We got about 4-5 contractors out to bid because there was no way we were attempting our first re-roofing job on a roof as complicated and dangerous as ours. We ended up going with Berkeley Roofing Services, a small local company that got bought by a larger local company, Westco Roofing.
Getting our roof redone was awesome to watch, and awesome when it was done
I thought the workers did a great job but I wasn't too thrilled with the office staff, especially our contact Ki-Suh (not sure of the spelling). He was incredibly disorganized, called us one day and said we had to rush home from our jobs to pick our gutter colors in an hour or they'd be on back order and we wouldn't get them for at least a week, and wasn't very easy to get a hold of.
But in the end, the workers were professional, nice, and their work looked great. And above all, our roof didn't leak anymore!
Well, fast forward to today and we discovered some stuff they didn't do a great job on. I know I'm being SUPER picky, but when you pay $20,000 for your roof to be redone (and by pay, I mean borrow from your parents), you expect a flawless, perfect job. And yes, that amount made our jaws drop too, but it is definitely the going rate in our neighborhood because of the price of living here in the Bay Area and the level of complication of our roof. Bids came in $6-$7,000 more than that in some cases.
Anyways. When you pay as much as a new car for your roof, you want things to be perfect. So when the paint on the venting starts to peel off only 16 months later, you get a little ticked off
And those are just the ones I could conveniently photograph.
Finally annoyed with staring at peeling paint that was OBVIOUSLY not primed (take an extra 20 minutes to prime and let dry you lazy workers) I called to get them to fix it. Yes, you may find that annoying that I called to make them fix it, but hey, they fucked up and didn't paint it right and we paid for something to be done correctly.
It took a month. A MONTH for them to finally get their ass in gear. This included about 6 phone calls made by me and a couple made by Chris. The assholes never called back after numerous messages I left and a few times said "oh, we'll get someone on this and give you a call back." No call back.
Parents, teachers, coaches, everyone always tells you to be polite and nice. Well, sometimes being polite doesn't work. So finally, I called and was a bitch on the phone. I told the receptionist this was absolutely unacceptable and that the workmanship was not up to par and that they needed to come out and fix it pronto because I'd been hounding your company for FOUR WEEKS.
Later that day Ki-Suh came out to look at things and agreed that, yes, that was wrong and that he'd bring some guys over to fix it. When the guys came over (with the wrong color paint), they feigned responsibility and insisted that they had primed. Really? Because all that paint peeling is where the fucking sticker labels were and they obviously just peeled off because you were clearly too lazy to pull a sticker off and took some extra, unprimed paint with it. We're not idiots over here.
Another week goes by and the workers come over while Chris and I are at work. I got home from the A's game to find them crawling around on the roof. I greeted them and they seemed quite put off by me, oh the fuck well. I went inside, checked my email, got the mail and then came outside. I was inside maybe 5 minutes. They had left. When I opened the door I found a can of spray paint on the doorstep and them gone. Not even a knock to let me know they were done and to make sure the job was done correctly.
We had told them they needed to chip all the paint off, prime, and repaint. And to PLEASE mask off so spray paint wasn't everywhere.
Well, they removed the old paint, but they certainly didn't mask off, because, yup, that's blue fucking spray paint on our 90 year old brick
And on our shingles
And in the sunlight you can see that their paint job wasn't done well. There's streaks and inconsistent coverage.
Overall, I'm totally pissed off. I'm sure some of you readers think I'm a raging bitch, but to me, when you pay a lot of money to have "professionals" do things, they need to be done right. And the part that is most annoying is that peeling off a sticker and priming and letting it dry would have taken 20 MINUTES. It's just absolute laziness. And then, when you have to call and call and call for 4 weeks to get someone out to look at it, and then they're lazy again, it just makes my skin crawl.
Chris wanted to know if I'd call again and have them fix it, and at this point I don't really care anymore. Clearly they don't care, and they're not going to do it properly again, so I don't want more of the roof fucked up. Assholes.
Berkeley Roof Services and Westco Roofing - you're on my shitlist.
Alright, back to the house.
On the agenda for fixing up the garage was getting a new roof. There were a few decent leaks (resulting in large puddles on the floor whenever it rained), and a few smaller leaks (resulting in water trickling down the wood).
The plan was to get the foreman from our house roof job to help us out one day to show us exactly what to do. We'd demo everything, get him out here on a Saturday or something and have him work with us for the day, and us finish up the following day.
We called Leo and had him come out to the house to give us a price and see what he thought of the roof. He said that it would only take him and his workers 1/2 a day and $550, so we figured, what the heck, let's just have them do it (normally we would not have done this, but because my mom and Clarke generously donated money to help us finish the garage, we thought it wouldn't hurt to use some of that money to ensure that the job got done right and FAST...as we all know when doing things ourselves it takes about 14 times longer).
Friday Leo and his guys came out to get the job done. We had already purchased all the materials so all they had to do was demo and put up the new roof. I slept while they worked (for I was a sick Meryl), and was pleasantly surprised to hear that it only took them until early afternoon to finish. Leo came back later that afternoon/evening to review the job with Chris and get paid. That was where the fun ended.
