Merry Christmas…hope you like your new roof!

Current roof shingles being removed

To all my friends and family who were hoping for fabulous Christmas presents from hubby and I, we have exciting news to share. Hubby and I decided that since you are all the BOMB we’d treat y’all right and go BIG! That’s right…as a token of our appreciation for your friendship, love and support and for all the glory you’ve shown us, this year we are treating you to….wait for it…a new roof!

I KNOW!! I am super pumped too!

We knew when we bought the house 3 years ago that the previous owner had experienced a leak issue around the dormer. But we thought we had fixed the issue last year….for $100 bucks no less.

And it rained all summer. And we stayed dry. We thought we were set!

The home ownership Gods teeheed at our ego….bastards!

A couple of weeks ago, we came home to find it raining in our house. After a long day at work, I came into the kitchen to set down my bags and heard it. I looked over to where our leather chair and Ottoman sit to find water pouring in from our once-gorgeous tray ceiling in the living room.

I cursed. A lot.

My house is only 9 years old people. It should not be raining in the living room!

After we got over the dread, hubby ventured into the attic to remove the wet insulation and to put some strategically placed totes to catch the water. While I handled clean up in the living room. Thankfully, the chair and Ottoman were saved but our hardwood floors did not fare so well with definite water damage. Dang!

We called the roofer.

He came later in the week when the sun finally came out. Turns out, our roof is boarded – not tongue and groove plywood. Ok, it is to minimum code but y’all know with my Mike Holmes obsession how I FEEL about minimum code?!?! Please…it would have cost the builder an extra couple hundred bucks to do it right. Douche!

But then…we also discovered that the builder had the audacity to not bother putting ANY tar paper under the shingles. Excuse me?!?! Isn’t that like a code violation or something? I’m going to try to find the guy who built this house and kick him in the bag…repeatedly!

Great…so we’ll tear off the shingles around the dormer and fix just that part, right?


It turned out that our current shingles were no longer manufactured (fabulous…more bag kicking!!!) so we had to redo the entire front part of the roof and the little roof that’s above the garage. Now we have different color shingles on the front and back of the house. Hopefully buyers (someday) won’t notice. Good grief.

The douche bagness doesn’t stop there! When the roofers tore off old shingles, they found the problem. The builder nailed the water barrier for the dormer with the nails about 1 inch from the seam – ummmmm – yes RIGHT where the water runs (more bag kicking required!!!!). The roofer told us it was a good thing we were redoing it; we’d have never found the leak.

So, less than a week after the “raining in the house” episode, the roofers came and tore off the entire front half of the roof off. They put down tarp paper, ice/snow barrier and sealed that dormer up tighter than a nun’s “you know what”! They assured me (with a 5 year guarantee I might add) that it’ll NEVER leak again. From his lips to God’s ears.

$3000 later our Xmas budget is now totally blown…and then some…on a new roof.

That means every one is getting a card for Xmas…with a picture of the new roof and maybe a turn at kicking our home builder in the BAG!! What fun!!!

The joys of home ownership…I think I want my apartment back.

How do you prepare for unforeseen expenses? Do you have a savings account for home emergencies? What’s your funniest/worst/best home ownership story? Come on…share the wealth…

More blog deliciousness here:

  • I was swept away with Susie Lindau’s eye candy photo essay. Beautiful!
  • I lose myself every day on Patrick Latter’s Canadian Hiking Photography blog. The photos are spectacular and so deeply moving and inspiring. His pics from the Calgary Zoo were ahhhmazing! And his recent hiking trip to Moraine Lake…words cannot describe! Be sure to check him out!
  • Jenny Hansen’s post on missing her Mom was a beautiful tribute. I can see where Jenny gets her fabulous sense of humor. What an outstanding lady. Made me miss my Dad.


