Category Archives: Roof

Day #… whatever – OHAI!

They came back on Monday morning and they still have their hearing, which I think speaks well of my ability to control any leftover migraine rage about the wet sheetrock.  I recounted the weekend’s events to them, they pulled sheetrock, they told me that the hole that let the water in was somehow there all along – it was simply a new sheetrock seam which offered a low resistance to water that allowed us to see it.  Otherwise, we’d have had wet insulation and soaking sheetrock above our heads FOREVER. Ok, not forever, but until mold grew through.  Blech.

I pointed out the torn plastic and my belief that they could have done a better job protecting the gaping exposed parts of the roof.  I received an acknowledgement that perhaps they should have given me their cell number so I could have called them directly on Saturday.  I suppose we called it even, though it really sounds like I lost in that exchange.

We agreed that they’d let the wood dry out and they would return on Wednesday to apply the second coat of stucco and fix the big hunkin drywall hole so I could start priming and painting and – oh, I don’t know – sleeping in my bedroom.

End of day today (Wednesday):  the stucco looks great.  Brand spanking new.  Wanna see?


Rear view - pretty stucco



Check out the roofline - so SHINY!



The less exciting but still well done side view


Remember how I said that the sheetrock was going to be done today.  Yeah, not so much.  They ran out of time.  Tomorrow they arrive in the morning to apply the spray on texture  THEN do my sheetrock.  I hope.

In the meantime, has anyone seen Ceiling Cat?  Tell him I said OHAI!


An Ceiling Cat sayed, im in ur waterz makin a ceiling. But he no yet make a ur. An he maded a hole in teh Ceiling. An Ceiling Cat doed teh skiez with waterz down An waterz up. It happen.



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Day 18 – Thin plastic does not a downspout make

Light rain Friday night into Saturday morning.  Very light – not enough to wash the sidewalk chalk off the front walkway.  The migraine was fully entombed in my skull – still beating out the rhythm of the previous day’s tunes and the silent screams of “get out of my house” that ran as the refrain in my mind all afternoon Friday while I waited for the work crew to leave.

We needed primer for the walls to “freshen” and cover the new drywall, so we spent 30 minutes in the room measuring for new trim and making plans for how the weekend’s work would play out.  At some point after the 30 minutes I remembered to go back in the room and carefully look at the seam of ceiling-meets-wall because I hadn’t thought it looked very neat when I saw it on Friday.  After some careful staring – remember that migraine? – my heart sunk.

That wasn’t as-yet-to-dry joint compound.  It was water.  We had a leak.  All along the seam-line of the ceiling patch of drywall.

Ok, get out the ladder and up I go on the roof.  These clowns did manage to put plastic over the work area, but ripped a hole where the downspout of the roof is to allow the water to drain off the roof.  Great.  Did they tape it down?  Do something to stop the water from trickling back under the ripped spot to sit in the low spot on the roof?  No.  Did they NAIL the plastic down and do some sort of curler thing with 2by4’s that made it impossible for me to UNDO it to drain the water off the roof properly? Why yes.  Yes, they did.

Now we have wet sheet rock.  No, no one returned our phone call yesterday.  Yes, tomorrow I will insist they show up with a new piece of sheet rock and pull off the wet section – let it dry for a day – and put up a replacement piece on Tuesday.  Is any of this a function of the legitimate work they did on the house?  No.  It was Friday afternoon laziness.  I noticed a house on the next block up that is having extensive work done – they had tons of nice tarping over their house.  I guess my expectations were too high.

I’m including some photos of the roof line in progress:

The tear-off and repair starts at the roof line

More blech in progress

First level of waterproofey improvement

The yawning downspout of death

Paper & Wire, up and over the top

A neighbor's nicely tarped house

Our little plastic cover - back view

Downspout punched through plastic - looks more hooptie on the inside of the roofline

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Days 8 thru 17 – I WANT MY HOUSE BACK

I dutifully took pictures daily to chronicle the progress.  I suppose I composed the corresponding blog posts in my head because neither seem to be here.  Too bad you can’t read any of it – genius stuff, I assure you.  Nevertheless, I’ll correct my omission as best I can.

