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Da Roof, Da Roof

April 06, 2009 | Category: This Old House

Hurricane Ike sucked eggs for most folks in its path, including us. It ripped off pieces of our roof like it was playing "52 pick-up" with the tiles.

As the storm raged, CD did his best to tarp off the holes but the winds were evil and against us. It rained in our dining room, destroying a wall and a bookcase. By the time the sun came back, there was mold, dust, and grime everywhere.

Allstate's disaster team showed up, looked at our old house, and wrote us a $962 check. You ever try to fix a roof with $962? Can't be done. Not without a superhero cape, industrial strength duct tape, and the ability to fly.

"It's not intended to fix your roof," said Allstate. "Your roof was old. Old roofs are excluded."

"Our roof was on top of our house," I reminded them. "And kept out the elements. Now the elements are coming and going and asking for their eggs sunny-side up."

Allstate shrugged, and left.

Allstate? Sucks.

We hired a handyman to do what he could, which wasn't much. The past 18 months have been insane. CD finally folded a kiddie paddling pool like a taco in order to get it up into the attic and placed it strategically under the patch. Then he tossed a beach ball in it.

When it's rained, he's stuck his head up into the attic. If he could see the beach ball bobbing, then it's been time to get the contraption. A strange beast CD has created from a wet/dry vac and a garden house.

No, I'm not making this up.

Bear and I have become great contraption-wranglers. This had become and official event in our home. Grabbing the vac, the big step ladder, unraveling the hose into the toilet... oh yeah, good times. Good times.

Despite our joy with the situation, we went to Home Depot last spring and got a line of credit for a new roof. All we needed to do was choose the one we wanted, and the joys of a an actual cover on the top of our house would be all ours...

Then the bad thing happened.

No, really.

We dithered.

We thought we had all summer to decide - and it seemed like a big decision. We have long thought we would someday dormer up. So buy the best quality tiles to maybe turn around and pull them off someday? But they seemed so much BETTER than the cheapest option. Oh, we went back and forth.

Here's my advice: Be ye not so stupid. Dithering is for fools! Would a PIRATE have dithered? I think not.

Because we all know what happened while we were ruminating, don't we? Banks tumbled. The housing market crashed. Then the credit crunch started.

We got a letter from Home Depot - "Dear Dithering Homeowners; you snooze, you lose. We're taking back our credit line. So there." It was signed by Dasterdly and Muttley, esq et al.

Could we have re-applied? Sure. But the new terms were North of crazy.

Home Depot? Sucks.

It was a long, wet Autumn. It's been a wet, long Winter. The moment Spring showed its face, CD headed up the extension ladder with a "Roofing for Dummies" book, tiles, roof paper, and determination.

For the past 6 weeks, this is what he has been dealing with. Dead tiles have rained down on the driveway. He's emerged each Saturday with grit on his skin and a sore back.

But for Easter? For Easter - he says we have a patched roof. He's down to the last bit. And even as it rained the other night, the inside of our house stayed dry!

Da roof, da roof ... it's a wondrous thing.

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Tagged: home, repair, DIY, recession, impact, credit, roof, Corporate, Mommy, Life
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Ugh, you have my sympathies (and CD my admiration). We are gathering bids to replace our ancient (as in: slate installed in the late 1880s) roof, and it hurts. There are other things I want to do with that money (like, save it for the college tuition we're going to have to pay in just a few short years).

Posted by: Ruth on April 11, 2009 05:42 AM

That totally sucks! I'm glad to hear things are looking up though. Hey, Hurricane Ike has been a PITA even up here for me in OK. I'm beginning to think I need to move out of the energy industry!

Posted by: Christina on April 10, 2009 12:19 PM