Be careful what you wish for
And my wish came true.
For months, nay years, I have been trying to find someone who could fix my roof. I have made numerous phonecalls and sent a lot of emails and the result is invariably the same. Silence.
It was Daughter’s Navanman who came up with the brilliant solution. Why don’t I try phoning my insurance company? They have emergency repair facilities so at the very least they would have a list of reputable builders?
I phoned the insurance company and having waded through the usual irritating recorded messages and menu selections I got onto a charming girl who was very helpful. I expected the brush-off but no, she took all my details and said a company would be in touch. A short while later I got a text from a building inspector to say he’d be out the following morning between nine and ten.
I know Irish companies of old, and “between nine and ten” usually means any time after noon. Nevertheless I decided to set my alarm for a quarter past eight to allow time to get dressed and to bring Herself her breakfast tea and toast. I never got that far. At half past eight Yer Man arrived.
We went up on the roof in spite of the rain. He hummed and hawed and took loads of photographs. He seemed to take the job seriously. We both got wet. He said he would send out a roofer and drove off. An hour later I got a phonecall. It was the builder who wanted to know where I lived. He had the post code and was in the general area but his SatNav was giving strange results. I asked where he was so I could give directions, but he said he hadn’t a clue. He was on a lane “somewhere” which was helpful? Anyway he happily sorted his SatNav and arrived at the gate.
We climbed onto the roof. He insisted on using a ladder in spite of the roof being accessible from the house. He hummed and hawed and took a load more photographs. At least the rain had stopped. He seemed to know what he was doing and poked around asking lots of questions like when was the roof built and when was the roof felted [rubbered?] and when was the chimney last plastered. He said it was a big job as the chimney was involved somehow. I cried. He then said he really wanted to replace the entire roof. I passed out. No, I tell a lie. I threw up. I didn’t pass out until he told me roughly how much it would cost. In the region of €30,000 apparently. Fuck! I have a rainy day fund but that’s miles over my limit even though I am apparently eligible for a grant.
I fell off the ladder which was a bit embarrassing.
So the roof isn’t fixed quite yet. It’s near the top of his list and we will talk further about the minimum amount of work necessary.
Maybe I should set up one of those GoFundMe things?
Perhaps another quote or two is needed? That roofer was trying it on – chimney-to-roof flashings are not expensive to replace, if that’s where the leak originates.
I know damn well he was trying it on. My real problem at the moment is that I don’t know where the actual leak is. I do know that the rest of the roof is fine.
sounds well OTT to me. Having a pitch and tile roof on my garage – it’s a large double one -to replace the flat one cost under 2 grand a few years ago. So double that now, or even quadruple it and you are not looking at that sort of cost. There are companies specialising in flat roofs, rubber or fibreglass are both advertised around here and cheaper than the replacement I went for. Chimneys are not a problem, most houses have them.
The job is theoretically simple but in practice it will be a little messy. If I were a young lad again I’d have a fair bash at fixing it myself. Sadly my heavy duty building/carpentry days are behind me.
Way back in the 1970s, soon after I bought my first house, there was a knock on the door and a person doing a survey was standing there. I was young and naive back then, these days I would describe them as doing a “survey” because they’re really thinly disguised salespeople fishing for leads. Anyway, I answered her questions, I can’t remember what they were about but they must have included questions about house repairs because I wasn’t surprised or alerted when she asked if I was contemplating any repairs because her organisation was “in contact” with many repair firms. I told her about a couple of loose slates on the roof and she promised to send somebody round.
The somebody appeared a few days later. He was talking about replacing the entire roof and wanting to have a look at something inside the house. In fact he was half way to the back door (two up, two down terraced house) before I could stop him, pointing out that the roof was outside and I only needed a couple of tiles replaced. “Oh, we only deal with complete roofs” he said as he beat a hasty retreat and disappeared, almost as quickly as he’d appeared, obviously realising there were no easy pickings there.
The first Mrs H got a local roofer to replace the couple of tiles for about a fiver or a tenner. I.e. about £100 in today’s money.
I had the (flat) roof of my current house replaced about 10 years ago. the original estimate was about £4,000 but it ended up costing about £6,000 because of the damage several years of leaks had done to the supporting beams.
€30,000 sounds somewhat excessive unless you really do live in a mansion.
I get the occasional one around here. The usual is “We’re working on one of your neighbours properties and have some asphalt to spare. We could do your diveway for an excellent price”. Needless to say I tell ’em to fuck off [and none of my neighbours has had anything done]