Daily Life

Roofing Is Really Tough, You Should Try It…


I’ve been your typical piece of fattening flesh on the North American continent since our last update. I’ve done things like hitting a bucket of balls on a rainy day, out of pure boredom started a new hobby called “urban hiking” and let me tell you, quite the wildlife you’ll see. Just stay away from the convenience store or you’ll be working on diabetes at the same time as cardio, not ideal. Suffice to say the “normal life” of rest and relaxation is too slow a roll so decided to crawl out of my comfort zone and help a friend with a residential metal roofing project…

Have you ever been roofing? Have you ever moved a 50lbs bag of of smoldering shingles under a summer sun? Have you ever helped someone work in the heat all day and move like 50 bags of synthetic tar smelling sacks!? The entire process is a pretty serious and heavy undertaking. It’s not like “Hey Joe, you did a horrific job on our roof and those 40 year shingles should last us 12 years, no big deal”. It’s a huge deal and having water drip into water basin in your bedroom is something that is NOT on a bucket list…

Anyways, whenever I have some work to do now and I’m feeling lazy, demotivated or just out of breath from all the cereal, sour keys, slush puppies, checkout counter salami and sugary treats I’ve been eating; ‘ll remember my time roofing. That stuff is hard and a friend of my friend is a pro roofer, should see that guy go it’s quite insane and made me realize just how ineffective I am as a construction worker.  The show went on and suddenly I found myself at a greasy joint called Lou Lou’s that is famous around for chip stand styles…

Oh Lou Lou, you obese overlord who makes a poutine that looks lackluster but actually has a perfect ratio. She also sells hot dogs that actually aren’t that good, I felt like saying “Hey Lou Lou, I know we  just met but this is crap.”  This is in Aylmer, Quebec btw and across from Lou Lou’s there is this church that was burnt down, must have been glorious in its day. Today it just stands as a reminder of what it once once, actually I have no idea what it’s still doing there if they aren’t going to fix it but then again, I’m not an urban planner.

After visiting  Lou Lou’s, I fell into a food induced coma on a filthy couch and when I woke up, sadly the roof wasn’t done yet. Suffice to say, I did more manual labor yesterday that I have in my entire life and I really liked (some) of  it. It also teaches you a lot about the different parts of your life. It’s easy to try and race finishing x, y or z but when it comes to gigs like this aka big lasting jobs, it’s “one at a time” and it is “going to take as long as it takes”. This is a good reminder for anyone who has big things in their brains, it’s still one shingle at a time… If you want to be further along, should have started sooner!

Finished the day eating McDonald’s and other garbage food while watching movies that fall under the comedy category but in reality made no sense. It’s insane how easy it is to turn into a blob of uninspired synthetic sugar with diabetes on speed-dial in no time. In closing, if you ever think your job is tough just think of what you need to do change a roof and you’ll quickly realize how important putting things in perspective is.

The job took 11 hours and felt like 11 years to complete. Outside your comfort zone is where everything worthwhile waits…

Tips hat,

12 thoughts on “Roofing Is Really Tough, You Should Try It…

  1. Actually, I have been on a few roofs, but to repair something on a couple rental houses. But I didn’t lug shingle packs, that’s for sure. Roofing is the hottest job in town, even if the temperature is not that high, it is hot, hot, hot on the roof. I agree with you, I like physical jobs, but not all the time. What I probably like even more is the reaction I get, because people don’t expect me to be doing the physical work.

  2. It’s boiling hot and I almost thought I was going to faint as I grabbed for the ladder on the way down once. I’m a fan of physical jobs as well when it is by choice. I have a lot more respect for people who do this for a living. When they come in saying “I’m dead” I know they mean it.

  3. This experience should serve as motivation anytime you think of selling the farm and getting a job in the real world … you don’t want to, trust me. I’m in a job I hate, and I’m not quitting it until it forces me to get the wheels in motion on getting a business off the ground that can be run from Bangkok or Berlin!

    Pain leverage can suck at times, but it has forced positive change in my life more than once before, so here I am again…

    1. You gotta grind it hard to get enough fuel in your pockets to propel you to your own personal paradise. It’s hard work and that is why few ever bothered to do it. This is definitely a reminder though of how hard some work for the same total we all see at the cash register.

      Eye opening!

  4. Was this your friend’s house or did that filthy couch you fell asleep on belong to a stranger? And here I thought I was eating the unhealthiest food imaginable out in the Swedish bush. I’m very surprised Lou Lou hasn’t been locked up for manslaughter yet..just looking at that poutine makes my arteries hurt 🙁

    1. Lou Lou should be locked up and the filthy couch was once my couch which I sold to my friend at rock bottom prices when I left. he uses it to chill in his outdoor porch when he gets home from work as an industrial plumber.

      It’s straight up DIRTY.

  5. Ah the memories this post evokes. From 9th grade in high school through senior year of college, I worked every summer for my uncle’s contracting business. Replaced a lot of roofs in those years, and it’s as hard, hot, sweaty, and grimy as you describe. Pray for cool weather, start early in the morning, hope that there’s only one layer of old shingles (sometimes there were three) to remove. Thank whatever divine power you subscribe to if the lumber yard truck hoisted the shingle pallets onto the roof with its hydraulic lift so we didn’t have to lug them up the ladders.

    If you think this is fun, go find a friend who is insulating his/her attic space. Volunteer to be the person who mans the end of the blowing tube up in the attic on a hot day. Guarantee you’ll drop 20 pounds of sweat and will emerge looking like a teddy bear or other stuffed creature with all the insulation stuck to your sweat-drenched body. Yeah, that’s the job I delegated to my younger brother every chance I got. I, on the other hand, remained on the ground and deposited bags of unsulation into the blower’s hopper…sending them upward to my suffering sibling.

    Hope you eat a bit healthier today.

    1. That sounds like quite the tale of “the summer jobs I did as a kid”. I can’t imagine doing it everyday, Ottawa just got over a serious heat wave and the pro guy told me they work super early, take the mid-day off and finish it from 3PM until nightfall.

      We had to lug all of them up the ladder. I didn’t do any of trips up but I did move each of those bags + about 20 others to the base of the ladder, intense work. A friend was kinda annoyed being like “you’re so cheap, you got us helping and you didn’t even get them to drop off the shingles on the roof!?”

      I will note that it really makes you strong though, volunteered to help throw all the old shingles from the ground into a trailer when he borrows one .We web people need to get our exercise in when we can. You really realize how lifting weights is nothing compared to a good day of labor.

  6. I enjoy reading this post! A little amusing 🙂 My hubby has been roofing for 30 years and to say the least yes it’s dirty and very hard work. Hard to keep decent clothes around for him lol!!

  7. A random stumble.. But I actually enjoyed reading this post. Cat on a hot tin roof.
    What was my takeaway from this: Big plans also fall into place one shingle at a time.

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