Roof on top of our head…. now comes the cleanup!

Wasn’t This Worth Waiting For?

Just in time for the rain storm tonight. Tonight’s rain [hence the dreary looking photos – I’ll take better pictures when the sun comes out] will fall on a new sustainable metal stone coated roof. Justin read that this type of process was developed in WWII. The reflective metal roofs on buildings were attracting enemy planes so folks put tar on the metal and over that ground up stone or sand.   Such stone coated metal roofs are commonly used in New Zealand.   Jules’first homestead in the rural South Island (NZ) had a corrugated metal roof which collected and diverted the rainwater into a huge cement cistern.     Now we have an “upgraded” metal roof and we once again plan to harvest the rainfall and it use to irrigate the garden.

For those of you who have been following the roof saga since summer you are probably glad you won’t read about the “R” word anymore. Truthfully, this project wasn’t as easy as you would think – believe me. We spent many sleepless nights and stressful days agonizing over this decision. Looking at the 4″ thick folder of all the types of roofing that we looked at Justin would comment “choosing a roof is like getting married, the only thing is you can’t get divorced if it doesn’t work out.”

Time for high fives, pats on the back and hugs all around – time to celebrate !!!!   A friend of ours dropped by yesterday with a bag of goodies to “celebrate your new roof.”   How kind and thoughtful!   Of course he couldn’t help but admire and question in amazement “that’s metal?” Speaking of admiring these last few days you’ll find us pausing as we work in the garden just to admire the roof.

I think it’s a good idea, the guys are thinking about framing a piece of blue tarp that covered 1/2 the house for over 10 years. Why? So that we don’t forget where we’ve been, the “cootie” looks and “snide” remarks that were associate with “a blue tarp.”
Break out the homemade elderberry wine and dish out the soy ice cream and savor this accomplishment for as long as we can … before we tackle another project.

One lesson that came from all this long and difficult journey, it’s all about timing and patience. … “good things comes/happen to them that wait.”  Even though we were embarrassed to have to put a blue tarp on part of the roof years ago, if we were impatient and decided to fix the roof right there and then we would have just taken the easy way and put on a typical asphalt shingle roof which we would have had to eventually remove!  

Living a sustainable life teaches you that you can’t be rash or hurried, it’s all about being slow and steady. Baby steps.  Looking back it’s been a long journey, but we are WHO we are and WHERE we are because of it.

::Sidenote:: Final inspection from the city is on Friday.  Also for those of you who have been following our roofing saga you may be interested to know that while we were at city permit office the other day we were told that if we’d had a plain “reflective” metal roof on our home we would have had to get permission from our neighbors and pull a CUP (conditional use permit). It was worth the extra time and money [not to mention all the headaches] to find a metal roof that wouldn’t stand out and would have required us to pull such a permit.


Your Home: Is ‘going green’ worth the cost? {CNN}

The eco-friendly house (and renovation) has gone mainstream. But is it really worth the cost?You can save energy – and money Given the astronomical rise in fuel prices in the past few years, it’s no surprise that energy efficiency is the top reason consumers choose green building these days.
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He’s still following the sun {LA Times}

Berkeley — IN the beginning, to explain the concept of a solar water heater, Gary Gerber toted a homemade graphic of a black hose sitting on a lawn.
“Do you ever go out in the summer and turn on the hose and the water is hot?” he’d ask potential customers. “Well, that’s how it works.” In those “stone age” days of the mid-1970s, there was no solar energy industry, Gerber says, only a small collection of “experimenters, forward-thinking people, inventors.” Even eking out a living was an impossibility: Gerber survived, courtesy of a side gig selling cheese from his Volkswagen van. Three decades later, his Sun Light & Power can barely keep up. A frenzied demand for solar power, or photovoltaic, installations has eclipsed the water heater portion of the business, and since 2002, sales have ballooned by about 66% annually — to more than $11 million in 2006.Once the domain of hippies, whose off-the-grid escape doubled as an anti-establishment rebuke, renewable energy is now a pillar of California politics. In recent months alone, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed the California Solar Initiative, which aims to help bring solar power to a million rooftops, as well as a landmark greenhouse-gas reduction law.
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No Comments

  1. Cheryl says:

    The roof looks great – congratulations on having it done!

