WEATHER VANE

Originally designed to signal the direction the wind is blowing, today a weather vane is more of a personal statement.

A weather vane is a distinctive ornament, crowning a rooftop, that sets a house apart and can tell passers-by your special interest or passion. Originally designed to signal the direction the wind is blowing, today a weather vane is more of a personal statement that perches high above a house and makes it special.

You'll find weather vanes sold in home and garden centers and home accessory catalogs; just type "weather vane" into a search engine box online, and you'll find several to choose from. Along with the roof ornament, you'll need to buy a mounting bracket that secures the vane in place. One type of bracket fits over the roof shingles, while another mounts on the sidewall at the peak of the roof. Some are designed to adjust and fit over a ridge vent. The mount is fastened to the building with lag bolts.

If you're not uncomfortable doing roof work (don't be ashamed to admit it), you can install it yourself. You'll need a ladder, an electric drill and a wrench. It's handy to have a helper on the ground to be a go-fer so you don't have to make multiple trips up and down the ladder. If high-rise work is not your style, ask the retailer if they can recommend an installer, or hire a carpenter to do the job.

A contractor will charge $506, including labor and material, to install a good quality weather vane approximately 25-by 21-inch in size. You can buy the vane and bracket for $375 and install it yourself and save 26 percent for your roof top work.

To find more DIY and contractor project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.

Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$506 -- $375 -- 1.8 -- 2.5 -- $131 -- 26 Percent