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Adding ventilation and fixing leaks in back dormer

This post is part of a series outlining what we did to correct numerous structural problems in our house.

We cannot blame the previous owner for everything that was wrong with our house. Some of that blame goes to the builder who was responsible for the back dormer. The dormer roof was flush with the wall. The lack of an overhang did not allow for proper ventilation (no soffit vents) and also offered little protection from the elements.

The original state of the dormer.

In 2003, we repaired water damage to the framing. We had replaced the window and siding and assumed that we had solved the problem. It would be several years before we would finish the second floor, so we did not notice that we still had a leak.

No job too big, no job too small (well, this one was…)

In 2011, our architect drew up some quick plans for extending the roof. This would allow for soffit vents for proper ventilation, and would also offer some protection from the elements. However, finding someone to actually do the work proved to be difficult. The job was too small for construction contractors, and a lot of roofing companies don’t do framing. After much searching, we were finally able to hire a roofing and siding company willing take on the project

We would learn that when our first contractor moved the window, he missed a spot when he caulked around it causing a water leak. He also did not fully insulate one of the cavities at the top of the wall resulting in a condensation problem along the drip edge when warm interior air met cold outside air.

removing siding
Removing the siding. Sheathing would be removed next to expose the rafters.

water damage
Significant water damage to the sheathing and the framing, despite the framing being only a few years old.

The contractors removed the sheathing and replaced it with 2 inch rigid insulation which passes code for structure and adds more R-value

debris pile
Debris pile from the dormer

rafter extension
Rafters extended with 2x4s sistered to the existing members.

The dormer now has an overhang– protecting the window from the weather– and proper soffit ventilation.

The roof extension was added in January 2012.  We have not had any water issues since.

Structural Repairs: How to “unbutcher” a house

The Back Dormer: Repairing water damage and fixing framing problems
The Back Dormer:  Adding ventilation and eliminating water leaks
The Sunken Tub
Supporting a house from the basement up
Load-bearing walls