The Snowball Blog

  • By Joe Fannin
  • 25 Aug, 2016

"My, that is some heavy wind, it sounds as if my roof is coming off."

I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. I always wanted an easy way to share information with visitors and I’m super excited to start this journey. Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.

The Snowball blog is my depiction of owning a home. It seems to be an ongoing struggle to keep the property maintained and in good shape. One thing leads to another, one problem causes a disaster and so on. These are my personal experiences and I hope you enjoy. The snowball grows larger and larger, especially if you let it keep rolling!

"My, that is some heavy wind, it sounds as if my roof is coming off," was my thought at 3 a.m.  as a severe storm was passing through the Austin metro in October 2015. The storms were ripping through the hill country causing massive flooding and damage.


 The last storm  we had like this, at least at my neck of the woods, was March of 2013.  Half the shingles were pulled off the roof during 50-60 miles per hour winds in 2013 and I remember it as if it were yesterday. I had just written my first mortgage check, a new home owner at the age of 27, seemed like it was too soon to be needing a roof repair. However, we had a home warranty! We also had a builder's warranty since the house was still within its 10 year limitation. I came home from work that day to find a pile of shingles all the way around my house. I had left work early since the wind was too extreme to be working on a ladder. Pulling up to my drive way I could see shingles flapping in the wind like they were waving at me. Hey look here, Joe, your roof is tearing apart by the second!!!

I was relieved to know that I had a home warranty in place from the seller of our home. Great, I thought, I will make a call and have this taken care of in no time. Little did I know, there is a list, 10 miles long, of exclusions to home owners' warranties. "Acts of God" or "extreme weather conditions" was the exclusion given to me by the operator at warranty claims department. " I am a 27 year old home owner, I cant afford a new roof!" So I hung up the phone, and decided to call the builders' warranty claims department. It just so happens, a 10 year warranty from a builder really means nothing, its just a "term." No the builder would not do anything, the home warranty would not do anything, so next was the home insurance. 

I thought surely, the insurance claim would get me a new roof. At a 1% deductible, I was looking at spending a good amount of money, so I wanted to be sure I got the best for my dollar. Calling my agent that had recently created our policy I pondered the scenario of making a claim just 2 months after moving into my first home. I asked, if I pay the deductible, am I getting a new roof? Will they replace all of the shingles? I was informed that I would only receive a patch or repair since the roof was not completely damaged. So, im expected to make a claim, pay over $1500 and all i get is a patch! Coincidentally, making a claim would potentially make my insurance go up in the future as well! 

I have worked in construction and home services for over 7 years at this time and I knew enough to at least investigate the shingle companies manufactures warranty. So, I drove over the local hardware store and walked down the isle with shingles and roofing materials. I instantly found a bundle of shingles, matching my color "driftwood" and read the fine print. It happens to list an exclusion of 50+ miles per hour wind gusts! NO WAY! I thought to myself, even the manufacturer says it would not warranty heavy winds etc., but that is the purpose in a roof! There was no tornado! Not a twister! No hurricane! Just wind gusts exceeding 50 mph. 


Finally, I had to swallow the fact that this repair was on me. I was not about to spend $1500 on an insurance claim. I knew I could repair the roof, but that was not the point! I had 3 separate warranties and they were all worthless! I never was a roofer or worked for one, but I had done some contracting and understood what was needed to fix the roof. I was not afraid of heights, I just was not familiar with the procedures of "patching" a roof. I did not want to lie in bed at night and think, worry, fret over every storm, "did I do a good job, is the roof gonna leak?"

Thankfully, I have good friends and was referred a roofer. A great guy, very dependable, showed up and repaired my roof. Get this, He only charged about $300! Thats it! Now I know he was doing me a favor, being a referral from a good friend, but this was a relief! I almost spent $1500 for a claim on my home insurance! Thank goodness for referrals!

All of this was running through my head in October 2015 at 3 a.m. while listening to what I thought was my friends, the shingles, flapping in the wind! "Hey, you hear me smacking the roof, thats right we're at it again" I could almost hear the shingles muttering. As the sun rose, I dreaded walking outside, expecting the worst I walked out my front door. I knew what to look for, and it was a repeat of the scenario before. Shingles everywhere, in the street, in the yard, all over the place. Not to mention, many of my neighbors' roofs had the same issues. So once again, I knew the frustrating process, spend a bunch of time and money, or just call a dependable guy to come and repair the roof. Of course I could do the repair, but the confidence and relief just would not be the same. So, I called the roofer, he was happy to come by, but we needed to wait a couple days before he could get over to do the work. I had expected as much, every roofer in town was in high demand since the major storm. 

All was well once again, roof was fixed, I know now that I need to save up for a new roof out of pocket. At least Im a few years older and wiser. I decided not to renew the home warranty after reading the 10 mile long list of exclusions 2 years before, and figured if I had saved $500 per year from not paying for a warranty that I would still have the cash for emergency repairs! It was a win in my book!


I wanted to start this blog, describing and illustrating my experiences as a home owner. I have a property maintenance company, geared towards preventative measure to keep my clients homes up to par. The premise is to keep the maintenance on a regular basis so that the owner knows the condition their property is in. I come across all kinds of issues on a weekly basis, many of which my company does not even service or repair, but I take the time to inform my clients of what we see or recommend.

Until next time,

Joe



By Joe Fannin 25 Aug, 2016
I have finally decided to take the plunge and add a blog to my site. I always wanted an easy way to share information with visitors and I’m super excited to start this journey. Keep coming back to my site and check for updates right here on the blog.

The Snowball blog is my depiction of owning a home. It seems to be an ongoing struggle to keep the property maintained and in good shape. One thing leads to another, one problem causes a disaster and so on. These are my personal experiences and I hope you enjoy. The snowball grows larger and larger, especially if you let it keep rolling!

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