Category: Home Improvements

So I finally got a call back from my insurance company, well to be clear, I got a call back from the company my insurance company sub-contracts out their claim handling to.  I am less and less impressed with the way Tower Hill does business now that both the adjusters that did my assessment and the people cutting checks both are not actual Tower Hill employees.

So anyway, I tell this woman how the number they came up with was much lower than the estimates I have received from contractors. (roughly 5-6k)  I told her I had emailed those estimates in earlier in the day.  The conversation was very difficult to hear, she sounded like she was talking inside a box and there was a lot of background noise.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was intentional, making a call annoying makes you want to end it sooner.

She said that after looking at the estimates the only way she could authorize paying out additional funds was if she contacted these contractors to see why their quotes were more than the insurance company estimate.  I laughed out loud at this as I knew it was utterly ridiculous.  To think a contractor, who is already buried in work is going to sit there and waste their time on the phone justifying their quote to some insurance company call center minion is laughable.  I indicated that this didn’t seem to make any sense but she repeated that was the course of action to follow.  I gave her permission to contact them but I don’t expect her to get anywhere with it, but she already knows that.

The interaction to me was just very transparent.  The entire goal here is to delay and frustrate the homeowner to the point where he just wants to get stuff fixed so they accept the initial offer.  However in my situation I have the house and pool cage temporarily fixed enough that I can play a long game if need be.  I plan to consult the public adjuster I spoke to initially and see what she thinks my best course of action is at this point.

I tried to give myself extra time on Saturday to work on the pool cage by getting the weeding out of the way on Friday evening.  In a way it was sort of nice as the temps were in the low 80’s and dropping.

Saturday morning Cindy was helping out a friend with a 5K walk that supports cancer research. She suggested I get my run out of the way on Saturday so we could sleep in on Sunday.  I took that advice and started running even earlier than normal since Cindy had a 5AM alarm.  I took my first strides a little after 6.  Since I pushed my run to 16 laps when Cindy showed up last week so I felt obligated to run more than my normal 12 times around the track so I added a 13th lap.  I didn’t feel too bad.

After getting back and tending to the chickens I wasted little time before I started working on the pool cage screen.  I first did my amateur seamstress impersonation, sewing up the sections of screen that had a gap.  The end result is far from visually pleasing but I think it will do a half decent job of keeping unwanted critters and bugs out of the pool area.

I then grabbed my bag of 2″ Nylotec pool cage screws and replaced all of the screws in the 1″x 2″ header piece, most of which were completely rusted.  These nylon head screws will basically never rust and make the cage look much better.  I replaced about 30 screws and have a lot more to go.  I have a kit to replace the smaller screws along the bottom and I need to get one more size to replace the real big cement screws which are the worst looking of all.  Installation of the new screws is easy, back out the old screw and insert the new one, which has a slightly larger diameter, allowing you to use the existing hole.

Cindy was gone longer than I anticipated but when she got home I asked her to help me with the last and most difficult screen fix I had left to do, a roof section.  I had a similar issue as I did with the sides, since I could not get screen rolls that were wide enough to cover it completely I was going to use a long four foot roll, overlapping two pieces.

Getting the strip of screen stretched across the opening was a difficult task in itself.  I had the roll up on the roof with me while Cindy had the other end, trying to get it over the edge of the cage so it could be pulled over top.  The gusting wind turned the screen into a sail, making the work even more frustrating.  Eventually we got the first piece in place.  I splined it in along the roof gutter and then came down and did my best to pull it tight and attach it on the other side.  My best was not good enough as the wind ripped it out.  I had to reattach it a couple times.

Getting the second piece on was equally if not more frustrating.  Eventually we got it into place enough that I told Cindy I could take it from there.  I was not pleased with the way things were.  The one strip of screening had a fold along the edge that I could not reach.  With the long strip only being secured at either edge I knew there was a good chance it would come loose quickly so I felt that somehow I needed to secure it more on top.

