A new shop in the making #11: Sheeted in and ready for the roof

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Blog entry by Bob #2 posted 06-20-2008 07:27 PM 1450 reads 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: I am living in interesting times! -the roof appears but... Part 11 of A new shop in the making series Part 12: Here comes the amateur roofer! life time guarantee on this one! »

The framer and his kin folk are finally out of the backyard and all that is left now is the cleanup of hundreds of staples and nails and bits and pieces of plywood hammered up 2×6’s and various food and drink wrappings dropped helter skelter by up to seven kin at a time with never more than two working and the rest either in slumber, play,eat or stun mode.
If I ever take another contract on I will stipulate no one on the worksite except those named in the agreement.
I have extra everything now it seems as the framer could not or did not keep track of his materials.
They managed to open three extra bags of insulation so that none of those can be returned and there is an additional 6 more over the requirements. ( Say $30.00 a bag)
I have holes dug for footings in the wrong places and left open for me to fill and the framer even thought I should pay him a day extra for digging them! My wife and I put 13 in in the space of 3 hours with a power auger.
Some how having his teenage sons lumbering around for 8 hours seems a fair trade for 4 holes , 2 of which where usable and two remain empty as they were sited wrong! He had already billed me in the estimate $150.00 to get cement which he did not as he had no truck!
I supplied the cement, the wheelbarrow, the mixing tools and handy forms while he and his crew stumbled around the lot mixing ready mix with dirt and whatever as they could not seem to hit the holes in the tubes with any consistency.
I gathered up piles of tree branches that his teenage sons cut off with gay abandon and left scattered around the site.
I repaired the TV cable to the house 4 times and each time one of them managed to either cut it with a shovel or stepped on the cable where it traversed the ditch for the electrical and gas line.
I finally had to go and get two, 2×6 planks and put them over it to stop them from disconnecting it again.
I must have picked up at least 50 big gulp pop containers scattered where they dropped , lids here straws there!

In addition, he took over the mixing of cement for the sonotubes and ended up 6 inches short on one and 2 ”
on another. ( He left for the weekend and let me make the corrections.) I had to get more cement and bonder plus build up new forms to add on the error- 4 hours of my time plus additional materials)
This, is after I rented a siteing laser and marked the height for each post to within 1/8”.
I had instructed him to fill the bottom and sides of each hole with gravel which apparently he only did when it suited him or when I was looking. The next weekend he took off to go out of town and get more of his kids who were subsequently parked in the backyard while he continued working on this shed. There were so many nails and 2” staples dropped around I was afraid that they would step on one and get infected. (I picked up more than 2 lbs last night with a magnet and there are still more to get.)

After he started working for me he announced that he had no truck as it was layed up with a broken rear end and he rented a sub compact so could not get his tools to the job site. Again, I pressed my vehicle into service and dragged his compressor hoses and nail guns to the job where he promptly informed me that he had no nails.
I was soon to find out that he also had no ladder, no scaffold, no shovels, no prybars, no nothing. Just and old compressor and some old nail guns. (not exactly as he described himself to me at the outset) Off to the Home Depot for nails and despite my asking, he told me that the nails I got were the wrong ones. Back I go again.
This crap continued throughout the job with him making last minute demands on my services having just ordered him supplies within hours.
There is a huge pile of plywood – now scrap where he didn’t bother to fit any off cuts anywhere but just grabbed a new sheet. I ordered 6 sheets extra for the inside and they are all used plus! What a mess to deal with as well.
He took on a couple of additional jobs during the build and as such was absent for periods of 2-3 days preventing me from moving forward and or bringing more supplies to the site or getting my sub trades in to finish wiring and gas fitting.
He voluntered to set the two windows and hang the door then when the time came he quickly showed me that he had no clue and didn’t even have a screwdriver on the site. I noticed them that he cut the opening for the door 2” too high as he didn’t bother to measure the door and casing which were sitting in the garage the whole time.
I told him to leave it and I would hang it for fear of more “donkey kongs” on the door or frame.
The window are nailed on but not without a great slurp of soda pop splashed down the front of one.

