July 15, 2008

Thank You, a Lot (and things I learned)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 Posted by Ryan , , , 2 comments
Thank you so much to everyone that helped with the roofing project this last week. My parents, Ken, Jenny, Peter, Tim, Steve, Larry, Kent, Ron, Katie, Chris for lending the roofing nail gun, the guy who delivered the shingles, and lastly my neighbor Ed. I need to make sure I send out personal thank you cards soon to everyone. I'm finally back to the real world this week, but there's still a little bit left to be done on the roof. Once the Hips and Ridge are done and the soffit vents installed, and then final inspection, we'll have a brand new roof.

It took longer than I thought, just like my dad said it would. He has worked tirelessly for the last 11 days and is finally taking the day off (but this afternoon will help me with getting the hips covered). We started ripping off the roof on the 4th (of July) and worked every day for 10+ hours for the next 10 days. Yesterday I came back to work but my dad and Ken spent one more day getting the majority of the remaining shingles up and the new vents for bathroom and kitchen fans.

Things I learned in the last week:

1. Looking back, I don't think we should have done it ourselves. Yes, a roof is expensive but it is also hard dirty work and no matter how much you try to learn about roofing before you start, the people who do it every day know those little tricks, and they're a lot faster.

2. My roof is complicated. I just didn't know how much more work that was going to take. A lot of houses have complicated roofs but if you're thinking of replacing your own roof you better hope you live in a rancher or any house with a simple gable roof.

3. I need a tool belt. Once you're up on a roof, it gets kind of hard to hold on to all the tools you might need up there and a pocket full of nails. The last few days I wore a pair of old cargo pants and stuffed the pockets with staples, nails, my chalk line and tried to carry a hammer but that didn't work too well. And later, a tool belt could come in handy for other household jobs like when I climb in the attic to install the bathroom fan.

4. There are people out there willing to help without expecting anything in return. My family was the biggest help during this project and obviously I couldn't have done it without their help. But it was people like my neighbor who loaned us ladders and tools and the last weekend helped unload the shingles and put them up. The guy who delivered the shingles who came before we had any felt on the top of the roof, so he helped roll out the top two rows, move the roof jacks and helped unload the 22 squares of shingles on the roof. He could have just said, "tough luck" and unloaded the shingles on their pallets in the front yard, but he didn't.

My mom took a lot of pictures this week and once I get some loaded online, I'll go into more exciting roofing detail. Right now I'm just happy we're done (almost).

July 3, 2008

It Goes (Comes?) Down Tomorrow

Thursday, July 03, 2008 Posted by Ryan , , , , No comments
So tomorrow we start ripping off the old roof. With a 30% chance of thunderstorms. At least the temperature should cool down to 85 instead of the 90+ hotness it's been all this week. This is when you start wondering, "why don't I have an air conditioner." Then you remember that there will only be two weeks this whole summer with these temps and I think air conditioners are really more trouble than their worth. Especially since I'd have to build a custom window, take off the aluminum storm/screen, and some how locate an electrical outlet within six feet. Since I don't think any of that is going to happen I sweat it out, and ponder sleeping outside someday. So the roof. It's scary, big, and I definitely hope it isn't more than we can handle. By we I'm referencing the fact that this entire project will be completed primarily by myself and my parents with some ground support by other family.

I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize. The pretty, leak-free roof at the end of this task. The roof that will take the house one step closer to charming cottage and one step farther from run-down fixer-upper. I'm not sure if I'll necessarily feel a greater sense of accomplishment as apposed to paying someone to do it, but the $5000 we'll save will go a long way toward getting some other things done. What should be next? The clothes washer plumbing (and a washer/dryer), or the cabinets for the kitchen, or the electrical, or the back yard fence.

Speaking of the back yard, the tree that I labeled as an apple tree in my drawing is actually a cherry tree. Bing maybe, but since the crows have eaten all the fruit off the tree I can't be sure.

I also recently identified one of the fruit trees on the other side of the property line as a pear tree. The tree is in sad shape, having been improperly pruned for many years, but I saw two tiny green pears on the leafy branches. I hope they last long enough to come to maturity before the birds get them.