At first I entertained the idea of simply scaling the pool frame like a circus act however thankfully visions of me getting blown off balance by the wind and crashing through the screen to the concrete below made me reconsider the plan.  I did come up with a plan B however.  After I climbed back on the roof with the Gorilla ladder I proceeded to pull the ladder up on the roof with me.  I then put one end of the ladder on the roof and rested the other end on a roof beam of the pool cage, creating a shaky scaffolding.  I then carefully crawled out across it, some 15-20 feet in the air, hoping that my demise would not come from the ladder suddenly breaking in half from using it in an unintended way.  I somehow managed to get some spline in a couple spots on top of the cage that hopefully will keep the screen in place for now.  I was glad Cindy was not outside to witness this act of daring. (stupidity)

Saturday night Cindy and I went to see the Kingsman sequel at Silverspot.  Unfortunately our favorite theater at Coconut Point is STILL closed due to hurricane damage.  The parking garage was a bit of a mess coming in but a cluster fck getting out, reminding me why I prefer seeing films elsewhere. The movie was very entertaining in a different and bizarre kind of way at times, much like the original.    It was entertaining enough for me to push into A- range.

On Sunday morning I had the idea to try to ride my Gotway Monster all the way to Ave Maria and back, a roughly 30 mile trek.  It was much further than Cindy would have wanted to ride so she stayed home while I shoved off solo.  I thought I would have absolutely no problems having the battery capacity to do it.  I figured my 1600WH battery would be good for around 50 miles of riding.  Well for almost the entire ride there I was going into a heavy headwind.  When I stopped in town and looked at my battery indicator I was a bit shocked to see it was down to 50% after only going 15 miles. I had visions of running out of juice before I could get back home.

Luckily for me that headwind turned into a tailwind on the ride back, plus I tried to keep my speed down a bit.  If you watch the video you will see I ramble about a number of different topics along the way.  My calves and feet were completely numb by the time I pulled back in the driveway.

Cindy and I ran out to Home Depot and Rural King when I got back, taking the dogs along.  They love to be in the car.  Sadie loved going into stores too.  Elsa gets more freaked out being around strangers but we keep trying to expose her to the environment to help her settle down.

I spent the majority of the rest of the day doing video production and again clubbing away at my CR-10 problem.  I wound up buying a new hot end assembly but in order to install it I had to utilize my very poor soldering skills to splice the new end into place.  I am worried that my connection will not hold up to the endless back and forth movements the printer makes but time will tell.

I put everything back together and my clogging problem seems to be fixed but I still need to do a recalibration of the printer to get it printing correctly with the new stuff in there.  I shot some video of the process and then somehow proceeded to lose the SD card the footage was on.  I must have set it down somewhere while cleaning up the mess I had on the desk but I spent a good 20-30 minutes looking everywhere for it to no avail.  When combined with the frustration I was already feeling with the printer shit it was not a good time. If this latest round of attempted repairs does not work out I think I am just about ready to say F it and just wait to get a Prusa i3 MK3 which has similar print capacity with a whole less frustration.



So to my surprise I saw that Tower Hill did the initial processing of my claim.  Since I have electronic document delivery I was able to see it instantly instead of waiting 5-7 days.  I wish I was happier with what I saw.  They accessed my total damage at just under $15,600 which is less than the lowest quote I received to redo the roof in three tab shingles.  I also have an additional $4500 quote to repair the pool cage damage and rescreen it so to me, we are about 5k apart from what I would be satisfied with.  When you factor in the $5100 plus hurricane deductible my policy has, the actual check I would be getting would be for around $10,500.

My plans to upgrade the roof as part of this process to metal make it even more important to get fair value in the claim to reduce how much is coming out of my pocket.  I get to begin a new round of frustration today when I call them up to dispute their numbers.

Even though my knee jerk response was to go metal with the replacement roof the visit by the Home Depot estimator added some more fuzziness to that view.  The prospect of architectural shingles seemed interesting as a stronger, better looking alternative to the three tab shingles that were on the house.  Supposedly they have a version of these shingles designed to reflect heat much better than normal shingles.   Architectural shingles are also far less expensive than metal roofing.

The sky high price of the standing seam metal roof quote by HD ($31k) makes me doubt the wisdom of going with the 5V crimp exposed fastener metal roof that I was quoted for about $19k from another place.  There is a reason there is such a huge price difference between the two with the main reason being exposed fasteners over time have the potential to break down and allow moisture in.  But at the same time does it even matter what the roof is even like in 30 years, I’ll likely be dead before that and if not, probably living elsewhere.

