This oldie but goody goes out to valued commenter Dance Around in Your Bones, who reminded me of it the other day:
GoPro update: I may have DaisyCam footage this evening to share. But maybe not.
Random question: I need a new roof. I’ve arranged three estimates. Is that enough? I don’t know anyone who has had a roof put on who is happy with the price or the construction process. We’re preparing to be hosed.
Three estimates is plenty. See if you get recommendations (like other people you know who’ve had roofs put on recently). There are some hack contractors out there.
Roof it yourself, it’s easy.
My parents recently put in a new metal shingle look roof and while they are going to grumble about the price until they die, they are actually very happy with it. It hasn’t blown off in a stiff breeze like their last roof, hasn’t faded in the sun and the grandson who likes running about on the roof hasn’t managed to scratch it.
Sooooo very close to being moved out of the old place — now it’s just odds and ends, some kitchen stuff, and vacuuming the living room (and probably re-vacuuming the other rooms just to be on the safe side). I was able to get rid of a couple of albatrosses, including a full-size four-poster bed that I still love, but we just don’t have room for, so I’m actually feeling pretty good. Next up: second sort. I know that at least half of my current clothes are going to have to be given away because really have too damn many, and I can probably pare down my books a bit more.
@Spirula: Sorry Betty, misread your comment about other roofing customers. No one is ever really happy with quotes on roofing/building/auto repairs. It is always more than you hope it will be, and there are those ripoff artists out there.
@Mnemosyne: How do you pare down books? I ask because I am horrible at it. I end up re-reading, or reading them instead, then not wanting to give them up. It’s very time consuming.
I’ve always wondered if that was a real beehive of hair or just a tall hairy hat.
@Mnemosyne: The second sort is so interesting. As I unpack things, I find myself asking why I packed some things and realizing that I really don’t need them at all. I have a box designated for things to sell or give away and am rapidly filling it up as I unpack. It is a very cleansing and uplifting process. Sounds like your move is a successful one. Are you feeling at home yet in your new apartment?
It’s funny, the 52’s had already left when I got here 30 years ago but I know so many people that were part of the scene that I feel like I know them. Of course living in Normaltown and having gone to Allen’s a lot helps.
Gin & Tonic
We had our house re-roofed about 5 years ago, and while you always wish the price were lower, it went quickly and the work was done well. Up here in New England in recent years most roofing (asphalt shingles, invariably) is done inexpensively by Brazilians. I didn’t ask to see their green cards.
It usually ends up being books that I bought at a used bookstore because they sounded kind of interesting, but never got around to reading. I have to be very careful about giving away books that I’ve actually read, because it’s not unusual for me to suddenly get a yen to re-read something. I found that out the hard way when I gave away a paperback novel and then spent three years trying to find another copy when suddenly I wanted to read it again.
We’re starting to get there. The cats are more comfortable now, so that helps. Charlotte is still wondering where her window went and why she’s not seeing the same view she used to. We realize now that part of the problem with our old place was that we merged two apartments without really getting rid of things, so we were overstuffed from the beginning. We’re hoping to curate things better now that it’s “our” stuff and not “yours and mine” stuff.
@raven: Do you know REM too?
big ole hound
I guess you guys need a high wind type roof. Asphalt 30 year with seal down strips are pretty standard for this application. Make sure you insist on 6 nails per shingle (2 for each tab) not 4. It makes a big difference in holding ability. We swear by “Angie’s List” to find new contractors. If it covers your area it is well worth the sign up fee of $39.
Gin & Tonic
On a completely unrelated topic, those of you who followed events in Kiev in February in the days before Yanukovych abdicated may recall viral images/video of an unarmed protester who was publicly stripped naked by the Berkut (riot police) in the sub-zero cold, ridiculed and photographed by them before being marched, still naked, into a paddy wagon. Mykhailo Havryluk. He is now a member of Parliament, having been elected this Sunday.
You might want to ask if the roofing contractor has his/her own crew or if they hire by the day or by the job. It can make a difference in quality as those who work as part of a regular roofing crew tend to be more experienced.
@Betty Cracker: I know Mills and their manager. Michael likes to bring his family to my friends place down the block because it’s off the beaten path and people leave him alone. His house is just a few blocks away so, when he’s in town, we see him. We went to their guitar tech’s wedding in a little bowling alley and they played 7 songs with Berry so that was nice. I got video of it but, being all chilled as we are, I’ve never put it on youtube or nothing. Their manager is way into education policy and spend a lot of time and resources on that.
eta I’ve been to parties where the “leave Michael alone” stuff is uncomfortable. One time he just sat by himself so I finally went and shot the shit with him for a but. One of these days I want to talk to his old man, he was a chopper pilot back in the dark ages.
