The Voice of the Rural Rim
Tuesday February 20th 2018



Real Estate, Roofs, Realtors & Construction Issues

Talk about crazy weather across the country!!  In the middle of last week, our New Hampshire daughter calls.  She can’t pass up the opportunity to rub in the fact that she and the kids are enjoying an 80 degree day at the beach!  We started that day 20 degrees cooler than NH!  We celebrated Ben Ramos’ birthday Thursday.  He and Rosa had left their Heber restaurant about 6 that morning with 20” of snow on the ground and the thermometer shivering at 26 degrees!  The temperature in the Casa Ramos II parking lot that evening was around 75!  Some gossipy person told me that Al Gore’s gas guzzling Gulf Stream was seen landing in the Bermuda’s where he had gone to celebrate the fact that the “cold country” part of our country was warmer than the Sunbelt and gas prices have doubled in three years!  He was reportedly heard by an un-reliable source telling a bell boy he expected to make more millions from developing solar powered cars with cheap solar panels he got from the Solendra bankruptcy trustee while the rest of the world struggles to survive!

Just a quick update on the “hot Phoenix market.”  Humberto had a client looking for a simple home they could buy with their savings.  She called all excited because she had found one using our IDX link.  Humberto was on a business trip to Kansas City over so he called wanting me to check it out for her right away.  I called.  The agent had it listed just a few days ago for $34,000.  He told me that unless they got a higher offer over the weekend, they were going to go to the Lender with a cash offer $16,000 above list.  Fran, I told you to buy while you can!

Straight Talk Realty University posted its first video on our Lamplighter site this week before its new virtual home could be built.  We will be producing videos focused on five areas. 1.  The first time homebuyer, 2. Investors 3. distressed property owners and buyers 4. construction issues homebuyers and owners face, 5. Lamplighting.

This first video will typify Strealtyu’s efforts.  Entitled “Lamplighter Teaches Homebuyer Construction Issues” the video served sequel to one we had put out under the Distressed Property Academy talking about the exciting subject of how patio roof covers are attached; which was also “covered” in a video for first time home buyers that talked about why they should work with a good Realtor that will save them thousands by correctly steering them through the home buying process so they don’t end up with things like leaky patio roofs!  If we have not been clear, these videos bear a tongue in cheek message!  Things that appear mundane, such as how patio roofs are attached, can carry substantial positive or negative consequences.  First time homebuyers benefit by having professional representation or guidance to help them become aware of these issues and their consequence.  In this case, patio roof cover attachments certainly fall in the category of a construction issue too. We want to get out, useful information anyone can use and understand!

Here’s the basic video illustration.  Tons of patio roofs were put on after homes were built; particularly homes older than 20 years.  Now many builders, such as me, will incorporate them into the design and original construction.  Many times, added on patio covers were attached to the roof overhang sticking out to provide some shade for windows and the side of the home.  The problem with this attachment shows up over time in two ways. 1. It is not structurally sound; and thus certain to not have been done with a building permit.  This structural defect will cause the roof to begin to sag. The sag results in the cracking and failure of the roof material. After a few years, the point of attachment can turn out to be a low place in the roof so the entire home roof drains to the leak and onto the patio area below.  2.  The simple arithmetic means roofs attached in this manner have very minimal drainage slope.  An almost universal wall height, particularly on any home built before the 90’s was eight feet.  The overhang reduces that further to a typical 7’6”.   For perspective, roofs cannot be safely shingled unless they fall 4” every foot.  Say your patio is 12′ wide—that means to shingle it, it should fall 4” x 12 or 48”-or 4 feet!  Obviously having your patio roof’s outer edge 3’6 off the ground does not work well when you start with a 7’6” height at the end of the house roof.  This is why these roofs always use some roofing other than shingles.  This segways us into issue two.  2. Roofs attached this way have such low slopes that they are prone to develop leaks because water will “puddle” until it finds or creates a leak, instead of running off.  Any attempts to drop the outer roof support beam to provide adequate slope results in that beam falling below normal head clearance.  This results in “head knocking” and dark lighting; particularly for the rooms inside the house that draw their natural light from the patio area. Therefore almost all of these installations choose the inadequate slope approach—guaranteeing a maintenance and leakage problem!

This low roof pitch usually involves a rolled mineral paper.  There are much longer lived products which carry both a high purchase and installation cost.  Although rolled roofing works well with very low slopes initially, it typically lasts for about 3-4 years in the Sunbelt.  What kills it even quicker in areas of freezing is application error if the installer leaves even the smallest of bubbles at the seams where winter thaws let water in and refreezing literally tears the seam apart.  The point, in case you missed it:  These roofs give an owner: 1. high maintenance, 2. High long term costs.

Chapter two of a covered patio many times happens when the covered area gets completely closed in and becomes a family room or another bedroom or. . .   Chapter two ushers in the long term consequences stemming from good or poor choices.  If a homeowner encloses the area under a patio roof attached to a roof overhang, they automatically are not eligible for a building permit due to the unsound roof structure as noted earlier.  Alternative roof supports; which in most cases are clumsy and costly at best must be installed to make the room code compliant. Most simply tear down and rebuild.  Note that space in a non-compliant area will not be allowed in an appraisal so: 1. the work cannot be financed and 2. Adds no value from a lenders perspective.  As noted above, such structures also tend to leak—which will now be in your bedroom instead of on the patio furniture.

Tie that roof in right by getting permits and using proper construction techniques and you can enjoy the enhancement of a covered patio immediately.  If family needs change in the future, you already have space that you can add a little investment to and have a great bedroom, or family room or. . . .

Check out our web-site for tools and answers to your real estate challenges.  Learn about Lamplighter Realty, Lamplighter Financial, and Distressed Property Academy at  For your real estate needs, call Gene’s message center for Lamplighter Realty 480-307-6459 or dash off an email to him at God Bless!

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