Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Roof Update

After finishing my last post, I called three roofers and left messages. P, who owns a small roofing company in my neighborhood, called me back within half an hour, was at my house about 10 minutes after we spoke, and had the leaky spot (as well as a couple other spots that looked sketchy) patched up about 15 minutes after that. Today it rained, and the patch seems to be holding.

One interesting thing that P said was that the leaky spot looked like a recent and deliberately made hole. I say that this is interesting because a kind of bizarre handyman who's doing work for some of my neighbors offered to clean my gutters the week before the leak made itself known. He seemed a little off to me, but he was working for two of my neighbors and his fee seemed pretty cheap, so I told him to go ahead with the gutters and also asked him to assess the overall condition of the roof while he was up there. He said that I needed $7,000 worth of roof work, which he said that he would be happy to do for $3500. He said that I needed the work to be done immediately or "water was gonna come bustin' through." He tried to pressure me into hiring him on the spot by lowering his price to $2500 and repeating his dire prediction, but I said no, that I needed to get some other opinions and estimates before I shelled out that kind of dough. He said that roofers were not trustworthy and did not know what they were doing and then lowered his price to $2000. Needless to say, my initial instinct about this guy kept getting stronger, and I was beginning to regret even the gutter transaction.

Well, the next time it rained, the water indeed came "bustin' through" what P said was a small hole that appeared to be deliberately made with something about the size of the blunt end of a nail. Hmmmm. J and I, who both are conspiracy theorists at heart, had been wondering to ourselves, as we rigged our bucket solution, if the bizarre gutter cleaner perhaps had taken steps to ensure that water did in fact bust through. P's statement makes us think that maybe our conspiracy theory was not so far off base after all. One day, maybe, I will learn to trust my gut and not hire people who seem shady, even if they do offer to clean the gutters for cheap.

P did agree with the shady guy that I need quite a bit of routine maintenance on my old flat tin roof (scraping and painting, plus one gutter needs to be either repaired or replaced), but I will have to wait for a 2- or 3-day stretch of weather that is both dry and above 40 degrees F for that. That probably won't be until spring, which is fine because it gives me some time to get a couple more estimates (although I really liked the guy who came out last week). P guarantees his patches in the mean time. I should mention that P's estimate for the maintenance work just arrived, and it is less than the shady guy's lowest bid.

OK, enough talk about leaking roofs and conspiracy theories. Next up: pictures of the house, which we finally decorated for Christmas this weekend.


Barbara said...

Does P work in Virginia? We actually need someone to solve a plumbing issue that is responsible for a recurring leak in our family room. Maybe P knows someone? An honest handyman is hard to find these days and well worth hanging onto if you do!

Glad you made it through this crisis. The sound of unwanted water is enough to make me cringe!

Merle Sneed said...

It sounds as if you got an honest man in the end. Good for you!

Val said...

I think you could be right on the conspiracy theory!! how annoying.. but thank goodness you found P

Reya Mellicker said...

I saw your tree through your window yesterday. It looks so festive!

Stay dry!