An Acceptable Reason to Stay at Home

LizzieLou | home & garden | Saturday, December 16th, 2006

Today I peeked out the back door to check the weather before I went to work and noticed that there was a chunk o’ something on the lawn. With the record high winds the city experienced last night I figured some beeblehead left his garbage pails or recycling bins out and their trash ended up by the rhodedendrons. Then I noticed something on the garage roof. To my surprise… it was the garage roof! The wind had peeled back the tar paper and the (what I would come to learn by the end of the day was called) torch-down back like a sardine can lid, so it rolled up and snapped and probably kept the rest of it from flying off into the house too.

Oh crap.

I guess I can call work and tell them I’ve got some house issues to deal with so I won’t be reporting to the office just yet. Second thing, I guess I should call the Dad, the Man Who Fixes Things (but lives 3000 miles away). Third thing, I think I need a big blue tarp.

Dad’s out but I tell the tale to Mother and email her the photo, and after my sister coincidentally calls me (“What do I want for Christmas? A new garage roof of course!”) and helpfully suggests that if I was a Christian I could ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in my journey through the yellow pages to pick out whom to call for estimates, I get to call Dad back for advice. His suggestions are a bit more secular and include: start calling now, look out for the bunches of crooks, and how to rig up the tarp to make a giant shower cap for the garage roof. I start calling around by noon. Any spot that advertises “flat roof” and “free estimate” and “Seattle” gets a buzz. A bunch are busy or don’t answer, but I set up four estimate calls. And wait.

In the meantime I go out and get a big ol’ tarp, and some xmas presents, return home and wrap them, and wait some more. Finally at 4pm a mister calls to say he is on his way to assess the situation. I am in the process of spreading the 15′ by 30′ tarp on the roof without actually having to go stand on the roof (fear of falling through and all). He was the only one to show up today and a sweet dude at that. I haven’t received the estimate yet, so maybe he works for one of the “crooks,” but he was cool enough to help me finish securing the tarp as I was his last call of the day.We’re measuring and stretching and he asks me to reach up and secure the tie-off. “You’re so tall!” he says, “now I feel bad.” “Yeah,” I say, “but I can’t tie a knot and I can’t fix my roof!”


  1. Gah! You updated! You can tell I’ve given up checking in regularly.

    Your po’ po’ roof. Seattle is a bad place to live. Move to Denver. (Oh wait…we have 20 feet of snow. Move with me to California!)

    Comment by eelaine — December 27, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

  2. I don’t blame you at all for not checking in regularly. What’s to see?

    I’ve heard about your recent blizzard. And enjoyed your photos. I was, however, really hoping to see the 20 feet of snow ala “Little House on the Prairie” when Ma and Pa had to climb out of the upstairs windows and shimmy across the new snow field to get to the barn.

    As for moving to California…. NEVER! Sunshine? Boo! Hiss!

    And as for the roof, I managed to pull a big blue tarp over it (so classy) while I wait for more estimates. It’s been as slow as a dog walker in a Denver blizzard trying to get people to come out for a looky loo. (No relation.) Two bids so far: $2850 and $1850. It seems wildly different, but they are offering two different kinds of replacement – vinyl or more tar goo. I’ve got two more pending.

    I know you are just on the edge of your seat waiting to find out Which Roofing Company Will She Choose! Stay tuned. :)

    Comment by LizzieLou — December 28, 2006 @ 5:44 am

  3. Jeeeesus. Makes me very happy to be in a condo where the HOA deals with anything outside.

    I AM on the edge of my seat. But only cuz I have to pee.


    Comment by eelaine — December 31, 2006 @ 6:50 am

  4. Ok. I picked. I picked the company that had the jumpy estimator/salesman. He wouldn’t come in the house! He got all wiggy about standing in the doorway and even shaking hands. Maybe he is morbidly germ-phobic. (What’s the official term for that one?) He was acting like I was going to attack him. And really, he was bigger than me. That’s big. Hands like baseball mitts. It must be some ‘handyman code’ to limit any future problems – like if your house is broken into it wouldn’t have been the roofman casing the place from the inside, or if someone freaks out on him he had kept his distance. It makes sense, but it may be a better plan if you explain that it is for liability reasons that you won’t be coming in – instead of acting like a shifty weirdo. Take note Rainproof Roofman!

    Comment by LizzieLou — January 17, 2007 @ 2:01 am

  5. And the roof was finally fixed back in February. Some guys came, made a mess, used a flame-thrower, cleaned up, filched my tarp, and sent me a bill. All-in-all, I am good with the results. Next up? House painting!

    Comment by LizzieLou — May 27, 2007 @ 4:14 am

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