I just love being a homeowner.
Okay, not all the time. Especially when really, really expensive repairs pop up out of nowhere.
Last month it was the electrical. This week, it is all of the dryer venting and surrounding drywall. But what really took the cake was the massive hailstorm that totaled our roof.
Figure in the two emergency room visits we've also already had, and 2014 is shaping up to be our second most expensive year to date (beat only by the year the kids were born). Blah!
So the electrical and dryer venting are not that exciting, but having the entire top of your house come off and go back on in 11 hours is kind of incredible. Think about it....yeah. Pretty amazing that these guys managed to rip off four layers of old, damaged shingles and replace them in a single day.
The only problem? I was in St. Louis on the day that they replaced our roof, so I was going to miss everything! Being the good blogger that I am, I talked my friend into taking photos for me. Our friends, Ryan and Darren own Morton Roofing, which is who we used to replace our roof. Ryan has been a good friend for over ten years, so I figured it was worth asking:
Me: "Hey, uh...could you take photos of the roof since I'll be gone? This is a major project, and I've never had a roof replaced before. Also, I wouldn't climb up there anyway even if I was in town."
Ryan: "You want me to take pictures of the roof? Like what exactly?"
Me: "Like everything! It's not like you will be busy. (ha!) I want to see how the roof is replaced!"
Hehe! Ryan is such a good sport! Especially since he remembered to document the whole thing without me nagging him about it. Of course, since his wife, Renee, is one of my best friends, he would have had to deal with both of us if I didn't get my pictures.
And you have to see these pictures!
Old roof. Tan. Kind of ugly. Lots of hail damage. They showed up at our house at about 8am on Saturday morning.
This isn't part of the roof, but I want you to see what kind of damage Ryan and his team were dealing with. This is the cover on one of our window wells. Those are holes from softball sized hail. How insane is that?!
I learned all sorts of interesting things from the photos. See that spongy looking square? That is what they sit/kneel on to keep from sliding off of the roof. By the way, if you ever have your roof replaced, you need a company with a great safety record that is insured. Morton Roofing has both so we were very comfortable with them on the roof and us very firmly on the ground.
Damaged roof layers and missing plywood where it rotted through.
Okay, what idiot puts four layers of shingles on a roof?! I don't know much about roofing, but even I know that two layers (maybe three max) is where you stop adding new shingles to a roof. At that point, you have to rip them off and start over.
This is a picture of the four layers. The original roof from when our house was built in the 1950's was still up there!
Also, is that a layer of PINK roof? Good heavens!
So the crew that worked on our roof ripped up four layers of old, damaged shingles and tar paper.
Talk about physical labor! Can you imagine ripping up layers and layers of old shingles and then chucking them off of the roof into a dump trailer? That is a lot of work! I think normal people would try to avoid spending a lot of time in the cold and heat doing this type of thing, but I appreciated that Ryan spent a good chunk of the day on site to make sure everything went smoothly. Apparently he does that with every contract. There is something nice about knowing the owner and boss is personally monitoring something like this.
Those are all of our new shingles sitting in the white packaging. These guys worked SO hard to get our roof done in one day!
Even though I wasn't home, Sean made sure that the kids had a chance to see what was going on. He took them outside, one by one, to watch the roofers for a few minutes. They thought it was so neat to see people walking on top of the house!
The completely stripped roof. You can see a hole where the ply board had to be replaced. Again, 60 years of throwing shingles up there and none of the previous owners thought to remove them. I'm sure our plywood holes have something to do with that.
Check this out! You can see down into our attic in this photo! Again, don't put four layers of shingles on your roof. *sigh*
I originally was hoping for a dark grey roof, but after talking with Ryan and Darren, they told me that on our house, the roof would end up looking blue. Ryan suggested we look at his favorite color: Mission Brown. I really like the darker tone of the shingles. It feels warmer to me than the old tan shingles.
In the end, they stripped off four layers of old shingles, replaced rotten plywood, replaced the vent caps, put down new ice and water shield (actually, I think they did two layers of that to protect the new roof!), put down a single layer of all new shingles, upgraded the metal roof valleys, and also increased the drip edge all the way around the roof. And because Ryan met with the adjuster prior to our insurance's decision, they covered everything, minus the deductible. We now have a top-of-the-line, 50-year roof!
And my favorite part? Since I was out of town while they were working, I had a really good perspective on how much they destroyed my yard when I got back. I literally couldn't even tell that they had been at our house. No damage. At all.
The only thing that told me that they had been here, was looking up to see this:
And now comes my shameless plug for Ryan and Darren's business. It's shameless because I know they are the best roofers in the metro Kansas City area. The time lapse from our hail storm to getting a new roof was 9 days. That's fast! As the owners, I would have assumed that they'd be busy elsewhere, but both guys showed up to meet the adjuster and make sure that he saw all of the damage that had been done. I don't want you to think that they only do this for friends. Meeting the adjuster, walking the insureds through the process, and sweeping the yard several times with a gigantic magnet to pick up roofing nails is just how they do business. Even if we hadn't known Ryan at all, we still would have gone with Morton Roofing because they are people of integrity. And they clean up after themselves!
Before kids, I used to work on agent-side of insurance. One of my jobs was to write homeowner's policies and answer questions from insureds about when to file claims. So there are three things I really want you to know:
- You need Replacement Cost on your roof. DO NOT get Actual Cash Value (ACV) on your roof. With replacement cost coverage, your insurance will pay for an all new roof like ours did. If you have ACV, then they will only pay the depreciated value of the roof. So instead of getting a check for, let's say, $7000 for a new roof, you might only get a check for $3000 and have to come up with the rest out of pocket. Replacement Cost = Good. ACV = Bad. Seriously, go check your Homeowner's policy right now.
- A lot of people think they can only file a roof claim right after a storm hits. That's not true. Sometimes you won't realize that the roof was damaged until several months later. If in doubt, call a contractor to come take a look at your roof and let you know if they think insurance will cover it. Then you can decide if you want to make a claim. Side note: Ryan and Darren check roofs across metro Kansas City for free!
- Be proactive about your roof. The headache gets a lot bigger when water damage ends up inside.
Hopefully those tips arm you with some good information so that you have coverage in place when you need it. As for us? We are now enjoying our pretty, new 50-year roof!
I'm thrilled to get to write a ringing endorsement for Morton Roofing because they are AWESOME! For more info, please see my disclaimer page.