Roofing on my Mind

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I went over to the Walberg’s and did some measuring of a porch roof that needs to be redone. It is a super cool porch, with a tongue and groove ceiling and skylights, but has an ancient tar and gravel roof that leaks.   And I happen to know how to adhere rubber roofing, so it is a perfect fit.

I put a huge, well maybe not huge compared to warehouses and giant manufacturing plants, but huge for a few bike racers learning how to roof as we go, rubber roof on.  This roof was on a building my grandmother bought back in the early 50’s.  It had continually leaked and should have been replaced a decade earlier.

This was 7 years ago.  I probably wouldn’t have started the project without Michael Fatka just showing up in Topeka ready to work.  He ended up staying there for over a month, helping out immensely.

It took me nearly 60 days straight of 16-20 hours  days to complete.  I am still amazed that I didn’t really run out of steam with so little sleep.  I owe that to bike racing.  I saved somewhere are 80K I figure.  I spent $16000 and half of that was on insulation.

I only rode 3 miles in two months.  The longest I’d ever taken off the bike since I was in high school.  And it worked out fine.  I felt better that February than I had in years.  Weird.

Anyway, it was the biggest single project that I’ve continuously done.  Normally a whole roofing crew would have been involved.  Roofs usually need to be replaced in a hasty fashion.  We got pretty lucky with the weather.

The Walberg’s roof is much smaller.  I learned a ton, so it should go way quicker.  Micheal still needs a new roof too.  I patched that one together last fall and it has been problematic, so it needs to be completely ripped off and replaced.  I didn’t realize how many flat roofs were out there.

There is a certain comradery working together in manual labor brings.  I didn’t realize it so much until after this project.  It is sort of like a bike racing team.  Pretty rewarding.  Okay, here are some pictures of the project.  I had just started writing web posts and had Google ads back then.  All the ads changed from bike related subjects to roofing advertisements.  That was the sign I needed to finish up the job.

Original roof.

Original roof.

Trudi and Michael removing the rock.

Trudi and Michael removing the rock.

They did things right in the 1800's.

They did things right in the 1800’s.

The back of the building was a mess.

The back of the building was a mess.

We rebuilt the whole thing.

We rebuilt the whole thing.

Catherine and her mom came by to visit.

Catherine and her mom came by to visit. She wrote her initials in the concrete.

She was also working on the weekends.

She was also working on the weekends.

Michael in a skylight.

Michael in a skylight.

Bill carrying roofing felt.

Bill carrying roofing felt.

Busy bees.

Busy bees.

We stripped it down to the sheathing.

We stripped it down to the sheathing.

Insulation.

Insulation and a roll of rubber.

This is what it looks like now finished.

This is what it looks like now finished.

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Roofing on my Mind

  1. barb

    Know what is really heartwarming? That people (you) help each other. I don’t encounter much of that in my life. People help their friends with jobs like this, even though it was a big job. Fixing your friend’s roof, fixing other friend’s cars. And the roof came out beautifully finished. They’re lucky to have a friend like you.

     
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  2. Dave

    I have truckloads of white polyisobutylene rubber roofing material on rolls that I sell for about one third of normal wholesale….obsolete stock Fob NC.

     
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  3. old and slow

    “I had just started writing web posts and had Google ads back then. All the ads changed from bike related subjects to roofing advertisements. That was the sign I needed to finish up the job.”

    For what my opinion might be worth, you will not see a more complete story closed in three perfect small sentences in the first person much better than this anywhere. Congratulations. Hemingway pre-WWII would look at that and say “f*ck it I can’t find a thing to change here” and I’m dead serious here Steve.

    If that was just the first draft then you should be pretty proud of yourself.

    In my case people are running banner ads for my direct competitors. Or the direct competitors of the company that I just researched. I still don’t think this stuff lasts forever but I’ve been wrong about that call since you put in that roof.

    i was working for a guy whose biggest goal in life was to be spending three times as much with Google the following year back then.

     
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    1. Steve Tilford Post author

      old and slow – Thanks for the super compliment. All my posts are first, and only drafts. Every once and a while I’ll go back and change an egregious spelling error and such, but 98% of the time, it is written, posted and left. My attention span is much shorter than nearly all of my posts.

       
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  4. Will C.

    There is something about physical labor that is much more rewarding than the non-physical stuff. I work in an office for 9 long hours a day and it sucks the life out of me. Then one weekend I went to my father in-law’s house and installed over 80 sprinkler heads throughout his vast property. The soil was super hard and rocky so a wrecking bar was mandatory. 3 days later we finished up, I was completely exhausted but that beer that we shared when we watched the system start up is one that I will never forget. The next day i was back in the office and wishing I was out in the sun digging holes for free again.

     
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    1. Jay

      Yeah but if your regular job was manual labor you probably wouldn’t have the energy to ride a bike much. It’s a trade off.

       
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