Our Experience with RW Harper Roofing

Image result for roofer clipart​UPDATE 8/1/2018 – 

As of yesterday, July 31, they finally came and filled in the huge depression made by the generator that was right in front of my front door (about 16″ x 24″ and 3-4″deep). I guess they realized I was not going to send the remaining 20% balance I held back when I paid the bill last year until it was done.

You’d think after all the stress and inconvenience this 11.5 month roof job has caused, they would have at least knocked 10% off the bill.

Original Post – We had our roof replaced by RW Harper Roofing after getting their names of the recommended contractors list in our neighborhood Facebookp Group.  I would highly recommend AGAINST using them.  Here is our timeline:

August 22 – I respond to the salespersons email and inform them I would like to hire them.  I leave a voicemail also.

August 24 – I have not heard back, so I call again.  I speak to the salesperson and am told he neither received my email or voicemail (sure he didn’t).  He told me they were 4 weeks out to which I agreed.

September – The last week of September rolls around and I have not heard anything.  I know there were a couple of rain days, and I am very patient, so I wait a couple more weeks.

October – we are now going into the 2nd week of October and I still have not heard anything.  2 phone calls later I speak to the salesperson again.  He informed me that they have me for November 13.  There’s a one-week delay because he is going out of the country on vacation (I still fail to understand this delay, as I never saw him on the site and have no idea what a salesperson has to do with the labor being done)

November – More delays. “We will be out on Tues, no Thurs, No Fri, would it be okay if we came out on Saturday?  If we don’t finish on Saturday, we may need to come out again for a couple of hours on Sunday morning to finish?”  I tell him Saturday is fine and we make plans to be away from the house with all 4 dogs.

Saturday, November 18 – crickets chirping…….

Sunday, November 19 – Guess who finally shows up!  Hubby wants to send them away as we have things going on in the house this afternoon, but we don’t dare.  Right now we are feeling like Tome Hanks & Shelly Long in Money Pit!

Monday, November 20 – Guess who is back?  It took 2 days to complete our 1200 sqft. roof.  Both of my neighbors had theirs done also and were done in one day.  They set up the air compressor on the grass and it compressed the earth so now I have dips in my hard where it was moved (the walkway was 2 feet from where they placed it! They used it to brace a ladder!).  My porch railings, which are vinyl, are also scratched up and have black streaks.

Tuesday, November 21 – They finally pick up the towable trash bin they PARKED ON MY LAWN!

And they came in over budget!  Only slightly, but over nonetheless.

I was going to ask for a discount, looking back on the proposal, in the fine print it states they have 6 months to start the work and 24 months to finish!!!

December 13 – The Office Manager sends an email to arrange a time for the person in charge of our job to come out and inspect the damages to the railings, posts, and yard.

December 15 – Salesperson/manager, whatever he is comes out and tells us Goo Be Gone should remove all the marks they left on our vinyl (doesn’t comment on the scratches and gouges). I guess he expects us to go buy said product and take care of the problem as it is now February 28 and he has not returned.
February 28 – As we approach March 1, and come up on 8 months for a simple 1,100 sq.ft. asphalt shingle, cape cod, roof; we have finally got all of the roofing nails picked up from the back deck (where our dogs hang out), we’ve given up on ever seeing them again and resigned to clean up and fix their mess on our own and will continue to share our story with our neighbors in the hopes they can avoid the stress we have gone through.
Additionally, he said he would have his landscaper come by to estimate the repair to the yard where the compressors left dangerously deep depressions in the yard 1-2 feet in front of the stairs. I’m just waiting for the mailman or UPS to break their ankle. We haven’t seen them yet either, so we will be filling in the area with dirt and hoping the grass overgrows it quickly.


HelloFresh? Hello Tummy!! Discovering Cooking with My Hubby! (A review and discount coupon)

My husband and I are not the Chef’s in our family.  That title goes to my brother who has appeared on the Food Network with Guy Frieri and inherited all of the cooking skills.   Everything we prepared was quite basic and many times consisted of more the “heat & serve” variety than true, from scratch cooking.

This past year we have been making an effort to cook more and in general be healthier.  We planted a salad and herb garden, but didn’t really know what to do with all the herbs.  We are not the most creative or skilled in the kitchen so we end up in a rut and soon tire of trying.

