Jump to content

Still Need Ideas For My Roof.....


Recommended Posts

My roof has always been my least favorite part of setting up my display. In the past I have had 3 colors, each using about 25 strands so I am having to install approximately 75 strands of lights on the roof. I have done so with the standard plastic universal clips. This year I want to add another color and just can't spend another 15 hours lighting the roof. What I would like to come up with is a method of pre-installing the lights onto something, then just be able to put those pieces up on the roof in sections. The problem is, I have many angles and corners, as well as some install on gutters and some install on peaks where it is just shingles to attach to. I have thought of things such as trying to install the lights onto PVC of some sort, but how do I keep it on the roof? It is too many lights to drill individual holes for each bulb to stick into as well. Just wondering if any of you fine folks have some ideas of what I might do?

Thanks much.

Corey Howell

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is what I came up with last year. I used 3/8" plywood. Painted it flat black. Then stapled my light to each of them. I had it pre measured so each section fit my roof. I only did this on my peaks last year and will do it for the gutters this year. I made sadle pouches that I filled zip loc bags with sand. Then attached these to the plywood and had one side of the saddle bag hanging over each side of the roof. It worked great. I had a lot of troubles stapling the lights. I think I have an idea for that, but haven't tried it yet. I will attach some pictures once I get home.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I havent thought about doing that for my roof. but i am moving soon so when we get our new house i am going to make more projects just for that house, we move twice in the five years we have been doing the display. so i am ready to get moved and get working on some new stuff.

and i always hate doing the roof bc i like to have my line of lights perfectly straight and even and by doing the strips of wood and plywood for the peak, it would be easy to setup and tear down and look good for years to come.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the way I did my house gutters, ridges, hips. I'm not good at working with wood so I used a roll of metal aluminum facia material, cut it to the lengths we needed and bent it in a U shape, the white side of the material went in the gutter and the brown side went on the roof. The top of my U channel I used LEXAN Plastic bent it in a U shape for the cap drilled holes and installed the lights and screwed the Plastic cap to the aluminum bottom U. I just zip tied the finished channels to the gutter as for the roof ridges, I cut 1 1/2 pieces of aluminum straps then screwed three to the bottom piece of aluminum, when on the roof bent the 1 1/2 straps under each side of the roof ridge cap. The facia material is extremely easy to work with, it's also very flexable. We had 40-45 MPH gusts of wind and no problems with them blowing off . With this of channel their is almost no weight to it (A 11' piece weighed 4.5lbs with the lights installed) and the LED lights put off no heat so having them up 2" off the roof helped keep them visible when snow was on the roof. It's lot of work bending and drilling holes the get it ready but the time savings on the install was worth it , we have approx 1000 C9 lights and the previous year it took 2 days using clips to install the lights last year only 3 Hrs and we were done with the roof and gutter. Enclosed are some pics.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the way I did my house gutters, ridges, hips. I'm not good at working with wood so I used a roll of metal aluminum facia material, cut it to the lengths we needed and bent it in a U shape, the white side of the material went in the gutter and the brown side went on the roof. The top of my U channel I used LEXAN Plastic bent it in a U shape for the cap drilled holes and installed the lights and screwed the Plastic cap to the aluminum bottom U. I just zip tied the finished channels to the gutter as for the roof ridges, I cut 1 1/2 pieces of aluminum straps then screwed three to the bottom piece of aluminum, when on the roof bent the 1 1/2 straps under each side of the roof ridge cap. The facia material is extremely easy to work with, it's also very flexable. We had 40-45 MPH gusts of wind and no problems with them blowing off . With this of channel their is almost no weight to it (A 11' piece weighed 4.5lbs with the lights installed) and the LED lights put off no heat so having them up 2" off the roof helped keep them visible when snow was on the roof. It's lot of work bending and drilling holes the get it ready but the time savings on the install was worth it , we have approx 1000 C9 lights and the previous year it took 2 days using clips to install the lights last year only 3 Hrs and we were done with the roof and gutter. Enclosed are some pics.

That looks really cool! How do you cut and bend the medal?

Link to post
Share on other sites

That looks really cool! How do you cut and bend the medal?

