Hope for perfection, but prepare for a disaster. That’s the best advice I can give you when you are getting ready for a major renovation. Let’s take a look at how my week has gone as a prime example. Bearing in mind that I am part of a remodeling family, some of these things are not going to happen to you, but you never know…
We have been planning to replace our roof for a while, but we hadn’t actually scheduled it yet. Some of our renovations get put on hold because we are at the mercy of crew schedules (we go to the bottom of the list so that we don’t hold up projects for “real” customers), so we didn’t know exactly when our new roof might be installed. Out of the blue, I got a call at 7:00 a.m. that the crew would be at my house within the hour (don’t worry, this won’t happen to you – your project would actually be scheduled with you in advance). I’m not exactly what you would call a morning person, so it wasn’t quite the news I was ready to hear. But, you gotta go with the flow, so I grabbed my coffee cup and tried to prepare for the onslaught.
Second surprise – the guys knew they were going to be replacing some of the plywood, but, when they started tearing off shingles, they discovered that substandard plywood had been used on the original roof, causing them to have to remove and replace ALL of the wood. That’s something that you don’t want to hear, believe me. Aside from the added cost, there is the additional time, mess, and noise involved, and a roof job is noisy enough to begin with. But, we survived that and moved on.
Now, when they were working on one specific section of the roof near the chimney, they discovered that there was some severe water damage to a ceiling joist. We already knew there had been some water infiltration around the chimney, but we didn’t have a clue just how bad it was. It’s actually a lucky thing they had to replace the wood and found this problem, or our dining room ceiling and wall very well eventually could have collapsed. So, good fortune, but also additional cost, mess, and noise, again. Argh!
As I write this, the guys are just about finished with the final touches to the roof, soffit, fascia, and gutters (when you plan to have someone on your roof, you might as well do the whole mess at once). On the upside, we now have a brand new roof from the wood up, and our house is more structurally sound that it was when we bought the place (surprise, the inspector didn’t identify any of this damage when he did our pre-purchase check, which means he did a very shoddy job, in my opinion). And, I’m about to have my house back, and the dog will have control of his backyard kingdom again – poor puppy has been trapped in the house or attached to a leash for the past few days, so he’ll have to patrol the whole area when the guys are finally gone.
Oh, another plus – the neighbor asked the roofers for an estimate on his roof while they were here, so they’ll probably be back in neighborhood again soon. Come to think of it, is that a plus for me? I’m going to have to survive their roof project now! But, it does bring out a good point. If someone in your neighborhood is getting work done on their home and you like the results, don’t be afraid to ask the contractor to have a look at yours before they leave. They like to know there’s more work on the horizon, not to mention knowing that their good work is appreciated. And, if you are having work done on your home, don’t be offended if your neighbors ask for a referral on theirs. It means you made a good choice in contractors, and that’s the most important thing!
Word of mouth is as vital as advertising in the remodeling industry, so, if you have something good to say about a contractor, spread the word! And make sure you let the sales person or manager of the company know that you had a good experience with their crew. They need that feedback, too.
Keep on remodeling!
Rae the Renovator