Saturday, October 15, 2005

The best laid plans..

of both mice and men... often go astray …..

What began as a small project. . . .

When we found the house we now live in... she'd been sorely neglected... lived in but not cared for in nearly five years, and then totally vacant for three more years..

Our initial inspections and estimates had us spending maybe $8,000 and being wrapped up and in the house in maybe 6 weeks at the outside. Armed with all of our facts, as well as a ton of overconfidence, we negotiated her away from the foreclosure folks who had her, and into our anxious hands...

We decided to tackle the leaking kitchen roof first, as we wanted to get it dry inside before we started any of the other renovations...

Well, what at first appeared to be simple 'reshingle' project, turned out to be a major roof project!!

We wound up tearing *everything* off the roof, including not only the plywood sheathing, but actually having to replace all the roof rafters!! This little set back not only ate up 2.5 weeks of our schedule, it also ate up more than $5,000 of our budget!!

Oh well... the best laid plans you know!

Undaunted, with the roof tightened up, we began a 'tear out' of the original house. We pulled off all the drywall, wall and ceilings from the living room, walls and most of the ceiling from the den (which was slated to become a new Master bedroom) as well as tore out any and all cracked drywall throughout the house. This ended up meaning we replaced about 70% of all the drywall in the house.

In the middle of this tear out, we had our first real rainstorm... guess what?

The new roof, well, it still leaked around all the skylights.

We investigated, and discovered 'why' (or at least what we thought was why), and added small 'diverters' to channel the rainwater between each of the skylights, and the leaks..

We watched carefully during the next rainstorm (which occurred while we were reinstalling the drywall) and wonder of wonders, they appeared to have stopped leaking.

I remember sitting in the back yard one day, thinking about how *all* that time and money could have been saved, if only someone had thought of the diverters a decade sooner!! (I now know *why* I lived in Upstate NY all those years.. so I'd know about such things as diverters!!)


That was then, this is now.

I started writing that piece for my old MSN community back in 2001, and never finished it.

One of the skylights in the kitchen never did stop leaking entirely. Whenever we had a wind driven rain, a really long and in several hours rain, or, a whenever we were expecting company rain, it would leak again.

It was an exercise in anger management for me every time it did. I’d go through a whole gamut of emotion, depression, anger, frustration, laughter, pretty much any emotional condition you can imagine. It would tear me from any 'fun' mood I was in, and at times I'd border on despair. I'd never had a roof leak I couldn't solve before, and this one was tearing me up!

In addition, the during the first major rainstorm we had after moving in, we found there were leaks around the stone work for the fireplaces. Just very frustrating stuff.

We were out of money, our entire renovation budget, five times over (yeah, about $40,000, not $8,000), had been spent, and we were resolute that we had to pay down some bills before starting any new projects. I’d go up on the roof, caulk around the chimney, and adjust the diverter for the one leaking skylight, all to no real solution. Oh it would stop, for a little while, but then, just when we thought it was finally fixed, it would start up again.

This summer, we had the entire roof professionally torn off, reflashed, 30# felt laid down and new 30-Yr shingles applied.

It's much improved, the skylight no longer leaks, but, we still have a small leak around the stone work for the fireplaces. It’s certainly much better than it ever was, but it’s still not right. The contractor seems to think that the mortar and stone has become ‘porous’ and that’s where the water is getting in. So today he’s pressure washing the exterior and applying a sealer of some sort (all part of the price we paid as he guaranteed no leaks) and will recheck the new flashing for any problems.

The best part of all of this, is that this guy, will make it right, one way or another and finally, we’ll have a roof that doesn’t leak!! That what he’s promised, and I’ve never known him to break a promise.

The second best part, is that while he’s doing that, I get to keep sanding on the truck bed.

Yep, I’m still trying to get all of the ‘One Step’ product off the bed. It’s off, most everywhere except in the sanding scratches, where it’s hanging on for dear life. I think most folks would assume if it’s that tough to get out, it’s ‘stuck’ well enough. Not me, it’s all coming off as I have no desire to have the paint start lifting a year after the truck is finished!!

Well, that’s it for now, time for me to go have at the truck again. Thanks again for stopping by!


Ilene said...

Wow, that brought back some old memories. I have been through a couple of those renovation projects that cost 5 times more than the estimated cost and ate up my entire inheritance - truly the "Money Pit!" Also I hired and fired every bad contractor in Oklahoma before the project was finished! Anyway - good luck - I am not really convinced that there are non-leaking roofs, but I hope so for your sake! (smile)

Bill said...

Ilene - I got lucky with Mike, he's honest, hard working and has never left me hanging. It's funny you should mention the mythical 'non-leaking roof'... I was thinking, while sanding today, that I've had four homes and each one had a roof leak that took forever to sort out. But, eventually, I fixed each one!