@big ole hound:
re. Roofs, we have a “vintage” terra-cotta tile roof done with tile a size and shape no longer made, and it was a multi-year chore to get that handled. First was months of poking around roofing “boneyards” looking for matching tile saved from demoltion, then lacking that, finding a roofer who would pull the existing tile and re-set it after replacing the felt and flashing. (Did a few sections myself, enough to know I wasn’t up to the complete job.) Concessions were made: one section is now set in new tile that doesn’t match the old but isn’t adjacent to any, so not obvious. Interesting thing about roofing material that lasts forever is that the stuff underneath does not;’ at some point that stuff is gonna come off.
Also, too, we don’t use hurricane clips here. In other words, I’m no help whatsoever.
TBogg, and I don’t say this lightly, has outdone himself. We are a doomed nation.
@raven: Shot the shit with him a BIT
I guess now’s as good a time as any for my annual election rant. (It’s the second year I’ve done it, so that makes it annual, right?)
JUST VOTING AND GIVING MONEY IS NOT ENOUGH. Volunteer to DO something. Seriously. Every election my wife and I precinct walk — knocking on doors and talking to people, leaving door hangers, whatever. It’s exhausting, sometimes humiliating (who wants to be That Annoying Guy at the door?), sometimes demeaning (it’s no fun to be yelled at and/or belittled), occasionally exhilarating (informing someone of something he didn’t know and getting a heartfelt promise to vote), and always, ultimately, rewarding. I hate the first half hour or so — I feel like an ineffective fool. But one good encounter sets me up, and puts me in a groove that lasts for hours and allows me to laugh/slough off the (rare) nasty comments that pepper the day. Always, always at the end of a day I know that my one vote has become at least four or five or six.
Can’t imagine yourself walking door to door? You can always phone bank, which is something I find impossible to do; for some reason, for me, getting hung up on or berated on the phone is more cutting than getting a door closed in my face. But maybe phoning works for you. Campaign headquarters also need people to collate data, put stickers on door hangers, run errands … any number of things.
But please, don’t just vote and donate — and post comments, fun and energizing and cathartic as that may be. A few hours’ time and your one vote can, like mine, become many. And OF COURSE it will make a difference; if your new-found five or six votes won’t matter, makes you think your (former) one vote will?
It’s not easy; every time, I have to force myself to get out there and do it. But every time, I’m glad I did. Just for example, in ’08 I drove to Nevada with four friends to canvass for Obama. He won the state, and five electoral votes. One of those is mine, I tell you, MINE.
Three should be more than enough. Don’t expect to get a deal, and don’t necessarily take the cheapest. Look at the details on how they propose doing the work, and when, as well. I used FL State Roofing last year (I’m in Sarasota…) and am relatively happy. Thanks to the warranty and regardless of whether I keep the house, I won’t have to mess with the roof again, ever.
Yeah, slinging 90# bundles of shingles on a 6/12 roof, piece of cake.
@Tenar Darell: My answer is to restrict the space you want to store the books in. I had two bookcases of computer books I had collected over the years. To force myself to get rid of some of them, I got rid of one of the book cases.
Another Holocene Human
raven’s Chris Matthews/Michael Steele nutpick from yesterday is on youtube:
Newsbusters and the usual conservative wannabe Buzzfeeds have run with it. Didn’t see the real racist rabble-rousers come up on Google, though–rather than get offended I would think that’s too much truth. Also, I think Steele has been unpersoned in Twitchy/Breit/SMOTI land for insufficient conservatism and/or failure to shuck’n’jive.
I guess that’s one concern out of the way…
My PBS aired “In the Footsteps of Marco Polo” where 20 years ago a Marine and a photog retraced the famous route, and the end credits played Roam…cool show, they actually got a 30 day visa into Iran(!), and did some gruelling treks thru Asia.
Never caught the B52s, but saw Southern Culture on the Skids. Their bassist’s b’eef is a real ceiling scraper!
@raven: Cool! I wonder if today’s college kids even know who he is? Maybe. My kid would. She’d say, “That’s the guy who sang ‘Furry Happy Monsters’ on Sesame Street!”
