Thinking about a time a while back when I kinda bumped heads with a homeowner about the direction to proceed and related materials.
They readily admitted they knew nothing about construction and relied on internet videos.
There’s good related videos on the net for the DIY crowd but I think often enough they are intended to push a product – whether true or not I don’t view them and can’t help but laugh when people tell me I should do a DIY or two.
The head bumping began over the grade/quality of materials to use – something I’m very specific about before beginning a job – no shortcuts, no lesser grade or inferior materials.
I explain this as it relates to longevity and if they go with inferior products when they fail they will forget it was their choice and blame the workman.
There are houses in this country and even moreso in Europe that have stood and been continuously occupied for literally centuries – many of them of rough hewn materials but built to last, and indeed they have.
Money doesn’t grow on trees and people need to get the most value for their money – I understand sometimes finances are such that patching is the only avenue, but even then the quality of work should be a reflection of integrity.
It’s like the decking on a roof – nothing less than 5/8’s in my opinion – yet I’ve seen roofers go with 1/2 and incredibly even 3/8’s on rafters spaced as much as 28 inches apart- in short order the roof takes on an undulating appearance like oceans waves.
The business model for some seems to be get in and get out – do it as quick as possible, and that has led to discussions about using a nail gun vs hand nailing shingles.
Nail guns are fast and convenient, but an experienced roofer who hand nails can go very fast as well.
Those companies who promote hand nailing as a selling point would have the consumer believe using a nail gun translates to either driving the roofing nail too deep, not enough, or at the wrong angle, and it’s next to impossible if hand nailing.
That’s a statement I’d take issue with.
Hammer or gun it’s possible with both depending on whose doing the work as the guns are depth adjustable.
I did a roof not long ago that was originally gun nailed, the depth was set too deep and it didn’t take but a couple of years for the shingles to begin coming loose and detached.
But I’ve also done roofs that were hand nailed with the same issues.
Now I like nail guns and use them often when framing or even finish work as speed has a place in certain circumstances, but I also love swinging a hammer and won’t pass up the opportunity to use one.
So in the end I would say hammer or gun will suffice if you know what you’re about and remain true to that – there are even battery/gas combination roofing nailers now that free the roofer from a compressor and hose that do an excellent job.
I won’t be around to know if the work I do lasts for centuries, but that isn’t going to dissuade me from doing my best to see that it will.
Some will say you’ll damage a roof if using a air hose – really? what about walking on the roof as you shingle it, would they say the potential for damage hose vs shoe is more or less?
Everything we do we should do as though our name will be stamped on it and it will endure whether our imprint is left among family, friends, work, and even those things we do unseen.
The head bumping mentioned above? I passed on that job and three years later was called upon by the embarrassed homeowner to repair the work that had been done – a classic example of pay me now or pay me later.
The homeowner saved nothing in the end and in fact would have saved money had they listened in the first place.
I don’t hustle people, don’t exaggerate a problem with predictions of doom and gloom – I tell them straight up what the problems and solutions are, and I don’t look at each job as an opportunity to become a millionaire.
I’m not looking to get over on anyone nor will I allow anyone to get over on me, and people shouldn’t forget there are good tradesmen whose sole interest is in making an honest living and a job well done.
A home may be a lot of things to different people, but above all it’s about stability, security, and hopefully the warmth of families and shared goals.
When it becomes a reflection of ego and wealth I have zero respect for that and seriously unimpressed.
My ideal home is constructed of logs or stone, or a combination of the two – warm in the winter and cool in the summer with a minimum of effort.
If there’s a way to save some money I’m for it, but no short cuts, no that’s good enough, my names on it and that’s important to me – I’d rather leave a history of having done a good job behind than a Cadillac or a garage ( if I had either) full of toys.