When we moved into our house, 8 years ago, we were told the roof was a few years old and our home inspector seemed to agree (what a chump that guy was). It turns out that he was likely 10+ years off in his estimate. For the past 2 years, I’ve known that we need to get it replaced. The gutters were getting full of shingle debris, tabs were getting blown off some of the shingles during storms, and the shingles along the edge of the roof were starting to lift. It was just a matter of time before something serious happened that would force us to take immediate action and I wanted to do something before that.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that we have a flat roof above our master bedroom that sounds like we are sleeping inside a tent when it rains? It also raises my blood pressure through the roof when the gutter overflows or we get lots of snow build-up and it starts to melt. Not good. A few years back my anxiety over the flat roof got so bad that I spent a few nights downstairs just so I could sleep (at least that is my story for why I slept downstairs 😉 ).
So, this past May, we bit the bullet and got the work done. We ended up getting our chimney repaired as well, but it’s all done. New roof completed.
A little plug to the two companies that we worked with: Owen Tuckpointing Company in Barrington for the chimney and Hogan Exteriors for the roof. The crews respected Julie’s flower beds (a huge plus in her book) and the quality of the work they did was great.
Things I learned from the experience:
- You must get multiple bids for everything. This is a pain for sometimes and means you usually have to ‘cold call’ a few places without a recommendation, but it is a must. Seems obvious, but it’s really tempting to just go with a quote if it sounds reasonable and it’s a quote in hand. We saw estimates for the roof range from $19k – $9k and for the chimney from $4.5k to $2k. This is for the SAME work.
- Take before pictures. This is true for any project, but especially for large projects where you are hiring contractors. If you don’t have any before pictures, you’ll look at the ‘after’ and think ‘was that air vent there before?’, ‘that doesn’t look right, was the overhang on that so obvious before?’, etc. and you won’t have anything to use as a discussion point with the contractor to get it fixed.
- Let your wife choose the new look for the house. This goes for siding as well. Just do it.
- Watching the crew crane in the shingles to drop on the various parts of your roof is awesome. For a guy with an inkling for construction, it was a highlight of the new roof experience.
Before / After Shots