AKA: A very expensive house hat. Over the past few weeks, Jeff and I have been preparing to pull the trigger on a new roof. When we bought the house, we knew (from our home inspection) that the roof needed to be replaced. But, we were honestly hoping to get another winter out of it (especially after having to replace the furnace earlier this year). Unfortunately, the renovation gods have other plans. After some heavy storms this spring, we started leaking on the south side of the house.

leaking roof

Queue the wah-wha music. Thankfully, this isn’t the side of the house where ceilings have already been replaced. That said, we can’t ignore the roof any longer. So the last two weeks have been spent collecting quotes from roofers, but it’s not an easy decision to make. Our big question: do we opt for asphalt or splurge on metal?

London Eco Roof

Photo: London Eco Roofing

Metal roofs are really popular here in KW, particularly on heritage homes. We love the look and that they are guaranteed to last 50+ years, but have to consider the budget. The quotes that we have been getting put a metal roof at least 2K over the price of a traditional asphalt shingle, but… because they last so long, have a better lifetime value.

Superior Steel Roofing

Photo: Superior Steel Roofing

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on the blog before or not, but Jeff is heading back to school this fall… full-time. He’s planning to keep up work too, but we’re sensitive to the fact that a double load may be too much to carry. All in, we have some salary uncertainty that’s weighing on the situation.

Hy-Grade Roofing

Photo: Hy-Grade Steel Roofing

The other factor is, of course, time. How long are we going to be in this house? If it were our forever home, I don’t think it would be a question – we’d opt for the metal roof. But, if we only stay in the house for 7-10 years, is it worth the extra money now? If an asphalt roof only lasts 10-15 years, what if we get stuck having to replace the roof again before we sell? You see our dilemma.

We are, however, doing our due diligence. We’ve met with 6 roofing companies, and are confident that, in the end, we’ll make the right choice.

Have you gone through the re-roofing process? Was metal roofing ever an option you considered?


Hey weirdos! I’m excited to finally share our update on the crown moulding we installed in the kitchen this month.

Back in June, I lucked out and won a Home Depot gift card through Melissa’s awesome blog, The Sweet Escape (you can check out my winning Pinterest board here). So far, I’ve splurged on a new, outdoor, motion sensor light, new hardware for the screen door, fresh paint for the front door, and some crown moulding for the kitchen.

As a reminder, our lovely flat ceiling and pot-lights had the kitchen ceiling looking like this:

gap between cabinets and ceiling

Not bad, but obviously that gap needed to be fixed. Along the top of the cabinets, you can see where our previous drop ceiling stopped — we’ve gained nearly 2″ of ceiling height!

Crown molding can be a bit mind bending if you’ve never done it before. Unlike baseboards, crown molding has two angles at play — the inside/outside angles at corners, and the angle of the moulding itself between the ceiling and the cabinets (or walls). This means that cutting basic 45 degree angles, like you would with baseboards, won’t work.

Two resources that were invaluable to us were: Dewalt’s video, “How to cut crown molding flat with a DEWALT Miter Saw” and Superior Building Supplies video, “Miter Crown Moulding – Cut The Perfect Inside Corner.”

Note: if you also check out SBS’s blog, the written instructions mislabel the table and fence (although they have it correct in the video above). You need to treat your mitre fence as if it were the cabinet/wall and the mitre table as if it were the ceiling — not the other way around. Use the video instructions to set your saw, mark your measurement along the back of the crown, and make your cuts. Superior Building Supplies has this handy printout that you literally tape to the saw to help you remember where your discard should be:


Jeff had the whole process sorted out quite quickly. Thank goodness he’s got both brains and brawn. Then, it was as simple as tacking the moulding into place with our finishing nailer.

installing crown molding
The trickiest bit was the jog along the window, but a few extra shaves on the mitre saw had things fitting pretty tightly.

installed crown molding

Since we have large antique moulding along the doorways on both sides of the room, we decided we didn’t want to run the crown all the way around the room — keeping it as a cabinet cap, rather than room moulding.

installed crown molding

After things were fixed in place, I got busy caulking each edge and seam to make any gap look seamless. Don’t skip this step! A good paintable caulk makes all the difference in detail projects — I am a loyal user of DAP® ALEX Fast Dry® Acrylic Latex Caulk Plus Silicone. Seriously, our house is basically held up with the stuff.

after 6

I still catch myself staring at the ceiling while I’m cooking or making coffee. What a huge difference from the open joists we’ve been staring at for the last year!

after 7

Once the caulk dried, I gave the pre-primed crown a coat of the white paint left over from when we painted the cabinets.

after 5

Overall we are super happy with how well it turned out. If you’ve been considering giving crown moulding a try, I definitely recommend it. MDF crown moulding isn’t expensive at just over a dollar a foot — our entire project with extra scrap only cost about $40 — and with a little patience is pretty easy to figure out.

after 4

It’s hard to believe how dark and dingy the room was when we moved in — brown cabinets, beige ceiling, beige walls, and bad lighting:

Kitchen Before

Cabinets After

A bit of paint, a few pot-lights, and a new ceiling has the room feeling like a totally different space. The lightness makes all the difference for me.

While I wouldn’t say the room is totally done, it’s definitely reached a state that can last us another year or two while we tackle other projects and save for new appliances, counters, floors and french doors. Hooraw!

how to install crown moulding