Let’s see, lots of work.  All the rotted framing was replaced on that 15 linear foot run (10 on the side 5 in the back).  Earthquake retrofitting was done – bolting that part of the house well and thoroughly to the foundation, strapping the crawl space walls to the first floor, and much sheer walling with thousands of nails.  The framing  area that meets the foundation was double flashed – first with a tacky tar peel-off sticky stuff and then with metal flashing over it.  NO WATER is coming in at the bottom.  Not that this was really an issue, but I suppose better than creating a new issue.  And the inspector insisted, so the foreman did it.

Brand new insulation was put in – pulverized blue jeans!  Cool stuff.  There was some verbal back and forth about the window sill and the framing underneath it and whether that was covered in the original contract.  I invoked the likelihood of finding fingerprints of the project manager (who incidentally hasn’t been on the property ONCE since this project started) on the rotted wood and it was magically covered under the contract.  Two days later, the foreman talks about how my name has been going around the office a lot over this issue.  I was uncomfortable with that.  If I’m going to be accused of throwing a hissy fit, I’d at least like to actually THROW one.  I guess someone’s got one coming then… stay tuned.

Sort of out of order, but since the contract is paid against milestones reached, it took me by surprise that they were so fixated on having the framing inspection done despite their lack of ability to show up and do a full day’s worth of work during those first 10 days.  I was late to the party on the concept but it was all made clear when I got the invoice with the pretty pink sticky note.

What else?  The paper and wire went up – this is the tar paper barrier and the chicken wire that holds the stucco in place.  Another inspection, another check.  The first coat of stucco – called a scratch coat – went up on Thursday (day 16) and they re-did the sheetrock in the bedroom on Friday (day 17).

These guys have shit taste in music by the way.   And they don’t remember to turn off the stupid radio when they go to lunch, so I’m stuck in the house with who-the-hell-knows-what blasting through the bedroom wall.  By day 17, I’d hit my limit of “PEOPLE” being in my house and am quite sad that they’ll be back Monday morning to do some more interior work.


Ground level insulation and framing

Bedroom wall framing

Sheer wall

Insulation & the interior view of the new framing

Look at the beautiful hunk o' wood above the window

Paper and wire

New sheetrock

Stucco scratch coat - side view

Stucco scratch coat - side view

Stucco scratch coat - back view

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Our house is NOT a rural firestation

I have a few stories I’d like to share.  First one involves my small bladder and a trip in the “way back” machine.  (This won’t be a TMI situation, I’m pretty sure.)  During freshman year of college at SUNY Albany, I accompanied a friend’s roommate on a road trip to Vermont to some military school shindig because her quasi-boyfriend invited her to some formal dance or something.  Why me and not the ACTUAL roommate?  Couldn’t tell you.  It was better than hanging out in the dorms.  That was the reason I did anything those days.  So there I am, tangentially barely relevant road-trip buddy.

On the way back, (or there.  I think back. The details are a wee bit fuzzy simply due to the passage of time.) I had to pee.  Crazy bad.  We were in the middle of East Bejesus Nowhere.  I was crying because I need to go THAT badly.  We eventually came across a fire house, banged the door down, and the nice fireman let me in to pee.  Yea me!  He scolded us afterward.  Again, don’t recall why.  Probably because I didn’t go before I left the house or some such.

(Oh, and if you were expecting a story about some hunky cute fireman dude, didn’t happen.  First, I was still 17 and EXUDED 17 and not 18.  Trust me.  Second, the only fireman “home” at the time was old and mean.  Go back and reread the yelling at me part.)

