Monday, September 5, 2011

Up On the Roof

After seven years, as many roofers and as many ‘repairs’, the mystery of my leaking roof and subsequent collapsing ceilings has finally been solved.  (An addendum to those who are not familiar with the story: my 'new' roof started leaking within six months of installation.  By that time the roofer had closed up shop AND declared bankruptcy.  No recourse there.  :( ) 

This last roof repair person was just the nicest man, sympathetic and on the ball and thorough. As I said, he took it all in and quickly: peeling plaster, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, me with an IV in my arm. This was, finally, one smart guy. He saw from the get go this was ugly and he knew it was going to get uglier.

The pictures he took told the story. Under the lovely textured Timberline shingles that I paid extra for all those years ago when I was healthy and working and had nowhere to go but up, were thousands of nails. As it should be. Something has to hold those lovely shingles in place. The problem is apparently the person who installed the roof on the entire front of the house and back of the sunroom had his nail gun on the wrong setting. Not only did that person nail down the shingle, but in each and every case, because his gun was set too high, he blew a partial little hole in the shingle as well. That is right. What I have on the front of my house is not so much a roof as swiss cheese. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of teeny tiny holes, just like a colander. A colander that has let every drop of rain in for the last seven years. And caused three collapsed ceilings.

But smart and sympathetic doesn’t mean free, does it? I got the estimate in the mail yesterday. Three thousand two hundred dollars. Not counting wood. The entire thing needs to be redone, as there is no practicality in caulking thousands of teeny tiny holes. That would be, actually, impossible.

Even though I knew it was going to be bad, this was still a shock. And moot, as I do not have $3200. Or anything close to it.

So here I am:
• I cannot maintain or afford my home any more.
• I must sell it.
• I cannot sell it with a leaky roof and falling down ceilings.
• I do not have the money to repair the roof.

I have had my back against the wall before and I have either figured out a solution or one has presented itself. I have learned that while things may not work out the way you want, they always do have a way of working out. So now I just have to come up with…something.

In the meantime…

When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Quilting 

In my steroid mania and roof distress, I got it into my head that it was past time I learned how to do a log cabin square.  That is the pattern that has log-like strips surrounding a tiny red square, which represents the hearth and fire at the center of a home.  I had always been a little intimidated by the idea of all the pieces and it seemed too complicated, but complicated and distracting fit the bill this week, so I dove in.

Baby steps:

This is the first one I did and I found it wasn’t that hard. I don’t know what I will do with this piece. Maybe make a little pillow?

Then it became an obsession.

I made this wall hanging as a thank you for Christine putting me up during the storm:

I made this bag with hand dyed leftovers from the quilt I made for my new coming grandbaby:

I decided to make a throw for my own bed, doing a quilt-as-you-go method, quilting each square and then sewing them together. I’ll end up with a pre-quilted top and will just have to add a backing and bind it. I already have a whole row done. It seems too easy, I feel as though there is going to be a pitfall somewhere.

I think I have the log cabin thing down.

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Webster said...

Hi Marie,
Are the people who put the roof on still in business? Have you talked with them? Is there any implied warranty on roofs? Does your local TV station have an ombudsman? Are you going to report this to the Better Business Association? Enquiring minds want to know. Because that's some really bad news. So sorry.

Nice job with your log cabin quilt pattern!

Marie said...

Webster, all good, great, ideas but fruitless as the guy went out of business by the time the roof started leaking. He had come recommended too, so he wasn't fly by night. Well, until it came to me.

I added a note to clarify that.

Glad you like the log cabin thingies. I wonder if it is a kind of longing for good, old-fashioned stability type thing that attracted me to the pattern this week of all times? said...

Ah, Marie... I know of which you speak. I, too, have the leaky roof with no money for a new one. If only those log cabin patches would work on a roof... beauty and practicality all rolled into one. Hugs!

Have Myelin? said...

Oh Marie, I don't have a leaky roof, I barely keep the rent paid for the one I have over my head LOL but I can sure see how your leaky roof problem developed. I wish I could help. =(

Your log cabin patches are beautiful.

Marie said...

Boom Boom - OH NO!! Not you too?!?! I am so sorry. It is a nightmare.

S. - so good to see you! I am so, so glad you don't have a leaky roof too. It is a help just to have moral support. :) I'm glad you like the patches!

Cedrick Finly said...

Maybe you should reassess your housing situation. It seems like a wooden shingle roofing is not really for your house. There are other options, like galvanized steel. That would last for years if properly maintained.

Rhett Wilborn said...

I really hate seeing folks in distress like this. I really hope something good comes your way. Not sure if you are a church goer, but sometimes churches have programs to help, and even if they don't, maybe there is a good handyman there who could help you out for less. IDK..hang in there!

Marie said...

Gosh, I missed the comment on changing roofing material.

Rhett - thanks so much for your kind words! I have been so blessed with encouragement from my readers.

I am still active with my church even though I don't get there much any more. Fortunately, they come to me, bringing Communion, moral support and giving me rides when I need to get to appointments. They are the best!

I do have offers to help and right now I/we are weighing what will be best.

Thank you for your comment, I truly appreciate your good thoughts. :)

Noreen Weigle said...

Hi Marie! So sorry to hear about your roof troubles! Glad to hear you got it fixed, but the cost of fixing it was quite the blind-side! I agree with Cedrick’s suggestion. Other roofing materials will last longer and will need less maintenance. Asphalt roofing shingles are the most affordable roofing materials, although if you want longevity, you might consider slate roofing as well. Hope this helps somehow!

Allyson Ripple said...

Hello, Marie! First of all, I’m so sorry to hear how bad your roofing problems have been. May I offer up a few suggestions myself? The change of roofing material is one I definitely agree with. Slate is definitely affordable and long-lasting, and would probably be your best bet. It’s also more eco-friendly than asphalt, and a lot of people are switching away from asphalt for this reason. Another option you might want to explore is metal roofing. Although it costs a little more than slate shingle roofing does, it’s lightweight and durable. You can do them in sheets, which minimizes the need for a lot of nails, which minimizes the risk of having a Swiss cheese roof again.

Rodney Orton said...

I agree with Allyson. Slate and metal are the most durable and long-lasting roofing materials currently available on the market. Slate is a little more affordable than metal, but metal lasts longer (up to 150 years). Metal is also easier to color if you wish to change that as well. Slate does come in shingles (as opposed to metal sheets) although it would require a lot less nails, haha!

Unknown said...

I’m happy that you finally found the perfect roof contractor that would know how to fix your roof’s problems. :) Things may not work out right now, but give it time. At least, you already have the solutions at hand for your roof.

Nelson Kamaka

Rolf Matchen said...

That’s right, Rodney! In fact, the Underwriters Laboratory classified metal roofs according to their impact resistance as Class IV. It is the highest ranking a roofing material can acquire. Anyway, how’s everything going now? =)

Ronald Miller said...

Substantial roof repairs are considered a big investment. Those Timberline shingles are known to have the highest safety ratings against fire and harsh weather, not to mention, they’re long lasting. If that roofer installed it correctly, you never would have had to worry about it, Marie. Tsk!

Richard Boles said...

Yeah, that’s certainly a big roofing dilemma. But how are things now? It’s been a year since then. Anyway, this should serve as a lesson that before you close a deal, you should make a background check about the company or a contractor first. Also, don't go overboard in being adventurous and in finding a new company to do your roof, your house's renovation, or whatnot. Most probably, reputable roofing companies will do the best job for you, so stick to them.