Any good Do It Yourselfer knows that if you don’t have experience with a certain aspect of home repair or remodeling, the best way to get it is to practice on your own home practice on your neighbor’s home. Something goes wrong – you just pack up your tools and head back to your place. If what you’re working on doesn’t come out perfect – maybe you strip, gouge, or puncture something…no problem. Your neighbor has to figure out how to fix it and incur all necessary costs.
So if your friend asks if you can give him a hand with repairing the roof of his tattered garage, you say, “Sure, man.” Even though you’ve never messed with roofing in your life. Yes, you’re doing your buddy a favor by helping out and it’s the nice thing to do (especially when you’ve been borrowing his miter saw for over 6 months), but in the end it’s pretty much self-serving. Afterall, you come away with valuable knowledge, skills, and a ham sandwich – all of which you didn’t have before.
So it was this past Saturday when I helped my neighbor repair his garage roof. We spent half the day doing some significant demo, reinforcing several joists and replacing about 10 sheets of plywood. It was an all day job, but it really moved along quite smoothly without any snags. His father-in-law also helped out considerably. The guy definitely knew what he was doing and I could tell he was a roofing veteran. He also amazed me with his knowledge of mayonnaise. Apparently, you can use the stuff to dress wounds. I had no idea. But you better believe I’ll be packing mayo on my next outdoor adventure.
In the end, we made some really nice progress. And he had some fresh decking from which he could lay new flashing, roll some tar paper and rolled roofing. At the 5 o’clock hour, though the project wasn’t complete, I was able to just walk away, knowing that I not only helped my friend, but that I was a roofer, if only for a day.