So when I tell you I’ve “gone” in some pretty bizarre places, I’m not kidding.  That isn’t even the weirdest one, just the one that comes to mind in the long list of them.  Someplace I wouldn’t even THINK to go?  In my neighbor’s port-a-potty outside their house.   Seems that my fellow neighbors don’t have the same disinclination.  At all hours of the day and night, the damn door on the port-a-potty is slamming.  The two funniest occurrences?  The two-times-a-day visit from the mailman and what seemed to be a couple who used it last night for well, ummm… some privacy.

Now the second story.  This structure has been in our front yard since September 1st.  I just noticed on Friday (September 17th) that there is a sign on it that is a bit more personal than I realized.


See the sign? How did I miss this?



Maybe we'll keep it - after all, it's monogrammed.


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Day 7 – Cooling my jets

Today was a big no-show.  The “other” house – the one with the dead pigeons – seems to be taking more time and we lost our crew for the day.  The thing I hated about being a project manager – though it was for techies – was that it wasn’t really possible for me to estimate how long something was going to take.  I didn’t like not being good at that.

Apparently, you don’t have to be good at it.  Who knew?

For some reason, they aren’t moving the inspection to Thursday.  They are insisting that 2/3’s of the framing job will be done in 4 hours.  Okaaaayyyyyy.

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Day 4, 5, & 6 – Ach, my achin’ back

As this is Labor Day weekend, there was no contractor progress.  They left at 2:30 on Friday and framed about a third of the way up the walls.  The balance will continue tomorrow and the first inspection is on Wednesday.  I made the call for them not to replace the mudsill, though it probably could have used it.  It was wood that had that feel to it when it had been outside in the wet, but wasn’t rotten.  Just softer (slightly) than it should be.  Instead, he put blocking on top of it and will bolt through the blocking to the foundation – effectively making a mudsill sandwich.  It will be fine.

Also in the “it will be fine” camp – the rot probably extends further than 5 feet on the backside of the house.  This area runs under the deck and we aren’t fixing it.  The corner was the most important and the rest can be saved for the next person.  We can only afford to do so much.

Guess what we did on Saturday though?  Bought bedroom paint.  Yolo Colorhouse was on sale at a hardware store in Alameda – 12 bucks a gallon compared to 44.  Yea!!  We chose Leaf 03.  It’s pretty, right?  Slightly green, slightly gray, but just right.  I hope.

Oh, and the sleeper sofa update?  I accidentally flipped over and slept on my tummy early Saturday morning.  For about an hour or two.  Standing up was a challenge.  Two days later – still a little creaky and now sleeping lighter because I keep trying to flip over and have to keep counseling myself – in my sleep – to stay still.  Oy.

Here are some photos of where we were left on Friday:


A new corner



Blocking on top of the mudsill



The laundry room is safe!



The bedroom - not so much...



We're choosing to stop here - fixing what you can see but not uncovering any more stucco



Blech. Their next task is the crumbly stuff.


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Day 3 – Wearing the cranky pants

A few things.  First, they showed up at 7:50, not 7:30.  Yes, I’m counting that as late.  Yes, as a Princess and the Pea devotee, I absolutely think when I hire a contractor that their work practices are only weird for other people.  I have to listen to a time estimate and double it?  Seriously?  Unimaginable to me! I thought that only happened to other people.

Their “punishment” was that I did not acknowledge them nor open the window so they could plug their radio into the wall outlet.  They very well could wait until I got back from dropping off the Little Miss.  Work in silence and like it!  Perhaps you’ll have time to reflect on your bad choices.  Turned out the reason they left was to open a wall for a plumber on another job and found a bunch of old dead pigeons.  This takes 4 hours to deal with why please?

I woke up at 1:30 this morning because I heard a noise.  I was concerned that they left the wall open a little – just enough for a bird or something to fly in, not big enough for a person, but still.  Spent time walking around the house trying to figure out what the noise was.  Still a mystery to me, but now I’m more tired than I should be.

Perhaps that tiredness is making me a little less tolerant of people wasting my time?  Perhaps.

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