  1. Kitt Crescendo says:

    Wow, that stinks! It sucks when someone does shoddy work and you’re the one forced to pay. Funny you mentioned Mike Holmes. My hubby used to laugh at my HGTV obsession (I have it bad for Jamie Durie from The Outdoor Room). One day, though, I came home to HIM watching the show. He had turned on the tv and was about to change the station when Mike Holmes came on. He liked Mike’s vocal explosiveness. If Mike is on, he’ll hang out and watch too.

    • Yeah it does suck but…live and learn right?! At least it’s done now and done right. Phew. 🙂

      I love anything HGTV and love how it’s bringing you and the hubster together for a little TV watching together. 🙂

  2. It’s very frustrating to have to pay for some other person’s mistake/ignorance/poor workmanship and, you are so right, Mike Holmes would tear a strip off that contractor in a heartbeat! Minimum code is simply unacceptable in any aspect of life … and we’re not just talkin’ roofs …
    On the positive side, you don’t have to worry about roof leaks ever again and your Christmas shopping is taken care of!

    • LOVE that Patricia – minimum code is simply unacceptable in any aspect of life. Truer words have never been spoken! Woot woot!

      Yip…it’s nice to know it’s done and done right and shopping is complete. LOL!

  3. That original builder is DBx2 (Douche Bag SQUARED) – I freaking hate people like that. I used to date a contractor and it all takes much less effort to do right the first time.

    That being said…Hey THANKS for the new roof! I can’t wait to get my Christmas picture. You’ll be getting a picture of hubby’s engine in return. 🙂 Yes, we save, but the multi-thousand dollar expenses kind of wipe out the budget, as you know.Guess I need to teach more classes!

    • LOVE DBx2!! I am so using that Jenny. LOL!!!

      I hear ya. It sucks but I’ve definitely learned the value in having a healthier emergency fund!!! I am gonna have to get on the teaching line-up to stow away a little nest egg. 🙂

      Here’s to our fab Xmas card swap. LOL!!

  4. Geesh, can you tell I haven’t had coffee yet? Thank you for linking to my post!! That was one of my faves of all time to write – it was like having her hang out and chat with me the whole time. Can’t wait till our blog swap tomorrow. 🙂

  5. Merry Christmas! That was so thoughtful of you. 😉

    That really sucks. At least it’s all fixed now, and it won’t rain in your house anymore.

  6. prudencemacleod says:

    Bag kicking richly deserved. I know a number of Domme ladies in the BDSM community who would be happy to demonstrate techniques for you. I’m living in a money pit too, but at least my is older than Thor’s goat, so it has an excuse. I so feel your pain. Nine years old no less. Douche bag indeed.
    I’ll bet the new roof will be pretty all cover with Christmas snow. 🙂 No.., Natalie, don’t throw that soggy thing… ahhhhhhh

    • Girl…you are connected!!! I may have to tap into your network for appropriate training. This is one bag kicking I’ll want to get “just” right! 🙂

      Thor’s goat. LOL!!!

      Pretty snow….they call it “white gold” in the tourism dept…I prefer “white shit” honestly! LOL!

  7. Mary and I have been in our house 25 years now, and we’ve replaced the roof twice. The original roof was the builder’s special, and, as you noticed, they took a number of shortcuts that they shouldn’t have. The new roofer fixed all of the issues with the roof from the original and put a roof on that was intended to last fifteen years and it lasted a little longer than that. We had the same roofers put on the second roof, and this one will last longer than we will. I swear, though, there are days that we look at each other and ask, “what in God’s name were we thinking when we bought the house?” Enjoy your new roof! Merry Christmas!

    • TWO ROOFS John. Wow. You’ve got stamina. Well at least number two faired really well. I hope number 3 does just as well if not more so. And here’s hoping our “new front half” fairs just as well. Sometimes hubby and I ask ourselves the same question “why didn’t we do a condo” but alas, we love the storage and the yard (most of the time). 🙂
      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! 🙂

  8. A new roof! I’ve always wanted a new roof and now that it’s at your house, that means I can come up to visit my Christmas present!

