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The contractor is stating the entire roof will require sheathing when the 26 GA corrogated roof panels are replaced. The existing corrogated panels are currently attached to the following roof structure: Wood roof trusses spaced 24" o.c. with 2X4 purlins spaced 24" o.c. (the panels are then secured to the purlins at 48" o.c.). The roof is nearly 50 SQ and the sheathing is quite costly due to the total area of the roof and the current price of lumber. The structure is in Georgia. Any insight you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated.
Determination of decking or not will be determined by the following three things: 1) Building codes; 2) Roofing manufacturer specifications, testing, and approval; and 3) Contractor preference. I really do not know which of these figures into this situation. Your contractor should be able to tell you. I personally never recommend residential applications without decking. The lack of decking creates a greater risk of condensation. It sounds like you have been okay without decking but something so simple as new siding or windows or doors down the road could make the home tighter and cause the lack of decking to result in condensation in the attic.
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