So I have a lot of things rolling through my head and a lot of issues to resolve.  I can hardly wait till this time next year where all of the hurricane remediation and work related headaches will be behind me.

Forecast for the weekend, pool screen sewing, pool screen stretching, and hopefully some time for fun.


So as I expected, trying to trudge through hurricane remediation has been a pain in the ass.  I have been patiently waiting for my insurance company to contact me with a settlement offer after they told me I needed to wait up to 14 business days for them to receive the information from the adjuster company.  The adjuster was at my house on September 26th so this past Monday marked the end of those 14 days.  So I still had not heard anything so I called.

The representative checked my case and said they still had not received back the information from the adjuster which seemed crazy.  When the guy was at the house he told us to expect about a week until the stuff was sent in.  They gave me a direct number to call the adjusters although I questioned why Tower Hill doesn’t do this themselves?  Why is the customer responsible for making sure the claim is processed correctly….

So I call up the adjuster and tell them that I was told they had not submitted their information yet.  She looked in their system and verified that it indeed was still not completed, it was waiting for review by their “desk adjuster”.  I went on a bit of a rant asking why was I told a week and we are now three weeks out and it wasn’t done.  The woman apologized and said they would get it processed that day and sent in.  I asked for someone to call me back to verify it was done.

So the day passed and by late afternoon I still had not received a call back so I called again.  A different woman told me that the system now shows the information as being submitted and I should hear something back from Tower Hill in 24-48 hours.   I didn’t bother asking why no one called me to tell me this, I was just glad it was finally done.

So I waited another two days as instructed, hoping for a call but expecting to not get one.  I pick up the phone and call back yesterday, 48 hours later to Tower Hill, once again asking what’s up.  Imagine my delight when they tell me they STILL do not have the information from the adjusters.  I told the rep she must be mistaken as the adjuster confirmed on Monday it had been sent.  She didn’t know what to tell me but forwarded me to some “escalation” number that nobody answered and went straight to voicemail.  I supposedly was escalated on Monday as well and received no follow up.

So, I call back the adjuster company again, telling them that for some reason the insurance company says they still don’t have the information.  The woman on the other side sheepishly tells me that the info actually had not been sent yet.  There was one more part of the process that had not been completed.  I unleashed a barrage of anger at their incompetence, asking why they would tell me it was sent when it wasn’t, how can that be a hard thing to get right?  I reminded her that their continued delays make my efforts to remediate my issues more and more difficult.  Of course this woman just answered the phones but I had no one else to aim this frustration at.  She assured me it would be transmitted today and promised a call when it was, to confirm it.  Later in the day I did have a voicemail on my cell phone stating it was sent which I will be keeping for verbal proof.  Now I need to wait another day or two to allow Tower Hill to digest it. I am already anticipating this escalation when after all of this delay, Tower Hill comes back with a lowball offer that won’t be acceptable.  I can only hope I am wrong.

Last night after work I put my plan to “sew” together portions of the temp pool cage screen together.  I threaded some fishing line into a big hook needle I bought and worked on the vertical seam near the one door.  I stitched it every 5-6 inches which seemed to close it sufficiently to keep unwanted animals/objects out.  It turned out well and I plan to use the same strategy to connect the half dozen or so horizontal seams as well.

This weekend I hope to tackle the open roof section using two 4 foot wide strips.  It will be a two person job as I need someone to toss me screen while I secure one edge along the roof line.


So I used a vacation day yesterday primarily so I could make the famous chocolate birthday cake for Cindy.  Although I had already bought a birthday present for Cindy I thought I would give her another gift of effort.  Since Irma the pool cage area has been wide open to organic debris, bugs, and frogs thanks to the numerous missing screen panels.  Cindy had commented repeatedly how she didn’t like the situation.  I thought I would surprise her and make the situation better.

I left in the morning to Home Depot.  I told Cindy where I was going but not why, just that it was a birthday present.  For some reason I just assumed that by now pool cage screening would once again be readily available.  That assumption was defective.  Home Depot had very little screening and none of the wide rolls that are normally needed for pool cages.  I didn’t want to give up on my plan so I headed to Lowe’s which was about 7 or 8 miles away.

