Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On the roof

This year we have to get our roof redone. There is a peak at the front of the house and then a very gently sloped flat roof to the back. In Toronto, houses are classified as houses, sheds and shacks, ours falls in the category of "shed" because of its roof style. The peak has three layers of shingles on it, this is the maximum you can have before all the layers have to be removed in order to put a new layer on. From the street you can see that the shingles on that peaked roof have had the biscuit, we know that roof needs work, and soon.

We got two estimates so far, one from a local guy who eyeballed the roof from the sidewalk and gave us a price, another from someone who actually climbed up on the roof to examine it before estimating the cost. His estimate is higher. And, he discovered that we have a bit of a problem with the flat part of our roof.

There are two membranes there, and between them is a big bubble of water, right over my bedroom. The two membranes are sealed together at the bottom edge of the roof, so wherever the water is getting in, it flows to the lowest part of the roof and then just sits there because it can't get out. The roofer who looked at it says he thinks the water is getting in either at the chimney or at the point where the peaked roof joins the flat roof.

It was a bit scary watching him get up on the roof. First of all, he arrived with his office assistant, who he explained had to drive for him because he had lost his driver's licence. He said roofers were always losing their licences. Hmmm....

Then it turned out that his ladder wasn't long enough to get up onto the roof. He went around to the back of our house and saw the lean-to mudroom, so he put his ladder up against that and directed his young office assistant to climb up. He told me that when he hired her, he required that she be able to climb a ladder. Hmmm....

The office assistant climbed up onto the lean-to roof. She didn't look too happy about it. Once up there she clung to an old satellite dish attached to the house there. Then the roofer climbed up and pulled his ladder up after him. He set the ladder up on the lean-to roof where it now reached the main house roof. The office assistant held onto the satellite dish with one hand and the ladder with the other, while the roofer climbed up onto the house roof. I stayed well clear and tried not to watch; the whole thing looked so rickety and dangerous that I did not want to be anywhere near when they all came tumbling down.

So the cheap estimate came from the guy who didn't bother to go up to look, the more expensive estimate came from the guy without a drivers licence who brought a ladder too short for the job. Hmmm....

I think we are going to get another estimate...

Also, my place desperately needs painting. Initially I thought I would do it, but the fact is I hate painting. So now I have to get estimates for that job, in hopes of having someone come in and do it while I am away. I shouldn't have left it to the last week before leaving.

There are big changes in the wind. It looks like I will be reducing my share of the house from one third to one quarter; Isaac and Gretel will buy my bedroom for Gretel to use as her office, and my apartment will be reduced to a kind of bedsitting room with kitchen and bathroom. Likewise I will be reducing the amount of time I spend here. There are things in Toronto I really am not ready to give up, in particular the Mimico Adult Ed Centre, so I would like to keep a foothold here. But I will be looking more seriously for a home in Nova Scotia.

This is going to be tricky as I am cutting short the time I spend there this year, I plan to go west in the late summer. I am not sure how this is going to work, I don't have much time. I came very close to buying a place in a cohousing complex in BC, in the end I got cold feet because of the cost, but part of me is quite disappointed that that did not work out.

Things are very much up in the air for me, I feel like that roofer on his ladder on the lean-to roof...

1 comment:

Barbara Anne said...

Playing catch-up as FIL had a heart attack, then weeks later blah, blah and he's home from the hospital after a cardiac cath and angioplasty and is as grumpy as before....

Good luck choosing the best roofer for the job and with deciding where you want to plant yourself for most of the year.

Hugs!