I dont think there’s a ceiling to cost estimates for a roof. You’re likely to get nailed for the cost of shingles and wood, the ladder one being more significant, even as you pine for pine and side with siding.
@OzarkHillbilly: In the Florida sun. Piece of cake.
Kay (not the front-pager)
When we were getting ready to build our house (at the turn of the century) we were advised to get 3 estimates – and add them all together.
For just a roof you could probably add the 3 together and divide by 2 to get an idea what it will cost.
Another Holocene Human
Great comment at Wang’s blog–this election is a “regression to the mean” election, with both D’s and R’s up for reelection who got elected in wave years for their party.
Could explain the die-down in GOP outreach activity–they had a burst of mania and now it’s burnt itself out. Doesn’t mean they don’t keep grimly marching to the polls but it means they’re completely demoralized in terms of reinvigorating their parties locally or aggressively evangelizing non-GOPers. (Actually, some of their ‘outreach’ worked in 2012 in that they increased the GOP %age of white voters but that did not win them the election. No wonder they’re emotionally exhausted.)
Getting shingles can be incredibly painful.
Also true of the disease.
@Mike E: Did they throw wangs at the crowd?
@Another Holocene Human: That was hilarious!
@NotMax: I had it in my eye.
Also, also, too, I don’t know if heat-reflective roofing is code in Florida but insist on it if not. And check the shingle wrapping when they install to make sure they’re using the stuff they bid (a too-common roofer trick).
Had an outbreak back when I was 30. The other half of the body has not suffered from it yet in the vast chasm of intervening time since.
mai naem mobile
Three bids are enough. Check your licensing regulatory board to make sure they are licensed. If its shingles make sure you are getting the heavier weight paper. Definitely get references and go out and drive by the reference house. Make sure they take off the old tiles if this is the third layer which is going on. Get the wood done underneath if it needs to be done. Make sure they deal with your ac unit properly otherwise it will leak. If you get along with your insurance guy ask him who they use. He may even be able to give you the price they paid for a similar size house. That will give you some kind of baseline to go by. And get the longer warranty shingles.
Another Holocene Human
Whatever you do, don’t hire Keith Perry (Florida House District 21) to do your roof. When I was doing phone banking for his opponent with MoveOn two years ago, everyone I reached who’d ever done business with him cussed him out profusely. He doesn’t hire union labor and he mistreats the labor he has. He went to Tallahassee because, as he whined and cried to us when we visited him there, he wasn’t making any money. Now he works for the ETA
Florida Retail FederationFlorida Restaurant and Lodging Association, aka Darden. But probably FRF too.
If there is a just and loving God who smiles on Florida he will be going home in a few months and looking for work….
Another Holocene Human
In all seriousness, Betty, do you know who your local code inspector is? Maybe have a chat with them before you commit to a contractor?
If you’re comfortable making some calls you could start calling local union halls and see if you can get a recommendation … I don’t know if Carpenters are still active but try the Painter’s* or even IBEW as electricians work with roofers a lot.
*-we call them Painters but I think they’re the “IU”, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, and they’re pretty big in central Florida
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
I usually think of this one when dance honors us with her stories.
@Amir Khalid: Beehives that tall are very time-consuming to create. They are usually wigs.
Another Holocene Human
@Mnemosyne: How do you deal with kitchen stuff? Kitchen stuff is always my Waterloo when I move (and I will have to move in a few months, not looking forward to this at all).
This is how I feel about Indiana in ’08. Coming home from Indianapolis the night of the election to see IN drop into the blue column was AMAZING.
One valid reason for a cost increase of a new roof is the roof sheathing is under the roofing* and any marginal sheathing or even trusses, depending, may pass the external visual inspection. In general, you don’t want to pay for new roofing material and five or ten years down the road have to pay to have it ripped-off, new sheathing, trusses, etc. installed, and new-new roofing material put on. An honest contractor – and there are such things, even in FL – will be up-front about that possibility.
Another Holocene Human
@Tenar Darell: Here’s a possible strategy.
Get three boxes, KEEP, GIVE AWAY, ???
Set a timer you can see with minutes and seconds you can see for a limited amount of time, 15 or 20 mins.
Start sorting books 1-2-3-4-5 in order. You’re allowed 15 seconds a book and if you go over, it goes into ???
This is a practice that trains you to sort books without starting to read them. The ones you love to death immediately go into KEEP, you stop the wandering with ???, and the ones you didn’t remember you still had go into GIVE AWAY.
