Monday, June 13, 2011

Yikes! It’s been a crazy weekend here at the Worsham household. A birthday party for my son (though his birthday isn’t for a few weeks, but it was the best weekend we had), birthday celebrations for me, client work, and the infamous roofers finally decided to show up.

Warning, Rant Ahead!

I contracted to have my roof replaced in January. This is June. Now, for the first two months, I can certainly understand how the roof didn’t get put on. Every weekend they scheduled for, it either rained or snowed. But its been six months now, and the guy couldn’t find a single weekend that would work for him? Hmmm… And I couldn’t just call someone else, because the shingles were already sitting in my yard and yes, I’d paid him. (I know, I know – count it as a lesson learned. I’d never had any kind of construction like this done before. Now I’m older and wiser.)

I finally had to give him an ultimatum to get someone here this weekend. Since then, well, its been one issue after another. Maybe other clients of his are less hands on and aware than I am, but after getting the run around for so long, I wanted to make sure my roof got put on… RIGHT. So my step-dad walked me through the process over the phone because he lives a long way away (what the guys should do to prepare the roof, how to make sure the shingles weren’t ruined from the heat, etc.). I watched what they did and they honestly seemed to do a good job and were friendly.

My problem was with the man I contracted with. He was here a total of 15 minutes and I never saw him again (so much for not being able to put my roof on because he was UNAVAILABLE). The problem was, work was slowed the first day because he didn’t show up with the dump trailer. During a phone call, he claimed he had one but it broke, and he had to go hire one. But apparently they were backed up. When I finally called at noon to get the above explanation, he said he would be here in an hour. I called him back… AT SIX.

And frankly, I blew a gasket. Despite going back on his word again and again, he apparently felt I should believe my roof was going to go up and be quality work. I firmly stripped him of this idea. Recounted every mistake and lie he’d told me in the last six months, and informed him that I expected everything to get done in a correct manner. Although the crew came back the second day, I may have chewed him out too soon.

Last night, I left for my birthday dinner. When I came home, the roofers had cleaned and gone. And my gazebo was still the original shingle color.

So despite being reassured that my roof, porch, gazebo, and detached garage would all be done, my gazebo hasn’t been touched. Granted, the roofers may show up for a third day, just to finish my gazebo, hmmm…

We’ll see. How do you handle contractors who don’t do what they agreed to? (Besides report them to the BBB, which I can assure you I will.) Obviously, I need to sit at the feet of Maven Linda and get lessons on how to handle these guys. Sigh.


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Maven Linda said...

You already know this one: pay as you go, not in advance.

Check references. Ask around. Ask people who've had roof work done.

Insist on a contract.

Either stay on-site, or check often. Even with a good contractor, things come up and decisions need to be made.

And this one should be right up your alley: make a list of what's supposed to be done, and go over it with the head guy on the site, so he's aware of everything. The contractor you hired knows the gazebo was supposed to be roofed, but the guy in charge on-site may not have gotten the message.

Cheryl said...

NEVER EVER PAY UP FRONT. If the guy is reputable, he has an account with a local supply business. I usually divide the payments into increments - one at the beginning to show good faith on my part, then a fourth of the way through, etc. I held money back from the contractor who built my house for two years because he didn't finish odds and ends around the place. When he finally needed money, he finished and got the last payment. GRIN

Basically, all you can do now is harass your roofer unmercifully and hope he responds - or sue him in small claims court. But without a contract (contracts are required for legality if they are for amounts over $500), you are in a he said she said situation.

Buck up Angel, we have all been in your shoes at one time or the other. Life lessons, not so much fun! I had a bait of them....

Smarty Pants said...

I hate having to deal with construction types or auto mechanics. I feel like they could tell me my muffler is supposed to hang off the car like that and I'd just pay the inflated bill and walk out like an idiot.

Sorry you're having such a headache with this. On the plus side, you won't need another roof for a long time.

Playground Monitor said...

Yeah, contract and incremental payments. But now that you're at the point you're at, the BBB is a good option. Also, think about calling the TV station that does consumer things and see if they'll do a news story on it. That should light a fire under the roofer -- to know that everyone in the Tennessee Valley is going to know what a louse he is.

Linda Winstead Jones said...

My son is in construction, and I always get him in to make sure things are being done correctly. I guess that's cheating, a little. :-) But I'll take it! The BBB is a good option. Other people need to know. -- LJ

Donna Michaels said...

Woohoo, I won and on such a momentious occasion!

Sorry about your construction woes, Angel.

Thank you, everyone!


robertsonreads said...

All the above suggestions are very good. Good luck with getting your gazebo finished.

Word verification - damences, this would be what Angel is experiencing with her roofer.

Angel said...

I'm finally home and guess what, no roofers. But the dump trailer is still in my driveway. Hubby has had no luck getting in touch with him. Sigh.

Thanks for the sympathy! And yes, Maven Linda, a list would be right up my alley. The guy on site knew the gazebo was supposed to be done, because I specifically asked after he acted surprised and then assured him it was all supposed to be done, naming each piece (main roof, porch, gazebo, and detached garage).

The guy we hired went to high school with my husband. Never again, if I have my way.


Playground Monitor said...

Can you somehow fix the dump trailer so they can't pull it off until they've finished your job? You know -- take off the wheels or put blocks on them? It'd kinda be like that couple that foreclosed on the Bank of America. Or you could inquire about taking out a lien against him business. Or his house or car.

Instigator said...

Ugh! I'm so sorry you had this kind of problem, Angel. I've had mixed results from contractors - some good and some bad. And when they stop returning your calls you know you're in trouble. I hope they returned to do your gazebo today!


Problem Child said...

Ever since my adventure with the painter a few years ago, I've gotten downright paranoid about my reference-checking and supervision.

Hugs, Angel. It's a learning process, unfortunately.

Stephanie Jones said...

Wow, that sounds like a mess with the roof and roofers.

I wish you good luck with that!