Established in 2003, West Ridge Bungalow Neighbors is a voluntary group of neighbors in Chicago who desire to assist each other in preserving and appreciating the homes in our neighborhood; educating each other and the broader public in the value and the story of our neighborhood; and providing resources to each other to improve the quality of our homes, enrich our lives and assure our neighborhood's future.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Shingles & Skylights & Boilers & Bricks - Oh My!

I was going through some older email and thought I'd share this with you - the story of a remodel that took place last spring, written by a WRBN member. Enjoy...

I am sending this update to all of you because you have all influenced where we are in our Bungalow Extravaganza ... and we sincerely thank you for your involvement. Please feel free to weigh in on any of the following.

SHINGLES I think we have a roofer! Tim Costello of Albany Improvements - a HCBA resource. He comes highly recommended and I was very impressed with his estimate process. Marty Ostrowski of Connoisseur was also very impressive and highly recommended but more expensive than we can afford given the scope of our Extravaganza. Lindholm Roofing, very nice and informative, was an in-between bid. Allendorfer did not return my call for over 10 days. Jack Taff Roofing called back and said they'd look at the roof sometime last week. Never heard from them again. We will evaluate whether to go with the original wood soffits (as opposed to aluminum) after the tear-off.

SKYLIGHTS Our plan right now is to put in 3 (15 1/4 x 46 1/4) Velux skylights. These will fit within our 18" rafters without need to alter the rafters. However this size only comes in the fixed form - meaning they can't be opened. I thought this might be a mistake until I looked again at the brochure. The photos of opened windows looked like open doorways for squirrels and birds to me. I think we'll put in a couple of ceiling fans (along with the power vent) instead. One skylight will go in the front room and two skylights will be close together (18 inches apart ?) in the darkest part of the back room.

BOILERS Cahill never showed up for our appointment. When I called, my contact sounded a little out-of-it. I decided not to reschedule. Horst of William Stoker came out last week and we spent over an hour exploring the possibilities. He's very nice and this was very informtive. Al from A&M called and left a message. I returned his call that night and left a message with his answering service. I never heard from him again. An estimate arrived from Stoker yesterday, but after having just met with Crafton, I could not bring myself to open it until this morning. We will need to get a couple more bids. I have not yet contacted A1 Peerless - recommended by a neighbor. Another possibility is Chicago Unique Indoor Comfort - listed in the HCBA resource guide. Also listed HVAC & Geotech Systems. This looks like an electric system that I know nothing about.

BRICKS Spent over an hour with Jack Tomcyzk of Crafton yesterday evaluating our masonry. LOTS need to be done here. The front (wall-banister - what is the name of this part of the house ?) needs to be rebuilt with many bricks to be replaced. We need to work with original facing brick in order to maintain the beauty of our bungalow ... according to Jack - and we agree. That means using brick from the chimney (if the bricks can be properly cleaned) and possibly even the garage! :- [ Lot's of other work needs to be in other areas, too. But for now, the chimney is step number one - before roofing work can be done. Jack is supposed to call with numbers on the chimney and present a written proposal for the rest of the work. Will we get competitive bids ? What are our other options ?

Oh, My! I woke up today at 3:45 AM and was not very successful at getting back to sleep - HIGH ANXIETY ! At times I feel fairly excited about how great things will be when work is finished - and at other times I feel so overwhelmed ... how will we ever manage to get these things finished AND pay for them ?!?

More, Oh, My! The squirrels seemed to be having a family reunion in our home for Mother's day and the little piles of 'dirt' along the wall in the basement are not related to bricks ... Jack suspects insects !!! - enough of urban wildlife. Okay, that's it. I still haven't begun our income taxes and we really do need the refund.

1 comment:

flatlander said...

I know this is a dated response to your post. But I wanted to let you know that you probably dodged a bullet by not going with Lindholm Roofing. After the sale, when problems occurred, this firm was not responsive. And their response, when delivered was wholly inadequate. I have since documented our experience at