I hired him on May 28 and paid him out on June 18 for a 3-5 day job.
It June 20th today and when I left for work his tools were still scattered around the yard in my shed and in the tool shed. I have no idea where he is now???
I was glad to see him go.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

20 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4062 days

#1 posted 06-20-2008 07:33 PM

Ouch. Glad you will have your shop to yourself.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Texasgaloot's profile


464 posts in 3665 days

#2 posted 06-20-2008 08:05 PM

I’m frustrated just reading the account. I’m inspired to do it myself when that time comes. Well, on toward the goal!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3786 days

#3 posted 06-20-2008 08:11 PM


There are a lot of competent craftsmen out there who are more than willing to do a decent job. It is a shame that guys like this give the entire group a black eye. But at least he is gone and you have the place to yourself now. Good riddance.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3986 days

#4 posted 06-20-2008 08:19 PM

We are currently experiencing a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople here with the current oil boom near us.
This guy seemed the best of about 5 that I contacted. One guy tried me out at $340.00 a square foot.
Another wanted $50.00 per hour times 3 guys.
When I asked if they had tickets for their trade——silence.
I need a roofer and right now they want $20.00 a bundle to hang asphalt. The singles are $18.00 a bundle.
Tomorrow I learn a new trade! <g>


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3692 days

#5 posted 06-20-2008 10:37 PM

The pitch on the roof looks pretty shallow and I don’t see any places where different angles meet (except at the ridge). You’ll be able to knock this out in no time, but be forewarned, stacks of shingles are heavy. If they can deliver them to the rooftop, it could be a lifesaver! Good luck! Everything does look really good!

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3952 days

#6 posted 06-20-2008 11:22 PM

Man o man, what a pain. I guess I got lucky with the contractor that built my shop.

The roof looks like it will be easy and quick to do yourself. Just remember to do your starter course.

What were you going to do about siding? Vinyl?

You could gather up all his tools and sell them?


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3986 days

#7 posted 06-20-2008 11:35 PM

Hi agian Guys;
I mananged to score some vinyl taken off because of a colour miss amtch so I goa pretty good deal on that.
I bought aluminum fascias yesterday but forgot the top pieces so another trip in the morning for that.
I just finished lugging half the singles around the back to the shop. ( another job promised by my “framer” and not delivered.) :-(
For what it’s worth his tools are still lying aound and he has not picked them up.

I have a question:
If I run the starter course first do I still need metal flashing under that too?
I’ve looked on the net but it’s not clear to me.

I will be running eaves on both sides.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3709 days

#8 posted 06-21-2008 12:13 AM

Bob, The shop is looking great. Yes on your roof, you’re going to want to put a drip edge all the way around. It saves the edges of the roof sheathing from rotting. Run your starter course with the shingles turned around with the notches up. That way you will have a solid line of shingle across the bottom of the roof. Then run the next course right on top, pointing the right way. Stagger your joint lines.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 3986 days

#9 posted 06-21-2008 12:19 AM

Thanks for the fast reply!
Do I put the drip edge under the starter course or on top?


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3709 days

#10 posted 06-21-2008 12:23 AM

Under the shingles over the roofing paper.

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4365 days

#11 posted 06-21-2008 01:34 AM

Bob Sounds like you have gone to a trade school and gotten completed earlier by doing it all your self.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3750 days

#12 posted 06-21-2008 04:05 AM

Bob ….Glad to see its at least coming togather!
Guys like him give guys like me a bad name ….I repair/redo/demo, many jobs from guys like him.
Keeps me busy…lol

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3944 days

#13 posted 06-21-2008 05:13 AM


Sorry to hear about your abusive contractor. I hear stories like this all the time and it really makes me wonder.
Many of these guys are the very people that couldn’t keep a real job with a real contractor. So they decide to go off on their own.

There are usually signs which unfortunately are often overlooked, as they seem to sneak up on you little by little.

Hopefully the rest of the project will go well.

Have fun;


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View sidestepmcgee's profile


158 posts in 3689 days

#14 posted 06-21-2008 05:20 AM

tenontim is right on, i have to add though hang the starter strip over the drip by half an inch or so, if your using Architectureal shingles (make sure your water lines dont fall on a nail from the previous run). if you lived in tallahassee i’d of luck

-- eric post, tallahassee FL

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3952 days

#15 posted 06-21-2008 09:54 AM

Roofing how to videos:

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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