Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Why I am not getting a kitchen redo November 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:19 AM
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The south side of the house roof, reshingled.

FOR TWO DAYS I LISTENED to the scritch-scratch scrape of shovel against roof and workmen tromping and pounding and thudding above.

This should not be.

Thirteen unlucky years ago my husband shingled our home and garage with shingles that were supposed to last for 30 years or more.

Defective shingles torn from the roof and tossed into a trailer at the front of our house.

But within less than 10 years, the shingles were curling, lifting, cracking, breaking off and basically falling apart. In recent years, every time heavy rain fell, bits of shingle grit (or whatever it’s called) washed off the roof.

Shingles and equipment stacked on the garage roof.

Our contractor, Jerry Voegele of Voegele Builders, LLC, told me Tuesday morning, when he and his crew began the reshingling process in 17-degree temps, that the shingles should have come off five years ago. That means these shingles lasted only eight years. Eight short years.

Rolls of roofing nails await roofers. I snapped all of these photos while the roofers were away on break so as not to bother them.

Am I angry? You bet.

First, the local lumberyard where we purchased these shingles did not stand behind the product they sold. I won’t name the lumberyard, but suffice to say I will never do business there again.

I buy local because I expect excellent customer service, and usually get it, not because I will save money. I do not expect to be directed to the manufacturer (even if “that’s the way it’s done”) and a lengthy claims submission process that involved my husband climbing onto the roof to pull off defective shingles and to photograph the roof. At least the shingle company reimbursed us $100 for our trouble and expenses.

Then, when we were offered only a minor prorated certificate for costly replacement shingles from the same manufacturer, I’d really had it. Why would I buy shingles from a company I did not feel worthy of my trust? Besides, labor is the major portion of the cost in shingling, not the product.

So here we are today, paying a contractor $x,000 (materials and labor) to shingle our roofs because a manufacturer produced defective shingles.

The north and west side of the house before reshingling began there.

Given the steep pitch of our roof and its many angles and the husband’s aging body and lack of time to re-roof, we had no choice this time but to hire professionals who re-roofed the house and garage in two days with shingles that should last a life time.

If not for this $x,000 expense, I could be remodeling my 1970s vintage kitchen right about now.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling