The idea of opening up an entire roof during San Diego’s rainy season so that the client could add a second floor in time to sell the home by the summer was daunting.

But we set to work and assembled a scaffold 16 feet above the lower level plate line and trussed across the house. An exterminator covered the scaffolding, creating a tent. The demolition company removed the roofing and some of the plywood sheathing. Our foreman covered the roof with plastic and Visqueen before leaving for the day — rain was in the forecast.

At 2:30 a.m. the client called. It was raining and the wind was whipping the tarp around like a rag doll. The foreman was already on his way. Once we arrived, we climbed the scaffolding to reattach the plastic and were moderately successful for the next few hours. Three more employees arrived shortly before 7 a.m. We removed the tarp while the rain eased. There were five of us climbing around the scaffolding and trusses carefully removing the tarp and batons. After removing the entire tarp, the plastic sheeting was inspected and we installed batons to ensure a tight seal.

Cold and soaking wet, we were joined by the client to celebrate a successful undertaking that could have been a disastrous deluge. There was not a bit of water damage and, in the end, the project was completed on schedule. The happy client closed escrow within three months of project completion.

—Barry Fennell is the director of remodeling services at Wardell Builders, in Solano Beach, Calif., which uses GuildQuality  surveys to monitor customer satisfaction. To see a complete summary of the company’s customer feedback, check out Wardell Builders’ GuildQuality profile.