Friday, June 24, 2011
Nail Guns and Nail Biting
You know what they say, "If it's not one thing, it's your mother." Or something like that.
Last summer our HVAC system blew a gasket and several thousand dollars later we had a new contraption that could launch a NASA lunar shot, if it needed to.
We had to learn a whole new skill set to even run the new remote wireless thermostat because if you touched the wrong button at the wrong time of day (or night) you could suddenly find yourself plastered up against the opposite wall, with your hair standing straight on end, and your eye lashes fluttering in what was more like a gale than a breeze.
Well, this summer it is the roof. We had some Jim-dandy storms this past winter. Some shingles blew off and the handwriting was on our twenty year-old roof.
We made some calls, and set appointments for vendors to come and pitch their wares. Back in the day, I seem to recall you met a guy, he told you what he could do and how much it would cost, and how soon he could get it done. Then you hired him.
No more. Now you get folks in uniforms with badges and laptops. They fire that puppy up and you have a PowerPoint presentation followed by a Q and A session. Thereafter, we (all of us together, as this is now a team sport) review their creds on the Internet, check out fifteen neighbors who have also used them, and then (and only then) if all is well (meaning they haven't hired any ax-murderers to nail you with their nail guns) you begin the CBA (cost benefit analysis for the uninitiated - and oh how I envy you).
After a few of these three-hour productions, that would rival an early Cecile B. DeMille production, the LOC* and I were so wrung out and overwhelmed that we were about ready to skip the whole deal and just move. Let the next owners go through this whole complex integrated-roofing-systems marathon. (*Lovable Old Coot)
But we are good soldiers, so we forged ahead and pondered the pros and cons of asphalt shingles, vs. steel roofs, vs. renewable energy and green-technology, wood shake roofs, and topped it off with the mysteries of GAF (don't ask) roofing systems.
Whereupon one proceeded on to the new Title 24 requirements, about venting. Now that, at least, I know something about. I can vent right along with the best of them. But they of the badged uniforms had something else entirely in mind, so my venting skills must be put to good use here.
And who knew from "magnetic yard sweeps" and two-week after the installation, third-party vendor quality control inspections? I am pretty sure I heard something about the DEA, FBI and even the CIA running a little interference on this gig, as well.
After all of this, you maaaay decide to sign a contract. Or you may just decide to run off to the Antarctic or wherever and rent and igloo. Because if you rent, you will never have to shop for a new roof again...and that says nothing of the necessity of paying for the thing - an amount that would run a small-ish third world country for at least a year.
So now, we nervously await the project manager, the technical foreman and their army of nail-gun-wielding roofers. I personally am terrified, and beginning to bite my nails. Something I have not done since third grade.
Hope you are safe and sound under your own roof this evening. If so, be thankful! ...Marsha