Do you believe in magic? Not a slight of hand or dark magic, but what I like to call, cool hand ‘roof’ magic.

It’s more of the, presto, change-o, kind. The kind that changes one type of existence for another.


That’s what it might be described as, when you hear and see what we are about to do.

We find ourselves here in Amherst, where the stage has been set.


Many Cape Cod style homes like this have no overhangs. This means a number of things, but, chief among these, is the complete lack of intake venting for the home.


That is significant because you can’t have a perfectly healthy home without intake venting. Think of it like trying to breathe with your nose and sinuses all stuffed up. Only worse. What does that mean? Well, without home healthy breathing, you get:

  • More ice in the winter
  • The heat (that melts the snow that creates the ice) is free to do so, with wild abandon
  • Hot as heck in the summer inside the living space on the second floor
  • Overheated shingles on the outside, reducing their life
  • Higher AC bills
  • Potential mold growth


For this home, all that is true, and they’ve had constant problems since it was built.


Well, no more!


On this home, while doing the roof, we found that the tongue and groove boards are shrunk up, and won’t provide good nailing, and the insulation is against the deck on the rafters, all with no overhang. 

The lack of good venting, through overhangs and airflow, are key to why this entire mess happened.

Seems this has gone from bad to worse!


One option, that would be typical, would be to tear off all the boards and re-insulate, and try to drill side holes in the rafters at the valleys to create airflow, and put on overhangs which would work pretty good, but cost a heck of a lot.


— OR —


Option two: we could leave the existing decking, (as while it is affected and shrunk up, it is not falling in rotted) and install 2-inch wide three-quarter inch plywood strips above all the rafters, and leave spaces at the valleys for airflow, and add a small, but eminently effective overhang. This venting option creates perfect venting. This way changes the roof from a super unhealthy circumstance to close to perfect health.


The overhang provides the intake breath. The three-quarter inch furring provide uninterrupted passageways, and the ridge vent provides the needed exhale breathe out.

It’s continuous, with no gaps of flow, and no dead spots,. It stops all the evils that existed previously.

It stops the excessive ice build up. It stops excessive heat gain in the summer.

It makes your roof last longer, and will no longer support mold growth. It does all this and makes the insulation that you have, more effective to boot.

Like I say, magic! Change a very unhealthy home, to a most healthy home in three easy steps. Who knew? We did, and do, and truth is, we feel a little bit like a superhero.

I suppose it’s like a cross between a magician, a superhero, and a transformer. Maybe I’m overstating it, but it is pretty cool!

William C. Rott, changing lives one home at a time all across Western New York 🙂