They had found some rot, but we had told him when he came out to check things out that there was going to be rot and to factor that into the price. Well, apparently he DIDN'T, so he charged us A LOT more than $550.....like $1000. We were NOT pleased. How oh how did ROT (that we told you would be there) make our price go up $450?!?!?!?! He told us he needed to buy some more plywood (that's fair, although I told him he could use some of ours that we had laying around), and we were one box of shingles short, so he needed to buy a box (that's fair also). But those 2 things do not constitute a $450 increase. We were pissed.
We haggled and lectured with him for a good 20 minutes to no avail. He had already paid his guys and he insisted that if we went through his company it would be a lot more. We knew that, that's why we went straight to him. The problem we had with the price was the DRAMATIC increase when we told him there would be rot and he didn't communicate along the way how much more expensive it was going to be. Had we known that while he was working, we may have asked him to stop and we would finish the rest.
We paid him his $1000 reluctantly and he was on his way. Now we have a nice new roof
but a bunch of shit in our backyard,
(this pile including SEVEN garbage bags of shingle debris we've already bagged up)
and two unhappy customers. While Berkeley Roof Services does a great job, I'm now quite annoyed at their office's lack of communication skills (from our house re-roofing job) and their foreman's terrible communication skills and jacking up of the price. I gotta say, most of the things we've had "professionals" do on the house, I haven't been to happy with.
A couple days ago I attempted to clean it all up.
But what about ALL those pesky areas between the floor joists? I was left to TRY and sweep the area up (which was A LOT easier when I was sweeping over dry wall and not lathe and plaster)
(I PROBABLY should have used a mask)
They finished the gutters, the turret, flashing, and stucco patching, it looks GREAT!
(only one downspout on the back of the art room because they made the one on the right side of the picture pitch towards the one on the left, so it empties into that one and comes out the gutter on the far left. Pretty cool)
(now if only we could get the rest of the house up to par...)
I would definitely recommend them to anyone who was looking to replace their roof. There were times that I got a little annoyed with their office organization (like when they dropped off the gutter samples last Friday at 10:30am and said we need our decision at 3:30pm or else we couldn't get our gutters for a week. Thank GOODNESS Chris and I both don't have traditional M-F 9-5 jobs so that we could rush home from what we were doing so we could see the samples and make the decision at 3:15, phew!) But, all in all they did great work and of course no project is without its hiccups.
I was mostly impressed by the workers. They really did an excellent job. They cleaned up so much it was nearly spotless each day and they were incredibly polite and hard working. Sometimes it was really cool to watch them all work together because they were so familiar with each other and what needed to get done that there was very little communication between them, they just knew what to do, where to go, and when to do it. Well-oiled machines are a beautiful thing.
I had another Christmas surprise when I came home from work this afternoon
The fence is done! (well almost, just a few 1x1's on one side of the lattice, but then it's DONE!). It looks great and we have access to the side of the house without having to ask the neighbor.
It's a Festivus Miracle! :)
It really is looking great though. And it sprinkled a little over the weekend and none of our buckets/cups/containers in the attic had a DROP of water in them. Ahhhh, sweet victories. The attic is however full of asphalt shingle turds, so we'll have to get that cleaned up
Here is what the fence looked like before
So the existing fence is about 15 feet long, but it pretty much turns a 90 degree angle and runs into the house once the back of the house actually starts.
The problem we immediately ran into is that we couldn't buy pre-built fences like this ANYWHERE. They were SORT OF similar, but didn't really look like it enough. We checked Home Depot, Sears, Lowe's, Economy, Truit and White, Ashby......no one sold it. So we had to go to Home Depot, buy all the supplies for it, cut it all down to the right size, and then build it in place. Much more of a hassle, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
So, yesterday we cut the part that runs into the house away, dug the holes for the concrete, poured the concrete, put in the posts, and got the slats all in. Chris' friend Luke came by in the afternoon to help (thank god) or else there's no way we would have gotten that all done. It was important to at least get that done so Ringo couldn't get into our backyard when the neighbor let him out. We didn't get the lattice part done, but that can wait and isn't a neccesity, it just finishes it off (we'll also cut the posts down to size when the lattice goes in)
(we had to make the fence run at a slight angle so that the neighbor could still open her gate at the end of her driveway)
It was a long day, but we got it all done, yay!!!
The roof is also coming along EXCELLENTLY. It looks great! The workers are really nice, polite, and work extremely hard.
Day 2 of the roof
(this is a good picture that shows how we didn't have access to this side of the house before)
They still need about a day and a half between shingling the turret (not fun) finishing the gutters and all the other finishing touches. They said it would take about 5 days though, so they're right on schedule. We chose "weathered wood" and for the shingles and "stone/slate gray" for the gutters and I really like the two together. When we finally get to painting the house (whenever that will be) we'll probably paint it a dirty white and go with the gray/blue that the gutters are for the trim.
It's coming along though and it looks great!