Now We Are Roofers

On Saturday, Dude and I took a mini trip over to Point P. I still wasn’t feeling good so he promised to keep it short and simple. We needed some tiles to go on the very top of our roof. You know that part that comes up at a peak like the angle of a triangle, yup, that’s the one. That is where our leak is originating so we need to hurry up and take care of it lickity-split before the next storm.

Since this is the first time Dude and I have done roofing here, we weren’t sure how to go about this the best way. We definitely want to make it look good and keep the rain out, but we also live in the region of the Mistrals and need to be sure we get them on good so they don’t blow off one day during a horrendous wind storm and fall into the neighbor’s yard and kill them while they are trying to rake up their leaves or something. Goodness knows I don’t need that on my conscience!

So at Point P, we took a look around and found that there are a bunch of types of tiles you can use around here. Who knew?? We finally found one that we thought might work, but needed to verify this. We ended up just buying one tile, taking it home and trying it out, and then running all the way back to the store 15 minutes before they closed to buy 17 more and a bunch of tile glue. I really didn’t want to spend my hard earn money on glue. I figured we could just melt the stuff we’ve been scraping off the walls and then just use that to help keep them down.

Since Dude bought 4 tubes of tile glue, I figured my idea was a no-go. He said we were also going to cement them down.

That was pretty much all I could handle for the day, so we took off for home.

On Sunday, Dude proceeded to climb up on the roof (pretty much 4 stories high) and clear off all the old tiles that have been causing us issues with leaking and then throwing all the junk away. It took a lot longer than we thought because Dude also discovered that the whole entire roof (that was originally concreted down probably 30 years ago) was now coming apart. In a sense, the cement that has been holding the tiles down has all turned to sand and now our entire roof isn’t really stuck on, it’s just staying in place due to the weight of each of the tiles on each other.

Another bad discovery was that the original ridge beam was way too low so now he had to fix that problem or else we didn’t have a place to set the tiles. So all day Dude cleaned up the roof by removing the old tiles, the old cement and sand, and trying to figure out how he was going to fix the ridge beam problem so we could make the roof normal and function right.

At the end of the day, we had a ton of roof crap in our yard for the trash man.

On Monday we headed over bright and early to Point P to pick up some more roof tiles since we were now going to have to have some regular ones (under/overs) to put in just below the new tiles we bought for the peak. They were going to go on both sides of the roof. Dude estimated that we needed 100 of them. We were able to get 50 into the car and while I paid bill Dude drove them home, unloaded them, and then came back for the other 50. We had to make a third trip for more cement and then off to work I went.

That evening we made a stopover at LeRoy-Merlin to pick up some wood so we could fix the ridge beam. We had to buy two pieces of wood that were the same size in order to put the added beam in. Dude also found some brackets to use to help hold it in place. They aren’t exactly what we were looking for, but when in France sometimes you just got to System D it.

On Tuesday I got lucky cuz here in France it was a holiday which means instead of going to work at the office I got to go to work at home. That just means one thing. It’s not really a holiday!

First off was putting in the new ridge beam (which really just went on top of the existing wood that was there). This was mainly Dude’s job as I was scared to death to go out on the roof, being that it is slanted and you are around 4 stories up. Listen people, I’m the bread winner in this family so that mean extra precaution.

That day my middle name was pretty much “can you go find” or “can you go get”. That’s right. I was the gopher girl. I actually like that job unless I can’t find it then I just get pissed off and have a meltdown. Just kidding. Well about the meltdown part, not the pissed off part J

After Dude finished putting in the first piece of wood, he found out that he actually needed my help because doing it all by himself wasn’t working. It was too hard to make it straight. So guess what?? I actually had to go out on top of the roof! I was so scared that I was actually shaking in my boots and it took me a bit of time before I could drum up the courage. Finally I climbed out. We have this little hatch on the roof of the top story and it kind of reminds me of a submarine hatch. That is how we access our roof. So up through the hatch I went and straight to the peak I crawled. Yes-you got it, I was on the roof crawling cuz there was no way in heck I was gonna stand up.

