Well, like any young couple buying a(n old) house, at some point you reach the inevitable point where you need to get outside jobs done. In our case, we had a lot of repairs to do, but one of the more obvious ones was a leaking rain-pipe on the street-side.
Meanwhile, after consulting various people and opinions, architects, etc, and making sure that our roof was still in acceptable conditions, we had some people install 3 windows (Velux) in our roof, so that we could have sunlight in our rooftop story. At first, we were very happy while blinking our eyes from the contrast adjustment, until we discovered that the quality of the work had been seriously below par. Pans were sitting loose, rain would seep in on the sides, and the windows themselves had been damaged and placed quite arbitrarily.
It was in august, and it was, completely in check with any other Belgian summer, raining cattle and zoo. While all kinds of animals fell from the sky, we started looking for a second team that could repair our rain-pipe. It was broken just underneath the plumbing of the collector, at the end of our tilted roof. After 2 people not showing up and 2 others being either too expensive or not very trustworthy, we thought we had found our guy. At first he would only remove one chimney, do the repairs on the plumbing, and the re-placement of the Veluxes. We were happy to have found ANYONE working for a fair price and helping us out. We signed him up for the job. This was around the end of September. He would only be free starting from mid-October and estimated that the job would be finished beginning of November. This sounded good, knowing that wintertime was coming. I wanted things to be done by December.
It was already the end of October when he first showed up. He had an elevator lift with him, and the removal of the chimney went swiftly. We were pleased. After he showed us a finished house he did from top to bottom a few blocks away, we talked about having the room isolated and prepared, and he volunteered to do this as well. Then he discovered that some of the large wooden ledgers were rotting away where they jointed with the walls. The ledgers had indeed looked a bit doubtful, bending under the weight of the keepers quite significantly as well. The whole roof would have to go, but he assured us that building a new roof and removing the old one would "just take 1 or 1.5 weeks extra". We were skeptical, but we signed a new contract detailing the extra work and materials.
He then started to remove the pans from the roof. This dragged on for quite some time, took about a week. Our hopes were still somewhat high but then the weather turned nasty. So nasty in fact that he didn't show up for one week, two weeks.. in the meantime it started storming and raining.. and we had no pans on the roof! The old under roof, a sort of light wooden layer that was looking like carton boards, was our only protection, and was getting soaked fast. After installing rain pots to deal with the biggest leaks that started popping up, I called him to provide a solution. He came and told us he had draped large plastic covers over the roof. We were somewhat happy that it didn't rain in our house (or so we thought), but our patience was starting to run out fast. 2 houses down the street, other roof workers had removed and re-constructed a new roof in only 2 weeks, rain or no rain. The next day we were on the 1st floor and we noticed odd yellow lines on the white painted ceilings. Going to second floor, we saw a soaked visitors bed, soaked books, soaked (freshly scraped) wooden floor, soaked IKEA pets, and a ceiling that was displaying weird patterns and bulges. Running to the top floor, I saw that the floor was wet, but not *THAT* wet. Apparently the water had found it's way down quite rapidly. I was trying to keep my calm and made another phone call, while installing more buckets. Our worker team came to take a look and agreed to repair it, at their expenses. Meanwhile I had found the source of the leak, and after a little bit of parley, the guy told us that yes, the badge he had used to fight off the rain had been about 80 cm's too short. Well. I guess that was the end of me being nice to him.
The story dragged on all the way until the 20th of December. By then the roof had been taken down (finally) and a new wooden construction was put in place, and new water collectors had been constructed to get the rainwater to the pipes. But the collectors still had to be leaded and the pipe connection itself (the reason that we had ventured with him) was still broken! This had taken another week. We were planning on going to Zandvoort / The Netherlands for 3 days. We had phoned him every day multiple times to get him to work on our roof, and he promised us to work during the weekend so that it would be closed up. In Zandvoort we got a phone call that the roof was closed. We were cheering at least a little bit. At home, we found that the room was closed with some kind of plastic cover under-roof sections, but the pans were still nowhere to be seen. It took Christmass and New Year to come round before the last pan got on the roof, at the cost of one call per 10 pans or so.
So now it's almost the end of January, the front collector has been leaded and the joint with the rain pipe is fixed. About 60% of all the protective slabs of the roof have been placed, and there is still some woodwork missing at the underside of the rain collector. We haven't even started discussing how the inside would be done. The guy does not pick up the phone or return calls for about 7 days. We have sent him a paper that states all the problems caused by him by mail (for which he has to sign) so we are now officially following legal proceedings.
I hope your roof treats you more kindly!