Enter HelloFresh! (Use code N4UXCY for $20 off)

A few weeks ago I received a Living Social email about a service providing everything included meal kits containing all fresh ingredients and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare.  They claimed that the recipes were easy to prepare and each meal took less than 30 minutes.  Hmmm, I had my doubts, but it was a good deal and what could be the harm in giving it a try.  Worst case scenario, we feed it to the dogs and cancel (which you can do by email instead of getting the “hard sell” on the phone).

The Website – The site is well designed.  It is clean, simple, without all the flash and irrelevant extras that can be overwhelming.  I found it to be very intuitive and easy to navigate.  I would like to see more nutritional information listed with the meals as I am reviewing next week’s selections.  However that information is provided on the recipe cards that come in your kit, so it’s a small quibble.

Meal Selection – Whenever I think of receiving goods using a subscription system, I cringe.  My mind flashes back to Columbia House and trying to beat the clock mailing the postcard holding delivery of the selection of the month.  How many of you ended up with tapes/CD’s you didn’t want and never listened to? (If you’re under 30, you may not get this reference, ask your parents)

HelloFresh makes it simple.  You receive 3 meals automatically every Thursday by doing nothing, but there are 2 alternates to swap out.  Personally I love this, because I hate seafood.  Changing your meals is as simple as unchecking one box and checking another.  It took all of 30 seconds to log in, change my selection and resume my life.

You can also skip a week, pause your subscription, or select vegetarian meals.

Delivery – As promised, when we arrived home on Thursday, our box was waiting for us.  On the outside it looks like a plain brown box.  Once you open it, you will find insulated padding about an inch thick lining the entire box.  Dispersed throughout the box we found 4 re-usable gel packs keeping everything cool.

I would like to see deliveries made earlier in the week.  The convenience of having these “kits’ delivered is reduced by feeling the need to cook them before they go bad.  This means that at least one or two have to be cooked over the weekend when many people like to eat out.  I think is especially true of couples like me and my husband.  Monday or Tuesday deliveries would better suit the needs of a working household looking for easy to prepare healthier meals after a long day at work.

Finally, the pièce de résistance, the meals!  If you are like me, you wouldn’t be able to tell a bag of fresh Rosemary from Thyme.  Thankfully, you don’t have to!  Everything was pre-measured, clearly labeled telling you not only what it was, but what meal it went with, and sealed.

The “recipe” cards that come with each meal are so much more than just your Grandma’s recipe cards. They start with a clear picture of everything you should have in front of you then tell you how to proceed step by step in both words and pictures.  The cards are over sized (think half a letter size paper), sturdy and laminated.  The lamination comes in handy when you get them wet or dirty, they wipe clean.

Our first box contained Pasta with Basil, Spinach and Garlic; Chicken with Mushrooms; and, Balsamic Steak with Garlic Zucchini.  They were all delicious and surprisingly easy to make. Each recipe took 30 – 45 minutes from start to finish, but I think that will become shorter as we learn how to chop, dice and slice more efficiently (I think I’ve run on long enough without reviewing each meal individually, though I most certainly could).


My husband had so much fun making them; he pulled chicken breasts from the freezer to recreate the Chicken w/Mushrooms the next day.

We receive the 2 person meal plan which is $69.99 per week or $11.66 per meal.  That may seem a little high for some, but what you are receiving is more than just “food”.

For $11.66 a meal per person, you are receiving fresh ingredients, a complete meal kit, a delicious variety of dishes delivered to your door and the ability to prepare them yourself and taste like they were from a restaurant.  No shopping, no measuring, no guessing.  Not to mention it’s like having a cooking class in your kitchen three times a week.

We are trying things we never would have thought of or even thought we would like.  Balsamic Vinegar Steak? Say what?!?!  Much less thought we could cook these dishes in our own kitchen in the time it took to watch the news.

Best of all, we are enjoying learning new things and having fun doing it together!

Feel free to comment below with your own experience or questions about ours.

To Rent or Buy in Richmond!!! We Can’t Decide, HELP!!

So our plan was to rent in Richmond for a year to feel it out.  Our realtor has an adorable cottagethat I fell in LOVE with and at $156k is within our price range (My Cottage), BUT we don’t feel comfortable taking that big of a chunk out of our savings especially since we don’t know how long it will take for both of us to find employment.  So we relegated our selves to renting significantly below our 2 income means and pad the kitty for a year.

