To Roof or not to Roof
For some of you, the answer to this question is obvious. I know for my husband and I it was barely a discussion. Though Brad, my husband, loves to do all of our projects himself, roofing was one thing that he agreed fairly rapidly was too much. The insurance company offered us a quote for the house and barn roof that covered both done by a professional.
Roofing is something that has lots of steps, and I think it is best left to professionals. Again, I would never tell someone not to DIY, so with that said a quick breakdown.
It took roofers three days to deliver all of the materials using a huge truck with a conveyor belt system, pull the old shingles, put them in a dumpster, lay a new fabric on the roof, lay new shingles, put in new vents, and clean the yard of nails and debris.
The roofing crew was four guys, four professionals! I can’t even guess how long it would have taken two novice workers one being myself who can barely lift a pile of shingles. Getting the supplies onto the roof alone would have taken us a day.
For us, this was a DIY pass!
Our biggest DIY recently was to repaint our barn. We had lots of hail damage in a recent storm and the insurance company offered to pay to have some trim re-painted by a professional, giving us $1,400. We now had a decision to make; hire a professional to paint the barn, or do it ourselves and pocket some cash! We did recognize that painting a large structure would take tons of time, but we had tons of time so why not?!?!
Now, I will admit. I grossly underestimated the amount of time this project would take. I truly thought a few evenings to scrape and prep, and one solid weekend of painting and we would be good. As life has a tendency to do, it threw us a curveball. The week we planned to prep my husband had to complete a training for work that took 30 hours. If that happened during the work day, it would be no big deal, but he still had to work his normal hours doing his normal tasks so this became an at home activity. We suddenly found the prepping halted in its tracks.
I have found that life is the biggest obstacle in DIY projects. You have the idea, the excitement at the beginning gets you going, you draw it out, you talk it out, you tell everyone you know, and you might even go to get the supplies. This is where the fun stops. The reality of climbing up the ladder to scrape the barn becomes real.
As I put my first foot on the bottom rung, the thirty foot ladder shook. I do not like heights. My brain immediately started reeling. Why on earth did I agree to paint this behemoth?!?!
Once I got going, the height wasn’t so bad, and I kept reminding myself this would have cost us roughly $1,400. (My husband estimated paint and drywall for a small construction firm for seven years, so he is pretty good at estimating potential costs.) If you don’t happen to be married to an estimator, call around or even have people come out. Sometimes a little leg work can go a long way to saving you money.
So let me lay out the specifics of what we spent and saved:
TOTAL Expenses – $170
- $150 for 6 gallons of paint
- 5 gallons – white part of the barn
- 1 gallon – red trim
- $20 or so on tape, and a few buckets to easily carry paint high up on the ladders. (We already had tons of paint brushes, and we borrowed a sprayer to do a bulk of the work.)
- 2 hours 5 days for prep
- Saturday-Sunday (8 hour days) to finish prepping and spray
- 4 hours to brush and roll all of the trim
So here is thing about DIY projects, numbers play a huge roll in deciding whether its worth it or not. The barn would have cost $1,400 to hire a painter, but we did it ourselves.
$1,400 – from the insurance
– $170 – for the supplies
$1,230 – leftover in our pocket for our labor
Divide that $1,230 by the hours we spent which was around 30, and we got paid $41 an hour. Not bad!
Obviously the time estimate is just that, an estimate, but even if it took us a few more or less hours to me that it time well spent. I make $15 an hour as a para, so $41 an hour to paint is well worth my time!