Here it is, folks! Our latest pride and joy!! A new steel roof, in dark gray. Isn’t it stunning with the new siding?
Well, its been a long long long time coming. We haven’t shared our roof drama with you…are you ready for a recap of our very frustrating experience? Hold on!
Back in April, we hired a roofer Ben found on Craig’s List. After meeting with him, Ben said he seemed like a nice enough guy…a little rough around the edges. Ben said he was trying to make the conscious decision to not judge this guy based on his appearance and give a chance to someone who likely wasn’t given one very often. So we hired this guy, and paid him half his estimate so that he could order materials.
A few weeks went by. Ben called to check in. “When will the steel arrive?” The answer: Monday!
A few more weeks. Ben called. “The weather has me behind, but the steel will be there Monday.”
More time passed. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Finally, the steel did arrive. Even though the steel was not the color we’d specified, I was thrilled! Surely that meant the roofer was only a few days away from showing up.
A week went by. “I’ll be there Monday.”
Another week and several excuses: too windy, flat tire, forecast says rain.
And then he did show up (it wasn’t a Monday). Alone. And screwed three pieces of steel directly to the shingles. I’m no expert, but the folks and friends who do know about steel roofs said what he did was completely the wrong way to install a steel roof.
After more than two months of this, we were done. We fired him. And he pushed back. Said we owed him money, he wanted to finish the job, blah, blah, blah. We didn’t give.
Several folks in the neighborhood had mentioned a nearby community of Amish folks who do roofs in the area. “Call the Amish!” they said. My question: how, exactly, do you call someone who is Amish?
Turns out, they have a driver who has a phone that they use. We got in touch, and about 10 days later, Nelson, the head of the roofing crew, showed up to take a look. Nelson, who was maybe 25 years old, and his helper, who was about 14, looked around, took measurements, and spoke mostly to Ben. I obviously made the young boy very uncomfortable. Nelson was very polite. I suddenly felt like I needed to go swap my knee-length shorts for an ankle-length skirt and a bonnet!
Their estimate was a little more than what we were expecting, but they were thorough and promised they could work us in to their schedule so that our roof would be done before the end of July (we are under a strict deadline from our homeowner’s insurance).
So we said, “Yes!” and started brainstorming how to feed this crew (we had no idea how many people they would show up with). One of our friends told us that they won’t request it, but it is considered rude if you don’t feed the crew lunch when they are working at your house.
A few days later, Nelson was back with two strapping young men, both probably 16 or 17 years old. They prepped the roof, put up the perlins (1x4s that keep the steel from sitting directly on the shingles), and unloaded all the steel (the correct color this time!).
A few days after that, they were back for a full day of installing the steel panels. And then, done! Ben fueled them with pizza, watermelon, and lemonade. Lucky for my wardrobe, I wasn’t home on they days they were there working. But I am in love with the finished product! So very handsome! Thank you, Nelson!
As a bonus (I guess), we have a whole roof’s worth of steel that is brown instead of gray ready to go for a barn, chicken coop, and other outbuildings! If anyone is in need of the 20-foot panels, holler!
Now, I gotta get back to the siding project. Our deadline looms! And, as you can see from the photo above, we’ve still got a bit of work to do.