Friday, February 8, 2013

A New Roof!

My house needs a new roof and I am going to hire this done.  That hurts.
   My house was a little 900 square foot "fixer-upper" I bought in 1971 for $8,375 (no typo there, that was the cost).  The roof then, when we bought it was in bad shape, 900 square feet of moss and failing roofing.  I was a school teacher then, had no money and no construction experience and really no tools at all.  I bought a hammer and a box of roofing nails and nine squares of three tab composition roofing.  Twenty-seven bundles, each weighing about 80 pounds, placed one at a time on my shoulders and up the ladder we went.  I had never done roofing before but it is pretty simple and the directions are on the package.  My first roof!  It was summer and I had the summer off from teaching.  My neighbor saw me hand nailing these shingles one at a time and wanted me to put a roof on his house!
Then his neighbor saw me and so that summer went, one roof after another, each bundle hand carried up the ladder and each shingle hand nailed!  I was strong by the end of that summer!
   Two years latter I tore most of it down.  We decided to seriously remodel the house beginning with the foundation which was missing.  I have told this story in an earlier blog.  I was teaching school. My wife was in England. I was getting drunk with my neighbor and saying stuff that I can't remember.  I came home from school the next day and half my house was gone!  What remained was the living room and the kitchen and a bathroom without any walls!  I must have said something!
   Anyway, we remodeled and added to the house, keeping the remaining 400 square feet and adding about 2000 square feet.  A fun summer project and I learned quickly.  Now, this new house took 28 squares of roofing. 84 bundles, each weighing about 80 pounds and up the ladder we went!  Another bigger box of nails and each shingle was hand nailed, one at a time!
   I have since put on hundreds of roofs, finally bought an air compressor and nail guns and, for a few dollars more have the roofing delivered on the roof!
   But now it needs it again and the existing roof needs tearing off.  Simply, I can't do it.  I am 66 years old, a cancer survivor (my other blog) and have horrible neuropathy in my hands.  I do not have the strength!  I do not like growing old.


Optimistic Existentialist said...

If I lived in your neck of the woods I would happily help you build this roof sir.

stonepost said...

What a cool thought my Optimistic friend!! I have helped many people over the years and now they are all old too! We need an inter-generational exchange! I KNOW how to do it. I need to hook up with someone young and strong who just doesn't know. That is apprenticeship, huh? and we no longer have that. Too bad.

Barbra Joan said...

Jerry, it's tough to lose that physical strength, and doesn't help to know it happens.. Your mind knows how, your spirit wants to do it but the bones and muscles just can't .
So many things I'd love to do that I use to .. ten years ago I climbed ladders up to my roof believe it or not.. and today theres no way I could do that.
I still can paint a room, wallpaper, etc. so I feel pretty lucky,, but half the work leaves me twice as tired .. What can I say .. You;ll need someone to do it or at least help... Your hands have been shot for some time now.. ' get the help !!!!
BJ .

rama said...

It is a good idea to get some one young and raring to go with your instruction, and soon you would be proud to have a good, safe roof over your head.My best wishes are always with you.

Clipped Wings said...

I'm with you there on growing old. So many things I don't have the strength to do anymore. I'm pedaling a bicycle and have a regiment of neck exercises I do everyday to keep from falling apart. Roofing's hard and dangerous work. I remember when dad did all that work by himself. It all stopped when he got old also. I'm realizing that living the golden age just means we are spending more money to other people to do what we once used to do ourselves. You have a great family, and as long as you still have writing, art, and a good meal to end the day; you'll adjust easily.

stonepost said...

Hey, Clipped Wings, time to Fly! I miss your blogging!

Graciewilde said...

Getting old sucks. It's not fair. But, I know, I know, life's not fair. It's just not what I thought would happen.

Tiffany Larsen said...

That’s quite an experience for you! You may have a bad beginning, but you eventually got over it. No one wants to grow old, and I think that’s one thing we have no control of. I just believe that our age does increase, but it is up to us if we’d let our spirits grow old. ;-) I’m sad to know that your roof needs another repair now, but there are a lot of roofing professionals who can help you. You can find more information here:

Allyson Sunde said...

Half of your house gone, just like that?! =| You’ve really gone through some tough summers just to replace your roof. With your age, it would be best to hire a professional roofer to do the works for you. I wouldn’t want to read a blog from you about a broken hip caused by falling off from the roof. No, no, no! Your safety first!

Allyson Sunde

Noreen Saint said...

I say you’re one tough old man for working on all of those shingles. I commend you for that! Don’t feel too bad about getting wise and old -- this moment of your life gives you an excuse to just sit on your favorite couch and enjoy your cup of coffee while the younger ones do the work this time. Have a good day, sir!

Noreen Saint