Raise the roof

This weekend we got a roof.

This is a bigger deal than it sounds.

Sun shines on the new green shingled roof of the Schoolhouse
New roof

Our purchase almost fell apart over insurance. A 120-year old building with maintenance issues, pest damage, no insulation, a bad roof, and a funky kerosene heater? No thank you. With the help of Kayte, a creative insurance agent referred to us by Debra, our resourceful realtor, we managed to get a policy, but the roof was the sticking point, and we only got the policy by promising to get a new roof and then send in a photo.

Of course, we got red-tagged right at the point where we only had a partial roof. The Guys wrapped it, but it leaked. I still can’t decide if the most discouraging moment was coming into the dark cold Schoolhouse last winter and seeing water cascading down the walls, or coming back two weeks later and seeing the thick coat of mold that had begun to grow (after they had wrapped it very tightly).

I explained the situation to Kayte, who was very sympathetic and suggested that for now we just sweep the branches off it to show it was being cared for, and send that photo in. Some time in the middle of the damp winter my husband climbed up a tall ladder. I handed him a broom and then waited below with the camera. My husband is so sure footed I sometimes call him Mouflon, a breed of French mountain sheep, but the damp, shingled, steep-pitched roof with redwood debris and 30 years of moss was challenging even for him and I couldn’t stand it; I made him come down after sweeping only the front corner. We took a photo of that corner and sent it to Kayte and hoped it would hold us for a bit.

This weekend, Damien the roofer showed up with four guys who literally swarmed the house. Despite the steep pitch and blazing sun, by 2 PM Sunday they had a roof over the whole thing, complete with vents and eaves – and I have a photo for Kayte, just in time for our policy renewal.

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