Saturday, April 16, 2011

a new roof for 'lil sis

*Here is a guest post by Erik; an entry into our "diary" of ongoing house projects.  We have a new goal of trying to document our home improvement efforts with occasional blog posts here, just as we did during our renovations in 2009. 

Junebug's poor garage roof has not gotten the most love from the two of us semi-new homeowners. For decades, the roof covering the garage and potting shed languished underneath a dominating big-leaf maple tree that naturally dropped life form after life form onto its shingles. The tree, near death itself, still managed to shade the roof all hours of the day permitting assorted other life forms to thrive on the three layers of old, oil-based asphalt shingles. While we would normally celebrate nature claiming what's hers, the experience as an indebted homeowner is not so innocently romantic. Financial and preservationist-minded obligations to protect property collide with our responsibility to consume the least amount of raw, rapacious building materials.

When multiple tree professionals determined our reckless tree needed to come down safely rather than in a mid-December windstorm, we took solace in the fact that our garage roof was going to get some relief. With the tree cut down, the roof would be able to breathe and get a reprieve from all the seeds, leaves, and twigs which found a new home on the shingles. But Junebug's little sister--the garage--would not feel these positives before a significant downfall; the downfall being a part of the tree's trunk, mishandled by the tree fellers, crashing through the roof of the garage. Nevertheless, the arborist made amends by patching the roof to live another day. But the roofers doing the repairs warned us that the shingles needed to be replaced soon before they compromised the structure itself. Such a loss to the integrity of the structure would require more substantial repairs.

That summer, I met with a couple of companies to get estimates for re-roofing the garage. One was double another in cost. And both companies were completely booked months out in preparation for the coming season of ample liquid sunshine. While I didn't feel good about neglecting the roof further, I didn't feel ready to jump into a project with so many questions remaining. So, we waited until the reputable roofing company wasn't so overworked and they were able to negotiate through some of the details of the job with me. In mid-April, the roofers from Tom Leach Roofing showed up following a one-day delay due to that omnipresent liquid sunshine. But at the end of that day, the roof was completely redone and it's looking as good as asphalt on a roof can. Tom Leach Roofing specializes in historic homes and they definitely knew what they were doing. The structure is now well-protected and Junebug is pleased that we finally did her right. Sorry Mother Nature, but oil-based products wins again. Nevertheless, as Jessica is apt to remind me, sometimes expending natural resources means preserving them. Junebug is one of those resources worth preserving.