    Still, it stinks you had to sink that much moola into your home without any warning or mental/fiscal preparation. Bag kicking is definitely in order. It bugs me when people cut corners in anything, especially home building. This is where you live your life, for goodness sakes! Douche. Major bag kicking.

    Merry Christmas to your new roof, may it never leak and keep you protected from the elements for ever and ever.

    • EXACTLY Tameri. It wouldn’t be RIGHT if you didn’t come and visit your Xmas present!! It’s a must. And since it can’t come to you, you’ll have to come to it. 🙂

      Yeah, it sucks. You know, in the end the money did suck but it was the feeling that someone purposefully cut corners and betrayed buyers of the home. For what? A couple hundred bucks? Wouldn’t a person feel better knowing they did the best job…even if it meant they didn’t make QUITE as much? I know I would…

      Ahhhh thanks honey! I feel warm and dry and lovely….


  9. Oh, that’s awful, Nat! Did you contact the insurance company for reimbursement of expenses? You might also be able to go back on the original roofer. They’re supposed to guarantee their work for a certain number of years. 9 yrs might be beyond their guarantee but you can write them up with the Better Business Bureau (or Canada’s version of that).
    In 35 years of owning homes, I’ve had my share of lousy contractors and shyster’s who thought they could fool me.One of the best stories involves the same ‘friend’ of my late husband. His name is Guy. So, we needed our chimney resurfaced. It ran up the side of the house and was truly ugly. Guy plastered over it in a decorative way and it looked beautiful. Then he had cement leftover from another job and we needed a patio. Cool! Only he measured incorrectly for the amount of cement we needed and we ended up with a patio that was basically rectangular but had a 3’x5′ extension attached to the rest of the 15×15 patio…looked like a square frying pan with a handle. We dealt with that. The ‘handle’ was where we set up the grill. No biggie. The following summer, we’re about to have my son’s Christening party and I’m dressing up the side of the house with new plantings where the chimney is. On my hands and knees digging holes for flowers and sheets of plaster are falling on my head from the chimney! The pretty plaster came off in sections and crumbled on the ground. Not only a messy looking chimney, but a mess in the garden and grass. Every time I saw that Guy afterward, he didn’t get too close because he could hear the grumbling in my throat and knew he didn’t want me to explode all over him.
    Merry Christmas, Nat!

    • No, we didn’t bother with insurance given our deductible was $1000 and after putting in a claim, our insurance premium would just go up. If it’d had been $7000+, we would have but for $3000, we just sucked it up. Or I guess friends and family did with their low-key Xmas this year. LOL!! I didn’t follow-up with the builder since I knew 9 years was far beyond any warranty but I WILL definitely look into the better business bureau for sure – GREAT suggestion. Thank you!

      CAN YOU IMAGINE?!?! Raining plaster on you. That is terrible. Again, what is the point right? He had to have known the work he did wouldn’t last and that he’d have to face seeing you around town…and yet did the shady work regardless. I don’t get it. It’s terrible and I hope you made him feel small and slight every single time.

      Merry Xmas Marcia! 🙂

  10. Oh, wow, Natalie…roof repairs and car repairs both send my blood pressure to BOILING. When we bought our house 20 years ago, there was an issue with there not being flame-retardant boards on only one part of the roof. Hello? What, did they run out of boards and just stick any old crap on there? So they made the roofing co. go back and fix it before we closed on the house. Then we had another problem with the roof (still under warranty at the time) and called to have them fix it, and they got all snotty and said (I kid you not), “Well, we already came out and put in that new panel for you a few months ago!” – WHAT! You’re doing ME a favor now? More accurately, fixing your crappy work!