I cut the roll into pre determined lengths with tin snips and took it to a Heating and air conditioning shop, (they also make furnace piping there) and used a machine called a brake ....it's a metal bender any sheetmetal would have one. The Lexan plastic I used for the cap to hold the lights in also will bend like metal......I had a Plastics Shop cut the Lexan into 3.5'x 8' lengths then I drilled the holes the bent it to fit on top of the bottom channel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen another thread on here using vinyl siding J-channel for window frames. Easy to buy, cut, and drill holes. I imagine the same would work on the roof if you could buy a brown or other dark color. You could attach it to the roof using the standard C9 shingle clips, but instead of every bulb, put one every 5 or 10. That will cut down on installation time and make it easier. Haven't ever done it , but I just thought of that idea when I saw it for window frames. Might try it this year.

Link to the other thread:

Link to website showing pictures of J-channel assembled:

http://bazillionlights.com/Tech/LightsTechWindowFrames.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen another thread on here using vinyl siding J-channel for window frames. Easy to buy, cut, and drill holes. I imagine the same would work on the roof if you could buy a brown or other dark color. You could attach it to the roof using the standard C9 shingle clips, but instead of every bulb, put one every 5 or 10. That will cut down on installation time and make it easier. Haven't ever done it , but I just thought of that idea when I saw it for window frames. Might try it this year.

Link to the other thread:

Link to website showing pictures of J-channel assembled:

http://bazillionlights.com/Tech/LightsTechWindowFrames.html

I was originally planning on doing that last year. Then I did the math. At $10 a piece, I could not afford to outline my house and roof. That's why I was looking for other less expensive options. It is too bad, because I really liked the J channel idea.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen another thread on here using vinyl siding J-channel for window frames. Easy to buy, cut, and drill holes. I imagine the same would work on the roof if you could buy a brown or other dark color. You could attach it to the roof using the standard C9 shingle clips, but instead of every bulb, put one every 5 or 10. That will cut down on installation time and make it easier. Haven't ever done it , but I just thought of that idea when I saw it for window frames. Might try it this year.

[/quote]

The problem I see with J channel on the roof is if you live where you get snow and have LEDs they could get covered up and no Blinky Flashy till the snowmelts. Raising the lights 2" or more like I did off the roof theres a less chance of snow burying the lights. I also don't follow (put one every 5 or 10) If that means attaching shingle clips every 5-10 bulbs only a small part will go under the shingle before the J channel hits and won't go under the shingle............I'd rather spend the time sliding every bulb with clips and not take the chance of the J channel blowing off or ripping the edge of the shingles and look at that the rest of the year. J channel would be great under the eaves or windows but I think it would be a definate pain using it on the roof.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the way I did my house gutters, ridges, hips. I'm not good at working with wood so I used a roll of metal aluminum facia material, cut it to the lengths we needed and bent it in a U shape, the white side of the material went in the gutter and the brown side went on the roof. The top of my U channel I used LEXAN Plastic bent it in a U shape for the cap drilled holes and installed the lights and screwed the Plastic cap to the aluminum bottom U. I just zip tied the finished channels to the gutter as for the roof ridges, I cut 1 1/2 pieces of aluminum straps then screwed three to the bottom piece of aluminum, when on the roof bent the 1 1/2 straps under each side of the roof ridge cap. The facia material is extremely easy to work with, it's also very flexable. We had 40-45 MPH gusts of wind and no problems with them blowing off . With this of channel their is almost no weight to it (A 11' piece weighed 4.5lbs with the lights installed) and the LED lights put off no heat so having them up 2" off the roof helped keep them visible when snow was on the roof. It's lot of work bending and drilling holes the get it ready but the time savings on the install was worth it , we have approx 1000 C9 lights and the previous year it took 2 days using clips to install the lights last year only 3 Hrs and we were done with the roof and gutter. Enclosed are some pics.

How much did this all cost? It looks like you may have a few buck sunk into the set up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was originally planning on doing that last year. Then I did the math. At $10 a piece, I could not afford to outline my house and roof. That's why I was looking for other less expensive options. It is too bad, because I really liked the J channel idea.