  2. Sean Epperson says:

    Glad you finally got that one done. Looking forward to the rain catchment system. What is the new news you were hinting at?

  3. Brian says:

    Your new roof looks great. I have been following along through the saga. We are in Florida, and are shopping for a new metal roof as well. I’ve been trying to get information on whether the bonding material (usually acrylic) that holds the stone will affect water quality for the rainwater catchment. Do you know the company who manufactured the shingles and the specific type of shingle you purchased? Thank you.

  4. Jeff S. says:

    What a beautiful roof! Your perseverence certainly paid off. I, for one, never tired of the roof saga because that is how life really is. These things take study, planning, and lots of problem solving. There are always many obstacles, especially when doing anything unconventional. Success is always in the details. Great job.

  5. Jay Draiman says:


    In order to insure energy and economic independence as well as better economic growth without being blackmailed by foreign countries, our country, the United States of America’s Utilization of Energy sources must change.
    “Energy drives our entire economy.” We must protect it. “Let’s face it, without energy the whole economy and economic society we have set up would come to a halt. So you want to have control over such an important resource that you need for your society and your economy.”
    Our continued dependence on fossil fuels could and will lead to catastrophic consequences.

    The federal, state and local government should implement a mandatory renewable energy installation program for residential and commercial property on new construction and remodeling projects with the use of energy efficient material, mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, etc. The source of energy must by renewable energy such as Solar-Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wind, Biofuels, etc. including utilizing water from lakes, rivers and oceans to circulate in cooling towers to produce air conditioning and the utilization of proper landscaping to reduce energy consumption.

    The implementation of mandatory renewable energy could be done on a gradual scale over the next 10 years. At the end of the 10 year period all construction and energy use in the structures throughout the United States must be 100% powered by renewable energy.

    In addition, the governments must impose laws, rules and regulations whereby the utility companies must comply with a fair “NET METERING” (the buying of excess generation from the consumer), including the promotion of research and production of “renewable energy technology” with various long term incentives and grants. The various foundations in existence should be used to contribute to this cause.

    A mandatory time table should also be established for the automobile industry to gradually produce an automobile powered by renewable energy. The American automobile industry is surely capable of accomplishing this task.

    This is a way to expedite our energy independence and economic growth. (this will also creat a substantial amount of new jobs) It will take maximum effort and a relentless pursuit of the private, commercial and industrial government sectors commitment to renewable energy – energy generation (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, geothermal, energy storage (fuel cells, advance batteries), energy infrastructure (management, transmission) and energy efficiency (lighting, sensors, automation, conservation) in order to achieve our energy independence.

    Jay Draiman
    Northridge, CA. 91325

    P.S. I have a very deep belief in America’s capabilities. Within the next 10 years we can accomplish our energy independence, if we as a nation truly set our goals to accomplish this.
    I happen to believe that we can do it. In another crisis–the one in 1942–President Franklin D. Roosevelt said this country would build 60,000 [50,000] military aircraft. By 1943, production in that program had reached 125,000 aircraft annually. They did it then. We can do it now.
    The American people resilience and determination to retain the way of life is unconquerable and we as a nation will succeed in this endeavor of Energy Independence.

    Solar energy is the source of all energy on the earth (excepting volcanic geothermal). Wind, wave and fossil fuels all get their energy from the sun. Fossil fuels are only a battery which will eventually run out. The sooner we can exploit all forms of Solar energy (cost effectively or not against dubiously cheap FFs)the better off we will all be. If the battery runs out first, the survivors will all be living like in the 18th century again.

    Every new home built should come with a solar package. A 1.5 kW per bedroom is a good rule of thumb. The formula 1.5 X’s 5 hrs per day X’s 30 days will produce about 225 kWh per bedroom monthly. This peak production period will offset 17 to 24 cents per kWh with a potential of $160 per month or about $60,000 over the 30-year mortgage period for a three-bedroom home. It is economically feasible at the current energy price and the interest portion of the loan is deductible. Why not?

    Title 24 has been mandated forcing developers to build energy efficient homes. Their bull-headedness put them in that position and now they see that Title 24 works with little added cost. Solar should also be mandated and if the developer designs a home that solar is impossible to do then they should pay an equivalent mitigation fee allowing others to put solar on in place of their negligence..