Today’s writing challenge, Daily Prompt: Surface, came at a perfect time. I’m obsessing over the SURFACE of my roof, my future shelter from the storms and travails of life. My home purchase is seriously denting my “fun” budget, so I’m juggling multiple demands on my limited funds, trying to fit everything in before I run out of time.
In my case, I’m dealing with being unable to do anything substantial for myself because, of course: a) I’m on disability, and b) the lawyer says I must sit and do nothing.
I’m the daughter of a plumb-trician (Mom would try and fix anything before calling a plumber or an electrician, as calling either would mean that someone [usually her] would go without necessities like food or heat for an unknown period of time).
I’m also the daughter of a master carpenter, so even though being anywhere near the refinishing / construction zone would make me sick as a dog, I love working with my hands and refinishing furniture, painting things, and generally am all-around-capable when it comes to basic home repairs. Screw the impact on my health ! (Or, something of that nature, until I smartened up and learned that my triggers served a purpose to protect my health).
Being a female in a man’s world, I’m also used to someone trying to take advantage of me because of the generally held belief, still, that “wimin folk ain’t supposed to know nuffin bout doin’ no man’s work”.
This belief structure is a serious irritant, as I’m a liberated female who came of age during a time of change, the 1970’s and early 80’s, and I resent being told that some big, manly man should do the work for me. I just need to hand over the bucks, with a penalty markup, for being a helpless little woman.
So, in this case, I paid $150 or so for the roof to be evaluated, and was informed that it was a new metal roof, installed within the last 10 years (good), but which needs work to seal it from leaks. $1,740 worth of repairs.
Needless to say, with my background in procurement for facilities and construction jobs, that pricing seemed high, and I wasn’t going to stop until I got 2 competing bids. (I really want to do the work myself, as I’ve also priced out the materials, but being lectured by the lawyer for doing more than I should, plus harming my health, has me making 2nd and third guesses about what’s the right thing to do vs. the cheapest thing to do. Sweat equity I got – energy? stamina? Not so much).
However, I looked at the local forecast for this sort of job, and my estimate falls squarely on the “more expensive” side of the bell curve of costs, reinforcing my belief that I’m being taken advantage of because of my gender.
If 28 thousand homeowners in my zip code / general area can get roof repairs done for around $1,000 on the max side, then it behooves me to look beneath the surface of the quote to make sure I’m not getting taken for a ride.
Until I hear from the new guys, I don’t know whether or not I’m going with the original guy’s quote. But, it behooves me to challenge a 1 year warranty on work that should also carry a multi-year warranty.
Surface. It’s all so shiny and pretty, but digging beneath it is where the value lies.