Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wednesday Vignette: Collateral Damage

It seems that installing a new roof is not only noisy but also very, very messy.  I'd thought that the worst of the damage to my garden was over - until the roof work started on Monday.  On Tuesday, as I sat in my office, a steady rain of debris fell just outside my window.

Most of this mess was cleared up at the end of the day but Acacia 'Cousin Itt' is going to need a clean-up this weekend


Demolition of the existing roof isn't nearly done yet.

Because there's a slight chance of rain this week (I'm not holding my breath), the roofers decided to approach demolition of the old roof and its restoration in sections rather than addressing the entire roof at the same time


After the roofers left yesterday, I took a good look at the front garden and discovered more than debris.

Heavy rolls of tar paper had been tipped over into this planting bed, squashing Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' among other things

I tried to pick the rolls up myself but was forced to call in reinforcements to set them right.  The Leucadendron was beat up but not crushed and I hope it'll recover without pruning any of the squashed bits out.


A little later the Santa Ana winds began to blow and, in addition to more debris, tarps, hats, gloves and a heavy insulated roof panel flew off the roof.  The roof panel landed right on top of one of my planting beds in the back garden.  Meanwhile, my husband made a tour of the roof and discovered that some of the uncovered, newly installed tar paper was being torn by the high winds.  He hauled two-by-fours up on the roof to hold the paper down.  Luckily, despite ongoing bouts of vertigo, he didn't become collateral damage himself.

I'm so ready for this renovation to be over and done.

For more Wednesday Vignettes, visit Anna at Flutter & Hum.


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

22 comments:

  1. Aw wow... sorry about your plants, Kris. I hope they will recover with some restorative pruning. And I hope the winds will subside so they can finish the roof without any other incidents. It was probably smart to do it in sections, even if it prolongs the rain of debris. It would be scary to be on a roof in high winds, even with a harness. When is it all scheduled to be done?

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    1. We thought the roof would be completed this week, Anna, but due to the way they're approaching it in sections the contractor told us this morning that they won't finish it until sometime next week. Meanwhile, the painters are AWOL since they stopped work on spray-lacquering the kitchen cabinets yesterday when they were having trouble getting the color right. *SIGH*

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  2. Agh, this is so demoralizing to see. I've had roof work done in the past, and the crap that rains down is pretty hard on the garden and the gardener. Your poor plants! And your poor husband, climbing onto the roof with vertigo. Kudos to him for going that extra mile. I don't know if you ever meditate, but it might help you to sit somewhere quiet, close your eyes, take some nice long deep breaths, and imagine yourself a year into the future. When it's over and you are using your new kitchen, you will be so relieved.

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    1. I've been pretty freaked about my husband and the vertigo, especially as soon as he feels the slightest bit better, he starts pushing himself. Yesterday was particularly stressful for both of us from start to finish. I tried deep breathing last night when I couldn't fall asleep but wasn't successful so I clearly need to work on my mindfulness and meditation skills. Today I may just focus on wearing myself out physically in the garden so my mind and body crash as soon as my head hits the pillow tonight.

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  3. I can't even bring myself to paint the living room -- that's how much I hate disruption in the house, so I have nothing but respect for how you've jumped into so many house issues with both feet. Workers never understand gardens, it's just a given. I'll be so happy for you when you're stirring scrambled eggs over the stove in your new kitchen and looking out on the spring garden -- that day will come, Kris! And you're shaming me into getting the paint out...

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    1. I don't like disruptions inside the house at all either, Denise, and I never envisioned a project of this breadth when my husband and I originally discussed renovating the kitchen. My husband surprised me first when he proposed pushing out the wall into the patio area and again when he pushed to demolish the indoor BBQ. Both were great ideas but living through the consequences is something else. After a slow pace at the start, the general contractor is now pushing the schedule hard, which while good on one level, it's forcing us to adjust our schedule to support his new sense of urgency. You'll probably have much more control over painting your living room!

