There is a steep learning curve when it comes to large scale renovation projects and I always like to soak up as much wisdom as possible! Luckily my father-in-law shared a super awesome trick – and tool – for avoiding punctured tires and injured puppy feet as a result of rogue nails or screws. If you’re getting a new roof or siding – no matter what kind, or who installs it – trust me when I say you’re going to want to buy a magnetic sweeper. It’s basically a giant magnet on wheels and you can use it to pick up nails and screws from your driveway or lawn.
Trust me when I say that your roofers or siding installers will try in earnest to pick up as many nails/screws as possible but they fly off the roof and land places you’d never expect. Plus, they can clean the same area a million times and still pick up screws. To save vehicle tires, feet, and puppy paws, pick up an inexpensive magnetic sweeper and spend a few minutes after the crew leaves every day picking up any nails or screws they missed. Before the snow fell, we did it every day and always picked up a small can’s worth of metal. It’s easy: you just wheel it across a surface and it picks up metal for you! Most sweepers have a release and you can dump the metal into a bucket and keep collecting.
Another tip before having any exterior work done is to cut your lawn as short as possible. Unfortunately our brand new riding lawn mower was in the shop for repairs when roofing started, so we didn’t have a chance to cut the lawn. I regret that so much! After the roof was done(ish), I was too scared to mow the lawn within 10 feet of the house for fear of sending nails and screws flying (and wrecking our new machine). As a result, the grass grew so long and shaggy over there. The long grass looked bad, but also put us at risk for ticks and made picking up additional screws more difficult.
So if you’re getting a new roof or any exterior work done, cut your lawn super short beforehand because it will make it easier to spot sharp bits and bobs, and also give you some more time to pick everything up before you need to mow the lawn again. And make sure to buy an inexpensive magnetic sweeper. These two tips will make your life so much easier!
P.S. You can read all about why our exterior renovation was delayed so long here – and take a peek at our finished copper metal roof here!