Lowe’s didn’t have the real wide rolls either, the widest they had was five feet which I did not think was enough to cover the sections completely but I figured it would be better than nothing.  I grabbed three 25 foot rolls of the stuff and headed back home.  As soon as I got home I got busy.  First I had to clean out any channels that had any old spline or screen in them which can be a pain in the ass to varying degrees.

I then used the small bit of wide enough screen I had left over to cover the two sections missing by the main door we use.  I figured those two would be the best to be covered completely.  I did not worry about making sure the screens were tight as a drum as it was all temporary.  As long as they keep out debris, frogs, and bugs for the most part my goal would be attained.  So as I expected the rolls I bought were about 6 inches too narrow.  What I wound up doing was securing the top edge and then just get as much tension as I could on the sides which left a two three inch gap at the bottom.  I then went back and cut smaller strips of screening that I affixed to the bottom to create an overlap.  My plan is to loosely secure the two pieces together on the seam using a hook needle and fishing line, far from an elegant solution but hopefully effective.

Hanging screen by yourself is never much fun.  I was pretty beat by the end of it but managed to get all of the side sections covered. The only remaining opening is a strip across the roof of the cage which I hope to cover by the end of the weekend.  Mid-afternoon I mixed in cake prep with screen repair, alternating between the two as time allowed.

My day off was pretty much totally filled with work which I didn’t mind as the goal was to make it a good day for Cindy.  She was surprised by the GoPro Session camera I got her as a main gift which should be fun to experiment with.  I even made dinner to go along with the cake which Katie stopped by to enjoy.


So most of my Saturday wound up being consumed by yard work which consisted of weeding, weed whacking, and mowing.  I worked into mid-afternoon trying to get the yard looking nicely manicured.  I am hoping as we transition into dry season the need for me to invest so much time each weekend on routine grass maintenance can instead be used for other projects.

After I finished up we did a late Rural King and Home Depot run.  When we got home I immediately spread the 20 bags of mulch we bought as well as throwing a dozen castle stones around the avocado tree up front.  We also lost another tree on Saturday, intentionally.  Well over a decade ago Ali and I bought a tree at a nearby home show that we planted near one of the front corners of the property near the road.  I have no recollection of what type of tree it was or why exactly it appealed to us. Well the tree hardly grew since it was put in the ground.  Perhaps it didn’t like sandy soil.  The tree was not attractive with a sort of gnarled appearance with spike covered branches that did nothing but tear at the canopy of the tractor when you drove close to the tree.

Irma had pushed a westward lean into the tree, making it even less attractive than it was before.  For years Cindy has expressed her dislike of the tree which I didn’t fundamentally disagree with, yet sentiment prevented me from taking it down.  For some reason as I was mowing on Saturday that sentiment lifted and I told Cindy if she wanted to cut the tree down she had my blessing.  She wasted no time, grabbing the battery powered Sawz-all and cutting the ugly tree down to ground level in a few minutes.  She tossed the pieces into the huge debris pile on the other side of the road.  I can’t say I have had much remorse since the tree was removed from the landscape, unlike much of the other landscape that bit the dust in the hurricane.

Saturday night Cindy went with Katie to some Halloween corn maze. (that they bailed on when they saw how long the line was)  While they were out I went into hardcore geek mode, participating in a funny event in WoW.  It was a “race” where you run on foot from one location in game to another which are far apart.  The gimmick was people were encouraged to do this run as a gnome, an ethnicity that most people don’t have so like many others, I made one just for the run.

So to cover the distance on foot took a long time, probably 45 minutes.  I died 7 or 8 times along the way as horde players looked at this as a perfect opportunity to “troll” the event, stepping on level 1 or 2 gnomes like ants.  After I completed the course on my gnome I went back and did it again as one of my high level characters at a walking pace which took much, much longer.  Not only did it allow me to take in the scenery and remember just how the game felt when I first got involved a dozen years ago, I also served as a body guard to other low level gnomes that were still running the course.  If I saw horde nearby I did my best to kill them off before they could squash others.  It was silly, stupid fun.  Walking the course took MUCH longer, I bet damn close to 90 minutes.

