Home > Roof job. Also, cats.

Roof job. Also, cats.

October 27th, 2019 at 09:08 pm

I live in a house with a flat roof. The realtor suggested when I moved in that I should have the roof silver-coated every few years to protect it plus make it more energy-efficient. I have been faithful about having it done every 3-4 years. The warranty on the roof itself expired about 5 years ago now, but I have read that you can pretty much double the time on the warranty by taking good care of the roof, so I have.

The last time I had the roof coated was in 2015. Costs at that time were up from the amount I paid the first time I had it done, but only by a little bit more than inflation.

This time, the estimate was quite different. Every time I've had it done in the past, I was provided with one option: a fiber + aluminum coating. This time I was given three options, with different warranties depending on the product used.

The baseline fiber + aluminum coating was way more expensive than in 2015, more than doubling in price. The other two options were more expensive in total, but when adjusted on a "cost-per-year" basis, the 10-year option was cheapest. This is a new product called "Acrylabs," which is an energy-star rated "fluid-applied membrane."

It's more expensive than I had planned on, but doing this now is significantly cheaper than replacing the roof. (The last time I had the roof coated, I also had an estimate done for a roof replacement.) I am planning on moving out of this house in about 7 or 8 years, so the next owner can tackle the replacement. I'll also have to replace the side-porch roof, which is sloped and shingled, but the roofer said that he thought that roof had about 3 more years on it.

This is temporarily adding to my debt, but even after the job is done and fully paid for, I'll still have less debt than I did at year-end 2018.

This will be the biggest home maintenance project that I've done in the 14 years I've been in the house. The other big jobs were a couple of plumbing projects, replacing four windows, the gutters, and the water heater. Before I leave this house, I expect also to replace the range, refrigerator, washer and dryer, and front and rear doors, and have the stained yellow countertop in the kitchen replaced at the very least, plus I'll have the house painted and the floors done when I put it on the market, but I'll leave any major cosmetic or functional upgrades to the next owner. The furnace may also have to be replaced--but, as with the roof, I have it maintained annually in hopes that it will outlast its warranty. I like my house, but I really hate the stress of being a homeowner since I feel completely unprepared for it, and I'm not at all motivated to spend my mental energy learning what I really should know.

As a note, everyone's entries from mid-April until October were hacked. I had about half a dozen entries, but I can't recall what they were about, other than one in May documenting a day trip to meet up with "Fern" a/k/a "PatientSaver," and several in June documenting big expenses for my cat Buffy, who was hospitalized for a week and then fed at home via a feeding tube for two weeks, and who still sees the vet about once a month for testing as we try to find a medication regime that keeps her steady.

I finally got Buffy's sister Bridget to the vet on Friday. The last time I took Bridget to the vet's office, it took 3 vet techs to manage her, but with an herbal calming tablet, Feliway, and a vet tech who was fore-warned on what to expect, the visit went off surprisingly well. Bridget's kidney values and her white blood cell count are a bit off. I still have to talk to the vet about this, but hopefully I can keep both kitties going for another year or two. Bridget just turned 15 and Buffy is 14 1/2, so I suspect I'll lose them in the not-too-distant future, but I also pray I can keep them going for a while yet.

4 Responses to “Roof job. Also, cats.”

  1. Wink Says:

    It sounds like you made the best choice for your roof. Home maintenance can certainly be draining in a lot of ways. I hope you have many more happy years with your kitties. I love their names!

  2. AnotherReader Says:

    It's not realistic to assume the next owner will tackle a new roof. If an inspection at the time of sale reveals the roof is in need of replacement, most buyers will request that you replace it. Most lenders will not loan on a property that needs a new roof. The option would be to sell for a lot less to a cash buyer, who will discount the price by far more than the cost of a new roof.

    In your shoes, I would look at the cost of replacing the roof vs recoating it. If you plan on selling in 7 or 8 years, you would likely have to recoat it again before you sell. It may not even be possible to coat the roof another time at that point. Make your calculations with the assumption the roof will have to be replaced when you sell.

    Do you have substantial equity in the house? Would the net equity be enough to pay off all your debt? If so, I might consider selling now and moving into a rental, as you dislike home maintenance anyway.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    I think you made the best choice on the roof. I'm sure it is expensive, but better than having to replace the roof at this point. Hopefully you can sell the place and not have to replace it.

  4. Dido Says:

    I appreciate the thoughts, AR. I'm aware that I would have to discount the cost of the house if the roof was not in great shape, or I'll re-coat when I sell. I'm still far enough out from that decision not to want to make it yet.

    By the end of the year, I'll have about 60% of the equity in the house. I'm getting closer to the point where the equity would cover the remaining debt, but I'm not there yet. That's a big part of the timing decision. It's still a few years away. I should have most of the non-mortgage debt paid off by 2022 (except for a small low-interest loan that I'll probably let ride until it is paid off in 2024) and the mortgage paid off by 2025 (10 years early).

    It would cost me a lot more to rent than I pay in mortgage (about $1,200 a month compared to about $750 for mortgage and PITI). I'm good with living here now as I am just a mile from work and get along well with my neighbors--all my plans are geared towards retirement, which will occur sometime between 2025 and 2030, probably 2027-2029. By then I'll have the house paid off and will be able to put the money I'd been paying into growing my taxable accounts.

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