When the timer is up, walk away and go do something else.
This will work unless you have household members who sabotage pare downs and “shop” out of GIVE AWAY.
You also need to tape the box up and map out the place you’re going to drop it off so it gets out of the house and out of your mind quickly. The longer you have to ruminate, the worse. Covering the box means the spines and covers can’t attempt to seduce you any more.
Once you’ve done this successfully a few times through the first pass, tackle the ??? box. You may want an accountability partner to help keep you on task because it will be harder. Although you may have trained yourself better and that makes it easier.
Just give the books away because trying to sell used books will stress you out for too little money, unless they are antiques or textbooks but I will warn you that textbooks plummet in value these days so they probably aren’t that valuable either.
@Another Holocene Human:
Ask me in a few days — we’re finishing the kitchen tonight, and it’s still packed with stuff. I know I’m going to throw away any pans with scratched/flaking non-stick coating, but other than that, it’s been tough. We went through our overpopulation of mugs and were able to give about half of them away, so that helped. We still have WAY too many wineglasses for two people.
@Another Holocene Human:
For textbooks, I just found out about Books for Africa. They’ll take textbooks from 1998 forward and encyclopedias/dictionaries from 2003 forward.
@raven: Eight piece box!
Another Holocene Human
@Hungry Joe: Thank you for your service.
Seriously. I tried to ph bnk to please a friend this year and I just shut down and started stuttering and making nonsensical statements. Predictive dialer wasn’t helping because you get auto-hung-up-on. But also we were in the dregs of a likely voter list and I couldn’t bear all the bothering elderly deaf people and stuff.
I did a lot of calls and canvassing for a local race this spring. We won by a few votes and kept a nutjob out of office. Felt good about that.
My cousin (who’s a roofer, part time, for his own small construction company) says that if a bid is too low, guys will rush through at the end and may skip doing some things properly. May compromise their own safety. (We were watching the job across the street, which had begun with a lot of swagger and was ending with a grim couple of days of abandon-the-fort.)
Years ago we asked the 100-yr-old hardware store for a recommendation and just went with it. We asked him to insulate the roof and ventilate it to prevent rot (old house). We liked him. He came to work with a parrot in his truck and told us he only used one color, black asphalt. (We figured he had a way to make a little money on it, but that was OK with us.) We paid him whatever he asked as he went along, rather than hold him to a bid. Toward the end he told me he had PTSD from Vietnam. The last day we all had a good time with the parrot. Years later my cousin was on the roof; told us that he had never capped the peak; rain and clothes moths had been getting into the walls…. From that I learned that it’s good to have someone go up and look at the work when they’re done.
Take a look for nails on the ground before you let them go… they always leave a few and don’t do that last sweep if they are over confident or in a hurry. Mark your nearby plants or point them out more than once, and cover them if they’re fragile. Tell them to ask before hacking down a bush to put up their ladder.
@gelfling545: very good advice. We were suspicious that all of the bids we were getting included a “rich neighborhood tax” so, after three bids we thought were outrageous we went to the Seattle Home Show and talked to some exhibitors. The roof isn’t very large and I showed a photo to them and told them the length of the house, and got estimates that were thousands less than the earlier bids. Then we checked references, chose a contractor, and are happy with the results. It still wasn’t what you’d call cheap but it doesn’t leak and it looks great. It was around $13k because the original roof had no plywood under the wood shingles, but the next bid was about $18k for the same work and materials. Oh, and we got the 30 year rather than the 50 year because we felt it was a silly expense.
The neighbors, who are in their late 70s and planning to sell soon, went for the 50 year shingles because of the prestige or something.
In good news: Nielsen says roughly 3 million people watch the show, less than 1% of the US population.
@Mike E: Ever see Greg do (We Were) Snotty Nosed Kids In A Trailer Park– Redneck GReece at Fester Hagood TNC, Nowhere Bar
anybody else interested in the ‘turn john cole’s crazy life into a short story’ shtick?
Not one joke about a double-wide yet. Yea I know, most of Florida isn’t a trailer park. But that is what my Grandparents wintered in so that’s what I think of Florida.
@raven: The smell of rotten chicken lingered in our pants. Sez it all right there!
Another Holocene Human
@kindness: Once you get outside the city limits it is one big trailer park. Most of the country folk can’t afford a real house. There are old cypress legacy houses and of course your nice cinder block creations here and there, but pre-fab is big business here … affordable, but if it catches fire. Oh well. Sic transit, etc etc.