Sunday morning I drug myself out of bed to go run the track.  Cindy got up too but not to run with me, she was planning to run a nearby 5K with a friend of hers.  As I was close to completing my planned 12 laps I saw Cindy’s car pull into the lot.  I figured maybe she wanted to run a warm up lap with me or something.  Instead she said her friend backed out last minute on the race so she figured she would just run the track.

I told her I was literally starting my last lap but Cindy started running with me.  Well it didn’t take long for me to feel badly about not running longer with her so I told Cindy I would do an extra lap or two.  That turned into a full extra mile which of course I had no expectation of doing.  I am pretty sure it was the first time I ran four miles in 2017.  It’s funny, if I was by myself for the entire run, the idea of tacking an extra mile on the end would have seemed close to ridiculous.  However when you add another person to the mix those barriers get fuzzy.  Sure I was tired as I kept pressing on but it didn’t kill me.  It was a reminder how so many personal boundaries are self inflicted and why having others share your pain somehow makes it more bearable.  I guess that is why running clubs were invented.

Cindy and I went for a wheel ride near Vanderbilt Beach late in the morning.  It was fun as always but very warm.  I had a steady stream of sweat running down my back most of the time.

During the afternoon I worked on several things, including more futzing with the CR-10 printer.  I have a clear path to resolving my issue, I just have not worked out all of the logistics on how to get there.

Sunday evening we went out for an early birthday dinner celebration for Cindy.  We met up with Katie, Daniel, Cindy’s mom and two nieces at Outback.  It was funny that we got the exact same table that we had last time we were at the restaurant a year or two ago.  We had a very enjoyable dinner followed up with ice cream cake at Cindy’s mom’s place afterward.  We didn’t get home till after 9 which normally I would not be a fan of on a Sunday night however Cindy had a lot of fun which made it well worth it.

Oh I forgot to mention on Saturday the roof guy from Home Depot came out to look at the house.  Their quote on shingles was in the same ballpark as the first quote I got.  One option he presented which was interesting was “architectural shingles” which have a lot more overlap which makes them more durable than standard three tab shingles.  They also have “cool” varieties of this shingle which supposedly reflects heat much more effectively. Their quote for metal roofing was sky high.  Part of that gap with my other metal roof quote was the HD quote was for more expensive hidden fastener roofing while my first estimate had exposed fasteners.  But even so, over 30k for metal seemed a little outrageous.  I am hoping to get a firm answer from my home owners insurance today.

I have an odd week ahead with me taking off tomorrow, mostly to make the special chocolate birthday cake for Cindy.  It will be cool to break the week into a one and three day chunk.






So I managed to stay up for the Eagles/Panthers game last night.  Well I mostly did, drifting off mid third quarter but awakening with about two minutes left in the game.  Beating the Panthers on the road was a pretty huge deal and may actually be enough to make me think the Birds actually could be a playoff caliber team this year.  It’s a feeling I haven’t had in a long time but pretty much everything I saw last night, except for that dumb ass Mills at cornerback, makes me think the team actually has a shot.  Hopefully the injury bug doesn’t hit too hard this year.  It would be nice to have something to look forward to after the regular season.

Speaking of football, I neglected to mention that the Florida Tarpons, the local arena football team I had season tickets to for 4-5 years packed up their bags and relocated to Lakeland, close to two hours away.  There was no warning for the sudden move which I found a bit annoying yet in the big picture I understand.  Attendance was always pretty abysmal and after the end of each season I would always say there was no way they would be back next year.  Well I guess I was finally right, sort of.

Today another piece of the hurricane remediation process takes place.  A guy is coming out to do an appraisal on the house so I can reopen my home equity line of credit.  I am hoping the blue tarped roof doesn’t cause a big issue but I can give him pictures of what is under there in case he needs it.  The need to even have a formal appraisal in this situation, which I have to pay for, is sort of ridiculous.  A simple search on our tax collector website reveals a value far exceeding the minimal requirements to qualify for the loan.

This weekend there is more to do, as always.  Don’t get me wrong, although I do complain about my workload at home, 180 degrees in the other direction would not be good for my state of being either.  Sitting around and basically doing nothing all weekend would bother me more.

So I spent at least a couple hours last night swapping out stuff on my CR-10 in the hopes to fix my jamming filament issue.  After a lot of tedious reassembly I reloaded filament and immediately witnessed the same problem.  Needless to say I was really,really frustrated as you can see here.

