This morning someone rang my doorbell while I was still in my pajamas. They needed access to my roof from the inside. I sent them away to dress myself and lock away my cats in my living room (one of them had fled upstairs). It was totally unexpected, because it was never announced. A time schedule was shared a few weeks ago, which I can safely ignore, because of all the delays going on.
Like the general says, the best plans die after the first shot in battle. Here those plans were likely meant to defuse the residents’ worries, so they’d sign an agreement for the renovation and all the trouble it would cause. Obviously, currently neighbors are not too happy about how things (too) slowly progress. I can only accept reality as-is, however uncomfortable it might be. Once they’ve finished renovation I can look forward to enjoying living in this neighborhood for years to come.
Anyway, one person needed to go through the ceiling, and crawl in the tiny space underneath the wooden base of the roof. It was, judging from the swearing, very uncomfortable to work in. His co-worker was on the roof and together they replaced the ventilation shafts of my high-efficiency heating system, fueled by natural gas. Of course, they didn’t close the hole afterwards, because more work has to be done after the roof tiles have been installed. After that, the solar panels will be installed and connected to the electrical grid (and my energy meters), which will require renewed access to the crawl space. Closing it now would be a waste of time, labor and money. It still looks ugly, though.
So I will be living with this ugly hole for some weeks to come, as am I with another ugly hole where the mechanical aeration system for the downstairs will be replaced, but couldn’t because of the scaffolding for the roof workers. It all seems quite badly though through, and uncoordinated. Well, I suppose it’s either that, or demolition of the entire neighborhood, destroying an unique and coherent community of friendly neighbors, many of whom have lived here their whole lives and are invested in keeping it safe and livable.
Knowing that, I can live with any temporary discomfort and having strangers invade my privacy.
I noticed my lovely bengal cats being stressed out by all the work going on (also, an open front door). So to give them a feeling of safety, I locked them in their cage, covered by a fleece blanket. They calmed down, being used to the cage for three weeks now. They don’t like it, clearly, but now are accepting being confined in a tiny space for a little while (like a few hours).
My neighbor told me roof workers had cut into their dormer window on the front. Cleaning the area, I noticed the same had been done to mine as well. I reported the damage to the supervisor, and he told me that, after the roof work is finished, the gypsum board (acting as a “suitable insulation”, suitable in the 1990s that is, against the cold of winter) will be replaced and repainted, as will be any damage done during the renovation. The roof workers needed to cut away some slats, and put in proper insulation material before covering it up with a weatherproof board. Apparently, they just can’t always avoid cutting into the gypsum board with a hand tool on a roof. I suppose I couldn’t have, either. Having an understanding supervisor explain it to you makes the damage more acceptable. It’s a tiny cut, but it shouldn’t be there.
While summer rain has wet the roof last night, the tiles still aren’t installed, neither has the cantilever window been replaced. Since it’s Friday, I expect they’ll do it next week. Fingers crossed they will, because it feels like it takes forever!
On the front of the roof new tiles have been placed to be installed next week. They look lovely. On the back, the old tiles will be reinstalled, after being “cleaned.” It sounds “eco-friendly”, but I think that’s just spin for saving costs. Those 50 year old tiles are full of cracks and will fill with moss in a few months, leading to clogged up downpipes very soon. It means cleaning the gutter more often than with new roof tiles. But then, cleaning the gutter at the back was apparently left to the person or family renting the house, because I heard from neighbors it has never been done in the last 25 years. Some even own a ladder to get access to the gutter to do the cleaning themselves, with all risks involved of falling down a ladder. I would never do that, and rather call the owner to have a professional do it for me. That’s what I’m paying rent for, anyway.
This concludes week two of the renovation of my house, as initiated by the owner, the non-profit housing corporation Stadlander. I haven’t done much on my own during this week, like filling holes and painting walls and doors, because of the heat. Since I’m my own boss, so to speak, I can do it whenever it suits me, that is, when it’s not so freaking hot.