July 23, 2012
When people talk about having a home to go home to, and when they talk about being secure and safe and warm, they often use the expression "having a roof over your head." When you don't have a roof over your head, or when the roof over your head is starting to fail, you tend to become anxious. We really couldn't leave Cheri's 83 year old dad with roof-over-your head" anxieties, now could we?
And the answer is no. So I got Pedro to go up to Lake Tahoe with me to help with the painting and to help supervise a roof job. We went over to the 7-Eleven in Kings Beach and found four day laborors - Antonio, Juan, Jesus and Ricardo - who wanted something to do, and then we all got up on the roof and got down to it.
With six men on the roof and a 20 yard bin in the driveway the tear-off was done in a day, and with two compressors and two nail guns it took us a day and a half to put the new roof on. Miguel came over from Madera on Saturday and spent a half day inspecting our work and putting the final "professional roofer" touches on the job.
25 squares of roofing materials weighs a lot. You do not want to have to carry those materials up to the roof of a two-story house. The materials were delivered to the roof by a boom truck with a conveyor belt running up the middle of the boom. There were six of us taking materials off the conveyor and two men loading the conveyor off the truck, and they had the conveyor turned down to the slowest speed. As a result, the six of us on the roof were just standing in line waiting for a bundle of shingles or a roll of tar paper. So Pedro asked if they could make the conveyor go any faster. Just for fun, the delivery guys turned it up to full speed, and we looked like the Keystone Cops running to grab a bundle before it fell off the conveyor and run it up to the peak of the roof and run back to get another one. After a few choice words and some laughter all around, they turned it down to a more modest speed.
You talk about anxieties, though. We started the job on Wednesday morning. Wednesday was a beautiful, cloudless Lake Tahoe summer day. The temperature was about 68 F, and by Wednesday evening we had the roof almost completely torn off. I woke up at 4 a.m. on Thursday, and the sky was cloudy! Dang!! It wasn't supposed to rain on Thursday according to weather.com, but there it was, all cloudy and feeling like rain. The materials were supposed to be delivered onto the roof at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning, and wouldn't you know it they were an hour late? They finally did arrive, though, and we hustled to get the edging metal, ice and water shield, and tar paper to cover most of the roof by the time it started to sprinkle lightly. We worked through the brief sprinkle scare, and then the sun came out and all was good again. Whew!
There are some kinds of shingles you just don't ever want to get ... like the kind that turn your skin into a red, hot, itchy rash. But the kind of shingles that give you "roof-over-your-head" comfort, well, you want to get a new set of those about once every 30 years or so. However, working on the drip-edge of a two-story roof can be a scary and dangerous place to be. So if you are in your eighties when you need a new set of shingles, get someone else at least 30 years younger to do it. Come to think of it, pretty much no matter how old you are, you should get someone else to do it.
This Tahoe City, California, house was built by Cheri's father, Don, in the early 1980's. He and his wife, Gracie, moved into the house in 1983 when he retired from his air conditioning and heating business in San Jose, California. It's a nice house in a great location. But thirty years of winters in Lake Tahoe can put a strain on a house. Come to think of it, the u.v. at 6,500 foot elevation above sea level is probably more damaging than the snow and water. So we decided to give the house a little makeover.
A good pressure wash with a mildew killing formula, followed by application of 30 gallons of siding stain, 6 gallons of enamel trim paint, and one gallon of spar varnish, somewhere around a thousand trips up and down the big extension ladder, and wall-ahhh ....
... and, oh yeah, don't forget about the crisp new American flag.
Well, maybe I can't draw, but I can paint.