When looking at Kansas City real estate
Things to Watch for Up on the Roof:
The roof is the advance guard of the house. First, it engages the elements, then provides the most fundamental protection from them. As such, the roof is always a source of anxiety and concern. If it’s old, you wonder when you’ll have to replace it. If it’s new, you wonder when you’ll have to repair it.
Every roof needs adequate runoff. You can’t just let the water that is ready to fall off your roof go straight over the sides. First of all, the random dripping would keep you up at night and drive you crazy. Then all the water would end up in your basement, or flooding the area around your crawl space or foundation. To ensure proper runoff, all roofs should have gutters that drain the water away from the house.
Check the southern exposure of the roof. This side gets the worst beating from the sun’s rays because of the rising and setting of the sun in the south. (Well, actually it rises in the east and sets in the west, but you’d never know it to look at the southern exposure of your roof.)
Trying to decide which way is south will probably keep you too pre-occupied to ask what the roof is made of and whether or not it keeps the weather out (should you buy, you’ll find out when it rains).
The most common roofing materials are:
- Slate: Unbelievably expensive, breaks easily, requires specially trained, dying breed of craftsfolk to repair or replace.
- Asphalt Shingle: Smells funny when wet, cracks in cold, retains heat in summer.
- Wood: Leaks, smells, rots.
- Metal: Bends, rusts, corrodes
If price is no object, you might consider a thatched roof, certainly the cutest roof of all, especially if you don’t mind living under a fire hazard teeming with mice and spiders. From a distance, a house with a thatched roof looks like Don King.
Ask T. J. Lamb, T.J. Lamb Real Estate, about Kansas City real estate.
This Home Buying Tip was excerpted from:
The House Trap, by Alfred Gingold, Workman Publishing, 1988.