Thanks Shakespeare, for telling it like it is, or was, even back in your time. Now if you don’t mind, I want to use the olde factoide my way.
This is how my story goes: I’ve known for the past year (which would be the second out of three years that were predicted to stay leak-less) that my triple wide manufactured home needs 3000 sq ft of new roof. In a free moment, I choose three roofers to climb a ladder, and give me their best bid. First one is way high; second just under high; third way too low and cash only. Not funny is that the first two come down saying I not only need a new roof, I needed it fifteen minutes ago J. This sounds serious.
I blur the vision of myself as a man-less little old lady playing on the roofing bid market, spike my spine, pull up my jeans (and those genes too), and go at it. However, I can’t blot the thought that I should have a man handy to do the guy eye-to-eye thing at the choosing. Maybe I can stand up at Band of Brothers meeting and ask to “Rent a husband”…there are some 70-80 guys at those meetings, so surely there’d be one response at least (preferably a retired contractor). Or how about make arrangements to choose the bidder at the Senior Center at a lunch table of men only? Or contact the guy who runs the TV show “What Would You Do?”
Nuts. In a defining moment, I sign an Agreement that says half up front and half when finished, and he’ll start six days from now, finish the roofing in “two to three or more” days depending on weather, beginning next Tuesday. I’m ready for this to be done in ‘two to three or more’ days after Tuesday, right?, so that means by the weekend, right? Wrong. Didn’t start till Wednesday, roofing crew worked only 1 or 1½ hrs each day and was down on weekend.
My blood is getting pretty warm. I call the roofer who says, “Well, this is a really big roof,” as I interrupt with, “That’s not news to either of us…your crew is worthless; do
you know that they leave every day after less than two hours here? And your reputation
is being killed in this neighborhood for folks watching and planning ahead.” “I’ll make sure the guys finish today,” hangs in the air as my voice raises to a pitch somewhere near a fishwife’s, “It’s too late for your reputation far as I’m concerned. Now what about the dormer you say you can’t do as a roofer? Who’s going to do that and how much longer will that be that wasn’t addressed at the start?” “I’ll call a subcontractor. He’ll be here next week.”
This is the Monday of ‘the next week’. It has now been a total of 13 days including two down weekends, and steam is coming out of my ears every time I think about this overhead job. All this time the roof has been crowned with assorted materials, untouched and basking in the good weather. In a moment of rising blood pressure, I tell myself I’ve HAD IT. I get on the phone to the roofer with a blast of heat from my burning hair: “You are now on borrowed time. I have had no contact with the sub, so the dormer is totally waiting to leak in my living room ceiling in the first rain that comes along. This is my final call to you. You need to get here NOW to finish your unsightly, untrimmed roofing job, or deal with my cavalry, and I’m sure you won’t enjoy that.
Roofer: Well, I’m at the far edge of town, leaving for the Coast
Me: In a few ivories below high E, I announce, NOW. NO CHOICE!
(Roofer turns up)
Me: (pointing to dormer) Look at this garbage “finish” job. It’s shaming my home. Your sub needs to come here himself and make this right.
Roofer: Calls sub: ”He will be here this afternoon between 3-4. I’ll pay for the repairs and materials”.
Subcontractor arrives at 4:30, surveys both ends of the dormer and says he will come at 7-7:30 a.m. tomorrow to do all repairs.
Tomorrow, 8:30 a.m. Not seeing any sub or crew yet, I cruise around in front of the dormer to note that the north end has been repaired (in the dark of night?), south with yawning hole, not.
And that’s the way it is, on Day 17. The cavalry is on notice.
Take it from a guy -less little old lady who was taken by the roofer who just now (way too late) has been reported to her as being “The biggest crook in the county”: if you need a new roof, go to the Library, study the part of the contractor’s manual which deals with ‘standard roofing and dormer finishing’, and furnishes a supply list. Then DO IT YOURSELF!