The roof is on fire.
As a first-time homeowner, you’re going to have no idea what you’re getting into. Homes are an expensive money-sucker that never seems to run out of things needing fixing or improving. A close friend of lours that is a houston tx home inspector told us this before we ever bought this house. We’ve already repaired a significant number of plumbing issues (including the pipe that had been nailed into by the previous owner), and now we’re moving on to the roof.
You see, the roof leaked last winter. This isn’t a small leak either. We’re talking a steady flow of water sneaking down the kitchen walls requiring a hole in the ceiling along with towels and the stereotypical pot to catch the dripping. Since it warmed up, we haven’t had this problem and had been trying to put the roofing issues in the back left corner of our minds. Well… the priority of the roof bumped to the head of the list a few week ago when I was on the roof working on the swamp cooler. As I was walking around, I found a few areas that were spongy. I’m not talking about a little give, I’m talking about 3 inches of sink when I set my foot down. At that point, we knew we had to replace the roof before winter (and our leaky roof) returned.
It’s actually a lot less than we had thought it would be. The estimate came out to under $2800 even with good shingles. How can this be done, you might ask. Simple: volunteer to do some of the work yourself. Tomorrow night, I’m going to go up there with a roofing removal tool and start tearing off every shingle, nail, and bit of debris I can find to get it ready for them to move in on Saturday. I’m even taking the day off Friday to do this, and relatives will be coming by to give us a hand with it. Even after tools and a dumpster, it’ll save us some $700.
Our priorities had placed the roof much lower when we first bought. The home inspection report said the roof would have to be replaced within 5 years, and we figured we had plenty of time to work with. Originally, our priorities were to replace the chain-link fence and fix the garage door (and install an opener). Now the roof is taking top billing, followed closely by replacing the terribly inefficient windows and 34-year-old furnace. Close on the heels of this is to replace our mismatched and malfunctioning kitchen appliances. It would figure that once we’re in, we’d find that the big-ticket items are much more important than the piddly stuff.
Rule of thumb: If the house is more than 10 years old, you’d better plan on spending all of your extra money on your abode.