not gonna lie, every time Colby shoots it, I jump a little from the noise!
The Tenth Tool Of Christmas:
This is definitely an Angie wishlist item (although I’m sure Colby is a fan too!). I have been drooling over pink tool belts lately! Seriously drooling! It all started last Christmas when Colby’s mom gave me these cute hand tools that had flowers painted all over them. They’re my only tools that Colby just won’t touch (although they’ve mysteriously gone missing recently….hmmmm). There couldn’t be a more perfect place to store those flowery tools than in a pink tool belt! I know…some you “man mans” (official term for carpenter) out there are cringing, but this girl adores pink so back off! And did you know that there is a website dedicated to pink tool belts?! Yup…www.pinktoolbelt.com which is home to the original pink tool belt.
The Eleventh Tool Of Christmas:
As we delve into furniture building even further, we’re jonesing for a dove tail router bit. These bits make creating dove tail joints so much easier, and according to Colby, dove tail joints are the way to go for durability. We’ve been debating (if we get good enough) building our own kitchen cabinetry. And yes, we understand what kind of project that would be like. But even if we don’t, we plan to customize purchased cabinetry to make it look more unique and “us”. We’re planning to build a bathroom vanity this winter, complete with drawers, and want to start experimenting with dove tails.
The Twelfth Tool Of Christmas:
This one’s for the painters out there! I love, love, love, LOVE Shur Line angled paint brushes! I’m sure everyone has their favorite brand, but this one is mine. They speak to me in a way that inanimate objects shouldn’t. With their perfect bristles, and angled goodness, and smooth paint application, they make my role as official house painter extraordinaire sooooo much easier. And…hint hint…make amazing stocking stuffers…hint hint…Mom…hint hint.
Well there you have it, the Twelve Tools of Christmas according to Angie…and Colby too but mostly Angie. Either we have it and LOVE it or it’s a tool we’re wanting to add to the good ol’ bag that other DIYers out there swear by.
Pssst….So did everyone have a fan-tabulous Thanksgiving? We sure had a blast visiting some family down in New Hampshire. Anyone brave enough to do a little Black Friday shopping? Any amazing deals? I managed to do a little shopping…emphasis on little. I’m not sure it counts but Colby dropped me off at the door of the Portland Mall (we drive through Portland during trips to/from New Hampshire) and I ran into Sephora real quick to stock up on some “essentials” (you know what I mean ladies!) and was back in the car within twenty minutes! I was a super shopper! I’m normally not one to venture out on Black Friday but I NEEDED my Sephora fix!
Truth. Crack is whack. Especially of the shower grout variety. It’s even more whack when you’re sitting on the toilet and an entire line of grout is cracked and at eye level and staring you down screaming “Fix me! Fix me!” So I fixed the grout. Here’s the evil little cracked grout line:
This was extremely difficult to photograph (glossy white tile + flash = frustration) so believe me when I say that this photo does not capture the nastiness of the cracked grout line. What happened, so I’ve been told, is that occasionally when you have tiles on a wall, they’ll settle a little bit and cause a grout line or two to crack. Ours sure did crack, right along one entire row. I’m also wondering if it has something to do with the dura rock seam that’s right behind that grout line. Who knows. Since I went away to my high school reunion this weekend (sheesh…where did ten years go?!) it was the perfect opportunity to fix the grout since we wouldn’t be needing the shower all weekend. I gathered my supplies:
Which included a Milwaukee multi-tool, grout, float, sponge, buckets, and lots of paper towels for those uh-oh moments. Oh, and before I forget, I started this project with a REAL GOOD cleaning and drying. I went all Monica Geller from Friends on the tub and probably spent about 2 hours scrubbing down the shower walls and tub. I know, I know, it’s a little excessive but I LOVE to clean. I mean I REALLY love to clean. Mom, I know you’re thinking “where was this passion when you lived at home for the first 18 years of your life?” Guess it’s just a nasty little habit that I picked up in college. While most kids spend their college years experimenting with alcohol and drugs, mine were spent experimenting with Scrubbing Bubbles and Clorox Wipes. Mmmmm…Clorox Wipes how I love thee! But back to the grout project. After it was completely clean and dry I started to remove the cracked grout with Colby and I’s most favorite, versatile tool ever (which can be bought at NH Bragg at www.nhbragg.com…shameless plug for my day job) the Milwaukee oscillating tool:
It’s like the Fein tool but is part of the whole Milwaukee M12 line so its batteries work with the other tools in the line for a complete system. And it’s cheaper than a Fein tool. Gotta love cheaper without sacrificing quality. The multi-tool worked like a charm and it took me less than ten minutes to remove the entire grout line. After I brushed out any loose grout with a stiff brush, it was time to re-grout. I had plenty of grout left over from this project, which I conveniently saved. This stuff is my favorite:
It’s pre-mixed, water resistant, stain resistant, and perfect for showers. And it’s super easy to use since you don’t have to mix it yourself. I stirred it up and used the float to work the grout into the crack:
I even took the time to touch up one corner of the shower where I didn’t quite fill in deep enough before. Since it’s difficult to work the grout into a corner with the float, I simply used my finger to get perfect results:
After all the grout was filled in, the next step was to wipe down the surfaces removing any extra grout. To do this, fill a bucket with water, take a grout sponge and soak it in the water, ring it out really well (you don’t want water dripping down and washing away all the grout, just the excess), and wipe over your grout:
Hot tip: don’t wipe in the same direction as your grout line if at all possible. Doing that removes too much grout (which is what happened in the corner of our shower). Instead go for an angled wipe approach.
Another hot tip: DON’T dump the buckets of water down your drain or rinse out your sponge in the sink or tub. Do this outside. You DO NOT WANT grout in your pipes. It’s a recipe for disaster and could cause blockages down the road if you do this enough. I even took the bathtub/shower spruce up one step further and fixed the caulking around the tub, where the shower walls meet the tub. Here’s the before:
And here’s the after:
Major difference! When I caulked the tub the first time around, I used a basic paintable caulk that we were using for around windows and doors. Big mistake. It didn’t take long before it started to crack and peel and fall apart. Apparently basic caulk is not meant for shower areas. There are special caulks for that which are not water based and won’t break down. I ran out and picked up a tube at the local hardware store for about $6 and applied it around the tub. This stuff is meant for showers and will not crack or peel from heavy water exposure. It’s even mold/mildew resistant for up to ten years. Anyone else giggling about all the caulk talk?! Just me…ok…I know…I act like a ten year old boy sometimes. So that’s it for my grout story. It was really easy and the touch up had an amazing affect. I heart my shower:
Psst…Did you guys do anything fun and exciting this weekend? Anyone else out there have one of those, oh my gosh I’m getting old and going to my high school reunion moments? Or does anyone share my cleaning obsession and channel Monica Geller? Or am I the only weirdo?!
A couple weeks ago Colby and I visited the tool emporium…aka…NH Bragg & Sons (random shout out to NH Bragg….selling you industrial supplies and solutions since 1854…c’mon…the work of a marketing director never stops). As always, we came home with something. This time it was Colby’s birthday/Christmas present…a Dewalt compact portable table saw. I’m really working on that “Best Girlfriend Ever” award. Since the table saw was adopted Colby has built workshop shelves, a stand for the table saw, a ladder shelf for the office, and the beginnings of a media center/TV stand. I’ve officially lost Colby to the basement workshop. But he does come upstairs occasionally for food and beer.