Randolph Remodeling: Tales from a Contractors Personal Renovation – The Roof

by: Allison Q Guido, CS

I often fine that the homeowners we work with want to know our story. They want to know that we can relate to the anxiety and tough decision they have to make. So I thought I’d share some of our own remodeling stories.


In the fall of 2006 Craig & I bought our first house in Randolph Ma. It was defiantly the “worst” looking house in a quiet neighborhood of well-maintained houses. We purchased it from the original owner who was now elderly and living on her own since her kids had grown up and her husband had passed away several years before. This house was in desperate need of some TLC, but we could see thru that to what was possible.

Just so we could move in we had to tear out the carpets (which I think were original) because the smell of dog and dander was overpowering. Once we did that we were able to move in and start making our “Wish List”. Yes contractors have their very own wish list of what they’d like to see improve and renovate on their own homes too. But unfortunately it can be like the Cobbler’s Kids who never had their own pair of shoes.

The first Home Improvement we had to tackle was the roof. Not necessarily because we wanted to but because we HAD to. Because the house was a small Ranch style we decided to go with Architectural Shingles (Also known as laminated or dimensional shingles). The houses around us all had 3-tab and we thought this would enhance the look of the house when we decided to sell it.

According to Certainteed’s Website; “Architectural roofing shingles provide a stunning three-dimensional appearance. Some of the most attractive architectural roofing shingles simulate cedar wood shakes (such as CertainTeed’s Presidential Shake TL and Presidential Shake shingles). These shingles are quite thick with random slots similar to real shakes. The products’ random colors and textures better accent steep roof planes, turrets, and gables features of roofs. Because of their extra thickness, architectural roofing shingles weigh considerably more than conventional asphalt-based shingles and have longer warranties. Weights run up to about 480 pounds per square (100 square feet of roof area) and can carry up to a lifetime warranty.”

Craig left it to me to choose the color which I knew from dealing with our clients can often be the hardest decision. I knew I wanted either Grey or Brown and once I looked around the neighborhood I choose the brown because no one else had that color. (But as an aside I also knew that if I asked 5 current clients, maybe 2 of them could tell me the color of their current roof – so unlike siding it doesn’t always make a huge impression on people).

Roofing Installation
Stripping the Roof

When it was time to do the project we had to strip the existing shingles (there were already 2 layers) to the plywood. Then we installed the underlayment (Massachusetts building codes require that a shingle underlayment (also known as roofing felt) be installed. We also decided into install a special water proofing underlayment product (CertainTeed’s WinterGuard) which prevents leaks caused by water backup from ice dams.

And ridge vent as required by the MA building code. Ridge vent helps make sure your home can breathe. You home needs the proper ventilation to reduce attic heat buildup, reduce attic moisture and condensation and prevent ice dam build-up.


The roof was a quick but important first project to complete on our new house. It not only improved the curb appeal but prevented damage inside the house by eliminating leaks. Check back for more “Tales from Your Contractors Renovation” soon.

So give us a call at CAT Exteriors for all of your Roofing needs. CAT Exteriors is in Hanover Ma, and serves many South Shore towns like: Randolph, Holbrook, Braintree, Weymouth, and Quincy for all of your Exterior Remodeling needs (Replacement Windows, Siding, Roofing, Decking, Doors)