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Renting the BIG stuff

Tips & Tools

In case you’re wondering just how much it’d cost to rent a 40-foot boom lift, we just got some numbers:

First, if you’re in business like Teague, you must have at least a million dollars in coverage. You must also add the company that you rent from to your policy. If you’re a homeowner, I imagine you can buy insurance through the rental company (kinda like Home Depot does for power tools).

After that, it’s about $130 in delivery and pickup charges, and $700/month for the rental.

Teague wanted to rent a boom lift for our upcoming roofing project – we’ll be replacing the main roof after the hardwood floors are finished. We would use the lift to get materials, like giant sheets of plywood, up on our 40′ tall roof. But after crunching numbers, we’re looking into other options. My father in law, Don, suggested making a homemade tripod hoist.

Remember the infamous homemade scaffolding? My guess is, it’ll look something like that, and the neighbors will wonder how we’ve stayed alive this long using such devices. But, as with the scaffolding, it will work great!

Comments, Thoughts, and Feedback

Gary had this to say on 04.19.06:

You could do what I did when I did our roof. That was carry the 60 bundles of shingles to the third floor over the course of several days as I went up and down the stairs. Pass them through a window or break open the bundles and carry half bundles into the “attic” and up through the hatch door in the roof.

If you don’t have a hatch door, then make one or just cut a hole in the roof since you are going to fix it anyway. I suspect you could find a way to open the window to the cupola if it meant saving money!

Patrick had this to say on 04.19.06:

I’m a little confused (but that’s normal)….A couple of thoughts:

When we did our Italianate, one of the first things we did was construct scaffolding (combination of “home built” and purchased used) all the way around the building…We used this scaffolding to repair the roof, gutters, facia, trim etc. We also used it to scape and paint the entire house. We made “home built” wide planks and encircled the entire house. This scaffolding stayed up nearly three years while we took care of everything–and I mean everything. Our neigbors loved us. Putting up this scaffolding was one of the best things we did–it made everything so much easier–and the finished product was much better. It also gave us a safe/level platform to start the roof (resheathing etc.)..and more than one person could be working at a time. Loved the scaffolding (but glad that it is now down).

Second long winded thought: When we re-roofed we went to a real roofing supplier and all of our materials were roof top delivery…I not talking about Home Decrap but a real roofing place. It was actually cheaper than Home Decrap and saved us from hauling 100 lb shingles up by ladder…not to mention carrying a 4X8 plywood (that acts like a sail when in the wind. Get roof delivery. Your life will be easier.


Patricia W. had this to say on 04.19.06:

I’m faaaar from being an expert but at my house, the roofers (there were only two guys) used some sort of a winch thing that ran up and down on an extension ladder. The dad said it was the best thing ever invented for getting heavy stuff up to the rooftop. My roof isn’t 40′ but it would still probably work. Maybe Teague knows what this thing is?

Ray had this to say on 04.19.06:

After getting a similar quote for a lift we ebayed one. You might want to look at this as an option if you have several high projects (roof, siding, windows). We got the largest 30 ft scissor lift made for $5000 delivered (slightly used of course).

Anonymous had this to say on 04.19.06:


My idea is more along the medieval notion of the windlass hoist, used beside the wooden scaffolding to get heavy objects atop tall, stone towers. Someone would need to walk inside a large hamster-wheel to turn it, thus lifting the roofing materials up–thus, the person on the ground does all the work!!! (see Grundy’s Wonders). Or, we could use tackling gear with a windlass (see: Whichever, it would be fun, and your neighbors would all marvel.


Derek C had this to say on 04.19.06:

Before I make my suggestion, know that I love you’re site and the house. I don’t mean to be critical, but before you do the roof you should put a dollar amount on your time, safety and know how and really ask yourself, isn’t a roof worthy of a pro? Even if its double what you’d pay to do it yourself, it will be done right, and you won’t risk getting hurt. Believe me, I wouldn’t blink at tackling a ranch style roof, but your roof is a doosy. Good Luck and keep up the great work.

mindy had this to say on 04.20.06:

Thanks for the info, everyone – see my latest post for more details on this project!

Gary, we’ll probably use your technique for much of the hauling. The only caveat is that to get up onto the highest roof, right now we have to climb through the ceiling of a third floor bedroom closet (a small hatch). We’ll probably make ourselves a much bigger entrance when this project starts. We’ve also got two lower roofs (one on the back of the house and one on our front porch) that we can use as halfway points.

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