Monday, May 23, 2011


Things are looking up, as I look UP at progress. Friday was a busy day around my home. A crew of three workers showed up at 8:45am and worked for almost 12 hours to install a well-needed roof on my house. Wear and tear and years of storms took a toll on my roof and it began leaking in the front, down through where my aluminum awning is attached to the facia board under the gutter.

I called the awning installer, because it was my first thought that it might need some silicone to seal some cracks/leaks. Mother had the awning installed a couple years after she bought the house, and she still had the receipt in the "house" file. She never threw anything like that away. She was not a hoarder, but when it came to receipts, instruction manuals for anything and everything around the house, or repairs or additions, she kept every receipt.

The owner of the company and his helper came out to inspect it right away. When the helper got up on the roof to check out the top of the awning, he saw the two bad spots where the wood was rotted and soft and causing the water to run down onto the awning and come through the slats. He said I needed a new roof. What bad news! I can't afford a new roof.

Forty years ago, my mother bought this house and moved back home to Fayette County from Cleveland where my father's business had been. Forty years ago, the manufacturing process for roofing shingles was about a twenty-year life span. Twenty years after the initial purchase of this house, (when it was only two years old) a second layer of roofing shingles was applied to the roof. Now I needed a two-layer tear-off, new shingles and some new plywood in spots. Woe is me!

My father passed along to me some good business sense many years ago. I called three different companies, after checking reputations and better business bureau references, for free estimates. One independent local guy was way too high, even when offered a second repair project here as incentive for a low bid. A Wilmington company was lower and sounded good, but I awaited the third option. A Columbus company sent their salesman here and we had a long talk. The company advertises on television and I just love the dogs in their ad.

After two attempts, he finally undercut the Wilmington bid by more than $200, guaranteed one-day service, and 40-year dimensional shingles. Forty years? That's the age of the house, and I know I won't be around that long to see if they last the full forty! The salesman said the manufacturing process has gotten much better over the years, and they manufacture their own shingles in their plant in Columbus. Great - local Ohio business (buy American)!

He measured 20 square and a simple one-peak roof, no additional vents needed. I accepted his bid and waited to be scheduled. Of course, two solid weeks of rain made that almost impossible. Finally, last Friday would be a warm sunny day according to both weather shows I kept watching. I called and said, "Schedule me Friday for sure!" After out-waiting the rain, I would get the leaks stopped.

The three guys worked until noon when the foreman realized his paperwork was wrong and he had only brought enough shingles for 14 square. Typo at the office! The foreman had to leave, drive back to Columbus to the shop and get more materials. The other two guys stayed and kept working as much as they could. I called the office to let them know about the mixup, because I did not want to be penalized for something I didn't do. When I got my call back from the office, it had been investigated and, indeed, it was their fault and they would make things right.

When the foreman returned, work sped up. The gal at the company said the crew would return on Saturday morning to complete the job, if it was not finished on time. After all, they guaranteed a one-day job, but no one counted on the three-hour drive delay and additional materials needed.

From inside the house, it sounded like a thousand feet up there stomping around. They worked fast and furious to finish before dark. I was less than confident until I went outside to look UP about an hour before dark. They were almost finished and I was shocked. One of the workers started the cleanup, because they guaranteed a complete cleanup of the yard for all debris. By the time it was dark, they were finished, the yard was clean, their vehicles were on the street, and the driveway was broomed clean.

I thanked them and was able to give a sigh of relief. No getting up early Saturday morning - I can sleep in! I now have a new roof and a monthly bill to go with it. During the next rain, predicted for Sunday, hopefully I can prove that the new roof worked and no more leaks on the porch.


Louisa Sheedy said...

Over time, you'll be able to learn some tips from people on how to deal with that. Also, though the image is blurry, the improvement is totally worth the wait!

Missie Rice said...

It took only 12 hours to install your new roof? Wow! That was fast indeed, considering that your house looks huge. Anyway, what type of roof did you install? If you want to make it last for years, don't forget to give it regular maintenance - that's the easiest way to take care of your roof, and cheaper at that! With regular maintenance, you wouldn't have to worry about your roof getting easily damaged and needing repairs every so often.

-Missie Rice @ DeshazoRoofing