    A few years ago, we finally needed an entire roof replacement – down to the rafters. We’re in a townhouse, so it was $5000. Yikes! (would have been worse for you guys, though – you’ve got a pretty house btw!). Funny story about our new roof, though – the crew that came out went to the WRONG house – same house #, but on a different street. I’m waiting and waiting for them to show up, and then I hear hammering in the nearby cul-de-sac. I just KNEW. We get each other’s flowers, deliveries, etc, all the time. I run over to the house and sure enough, there they are on the roof of the other house. The crew didn’t speak English very well, as I’m trying to explain that they are putting a roof on THE WRONG HOUSE. (those folks weren’t home at the time, can you imagine when they DID come home? Free Roof!). Finally I called the company, and an English-speaking foreman came out and shook his head. “That’s why we take a picture of the house and give it to the crew ahead of time,” he said. Needless to say, our houses didn’t look at ALL alike! So I hear from the company that night to reschedule, and they are apologizing all over the place. Oh, and it’s December, and there is no time to find another company to do the work. So I agree to the reschedule, but say: “NOT THAT WORK CREW! I want a different crew.” Don’t want those dumb-bunnies working on MY roof, LOL! By the way, everything turned out fine and the guys who did the work were super.

    My next door neighbor works for a builder, so she deals with contractors all the time. She told me that sort of thing actually happens A LOT. Can you imagine?

    Merry Christmas, Natalie! You should put a big red bow on your roof at Christmas time. 😀

    • Nothing irritates me more than scammers Kathy – cars or builders for sure!

      I CANNOT believe the original builder gave YOU a hard time to come fix their shaddy work. That is insane. Seriously. Not nice people. My gosh! I feel so terrible when I watched some of the HGTV shows like Mike Holmes and Cowboy Builder. It breaks my heart to hear how horribly some people will treat others and the terrible ruins (physical and financial) that some contractors and builders will leave people in. So disheartening…

      And ROFL at the new roof story. CAN YOU IMAGINE?! Went to the wrong house and actually started work. OMG!! That is unbelievable and hilarious. I would have never thought it possible…hahahahaha!!!!!!

      I should put a BIG red bow up there…squeeee…fab idea!! LOL!!

  11. gingercalem says:

    I want a shot at the bag. I need the stress relief. I am very sorry about having to buy a roof instead of fun presents for everyone. I think all the people who would have gotten a present get a kick at the bag. That’s gotta trump some socks! 😉

  12. Ouch, Natalie. I can normally deal with the expected — but this was not nice. I don’t like rain in my house any more than the next guy. We purchased a home for my Dad several years ago and I went for quaint – and you can imagine what quaint can hide – oh how I loved all those gables and pitches in the roof – then came the sagging victorian porch – never again. But it’s stunning now. My demand when we moved into our present home was that it could be no more than two years old and thank heavens for home owners insurance or we’d be out big time – the house is now 9 years old and they’ve replaced an automatic garage door, a dishwasher, 2 toilets that were not installed properly, and an air conditioning unit. Thank heavens for the home waranty that I keep renewing every year. Until we see quality craftsmanship again–I think the insurance is a must.

    • Wow Sheri – home warranty has been well worth the investment for you. I can’t imagine but at least knowing you have that to turn to…phew!!! And it’s beautiful now…wonderful!!!

  13. Good heavens, there is NO WAY I’m telling you what our replacement roof cost after Hurricane Ike. I’m sure the contractors were able to charge their max with all of us begging for someone to put shelter over our heads. It rained directly into our house too after the hurricane–twice actually. And it’s quite the experience to open the pull-down attic door and see the sky overhead. I knew it wasn’t supposed to look like that! Thankfully, our storm insurance took care of quite a bit of the cost (after we threatened to let a judge kick their you-know-what), but roofs still ain’t cheap!!! We have a lovely one now–metal shingles that look like clay tiles and supposedly take up to 120 mph of wind, a definite benefit living on the Gulf Coast. Thanks for the Christmas gift, Natalie! I can cross roof off my wish list to Santa now.

    • Julie…I can simply NOT imagine how horrific that experience must have been. Wow. My heart broke a little for you and anyone else who had to live through that…what a monstrosity of an event…and THANK GOD for storm insurance…and a judge and law you knew would back you up.