Then today Jerry was posing some hypotheticals so I looked around a little and found a house I liked that would be less that renting that took a much smaller bite out of our savings and we got approved for a 15 yr @3.75% or a 30 yr @4.75%.  Cheaper than rent house

House we’re considering

 Now the dilemma. 
We saved a years worth of living expenses in anticipation of this move and if we buy the cheaper house it will shave a couple of months off of our living expenses.  We are confident in our abilities to locate employment, but the Vulcan in us says it is not logical to purchase at this time, but the Romulan is arguing that we have to strike while the iron is hot.  Jerry & I are not risk factors.  The biggest risk I’ve ever taken was contacting my fathers side of the family and that was an emotional risk, not a financial one.  Big difference!  One just makes me cry and gives me nightmares to this day, the other has the same affect but I’ll be having those nightmares under a bridge!

We also aren’t sure if we’ll be able to get approved if we wait 6 monthe to a year because Jerry’s 13 year job history looks really good and I’m not sure how much job history counts to a mortgage lender.

Regardless, we are going to talk to our realtors lender and see what our options are.  The house has been on the market for 65 days and has already been reduced, so I don’t believe they are getting much traffic.  That may be good new for us.

Oh well.  Hopefully we’ll be able to think clearly tomorrow after some rest.  I won’t say after a good nights rest because I have been having the most emotionally disturbing dreams these past couple of weeks about family.  They have waken me up in the 2 o’clock hour every night for the past 2 weeks.  Last night we were at Disneyland and my sister was mad at my father for making her share a room with me, but my 2 brothers were completely happy.  Hopefully by writing it down my brain will work through the emotions.  I still don’t know what to do about the whole thing, but I’m delving more into that in a chapter of my book.  I just want a quiet nights sleep where I don’t wake up with a wet pillow from crying.  Is that too much to ask?!

ANYWAYS, sorry for the tangent.  I really would love some advice on wether we chould buy or rent?  I need some opinions and reasons to swing me one way or the other.  Please let me know your thoughts below

Settling in and getting organized

Well we are settling into our new home.  Right now I’d say we are about 80% done.  We are settled enough that I’ve been able to resume cooking, but Jerry still hasn’t found the keyboard for his Mac and I can’t find the skeleton key for my china cabinet so I can unpack those boxes.
We went to our first HOA Town Hall meeting on Saturday, there wasn’t a very big turnout, but Jerry and I were the youngest people there by a couple of decades!  While there is definately an older crowd here, everyone is very nice and it is so quiet and peaceful.  We can go to the pool or sauna anytime and there’s not a bunch of people making a racket. 

I am so glad to finally be able to organize everything again.  Our house fell into chaos last August when we started the foundation work and by the time the work was finished in December, we had moved everything around so many times for the workes to drill through the foundation in all the bedrooms and garage that everything was misplaced, mismatched and seemed to end up in the formal living & dining rooms, since those were the only rooms the floor didn’t need to have 4 foot deep by 3 feet wide holes dug in them.  It was TOTAL CHAOS!!  I swear, 3 months later we were still cleaning up concrete dust!
I broke out the label maker this weekend and went to town!  Now my linen closet has everything organized into labeled bins.  I found the coolest bins to organize the closets.  They are made by Trend Lab for nurseries, but they are perfect!

I am going to finish the kitchen after work today, but it is so wonderful having everything in it’s place.  We have so much cabinet space since we also have the walk in pantry, that I put the pots & pans and tupperware we use all the time in upper cabinets.  Much easier to put away and reach for than the lower cabinets.

Our cat, Biscuit has settled in.  He used to be indoor/outdoor, but now he seems quite content to just nap on the couch all day and relocate to the bed at night.  He hasn’t shown any desire to go out at all.  The dogs didn’t know what to make of the stairs at first, but now they are pros!  We haven’t installed a doggie door yet.  We don’t want biscuit going out and our patio door is closer to our parking spot so we use that as our “Front” door so the sliding glass panel doggie door we had at the old house is out.  I finally ordered an electromagnetic door for them this weekend.  The patio doors are flanked by 2 narrow sash windows that are only about 8 inches off the gound, so one of the guys at work, Jeff’s a custom cabinet maker, is going to frame the doggie door in a custom built frame that will sit in the window opening and then we’ll just lock the window around it.  He’s also making them a little step for inside and outside.  I think they’ll catch on.  They have been better about accidents, but for some reason if they see cardboard, they MUST PEE ON IT!!  Not fun while moving and having stacks of cardboard boxes around.  They have definately helped motivate us to unpack even faster. 