One small bit of good news was the FEMA blue tarp program seems to be something you aren’t used to from a federal government program, efficient.  Cindy only requested the tarping of our roof last Friday and less than a week later the house is wearing a nice new blue hat, for free.  The tarp will help keep the roof insulated from leaks while we wait for roof replacement which at this point I am guessing will take at least six months.

I figured a quick blog entry recapping the weekend was a good way to celebrate a dominant Eagles win over the Cardinals.

I again had a lot of things I wanted to get done this weekend but I did not compose a to do list mapping it out this time.  I was out in the yard pretty early Saturday, tending to the chickens needs and weeding.  I was very surprised when Cindy told me she got a call from the FEMA guy, saying he was going to be stopping by soon.  Cindy HAD just applied for the FEMA blue tarp program the prior afternoon.  Evidently they are getting caught up.

In a nutshell, FEMA will tarp your damaged roof for free.  Since I likely will not have my roof repaired for six months I may as well take advantage of the extra insurance policy to prevent water from permeating the damaged sections of shingles.  I’m not sure how long it will take until the roof is wearing a blue tarp but I bet it will be less than two weeks.

Cindy, Elsa and I headed out to our almost automatic stops at Home Depot and Rural King.  I needed a few things.  When we got home I headed outside to install some of them.  I installed a new handle/latch on one of the screen doors that was damaged during Irma, the guts of it had been damaged from all of the wind and associated slamming.  I also finally got to replace the roof panel on the chicken run that was ripped off during the storm.  The chickens now have full rain protection once again.

Saturday night Cindy and I went to the movies for the first time in a long time.  Our favorite movie theater, Coconut Point has been closed since the storm as they evidently are having a hard time finding a contractor to repair whatever damage they have.  We instead went to Silverspot which also still had some storm related issues, their high tech kiosk ticketing system was dark and they didn’t have the ability to check people in with hand scanners like they normally do.

The movie we went to see was Blade Runner 2049.  I saw the original decades ago but remembered very little about it besides it starring Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer.  This version of the movie was very long, nearly three hours in length. The movie was also INCREDIBLY loud, it may have been the loudest film I ever saw in a theater.  Repeatedly you could feel the floor shaking and the drop ceiling vibrating from the volume of the sound.  Cindy had to cover her ears more than once.

Those things aside I found the film entertaining  and good albeit confusing at times.  After the movie I was trying to clear up fuzzy plot points with Cindy as there was a lot going on.  The film also had the largest naked women I have ever seen on screen, I bet some of them were a 100 feet tall.  I saw the film’s week one numbers missed expectations which is too bad.  However I think that is part of the risk of doing a sequel of a film 35 years after the original.  A good chunk of the original audience is now either dead or being pushed around a nursing home.  Millenials could give two F’s about replicants or Harrison Ford.   I did find it interesting to find out the original futuristic Blade Runner film was cast to take place in 2019. Anyway, I liked it, if you are my age you will probably like it too. B+

This morning despite getting home late I drug myself out of bed at 6AM to go run at the track.  As I downed my power breakfast of two Pop Tarts I saw my weather station indicated the humidity outside was 95%.  That is lovely.  As I trudged around the track I yearned for the winter mornings where temps in the 50’s are much more common.  I am so ready for heat and humidity to take a three-four month hiatus.

I went right from running to cleaning the chicken coop when I got home.  I followed up with paying the bills and then getting ready to go ride.  I originally had a plan to go do a solo ride to DD and then get picked up by Cindy so we could go pick up and install a microwave for her mom.  My ride to DD went by quickly on my Monster and when Cindy showed up she said the install was postponed until her mom could locate a microwave she liked.  We decided to go another 10 minutes down the road to North Collier Regional Park where Cindy could go walk Elsa while I rode around some more. It was hot and sweaty but fun.

Most of my afternoon was consumed by watching the Eagles lay a beating on the Cardinals, a pleasant surprise.  After the game was in hand I tended to a few remaining household chores before punching out this entry.  I am already anticipating a busy start to next week so I am taking my writing time where I can find it.