      I’ve seen those metal shingles that look like clay tiles and they are gorgeous!!! I bet it’s beautiful now that it’s said and done and to know that it could withstand 120 mph wind – comforting!!!

      LOL!! Yip, you can cross that off your wish list. Merry Xmas. LOL! 🙂

  14. POOR Nat-a-leeee!

    Here’s what I’ll do in exchange for your generous gift.

    I hereby release you from any and all obligation to leave me (guilt free) off your Christmas card list. No. Really.


    Because thinking about Christmas cards led to thinking about Christmas letters, which somewhat logically morphed into a plan to post The Ultimate Christmas Letter on my blog in December.

    Thank you!

    • Oh! Forgot to ask.

      Can I bring the raunch dicey stuff to your place for display?

    • HAHAHAHA!!! Love it Gloria!!!! I can’t wait to read the Ultimate Christmas Letter!!!

      AND yes you can bring the dicey stuff here…you let me know when you want to swing by and I’ll give you run of the house girl! Any time! 🙂

      Jenny’s coming tomorrow with something that was inspired by YOU! 🙂

  15. Oh dear. Welcome to home-ownership. Well, bright side, you found the leak!

    Sorry about your blown Christmas budget, but hey, all I need is a card anyway. I’d much rather you be warm and dry in your abode.

    Hang in there!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  16. Ouch – that’s ugly. I’m surprised your home inspection guy didn’t catch it. the calgary zoo is amazing. anytime you want to see it, come stay with me and I’ll take you

    • To be honest, me to. Our home inspector was fabulous and did find a few other items and like I said, we knew there had been “an issue” but to what extent…we couldn’t have known…and I guess given the home inspection was during a February evening (roof loaded with snow) maybe there was no way to tell even when he was in the attic. Alas…they can’t catch everything, eh?! Dang!

      Oh my gosh…Louise!!!! I would LOVE to see the Calgary Zoo someday and your warm welcome totally touched my heart!! Sniff….thank you! If ever we are in the city, I’ll definitely let you know…

  17. Aw… I love it when Christmas comes early, but not at friends’ expense. 😦 I can totally relate, Natalie. Hubby and I had a Zoe-moon instead of a honeymoon and wedding reception. The furry girl needed major surgery on her leg, so we literally moved into the living room for 2 months, unable to let her go up and down the stairs. (Since she’s deaf, she follows me EVERYwhere. It wasn’t easy…) The experience taught me a lot about dealing with unexpected/undesirable pitfalls. Ours turned into an adventure. With a little creativity, everything works out, sometimes better than Plan A. Best of luck with your roof AND the upcoming holidays. Knowing you, your being there alone is gift enough. *HUGS*

    • A Zoe-moon…I love that August. You are right, with a little creativity, everything works out. And it’s all in how you think about it. It was disappointing to have such a big expense this time of year but it could have been a lot worse and in the scheme of things, we are happy and healthy and could make the repairs happen…in that, we are blessed!

      AWWWWWW….sniff…thank you!! HUGS!!!!!

  18. Look at it this way – at least it won’t snow from your roof during Christmas 🙂

  19. Thanks so much for the shout out! What a nice surprise!
    I am following you, but not getting the emails. I will refollow!
    I think it happens every 8-10 years since nothing lasts longer than that. I can’t believe how much we have replaced in the last four!

    • Isn’t that weird Susie. I have the same issue with Emma Burcart’s blog. I’ve tried to unfollow and refollow her a bunch of times but yet I never get her posts via email. Frustrating.

      You are right…that puts just about everything else in the house to start falling apart. LOL! The joy of home ownership and “replacement” costs, eh?! 🙂

  20. Oh, hugs on the roof! That so sucks! Two years ago, our hot water heater went out, which doesn’t seem that huge, but it was two days before our son’s wedding! We got to leave, but had to come home to fifty degrees and no hot water! Then our oven died. then the a/c. It was an appliance plot!

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