When I finally made it up, I was able to help Dude with holding the wood and checking to see if it was straight. Then we put in the second piece of wood. It took forever to get this done cuz the first beam down inside had termite damage and it was hard to screw down the brackets to it, plus to get both pieces of wood straight was just a nightmare. In the end, it turned out okay, but one of the pieces of wood we couldn’t actually ever get really straight. It’s good enough though.

I was then able to crawl back down the hatch to safety. It actually wasn’t too bad up there. I kind of got use to it after a while, but I was never able to stand up. It has a great view!

Once that was done, it was time to put the tiles on the roof. Tinki, Dude and I had an assembly line going so we could get this done. Night was approaching and the tiles needed to be laid out in order to make sure all would fit together nicely. They did look good, but a problem came up that will transpire in the future when we go to redo the rest of the tiles. Since this is the very top part we are redoing, once they are cemented down it will be impossible to move them to lay the other tiles under them. Still not sure what we will do there.

Today I had to go back to work and the roof is not done. The weather report said no rain until Thursday but guess what?? It’s raining. So I think we are in trouble.

Tonight when leaving work we made another quick pit stop at LeRoy-Merlin to pick up some plastic so we could put it down on the roof under the tiles to keep the rain from coming in. Once on our way back home we found ourselves in the midst of a torrential downpour and getting more worried by the minute. We were super worried about the state of the house and how we were going to get the plastic on the roof in complete darkness and rain.

When we finally made it home, Dude went straight up to the roof. Luckily there was a break in the rain so he was able to put on the plastic and fix all the tiles. The roof was too slippery so I didn’t go out on it.

I was the one helping out and breaking some rules. I am not by nature a rule breaker. I like to play things by the book. This way no one gets hurt and no one gets in trouble. My motto since I was a kid. Well there I was standing on the top part of the ladder (where it says not to stand or you risk falling) with my whole self out the top hatch, holding an electrical light so Dude could see, and hoping it wouldn’t rain so that I was safe from being electrocuted and falling of the top of the ladder. Along with a prayer for the rain to stay away for a bit, I was also praying that I wouldn’t see lightening. A crispy critter is not exactly what I aspire to be.

Well our luck held and Dude stayed out there for a little more than an hour getting everything squared away with only a few drops hitting us. It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes that the rain started to come down harder.

Tonight we’ll see if it holds. I hear it’s going to be windy tomorrow. Hopefully our tiles will still belong to us and not our neighbors!

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About backyardprovence

I was finally able to realized my dream of living in France when I moved here in 2010. I love to read,I love history and road trips. I want to be doing anything outside in the fresh air. I want to have an entire room devoted to a personal library.

Posted on November 2, 2011, in The House of the Farmer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You are both brave souls to undertake this renovation project. I would never have undertaken the interiors let alone the roof. I have a small corner leak in one of the upstairs rooms that I have bitching and moaning to our property manager to get fixed. Not sure if it has been resolved or not. Keep up your courage and be safe.

    • Michel-
      I hope your leak has been fixed since this storm we are currently having is a big one. It’s suppose to last about 10 days! For now all our renovations are on hold because we don’t want to risk doing more work only to have it wrecked by the leaks. For now they seem to be holding, but we will see once the wind kicks up! After the storm has passed you can bet your bottom dollar we will be racing up on the roof to get it fixed!

  2. My heart was racing just reading this – well done and I hope all is well, the weather in your area hasn’t been great today so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    • Jacqui-
      Thanks! The weather has been awful and it suppose to be awful for another week and 1/2! I hope everything holds! The old owners indicated that the roof was fine, but no one has been here for at least 20 or 30 years so who knows! Dude and I have serious doubts that anyone every came by to give this place some tender loving care:( It’s sad because it really is a nice place. Dude has about had it! I am nervous, but I am still keeping my chin up even if it doesn’t seem like it some times. I have my bad days and good!

  1. Pingback: 5 Php Roofing Sites | woodroofcontractorsma.com

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