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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Good Neighbors!!

My next door neighbor recently got his house re-roofed. His house went from a tin roof design to a new tile roof. The process was interesting to watch. I have always loved architecture so I couldn't help but keep an eye on the daily progress of the roofing job. I must have a thing about roofs because I also did a post a while back on the process of re-thatching a roof here in Uruguay, the roof of some expat pals Wayne and Janet. So by reading this blog you can see 3 examples of roofing materials used here in Uruguay, tin, tile and thatch or the three t's! We have a cement roof.

Our neighbors' house with his former green tin roof.
Uruguay doesn't have a monsoon season because it's not a tropical place but it does have 4 mildly distinct seasons. Winter is just as dreary and rainy here as in most places that have a winter season just without snow. The disadvantage of a tin roof is that it can mean a cold interior house temperature in winter as our neighbor attests too. Also, when it does rain here it can be annoyingly loud at times with the rain constantly beating above your head on a tin roof. So our neighbor decided to switch over to tile.

Still, you might wonder what my neighbors' roof tile job has to do with the title of this post. How did his new roof affect us? Take a look at the the finished title photo and then down to the next photo of the view from my front patio towards the neighbor's house. Can you see that the original view is partially blocked by these two towering trees?

These two tree trunks, belonged (as in past tense)  to 2 pine trees on my property. Despite being ugly as all get out they did manage to cast some appreciated shadows upon my patio during summertime. So I didn't mind their appearance. My neighbor on the other hand only saw danger and possible death (okay, a little dramatic), every time he looked at them. Now, with the expense of a new tile roof on his house, he really wanted to see these possibly dangerous trees go. Two years ago, he tried to get us to fell these trees but since we don't have money anymore and liked the shadows they cast we said, "NO!", to their being cut down (he still had a tin roof back then). This time with the tile roof coming he tried a new and more convincing tactic. He showed us photos from a recent windstorm and the downed trees that it caused.

These are photos from the next block over from us and our neighbor, (Avenue Del Mar) of downed trees from a December wind storm. The month of December is summer here but due to some heavy rains and then winds, several trees went down. The first photo's date says December 2012, which hasn't occurred yet. I think he wrote this down as a way to show us non-Spanish speakers that these photos were recent, since this is 2012. The second photo has the correct date of December 2011. Still, that was only 6 months ago and with winter threatening to bring more rain and storms and with his new tile roof at stake he wanted those trees gone.

Our neighbor then tried to further persuade us using, the sympathy card, by showing us 2 more photos, this time of his mothers' place who also lives in our town. At her house, a tree came down and wiped out her parrilla (BBQ area) and nicked the top of her houses' roof.

Okay, being that floods, storms and trees coming down are usually considered "Acts of God" and not covered when it comes to insurance claims, we could see his point in wanting the trees gone. Still, we really don't have money to spend on trees, so our good neighbor allowed us to be good neighbors in cutting down the trees by paying for their removal himself. So his roof replacement definitely ended up impacting us both.

He sent the tree guys over to chop down our two trees. That has happened before on our property, still it is kinda scary to watch. It is amazing that the company usually has one guy whose sole job is to handle and throw the ropes up and over the trees' top, these will (hopefully) guide the trees' fall.

They have another guy who can climb these tall trees just like a mono or monkey. The climber doesn't use a safety harness nor the thrown ropes in order to reach the top of the tree, not even special shoes or gloves, he just goes for it and climbs. This guy just climbed up to the top in his bedroom slippers!

Our good neighbor paid for the whole thing! This crew even had a huge tractor to help keep the ropes taunt during the somewhat controlled down fall. The tree crew also ties the ropes around existing trees to help guide the fall.  This time because we had 2 trees coming down, I did wince a little bit but all went well and the crew cleaned up the debris. I had to sweep my own patio from all of the saw dust.

Our patio maybe a little hotter come this summer but the heat will be worth it in order to keep in good with our neighbor and to generally be and stay, good neighbors all around.


Seamus said...

Thanks, Denise, for another very enjoyable post with beautifully informative pictures.

I was admiring your neighbor's home from the picture. It looks like his house is in 2 sections, front and rear with the parrilla in the middle. At first I didn't know why I thought it looked very liveable, but now an idea has occurred to me: I noticed that the rear section seems to have a chimney. Is the house built with the sleeping & bathing accommodations in the rear and the living room & kitchen type areas in the front? Is this done because it allows the sleeping area to be kept nice and toasty in cold weather and to save fuel by not having to heat the front section other than with the heat from cooking. It seems that the front could be unheated all night and the rear unheated all day, depending on use of the areas.

Of course, I could be all wrong. It would be the first time I've been wrong since 1997 but it can happen.

ChrisKing said...

Greetings from a Sister in Sequim, WA! Whew! I have just finished reading your entire blog. My husband and I have a bit of interest in a move such as yours. I will continue to read your posts. I tried to find you on Facebook but was not successful.

Wally said...

We are on faceBook under Wally Glass and Denise Glass, so it shouldn't be problem. What is your fb account under?

Cecilia said...

Hi, how are you? Sorry to bother you, my name is Cecilia, I am an uruguayan and I just came back after spending 6 month in Minnesota as an exchange teacher. I am feeling a little homesick, so I would like to meet some Americans here, as a way to keep in touch with your country and culture as well as keep speaking in english. Maybe you are not interested, I'll get that, but maybe you would like to help me. Thank you very much.
Best regards,

Yo puedo, Tu puedes said...

Hello, my name is Nicolás and I did a website for La Floresta. It's very nice to read your blog, thanks a lot for write!

If you want to participate in the site you are welcome !!!

Facts Of Uruguay said...

Your blog is great, you eat dulce de leche now you have to support our football team to be a full Uruguayan.
support Uruguay in the Olympics games ;) Go Uruguay.

best roofing materials said...

Your site is so great!!!!It looks like his house is in 2 sections, front and rear with the parrilla in the middle.

Wally said...

Actually the house is separated in the middle with a kitchen. The parrilla is a separate building in the back and then they have a pool behind that.