We have a nice little park in our community that we walk the dogs too in the evening.  Not much of a walk, it’s about 75 yards from our front door, but they are little dogs so it’s perfect for them.  Jerry and I are planning on starting swimming a few laps every night, the pool is so close, we can see it from the front of our house.  It’s only 4 doors down, just close enough to be super convenient and far enough away that we can’t hear anything if there are people there.


Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

First let me preface this by saying I had a large Skinnygirl Margarita and am on my second glass of wine!
Since we decided to stay here until spring we are looking for rentals.  We are having trouble finding something we like, reasonably priced, pet friendly, 1000+ sq ft and under $1000/month rent.  I found a townhome community that I fell in love with and while searching to see if anything was for rent, I stumbled across a couple we liked.  I decided to also search the sales because there were 3 for sale signs in the community.
It turns out, that 2 of the units we were looking at to rent are also being offered for sale.   I don’t know what the HOA/Condo fees are, but the sales price alone means that if we bought it, we would be paying less than we would if we rented the same unit!  For example, one unit is asking $700/month rent or $64,900 to buy.  Based on a 30 year fixed mortgage, our payments INCLUDING insurance, taxes, etc… would run about $400 a month.  HELLO?  See why I am perplexed. 

The unit is in a nice location with $400k + homes in the same area.  They are located right by a hospital, with easy access to 2 major highways.  I think we would not even have trouble renting it out when we move.  I just hate wasting money on rent in a 300+ unit complex when I could own something in a 100 unit community for less per month.  I may need to stalk my realtor at her pool tomorrow with a bottle of wine!

Anyone have any advice????


SOLD!!! Well, Under Contract anyway…

Yay!  We received an offer on the house, we countered and the buyer accepted our counter-offer!  WooHoo!!  We are in the 10 day option period for the buyer to get the inspection.  He is closing on his home sale on August 5 and we are scheduled to close on August 13.  We may close a little sooner if he has funding before the 13th.  We hung out with the buyer for a little while today and he seems like a super nice guy.  Single dad and wants his youngest to start his freshman year at Madison since he currently lives in Windcrest and the school there is Roosevelt, which has turned more into a detention center than a high school.

We are very excited.  Since we are running a little behind schedule and I am loving my new job (my boss has the same type of humor I do) Jerry & I have decided to rent until March.  Now that we have the flexibility of not having to sell the house, we are planning our move for April 1, 2011.  I am a little sad that it will be another 9 months until I’m near my family, but for us, it is the best decision.
Having 9 months with reduced monthly expenses will allow us to add more to our nest egg and will hopefully give the job market a little more time to improve.  We are going to start to look for jobs on the east coast now and if one of us gets an offer, we will move sooner.  Come April 1, we will move no matter what and look for jobs when we get there.
I am so excited to rent and not have to worry about maintenance and yard work for a little while.  Our realty angel, Chris, is working dilligently to find us a place to rent that is pet friendly, because giving up the kids is not an option.  To us, pets are not “disposable”.  There are some circumstances that unfortunately require owners to give up their pets, but Jerry & I believe that just like 2 legged children, 4 legged children are a commitment and neither should be discarded when it is no longer convenient.  I can’t even count the number of pets (dogs and birds) my mom has gotten that just like her children, she disposes of whenever they are inconvenient to her little world.
So if anyone knows of any good places to rent, please leave me a comment.  Can be a townhome, duplex, fourplex, apartment, small house, whatever!  Our wish list is as follows:
2 bedroom (or 1 bedroom with den or loft)

700 Sq ft is the bare minimum, prefer 900+
Fenced Yard (if this becomes too much of a problem, at least a private patio)
Pet Friendly
W/D in unit (at least full size connections)
1.5 bath+
Easy Access to I35, 1604, 410 or Wurzbach Parkway
$900 max rent
Northeast side
Has walking/jogging trails or walking distance to a park (McAllister park?)

HELP US FIND A HOME!!  We will be ready to sign the lease on August 6.