@chopper: The stunts/SFX would totally blow out the budget (not to mention ins).
Be home when they do the work. My parents had a roof on in Orlando about 5 years ago. When the owner was on site they did a good job, but when he left to supervise other jobs, they got sloppy and Dad had to yell. Parents had a cathedral ceiling (roof is ceiling) and they ran out of the right nails so were using big long ones that were coming through the cedar ceiling a couple of inches. Not OK.
This is a big deal and I would be afraid to not watch it done. Maybe even read up on the right way so you can recognize the wrong way. My dad actually already knows, but not everyone does.
@Mnemosyne: Thanks. Used vs. new vs. unread won’t work so great. I’ve read almost everything I own cover to cover, except for the manuals and textbooks from work/grad school. I’m like you, I’m a re-reader, which makes weeding a terribly distracting process.
@Belafon: That would not work. I just use wall piles. Can’t get rid of walls, unless I move elsewhere. /joke
@Another Holocene Human: Thanks. That might actually work. I’ll try it.
@Aleta: This is all good advice. We had our roof done about five years ago and I’m still finding nails. (Some nails are actually loosely trapped between the roof and the gutter and in a few other places, and they drop out from time to time.)
Other than that, though, I’m really happy with our roof. It’s asphalt composite shingles over new plywood, and it replaced a roof that was shingles over old shingles over cedar shakes (from 1949) with no plywood or tar paper underneath. That thing leaked like a sieve.
It’s nice to get through rainy season (such as it is here it Northern California) without worrying about dumping the attic buckets or wondering where new leaks will spring up.
Now if only our garage (half set underground into a hill) wouldn’t leak.
Just remembered something my spouse does — if a book is now available electronically (Kindle, Nook, whatever), he downloads the electronic copy and gives away the paper copy. It works best with classics that are in public domain since they tend to have cheap electronic versions. We still have A LOT of books, but it helps a bit to have, say, the entire Dickens oeuvre electronically instead of taking up space as hardcovers on a bookshelf.
@Mnemosyne: That’s what we do too. We still have several shelves full of books, but we’ve cut it considerably by going digital. The print versions are mostly from earlier days; we hardly ever buy a dead tree book anymore.
Had a new roof put on in Leon county FL by Tadlock Roofing and I was very happy with every aspect of the process. Brother-in-law is a roofer and I had him check it out when he was in town a year later and he said it looked like they had done a good job.
You’re probably a bit out of their area, but thought I’d mention them anyhow.
@Mnemosyne: Yeah, culling when you have an ebook works alright unless you’re married to someone who decided to collect beautiful leather-bound sets. He has a lovely set of Dickens, but can’t get rid of the reading copies because the leather-bound are too good to read. I admit they do look beautiful.
J R in WV
One of my best friends is a nearly retired roofer, and all he uses now is sheet metal roofing. We installed a roof in one day on our small (24X48) camp house in Arizona.
If you’re in a hurricane construction code zone, that means you put more screws down into the metal, fastening it to the plywood deck of the roof.
Shingles just don’t stand up as well as metal roofing.
So that’s my recommendation, put down a thick gauge sheet metal roof.
Best of luck!
dance around in your bones
Well, gol-dang! Look what happens when you are at the doctor and farmacie practically ALL FUCKING AFTERNOON and then you have to pick up yer very best friend in the whole world at the airport!!
Your nym gets mentioned by BETTY CRACKER (one of my favorita front pagers) – seriously, Betty – your nym is perfect because you crack me the fuck up!! Some seriously fine writing in your posts :)
And thanks, Sister Rail Gun – Roam is a perfect song for me and my roaming ways. Plus, the B-52’s kicked ass.
Of course, no one will read this comment because well-
? many days go by – comments flowing underground..?
You can get a pretty good idea of materials cost by calling your local contractor supply/Home Depot and getting a quote..metal or asphalt shingles are sold by the square (each square cover 100 sq ft), metal panels are sold by length (x no. of panels @ 2.5′ x 10′ or 3′ x 20′, etc) – it’s pretty common for contractors to upcharge @ 15% on materials and don’t forget to add 10% to your total sq. footage to cover end cuts/tricky angles (around dormers, etc.) – once you know this cost, all else is labor and you should be able to tell if they’re overcharging by the size of the crew/hours estimated