Friday, August 16, 2013

This is a Story All About How Our Roof Got Flipped-Turned Upside Down

When we put our 'bid' into the sellers of the house for some work to be done, we pretty much gave two options. They could either fix a clogged toilet, some broken windows, and a couple of plumbing issues, or they could replace the roof. To our surprise, the sellers were super awesome and decided to replace the roof for us. Huzzah!

We had gotten a quote that seemed like a pretty good deal and went ahead and used a national box store to do the install. It was only later when we were told that the price of the quote was actually $2,600 higher than originally stated, due to our oddly shallow addition roof. An even later phone call revealed that some people are just not great at math, and our rep had just tagged the extra money for the cost of the specialized materials onto the overall cost rather than taking the cost of the addition materials off and adding the correct ones on.

Eventually, we got everything straightened out. The date was set for August 5. Everything looked good.

Then, on August 2nd, a giant truck rolls up to our house (which was currently housing a couple worse-for-wear bachelorette partiers) and delivers the materials for the roof. Scott and I had figured that the materials would just be brought with the installers on the agreed upon start date, but apparently not. Unfortunately, we were not told or warned about this delivery, so I drearily drug myself outside with as much of a smile as I could muster and greeted the Duck Dynasty shirt wearing delivery man the best I could.

The install itself was to start a couple of days later. The first portion went pretty smoothly. The installers were running late, but when they got here, they really got a lot done.

They had to tackle the house in two stages because the addition roof needed a little extra love, so the main part of the house was completely finished that night with a promise that they would return the next day (weather permitting) to finish the addition. That meant that they tore up and reshingled the entire older portion of the house in about 4 hours. Leela, of course, wasn't a fan of this part.

Yeah, she hides in the bathtub when she gets scared. We call it the "Puppy Bomb Shelter"
When they left, we were looking pretty good, though. We chose Owens Corning Oakridge Brownwood AR Laminate Shingles. We didn't want to go with black because the house is a tan, so the browns really play off the stone in the house already.

We also chose a dimensional shingle, which gives your roof a little more texture. The shingles don't lay completely flat, so it is a little more decorative than the alternative.

So much dimension!

So we were really pleased with the roof so far. We liked the look, but mostly, the peace of mind that came with the guarantee of no leaks for the next 25 years.

Living in Kentucky means that the weather changes at the drop of a derby hat. It can be a perfect 75 degrees and sunny, but then in 30 minutes time, turn into a massive storm with high winds and severe weather warnings. You learn to get used to it. Rain also means that the roofers can't do their job, though, so we knew that we would be gambling with the KY weather in order to get this project done. Unfortunately, it didn't cooperate.

Brown=Finished. Black=Not Started (Yet. Not referring to the Sam in the corner.)

Seven days after they had put the new roof on the main part of the house, the roofers returned on an overcast Monday to finish the addition. They arrived, started tearing up the old roof, then stopped, and covered it with tarps just in time for the rain to start. They were working for all of 3 hours. Why did they start on what was obviously a rain day? We will never know.

What we did find out (and was expected), was that the roof that had been on the addition was wrong. Really wrong. Scott said that he got to feel the material that had been taken off and it wasn't plywood, but some fuzzy, super absorbent material that was obviously incorrect. The roofers had to purchase new plywood to replace the entire addition roof in order to set things right, which of course added to the cost. The day had not gotten off to a great start.

What made it worse is that tarps do not protect against rain as well as the roof that they had just torn off did.  We had leaks. Three by 10pm, and they were all right over our TV and other electronics in the living room.

We grabbed bowls and towels, trying to catch as much of the dirty roof water as we could. The rest of the night was spent listening for more leaks and running to the store for plumbers putty and silicone (Which, as any good DIY-er knows, doesn't set in the wet, so we had to wait for a lull in the rain to even apply it).

Needless to say, we were not happy campers at this point. We didn't understand why they would tear up our roof when there was no need to if there was impending rain. We let them know that night, and they promised to be back the next day to fix it. No shows. The day after? I left the house around 2, tired of waiting for them to show up.

Around 7pm, Scott gets a phone call. They are at the house and working on the roof. At 7pm. We appreciated their dedication to finishing at any time, but at this point, just wanted the job done. We were tired of cringing at the forecast and checking our roof for more leaks. We just wanted our roof, finished, on our house.

The next day, 11 days after they began, the roof was finally completed.

And a little uglier than we thought it would be. At least it's done right!

This job, which was initially promised as being "two to three days at the most" somehow turned into televen days of frustration and an emotional roller coaster for both us and our terrified canine companions. I know that this seems over dramatic, and maybe it is, but you don't have to be a home owner to want to get a job done quickly and painlessly, whether it be a roof or just getting your laptop fixed.

Getting a contractor to do a job is supposed to get the job done quickly and correctly. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean it completely takes the worry out of the project, either. Sometimes things are just going to be complicated, no matter what you do to avoid it.


We have been able to work on our back yard! Here is a sneak peek at what we've accomplished so far!


  1. somehow, i hadnt seen the front of your house yet. very cute - especially with the new roof! the things you appreciate as a home owner...things you didnt even think twice about BEFORE you were a home owner. Great progress!

    1. I know, right? Having a "roof over your head" is something we truly appreciate more, now!

  2. You didn't mention the terrible fumes from the roof adhesive!
    Also, I can tell a difference in the old roof and new. The new one is much warmer looking and makes your house looks much cosier!

    1. Why thank you! I thought the same thing about your house when I saw your yellow door!!!