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We are officially in the midst of getting a new roof! Best of all, it’s going to end up being cheaper for me than I originally thought. I thought I would end up paying around $700, but the total cost ended up coming in at just over $500. Not bad for (my portion of) a new roof!
That all said, I definitely learned some really important lessons about having a roof replaced and getting a new roof. If you haven’t yet experienced the joys of getting a new roof, this post is for you! And for all of you who’ve been through it… you can share in my joy 😉
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When You Get a New Roof
- Do not be there. Absolutely, 100%, get the heck out of your house. Don’t be like me and listen to people online who say “it’s not that bad, only people who are sensitive to noises will want to leave.” No, you will want to leave.
Unfortunately for me, I had to be there day 1 of the roof replacement. Conveniently, B said he “forgot” I would be home and scheduled the roof replacement for Monday and Tuesday… the only days I would be home, getting work done. “No problem,” I told myself, “I can work through anything!”
Well, you can’t work through anything. Take my word for it: flee your house.
- Board your pets. However, only board your pets if you know your pets are crazy. My cats are crazy, but they just hide all day and don’t actually freak out that much.
My dog, on the other hand? Oh no. I spent 70% of my day bribing her to be quiet, because she just wanted to bark her head off. She’s actually a normal, well-behaved dog 99% of the time, too. However, if someone is in her space, making incredibly loud banging noises, she goes nuts.
Again, don’t listen to the people online who said you and your pets will get used to the noise. Your dog (unless it’s deaf) will not get used to the noise. And you have a dog that is in anyway protective of you, forget it. It will bark its head off.
- If you have an evaporative (swamp) cooler, even if you don’t use it, tell the roofing people where the shut off valve is. For those of you who don’t know what evap coolers are, they’re for dry climates and are similar to air conditioners except they’re less effective and make the air really humid. That’s not the actual description, but that’s my version. They’re very common in Phoenix because they’re generally cheaper to run.
Our evaporative cooler is a piece of junk and we don’t use it. When the roofers showed up, they didn’t mention the evap and we forgot to ask. Unfortunately for me, in order to move the evap to replace the roof, they needed to shut off the water valve to it. Instead of finding the valve (admittedly, I didn’t know where it was, although I could have called B), they turned off the water… all day.
And no, turning off the water for the entire day is not common, which I found out after going from 7 AM to 6 PM without any water. Plans of getting any laundry done? Erased! Plans of washing my hands, ever? Thank goodness for hand sanitizer…
If you don’t have an evaporative cooler, you are so lucky. For my fellow dry-climate folks with evaps, show your roofers where the evaporative cooler shut-off valve is (if it’s separate from the water line). If you have to be home (or come home while the roofers are there), you should not be without water!
- Cover up your stuff. One thing I didn’t believe the people online about was covering up my stuff because of falling debris. “How much debris could actually fall out?” I thought, naively, to myself.
Oh, lots of debris. Lots of dirt, and junk, and pollution, and probably bird body parts from birds getting stuck in the attic (I have never seen or heard any birds in our attic, but I’m assuming that happens). All of that junk came out of our vents, all around the house, all day long.
It was gross. So, so gross. So much cleaning… if you’re smart (not like me), you’ll find a way to put something, like a trash bag, underneath your vents so that when the inevitable shaking happens and dirt gets dislodged from your attic, you will have something to catch all that debris.
Also, consider taking down any pictures or picture frames from your walls. Nothing has fallen off the walls (yet, the roofers are still working), but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did fall.
- Sometimes terrible things happen. Everything I’ve mentioned so far is excusable either because of poor planning (scheduling roofers while I’m home) or a minor inconvenience (so I was without water for a day).
However, around 3 PM, I heard a loud crash, louder than normal. It turns out a guy crashed through our roof, into the living room.
Yes, that happened. A man fell through my roof. Thank goodness he was okay and happened to land in one of the safest spots in the house: right in the middle of the living room. He missed a coffee table, chair, lamp, and side table to land right plop in the middle.
It’s actually kind of a miracle, because 10 minutes before, I had been standing in that living room, watching TV.
Luckily, it was in our contract that if a guy falls through our roof, fixing the roof and patching the drywall is covered by the company. However, we did have a hole in our roof over night (luckily, they closed up the roof, so it was just a hole to our attic), which meant we couldn’t turn on the heat (unless we just wanted to waste money by letting heat seep into our attic).
Again, not the worst because we live in Phoenix and, while it does get into the 30s and 40s at night, we won’t die. Still, it’s not something you expect (and I don’t think it’s very common).
As you can see, lots of weird and unexpected things can happen when you get a new roof. If you only take away one thing, just remember to flee your house when you get a new roof. Even if you don’t put up trash bags to catch the dirt, if you don’t care about losing water, or even if a guy falls through your roof, do leave your house.
I like to find a silver lining in everything, so even though this post was basically “weird things that happened to me during a roof replacement”, in the end, we are getting a new roof. We ended up getting it sooner than anticipated, too, thanks to a terrible monsoon storm that tore shingles off our roof (and led to insurance giving us some money for the roof). We are lucky to have extra money to pay for the roof now, instead of letting the roof get worse.
But I have made a note to myself: only homes with new(ish) roofs in the future! 😉
Have you ever experienced a roof replacement, or have you recently gone through getting a new roof? What were your experiences like?