Roof replacement VS. Flower bed.

Thinking about having your roof replaced? One of the most forgotten aspects of replacing a roof, for the home owner, may be the process of actually removing the roof and where all that debris is going to fall.

As a home owner, I can understand the importance of curb appeal as well as the expense. Also, as a contractor, I see the challenges with making sure all your time and hard-earned money isn’t crushed under the weight of falling roof debris.

There are many cases where I will asses a job during the winter, obtain the job, and schedule the work to be performed during the spring. When spring arrives and we show up on to the job, only to find, freshly-planted flowers and new bushes all around the house. Now, comes the challenge.

On every job, with the exception of roof layovers, most companies, including ours, will drape tarps from the gutter, down the house, and onto the lawn or driveway. These tarps will help protect the siding from being damaged as well keep the nails and debris contained to one location, instead of in your bushes and flower beds. On the downside, these tarps can also suffocate some plants on a hot summer day with the heat being trapped between the canvas and the house. It can be too much for the plants to handle. From experience, we are able to tell which plants are more susceptible to suffocation and try to remove the tarps as soon as we possibly can.

There are also other precautions as a contractor that we implicate to try and protect the home owners’ flower beds and bushes. Such precautions, like placing 5-gallon buckets and trash barrels over smaller plants, using 1/2″ plywood sheathing to create structures over bigger bushes, pulling the tarp out from the house to create a slide, install staging on the eave (lower edge) of the roof even if it is not necessary (to catch the debris), and even have one employee who’s sole job is to throw the debris as far out from the roof as possible. Even with taking all these time consuming precautions that may have been completely unexpected, there is still a chance something may be damaged. All it takes is one shingle to slip through the cracks, no pun intended, tear the tarp, and land right onto your brand new roses, breaking a couple of stems.

On the way home from work you may be all excited to see your new roof, only for immediate disappointment when you see that your newly planted roses have been crushed. If all of your plants and bushes are destroyed I can assure you the contractor took no precautions to protect them and you have every right to be infuriated. On the other hand, if only a couple of plants show signs of damage but the rest seem to be intact, and the yard is just as neat and clean as you left it, you can be assured that your contractor took every precaution they possibly could. Before getting upset, let your contractor know your concerns regarding the broken plants. If you feel it necessary, ask for the contractor to pay for the destroyed plants. In almost every case, a professional, reputable contractor will be have no problem deducting the cost from the invoice.

I only ask again as a contractor, that you as a home owner, keep in mind if the contractor takes every precaution possible, that it costs the contractor time and money to take these precautions. And if any damage occurred, it surely was the result of an accident. The contractor is just as disappointed as you, the home owner.

We can be quite hard on ourselves when it come to perfectionism.


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