So I received back my virtual estimate for roof replacement that was calculated using info from GIS mapping and Google Maps. I really had no idea what to expect but figured somewhere between the 10 and 20k range.  The quote for a metal roof slid in just below that top number at 19,000 and change.  The cost to reshingle the roof was around $15500, a small enough difference that I would absolutely go the metal roof direction without question. This quote included completely stripping off the old shingles and underlayment and renailing the deck surface.  This particular company won’t lay metal on top of shingles which I assume is the best way to go about things, it just costs more.

So now I am sort of in circling mode.  I have a Home Depot rep scheduled to come out two weekends from now to give me a second quote for comparison.  I have had absolutely no luck finding anyone willing to even give me an estimate of fixing up the pool cage which isn’t all that surprising. However what I really need is to hear back from my homeowners insurance to see what they offer me for settlement.  I also need to see how quickly I can get my HELOC reopened to help me offset the expense of everything.

When I came home yesterday I saw a crew of guys on my neighbors roof laying down blue tarp.  I was confused, I did not know if these were roofers that were tarping the roof as part of their service to protect it before they could repair it.  It turns out they were actually a crew hired by FEMA that tarps damaged roofs for free.  There is an application process to get it done which I hope to have Cindy investigate/apply for me today.  In all likelihood my roof is not going to get replaced for at least six months so I should take advantage of the program to minimize the chance of water seeping in between the damaged shingles.

A good portion of last night was spent in the hobby room.  Despite my repeated efforts, the area designated for 3D printing kept turning into a mess and I was sick of it.  Cindy had made a good suggestion that we should mount some pegboard along the wall behind the desk to allow me to hang and organize the various tools and supplies I use regularly for 3D printing.

I picked up the pegboard last night after work, which was a bit of an ordeal since I had the Prius.  Home Depot only sells the stuff in big 4′ x 8′ sheets which would not fit.  I waited to have an employee cut the sheet in half so I had two 4×4 squares.  Even so it was a very tight fit, requiring me to flex the pegboard pretty severely to fit inside the car.

I cut a piece further at home so it would fit in between the shelf supports. Cindy and I came up with a weird but effective mounting method which involved cutting off small sections of a foam pool noodle into little donuts that we tie wrapped to the back to keep it away from the wall a bit.  We then used more tie wraps to attach the top of the pegboard to the shelving above.  It worked out really well and should do no damage to the wall behind it. After the board was up I spent another chunk of time hanging items on it, organizing what wasn’t hanging and throwing out stuff that was not needed.  I’m happy with the end result and I am sure it will get tweaked a little further down the road.


When I got home yesterday, after a frustrating day of dead ends when it came to trying secure someone to look at our pool cage and roof damage I decided I needed to get on the roof to do a few stop gap repairs.  When I did my roof survey after the hurricane I took note of a couple spots where the shingles were ripped off all the way down to bare felt/tar paper.  I read online that the underlayment will only hold up a short period of time when exposed to the elements.

We had made a nice pile of shingles that had ripped off the house.  I had Cindy toss a few of them up to me which I used to tuck under the intact shelters and then nail into place so water can run off instead of possibly under the shingles.  There were only three spots I found with bare paper so it didn’t take very long.

So as I survey what the hurricane remediation landscape, it is looking like a long and expensive path.  In anticipation of this I started the process of reopening my home equity line of credit for withdrawals.  It closed three years ago after 10 years.  At the time I didn’t feel like going through the hassle of the reapplication process however with a potential slew of home improvement expenses coming up it made sense to do so at this time.  If I am going to spend the money, I may as well do it in a manner that allows me to write off the interest on my taxes.

Like I said I have run into a lot of dead ends when it comes to getting estimates on the work I need.  I had one pool cage contractor said they are only doing full cage rebuilds, not repairs.  Another said they weren’t willing to drive so far because they have enough work by them. Others either don’t answer the phone or just never respond back to you.  I did however have the luck to find a co-worker whose husband works for a roofing company that has an interesting way to handle the estimate problem.

The company will present you an estimate without even coming out to your property.  How in the world can they do that accurately you may ask?  They use GIS imaging and Google Maps to gather the measurements they need.  They then feed these numbers into some program and generate estimates remotely, pretty cool.  I have not seen the estimates yet, I requested one for doing shingles again and a metal roof.  I have a feeling I will be in for some sticker shock.