Ok, so the check is made out to us and the mortgage company. Only with Both signatures can the check be cashed. Since I already endorsed the check, I sent it off to Wells Fargo so they could endorse it as well. But here’s the thing: After the mortgage company endorses the check, they get to actually keep it and dole it out as they see fit. Not sure why they get to be the boss of the money unless it’s because they own a higher share of the house’s value than we do… whatever, Wells Fargo had the money. We did not.
We were told that we can get a portion of the check at a couple different stages of the repair work. First third will be disbursed when we hire a roofer, second third when the roof is at the halfway point (they send an inspector to see that the job is being done right and progressing on schedule), last third when we get a final inspection. The thing of it is, we had some of the work done the week of the storm. Remember the painter who was almost done painting when the storm hit? As long as he had his gear set up and the paint all opened up, he gave us an estimate and finished up the painting before the week was out. I paid him for the repair work in addition to the painting he had done already. The touch-up came to a little over two grand.
When the work was done, my house was beautiful. It was Just What I Wanted, which doesn’t always happen with house projects in my experience. I’d have to add the gold painted details in the spring, but the paint job was gorgeous. I feel like I can say that because it’s true.
After I found a roofer, (or rather the roofer found me) I faxed Wells Fargo the contract with “The Roof Guys” and WF sent out a check for a third of the claim amount. I turned it over to the Roof Guys. The roofers came highly recommended by people in the neighborhood and the owner actually lives nearby. We tried to get bids from 3 different companies, but only The Roof Guys came through with estimates and visits to the house. We get this problem a lot. Nobody wants to work on the roof of a three story Victorian with a super-steep pitch. Plus the houses in the neighborhood I live in are pretty close together, making it impossible to toss things away from the house as you drop them down.
The crew who showed up were all English speaking, which is honestly somewhat of a rarity in the roofing business in this part of the country. By the time they started, there was ice built up on the roof. On all the houses in the neighborhood, not just ours. We were hearing about ice dams all over the state. Friends from all over were complaining about the water in their living rooms. We avoided interior damage, but the ice build-up was pretty dang thick. The amount of pounding on the house and the noise associated with it was remarkable. Things fell of of inside walls and crashed to the floor. That’s what it took to get through the ice to remove the damaged shingles.
But what I was hearing wasn’t just pick-axes and pitch-forks on the roof, I kept hearing things (ice, big chunks of tarry shingles) hitting the siding and windows of the house. Hitting hard. It was loud. I should have put on my boots and marched out and told them to stop abusing my house. There is a right way to do this kind of work. Either you build a kind of ramp, or chute to the ground for your debris or you hang tarps from the eaves to guide the trash down to the ground or your wheel-barrow. Instead I called the office of the Roof Guys and said I wanted someone to talk to their guys about the damage they were doing to the house.
He did. Twenty minutes later a humbled roofer came to the door to say they would be taking the utmost care not to damage the house. He wanted to reassure me that they were going to be “super-careful”. They weren’t. Nothing changed. I called again the next day. When we went out to evaluate the damage, we were shocked. They beat the house up worse than the hailstorm! While they were working on the roof we had a few snowstorms and days when it was too cold for their machinery to work.
In a couple weeks they finished and moved onto the garage. I was crabby with them at this point and I said nothing to warn them of the dead animal they would encounter under the snow. We went out for the day and when we came back, the tear-off of the garage roof was complete and they had started on the new shingles. As we hit the back door, chattering away, Jasper looked east at the neighbor’s yard and stopped. We all stopped. On the neighbor’s garage roof, in the deep snow, was an indentation, like a paper punch. It was shaped exactly like a rabbit.