roof eves

crybabyjaneDecember 19, 2005

This is a crazy question I know, and I know it stems from a great deal of naivety but here goes...

Can the eves of an existing roof be shortened or reduced without having the remove the whole roof (composite concrete shingles)I have an 70's house with really long overhanging eves. I'd like to change the look of the house by reducing the eve length and creating a more contempory look. We're beginning a major interior remodel, and some exterior, but nothing structural on the exterior. Anybody even want to touch this?

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I guess it would depend on structural issues, more than anything. Unless you have plans or blueprints (and probably even then) you should discuss this with an architect or engineer.

One thing though, the deep overhang may be part of a whole set of stylistic details, which if you just alter the eaves, would be thrown out of kilter. Then you'd have neither a true "modern" style building, not what ever it is now. If it really bugs you maybe you should consider changing houses, instead. I'd want to make a scale mock-up of the proposed changes and look at it, a lot, before I'd attempt such radical surgery.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 8:49PM
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Those wide eaves may be shading your windows in the summer. By narrowing them you may make your house less comfortable or cause your cooling bills to rise.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 7:16AM
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Overhanging eaves are very "prairie style" which is a very hip & trendy style ... here in Madison WI seems like just about everything is being built in prairie style.... Prairie style evolved into the ranches of the 50s/60s/70s so the styles are very compatible. I'll try to find some pics later this a.m.

Without seeing your house i dont know for sure, but I think youd be better off playing up the architectural features you have rather than trying to invent something entirely new out of it. Perhaps you could install skylights if light is the issue.

I assume since you're posting in the old house forum youre open to historic or old styles?

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 11:10AM
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I think I should have posted this in the remodeling forum. I didn't intend for this to be a design question. My house is a simple ranch spec home with no singnificant architectural standing. It has no "element" of historic style-it's not prairie, cottage, mission, or even escher. It's more like the before houses you see on Extreme Home Make-over. It was built in the time of "build 'em fast--build 'em cheap". In So Cal, where we live, there aren't too many other affordable options. And moving to a house more architecturally pleasing will cost an additional $300,000, to the $700,000 we paid. Also, in So Cal this house is considered old. So I chose the old house forum. I apologize to the true old beauties out there...I really just want to know if this can be done. I would hire all the professionals necessary, I just don't want to take off the entire roof. Thanks for the input!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 1:27PM
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Im a little confused by "composite concrete shingles" In the seventies they did have a concrete tile product similar to what you see today. If these tiles are what you have, they can be carefully pulled out,(your first course on up as far as necessary to cut your overhang down),but if some are damaged, they will ,more than likely, be hard to find and match. If you are going to find someone to do this for you, ask around for people who may have tackled this project before and get references from them.An experienced roofer might be able to help out on the dislodging of the tiles, and a carpenter do the overhang work.It can always be done, sometimes it's a little more involved , so you have to get estimates and determine if it would be worth it in your situation.Merry Xmas!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 4:12PM
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Thanks for the help! Just to clarify, the roof was replaced approx. 8 years ago with concrete tiles that look like shake shingles. They are not the clay tiles you find on a spanish style home. They are made of a concrete material and are layed down like a shake roof. I believe the nail holes are part of the molding process so they come "pre-drilled" so to speak. This type of roof is very fire resitant. Again, thanks.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 11:27AM
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Besides the pre cast nailing holes, they have a "catch" molded in to keep them from sliding down. Sort of locks the tiles together so to speak. I've seen on lower pitched roofs where they just nailed the first course and basically placed the rest of the tiles un-nailed. You might want to judge your new overhang size by the course of tiles. example: if you measure up the first two courses and picture them gone and this is a decent size for your overhang, this would put your third course as your first and eliminate having to cut any tiles.Contrary to my stupidity about any tiles getting broken and hard to replace, you will have plenty of extra tiles from the cut down overhang.Roofers generally have roof framing experience as they often have to replace sheathing, facia , and decayed rafters. You might want to find an outfit with this experience and always get references. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 2:35PM
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Hmmm. Not sure I made myself clear. I know that you said you wanted to "change the look" to something more "contemporary" and not keep the look it had now.

My suggestion was just that keeping the long eaves COULD actually fit in with a contemporary re-styling of your house-- since "neo-prairie", arts & crafts revival, or whatever you want to call it -- IS a very contemporary style. The shake shingles also very much fit in with that esthetic.

Maybe you could post a pic of your house for specific suggestions--in addition to finding out answer to your original question?

But if youre dead set against those long eaves-- never mind :-)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 9:29PM
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You have all been GREAT! Thanks so much for the input. I have a good sense of what's possible now. I know I can work with the style of the house (because it is so simple)and give it a more current look, but there is one overhang in particular that bothers me because it throws off the balance of the house. The neo-prarie look you are speaking of (Kashka Kat) is lovely, but the pitch of our roof is too steep, and it is a gable, rather then the four sided roof line I've seen with that style(I don't know what you call that type of roof:-)I'll work on a picture. We got a new digital for x-mas this will give me a chance to give it a test drive. Thanks again

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 1:12PM
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yeah, snap us a picture, load it on your computer, go to photobucket or similar hosting and copy the text in the body of your message.
I can't wait.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 8:29PM
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Well, I'd guess this mod, at the very least, would involve pulling up tiles/shingles and felt for several feet above the new edge of the eaves, laying new felt, and installing/reinstalling the drip strip and/or gutter, etc.

If the edges of the current long eaves are below the top of the exterior wall, the whole thing might be easier than if they end at the same height as teh exterior wall.

Personally I agree with the sentimetnt that it would be better not to mess with the eaves, but instead focus on other improvments that not only make the house look better but also add value. Such mods might include upgrading the windows, the siding, the front door/porch, better landscaping, etc... Or, the interior maybe could use some spiffing up: better flooring, better interior paint/trim, upgraded kitchen/bath, etc...

There are advantages to long eaves: they keep the sun out of the windows, they keep the rain off the windows and siding, your exterior paint may last longer, etc. They might keep the soil surrounding the foundation drier, which is always good.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 3:50AM
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I know what the OP is referring to. There was a home here that had long eaves that looked very Brady Bunch and they shortened them and made it look much more "up to date". Unfortunately they did some lousy rockwork on part of the house and then tried to use a fake shake shingle on the sides that ruined the effect but when they first got started with the remodel I was excited at the potential I saw.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 12:09AM
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