Friday, June 12, 2009

My roof depresses me

I was bottom-feeding when shopping for a house.
I put my minimum criteria into's search function (10 acres), and then started with the cheapest house and worked my way up.

I saw this house when I was driving across the country to New York last September. It's partners in the same price bracket were trailers or cabins, so I was pretty sure it was a fixer-upper. That's fine with me - I'm comfortable around tools and have successful experience with fixer-uppers. The seller's disclosure said the roof is over 150 years old, but the house inspector didn't seem to have a problem with that (for other reasons, I now have a problem with that inspector, but that's a different story). There were stains on the ceiling of one of the 2nd floor bedrooms, but that didn't convince me the roof is leaking until recently.

A few weeks ago I started to get quotes on first, repairing the roof if possible, or second, replacing it. The challenge here is that the companies that advertise prefer to get their money on replacements not repairs, so they may say a roof can't be saved in order to get the replacement business. I don't know who to trust. One company has told me the roof can't be repaired and given me quotes of $7,500 to replace with shingle and over $16,000 to replace with metal. Another company sent their estimator out, he got halfway to my place and decided it was too far and then didn't bother to call me to say he didn't want to quote.

I was complaining about this to a coworker who has an alpaca farm and she gave me the name of someone she's used in the past and trusts completely. She says, "if he says the roof can't be repaired, then I'll believe it." I talked to this guy, he may come over in the next few days - hopefully I'll get a better feel for what course of action to take.

The prices are higher than I was expecting. The last time I had a roof replaced was about 15 years ago and half the price, in Cleveland. I guess that's inflation for you. I'm having a hard time thinking about shingles on this roof. It doesn't feel like the right thing to do to this house. This quote was for 30-year shingles. I'm not interested in having to replace the roof again when I'm in my 70's. That doesn't feel right either. The whole thing is just depressing right now.


  1. I'm so glad to see you're blogging. Not only is it an outlet (as you said), but in the future it will be sorta like looking back in a photo album. Without pictures and the written words to refer back to, we forget so much of our lives that is intrinsic.

    I never give myself enough credit for what I do or accomplish or think(!) so having my blog entries right there in concrete, so to speak, enables me to see (and appreciate) all of that. Also, time is going by way, way too fast these days and blogging makes me slow down and savor daily happenings to a greater extent. Otherwise, so much of life seems to go floating off into oblivion.

    Blog on, Girl! You're an inspiration and joy to read.

  2. The guy who inspected my (105 year old) house was a putz. Failed to mentioned that the roof was shingle over wood shake, and consequently my insurance company wouldn't insure it. Found this out at the closing. So frantic calls were made and I got on with the seller's insurance. That's why, when it was hailing the other day, I was hoping for golfballs...

  3. Thanks Mama Pea. I've been reading your blog for about a year, but silently until recently. You were the inspiration for me to try and start seedlings indoors! I can't complain about how cold it is when I see how much you've got!

    And Linda - I'm SO not surprised about the inspector. I think this one had some kind of hidden agreement with the RE agent so the sale would go through. I had trouble getting insurance because of this roof too, went to 5 companies before I found one that would cover it. So golfball-sized hail would mean you can get a new roof?

  4. If the roof is damaged enough from the hail, then insurance should cover its replacement. My friend Janet had the experience a couple of years ago. John suggested I get the insurance company out there anyway, as who am I to tell whether there's been damage? I will do that when I get home from this conference.

    I'll pray for hail to come your way. Get the dogs inside. :-)