November, 2002
ASHI Community
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

A Modern Day Barn Raising


A  friend, peer and fellow ASHI member received a  tough medical diagnosis. Rob Pfeiffer is someone who has helped all of his home inspection colleagues in one way or another over the years. We decided to show our support and surprise him by replacing his old and recently leaking roof.

Dave Pack grabbed the bull by the horns and went on a mission. He solicited tools, and monetary and material donations. Forty people volunteered to help – nearly all of the First State ASHI chapter, fellow inspectors from local chapters, including two past Presidents of the Tri-State Chapter and the president of the Southern New Jersey Chapter, as well as some real estate agents. When the roofing crew gathered at 8 a.m., trucks were parked up and down the road as far as the eye could see.

Since all work and no play can make for a long day, Dave decided to sprinkle the event with fun. Breakfast was available to all early risers. The grill ran all day. Wives and kids joined us at lunch for burgers, dogs and sausages. A magician was scheduled in the afternoon to entertain the families. Dave even had the foresight to arrange a sun-filled but cool day.

We stripped off two layers of roof, filled the dumpsters, replaced 30 sheets of plywood, and installed the new shingles. It was a remarkable sight. Even General Patton would have been in awe of our progress. By 4:30 p.m. we were unhooking our tool belts and turning off the air nailers. The roof was done!

In the end, more than the roof got done. There were so many volunteers that shutters were installed, doors painted, gardens weeded and edged, shrubs and trees removed. In addition new gutters are on order. Two cords of firewood were split and stacked. The deck, siding and walkways were power-washed. In short, the exterior was transformed.

A band came at 5 p.m. All the workers joined their families for a barbecue dinner. We built a bonfire, and talked into the early hours of the morning. All of us experienced a unique event.

It was a modern day barn raising.

As ASHI celebrates its 25th anniversary and members grow older, it is nice to know that they are also growing closer. The common thread of ASHI, community spirit and desire to help a fellow home inspector brought us all together to put a new roof on a special person’s house. Being involved with our local ASHI chapters rewards us all with innumerable benefits.


Rob Pfeiffer has been an ASHI member since 1987. He lives in Wilmington, Del. and belongs to both the First State and the Tri-State Chapters.

He was featured in the June 2002 Reporter article, “First State Roofing Crew.” As well as being a home inspector, Rob is also a musician and has played with the band “Life on Mars.”