Enter the Michigan Renaissance Faire. Rossana and I wandered the site last year, marveling at the nice booths and in particular some of the cedar shake roofs. After some inquiries I was led to one Richard Heinzelman, woodworker and booth builder. On a lark I told him about my home and asked if he could turn our low, sharp, plain roof into something higher and more organic looking. We talked a while, he asked for measurements and pictures. We talked some more. We drew pictures. We discussed materials costs. In the end, he agreed to do the project if three things would happen:
- I would need to find a source of fresh cut, green hardwood
- I would have to help
- It would have to be done in the last two weeks of October. (The worst time of the year weather-wise and during the Ohio Ren run).
Of course, removing the old roof exposed a LOT of wires, pipes, cinder block and other nastiness underneath that has to be covered up somehow. We (I) hadn't quite thought if that during planning. Covering the front of the house with stucco is our eventual goal, but that will have to wait until finances are available. Until then we're going to just cover it all up with some spare paneling.
Richard's labor costs were very reasonable and using me instead of bringing a member of his usual crew saved a lot. So did getting the wood from the Amish, who were very cool and eventually charged us LESS than we had originally agreed upon.(Cultural footnote: The Amish consider a firm handshake a sign of aggression and dominance, give 'em a limp-wristed shake and they'll consider you slightly less barbaric English) Grimm even helped out last Sunday while we finished up O-Ren. I thought this project would take two weeks but Richard thinks he'll be done in two days. This is what happens when someone knows their shit. I will post pics when we're done. The worst drawback to this project has been the damage to the plants near the house, which we have been walking all over. Its unavoidable and Rossana had been very stoic about the destructive, plodding men trampling everything in sight. And of course the new roof, being curved, has no gutters. I am slightly nervous about where the water is going to go in a heavy downpour. We may end up having to dig some French drains. More digging, horay.
The weather needs to hold on for two more days. Just two more days...