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  4. Oh my . . . I'm sure you are ready. My neighbors are having major inside renovations done which will take 3 months. New additions to their very nearby driveway are a dumpster and a porta-potty. Lovely. Constructions sounds go on all day, and it might as well be in my house it is so close. I am, and I'm sure they are looking forward to it being finished.
    How close are you to the end, or foreseeable end?
    I know you didn't have a choice with so big a project, but I always plan any kind of project that involves men tramping around my house for a time when my gardens are dormant. But, I suppose, in California, you don't have a dormant season like we do by November. Hang in there Kris! It will be worth it in the end.

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    1. Our general contractor originally said he expected to be done by the end of October (4.5 months). The last estimate I heard from him was the mid-November but my husband's been guessing the end of November. I'm just hoping it'll be before Christmas. You can garden year-round in Southern California, Cindy, but I'd like to have plenty of time during our "cool season" (November to April) to replant the areas that need it. Fall, prior to our winter rains, is considered the best time to plant here.

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  5. Oh, my, I think I'd cry. Hope the damage isn't too bad. In 1998, we doubled the size of our ranch by adding a second floor. I think I must have been the 'client from hell,' haha, with all my comments to the workers about not ruining my gardens. They were probably just as relieved to have the job done as I was!

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    1. I was on the verge of tears at one point yesterday, Eliza, but that was mostly because I was worried about my husband driving long distance to handle requests from the contractor when he still wasn't feeling well. And my heart is in my throat when he's up and down on the roof.

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  6. We've been promised 'drizzle' tomorrow evening. Considering that it got to 102 today I'll be happy even with gentle mist ! Yikes your hubby strolling around on the roof when he suffers from vertigo! My late husband didn't have vertigo but he was very phobic about climbing on ladders so those jobs went to me -hanging xmas lights, cleaning gutters or anything else that required getting up onto the roof. I still don't mind ladders but I'm through with the roof !

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    1. We have a 40% chance of rain Saturday morning, Kathy, but it doesn't look like it'll amount to much even if it happens. I'm not afraid of heights but I'm uncomfortable on ladders, especially now with a bum right knee. If I wasn't I'm sure you'd have seen photos from the roof posted on my blog by now.

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  7. Oh dear, I'm so sorry you're having to go through all this. After it's all done, and the garden is recovered, it will be so nice.

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    1. I look forward to the day when the remodel is but a distant memory, Beth.

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  8. We just had our roof replaced. It is a major mess. I had a little bit of damage but in the big picture it was ok. We also ended up with 2 flat tires. UGH...

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    1. Flat tires! I guess it's lucky we have to move our cars out of the way down the street when the roofers (and most of the other contractors) are here.

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  9. Any work on a roof work is THE WORST for gardens. I'm sorry.

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    1. I was delusional to think the worst was already behind us, Loree. Deconstructing the portion of the chimney above the indoor BBQ was really bad - all that stone was thrown down from the roof level and it didn't always land in the designated bin...Painting the exterior will probably drive me crazy too, when it comes time for that step.

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  10. Yikes! Can't say I'm surprised, though - whenever we have work done at our house, collateral damage is unfortunately the rule rather than the exception.

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    1. It was easier to take the incidental damage in stride during the early stages of the project but I find I'm becoming less tolerant as the project stretches on.

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  11. Oh Kris. I wish I could offer more words of comfort but you are so right, the longer a project drags on the harder it is to cope with the inevitable disruption and damage. Stress is cumulative. But there will be a turning point. One day you'll walk in, see something almost complete and looking just as you imagined it would (the kitchen?) and the threads will start to come back together. And in a month or two you'll be enjoying all that you've achieved so much the pain of the process will be but a fading memory. Take care, both of you. It will be alright.

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    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, Jessica. Our remodel is far simpler than yours. But for my husband's medical issues, I like to think I'd be taking our remodel relatively in stride but I'm probably deluding myself. We should be done by mid-to-late December, although as the dominos continue to fall and I suspect we'll have some follow-up projects, not the least of which will be reconstruction of parts of my garden.

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