Backyard Superheroes

It's been pointed out to me, by no less than the renowned comics afficianado and podcaster extraordinaire Tom Racine, that I have been slacking off on my blog posts. Here goes - this one's for you Tom :-)

So it's project season again and first up on the roster was the garage roof. 

Last year the large and ancient Silver Maple behind our garage decided to fling a good portion of itself at our garage. Because the roof was beginning to rot anyway, this resulted in several good sized and unfortunately placed holes. Upon inspection, it became clear that the entire roof was going to have to be torn off and redone. As John is handy (and we are also cheap) the decision was made to do this ourselves. "I'll be able to get it all done in one long weekend" is a phrase I seem to recall hearing.

Before you think me too critical of his over optimistic timeline, you have to know this is not our first roofing rodeo. In 1989 our first house needed a complete tear-off and rebuild. John, his brother, and one other friend with roofing experience did the whole East face themselves (including a dormer) and John wound up doing the entire West face himself. It took an amazingly long time, turned my then youthful (read childless) husband into something vaguely resembling a coal miner and, I believe, prompted the phrase "Never again!!".

Ten years later, when we put that house on the market, we were told by the inspector that we would have to replace the garage roof in order to sell the house. Again, a total tear-off. As the profit margin on said home sale was going to be pretty thin, John reluctantly opted to do it himself.

"Never again!!"

Roof number three was our current house. Mindful of the perils of the steepness of this current roof, as well as it's extreme height and proximity to a thoroughly unforgiving concrete driveway, the decision was made to - gasp - Hire Someone.

Completely worth the money. I didn't have to worry about him breaking his neck and they had the whole thing done in two days. Plus they have this amazing conveyer belt to take the shingle bundles up instead of several bone crunching trips up the wobbly ladder with 40-60 pounds of shingles on ones back.

Roof number four almost doesn't count as it was our screened porch and is entirely made of those translucent corrugated fiberglass panels. Those things are nasty to cut, though.

So this was roof number five and by this time we should know very well how long such things take ;-)

Phase one - the South side - wound up taking 2 full weeks and one gi-normous dumpster and was completed last fall. Then the weather turned and we had to wait until April for phase two. To be fair, the North side did only take one long weekend, beginning Good Friday and finished Easter Sunday. It also took another gi-normous dumpster

This roof was different, though. Different in a good way because we had the help of our strapping teenage son to take some of the load off. Different in a bad way because our bodies are a little less shock absorbing these days and our tempers a little bit closer to the surface.

Which is why, over the course of the project - and after several bashed thumbs, blown knees, and dropped hammers, I have taken to calling my two backyard superheroes Dammit Man and Dangit Boy.

Long may they protect us from rotten roofs everywhere :-)

Ta Daah! Isn't is beautiful?!


  1. I had no idea my call for more blog entries would put John and his son in mortal danger up on a roof. That's going a little far, update on what you guys had for dinner would've been fine. ;)

    I, too, am very handy. Handy at calling professionals to do such jobs, and looking up at them and pointing impressively from time to time. If I find myself in a similar roofing situation, I'm calling John.

  2. Ha!

    I warn you though, his roofing skills don't come cheap :-)