Sunday, October 21, 2007

Is That Santa Claus On My Roof? In October? Only In North Miami!



The last time I'd reshingled the roof, or done much of anything really to my house, was shortly after Hurricane Andrew came roaring through about fifteen years ago. At that time I was glad that the highest winds had missed this neighborhood and that my house was built in 1951 before they started substituting 2 X 4's for 2 X 8's and began using press board instead of plywood or planks. Those houses that Andrew demolished were held together with spit and prayers.

The City of North Miami recently had started a program for upgrading moderate income housing, bringing the houses into compliance with current hurricane codes, and improving the look with new shingles and new paint. As I turn sixty-five, and I started collecting Social Security at sixty-two, I met the income requirements. The way it works is the city hires and pays the contractors. If I'm still living here after seven years the loan is forgiven. If I die or sell before then a prorated amount would have to be repaid.

We'd had quite a bit of rain the previous couple of weeks, but we were lucky. They managed to strip the roof down to bare wood, replace a few boards, and get the tar paper back in place before quitting time. In the morning the building inspector came by, signed off on the permit, and they started nailing on the new shingles. Since then I've had all new windows installed, and some rotted wood around the eaves has been replaced. There's still a bit of painting to be done. No, that's not Santa Claus on the roof but I guess I got my Christmas present early anyway.

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