Tuesday, 12 June 2012


I don't know how much it would cost to fix my roof, but we need our south facing slope redoing. The slates are 100 years old, and so are the nails that hold them to the beams.

To go from absolute beginner to passing your test generally costs about £1,000 including test fees.

So, if you're a roofer, who wants or needs to learn how to drive, perhaps some arrangement can be made?

driving lessons in Wallasey?

Update: The conversation  this post generated reminded me of a thing called LETS. This allows people to exchange their labour for credits that can be used to employ the labour of others. So I don't necessarily need to find a roofer that needs lessons. By teaching a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker, I can earn sufficient credits to use the services of a LETS roofer.


Jim Bliss said...

I recently fixed the local butcher's PC in exchange for one free-range chicken per week for 4 weeks.

Bartering is definitely the way forward.

Paul said...

Good for the chickens too. If you'd gone for the battery option, it would have taken 8 weeks to repay you.

Jim Bliss said...

I used to be a strict veggie, then received medical advice (won't go into the gory details, but I was very unwell for a while) that I needed to eat small quantities of meat or fish. Free range chicken / duck is the least environmentally destructive meat... wouldn't touch battery-farmed stuff with a very long pole, the fishing industry is obscenely destructive and red-meat is disastrous from a land-use perspective.

Paul said...

It's actually potentially a bad deal for me if you consider the motivations at stake.

For example, if we agree that I will take this roofer and get him or her though the driving test, it's in my best interests to do so as efficiently as possible. If I do it in 20 hours, that's obviously better for me than to do it in 40 hours.

The roofer, on the other hand, asked to do work of the same value, could bodge and scamp, using cheap materials and rushing the work, and I'd be none the wiser until perhaps 12 months down the line, when water started pissing into the attic.

Still seems like a good idea though. I have time. I have little money. Politically and ethically, I'd prefer to do as I would be done by, and expect anyone that took up this offer to behave in the same way. The alternative is cynicism and disillusionment, and doesn't sit comfortably in my head.

Jim Bliss said...

Yeah, you could get a shoddy job done, but that could happen even if you pay the going rate. Also, if you end up teaching the roofer to drive, chances are it'll involve spending quite a bit of time in their company and - assuming you get on OK - that'll make it more difficult for them to treat you badly (always harder to screw over someone you spend time with, than it is a total stranger).

The main drawback I see is the likelihood of finding someone who (a) lives in your local area, (b) is a roofer, (c) hears about your offer, and (d) needs to learn how to drive. The intersection of that particular Venn diagram probably ain't very large.

Bartering is still great in principle though.

Paul said...

I agree. I've posted about this on freecycle, although that's probably not a good fit. Will also facebook it as some local person that knows me may have a connection to some other local person that fits the bill. Will also be looking to see if there's any kind of LETS scheme locally.