Ouch, that is a little pricey. I still may try it though. I use the built in C9 clip on the gutters and that moves pretty fast as I hang icicle lights at the same time anyway. This will be my first year for C9s on the hips and ridges, and for what looks like a total cost of $100 I think it is still worth it in my case. I like the idea of spending as little time as possible on a 2nd story roof in November....and again in the winter (if the snow melts) to take them down. I'll have to do a test strip this summer and see how sturdy and effective it is. It would be hard to get the lights lined up strait with PVC pipe, and I think wood would be heavier and need more support to keep it lined up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see how all that stress on a lot fewer shingle clips (one every few feet since everyone's bulb spacing is different) might lead to a problem, but my plan was to have the shingle clips situated between the wire into the bulb and the bottom of the J-channel. The only way bulbs could come out of the clip is if the mouth of the clip opened up

For the shingles, fewer clips may actually be better. Jamming all of those clips under the shingles can do its own damage. One piece put together just to test out the idea would be the way to go about it.

The main goal for me is to make installation fast as possible . No one likes being up on their roof longer than they have to. Any other ideas not mentioned yet? In my case it's 100% incandescent, so snow isn't a major concern.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How much did this all cost? It looks like you may have a few buck sunk into the set up.

I have a couple hundred in material ..........BUT 2 day roof setup compared to 3 hrs it was worth it.
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Hey all, I have been away too darn long but thank you all for the wonderful ideas. Not sure any of them will work quite yet but I need to bear down and get to work....like yesterday! If any of you think of anything else please share them!

Thanks again.

Corey

Link to post
Share on other sites

My roof was ultimately boring, but I saw a video of Bill Vaughn's jumping lights in Alexandria, VA and also Tim Herberger's lights and it is the coolest effect you can have for your eves.

You string up s single strand of lights, then a few inches underneath do a string of icicle lights of the same color. Then you alternate turning them on and off with the beat and from a distance it makes it look like your house is jumping up and down.

I just posted a video where I did my best to repro. It does not do the originals justice, but looks pretty good.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

OK so I tried something out today. I used a 10' length of 1/2" white PVC and attached 3 of my 4 c6 LED strands with wire ties and zip ties. I then placed it on top of my rain gutter and was able to secure it by using wire ties to the nails that anchor the gutters to my roof. It seemed to work pretty well and I think if I anchor 3 spots along each 10' section it will hold securely. My C6 strands are 19.5' lighted length so I was thinking about using another section to finish off the lights so the length will be 19.5' but I will use a zip tie to join them so that I can fold it in half for storage later on. Do you guys think this will work? Now, what I would like even better is something of the same material so it is light yet strong, but flat instead of round. The install of the lights would sure be easier on a flat piece instead of the round pipe. Also, I think a flat piece will sit better on my hips and gables. I have nosed around home depot and they have nothing of the sort. I just like PVC better than wood for the weather here in Utah. I am paying $1.48 for a 10' section of PVC and would like to keep the cost as low as possible.

Thanks in advance.

Corey

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

A few years ago I was looking at ideas to speed up setup as well. I built frames for my windows and straight sections for the gutters out of 1/2 metal conduit. It is cheap like the plastic stuff but it is stiffer. For the gutters I welded 2 pieces together and custom made it for the width of my house. I have my left and right side broken up so there is two sections for the left and two for the right. Then I welded a little "L" tab to the conduit and it just hangs on the gutter. It typically takes me less then 5 minutes to put up my gutter lights. I attached the lights with 4" zip ties that cost about $8 for 1000. For the windows I made similar frames that I leave pre-wired. Off season I hang them on hooks on the back side of the house under the eave. It actually takes me longer to wash them ever fall then to put them up. By myself I am done in about 1 hour.

Edited by fordsbyjay
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I took the easy route - a few years ago, I paid a guy $20 to crawl up on the roof and screw metal hooks in every 5-6 feet. Now with minimum effort I use a long paintier's pole with a homemade hook on the end to hang lights. I still have a couple areas that are hard to reach, but it has cut my set-up time from several days to 1 afternoon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...