Friday, February 03, 2006

How to put on a new roof, in 500 difficult steps.

Today turned out to be rather interesting. As some of you may know, the reason im stuck in Florida untill march rolls around is because a couple of nasty hurricanes ran right over my house and I have to fix it. So right now the new and improved (we hope) roof is being put on, and the process has been somewhat difficult. First we (by we I mean me, my mom and my two sisters) had to find someone to draw up the blueprints for the new roof. Then we had to obtain a permit from the city building department, and we all know how plesant government workers are. After that was done (a one year process, no joke) we were ready for the new roof to go on. We met with the roofing company rep, a very nice, well dressed man of about 25 who oddly reminded me of Charlie Brown. He explained how the roof went on, and in my mind, I saw the whole operation running smooth as silk. A perfectly orchestrated crew of Charlie Browns putting on my new roof, unfortunatly that wasnt exactly how it happened.

First came the contractors, whose job it was to frame the new roof. We actually managed to scare most of the crew away, and ended up with only two guys working. This part of the story is actually the happiest, the two guys were very nice and one of them gave me a story that I will tell you another time, but it's deffinitely worth waiting for.

Then Charlie Brown came back and told us that he was sending over a "stripping crew". Much to my dismay this did not mean that i would get to oversee a crew of scantily clad, supermodel like roofers, these were just the guys that stripped the old shingles off. This wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining if they hadn't been using pitchforks to take the shingles off. Yes you heard me right, pitchforks.

Then came the "membrane crew" (what's with these names?) These guys were responsible for putting on peel-and-stick (for those of you that don't know, it's a type of tar paper with sticky adhesive on one side, thereby eliminating the need for nails) and basically make sure there were no places the roof could leak (they should be fired by the way).

Once again Charlie Brown graced us with his presence, this time to introduce the "metal crew". I should mention at this point why these various crews diddnt match my initial mental image of this project. Every crew he sent over, with the exception of this one, consisted of one redneck, and about eight mexicans, none of whom spoke english. This new group of guys comprised of 5 mexicans, and once again, none of them spoke english. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not prejeduce at all, but if these are going to be the guys responsible for my roof, I want at least one of them to speak my language.

So thats where I am right now. I have half of my roof covered with brand new metal panels, and half with leaky peel-and-stick. I've even developed a form of communication to speak with the workers. I come out waving my arms and yelling, and that means, "You just cut another hole in my new roof!" They respond to this by nodding, yelling "OK" and then cutting another hole.

Anyway it rained inside the house today and that prompted me to share my unique expierence with you. Either tomorrow or later tonight I'll have another rather unique story for you, till then.

~The Redneck Viking

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