Posted by: greenpinkies | October 3, 2010

Roofing or “Work Smart, Not Hard” does not equal “Do it Yourself, Save Money”

Pet Peeve #2 (Corollary of pet peeve #1, See blog dated: August 23, 2010  Pet Peeve #1: Doubt Sets In or “That’s Beautiful, Why’d You Get Rid of It?”)

Pet Peeve #2 is: Well meaning people who tell you, after you’ve received a quote for a job and have verbally authorized the contractor to go ahead, that they know “a friend” who could easily do that for 1/10th the price.  Even better: “If you do it yourself, think of all the money you will save.”

Having been deceived thusly, we totally annoyed and offended a very nice roofer when we announced to him that we would tear off the roof ourselves and he only needed to put the new roof on.  We’re saving money!!!

With our newly, Home Depot outfitted  (gloves, shovels, Gatorade ) volunteers, the roof was really easy to remove.  It only took twelve hours and the loss of the friendship of the afore-mentioned volunteers.  But, hey, we’re saving money!  Not to worry, we can treat them to ice cream afterwards and it’s all good.

An Eager and Positive Start


"Want some ice cream?...But, we're not done yet!"

Next morning, the call comes in; “please move all the downed shingles from the front yard so we can dig your french drain and jack up the house.”  Simultaneously, the roofer, having just arrived at the scene, is saying less than nice things behind our backs to the construction crew about;  “no way is he responsible for picking up all these sh, shi, shingles” (You get the picture).

Now we have to pick up very heavy, tarred shingles and throw them into the dumpster, seven feet high, Pronto!

This lasts 10 minutes.  But…hey…we’re saving money!? (Need we mention that temperatures are hovering in the 90’s both days).

No problem, the backhoe guy still has his equipment, let’s talk him into scooping up the shingles and dumping them into the dumpster.  I guess we should tip him while we’re at it.  We gather all the shingles from around the house into a pile for him.

Brian, our backhoe hero

Throughout this ordeal, we have five separate professionals telling us: “Honey, was this really worth it?”, or “Well, if you really want to save money that way…”  Eye rolling and knowing stifled grins accompany these remarks. We begin to wonder if we should be charging all these guys for the entertainment.

We wish to here acknowledge, with all our newly embraced humility that these comments were well deserved, appropriate to our bravado, and in no way fall into the category of Pet Peeve #2. We swallow them whole heartedly.  This was NOT working smart, but it WAS working hard.

MORAL OF THE STORY:  Professionals count the number of times you must handle materials and gauge and price the job accordingly. We amateurs tore off, then we picked up to fling off the roof, then we drug the downed shingles into one big pile in the yard, then put them into the dumpster.  This is 4 “handlings”.  A Professional would have done 1 “handling”: off and into the dumpster, one smooth move.

Total savings: $1,400.00 without friends, -$3.00 with friendships restored.



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