Repairing our roof – Part 1

We have signed up a contractor today to repair the roof and the kitchen ceiling. I finished the contract this morning and we all signed it after making a few changes. It was a great relief to see that the insurance money will cover the work that needs to be done.

It’s always a bit dicey when you get insurance money based on an estimate from one contractor, then you end up having to call in a new contractor. In this case, I think we made out very well. The work is to start tomorrow, so I should have something to report soon.

The early indications were quite favorable. The contractor was quite willing to discuss how he planned to accomplish certain tasks and was willing to listen to my suggestions.

I included detailed task lists in the contract as well as a one page agreement of what was to be accomplished, what sequence would be followed, who would be responsible for getting the work done, and how the contractors would be paid.

Having all of the tasks written out beforehand made a great difference in my ability to manage the project.

Because of a number of factors, I decided to handle the purchasing of materials and renting of a man-lift and a dumpster. Once the contractor realized that we were actually simplifying the job for him so that he was only responsible for getting the work done, everything went smoothly.

The contractor employs his brother and son, so I feel resonably confident that the workers will show up reliably. I am using the neighbor who works with me in my shop as a consultant on this project. With him to side check my decisions and Gretchen to keep track of the money being spent, I feel confident that I can bring this project in on schedule. We even worked up a payment schedule so the contractor would get paid on completion of certain milestones.

The thing I have to be careful of is not to micro-manage this project, but to exert enough control that we see the results we expect. Staying in good communication with the contractor and his people is essential.

Stay tuned. This is going to become more exciting very soon. It snowed today and we are getting ready to rip the shingles off the roof in a very few days. Having our house open to the elements means that we will be living anxiously for a few days.

If you have any suggestions or cautions, feel free to fire away. We appreciate the encouragements we have received so far.

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