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View Full Version : Question about housing repairs. (I'm angry)



Cobol Sam
09-23-2008, 05:47 PM
I'm a first time home owner, having a first time home repair. Recently I discovered I had a leaky roof, when I noticed water dripping down into my closet and then into my basement. I crawled up into the attic and noticed the leak was coming from below one of my roof vents, and that the 1x8s (i have an older home) the water was leaking in between were super rotten.

I called three roofing companies to have them come give estimates. Two of the three are coming out later this week to give an estimate on repairing the leak and also on replacing the roof.

The third company told me they'd be out last Wednesday to look at it. Then they called me last Thursday to say they didn't get to it, but they'd get to it last Friday or by the latest yesterday morning. Well they never showed up at all either of those days. I decided I'm not going with them at all.

HOWEVER. :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

I get home today and there is an envelope stuck in my door. Turns out a guy had shown up sometime today, went up on the roof put caulking around my chimney (nowhere near the roof vent) and left me a bill for $50.00 assuring me the problem was fixed.

I am at a loss for how to respond to this situation. Please, you older wiser home owners offer me some guidance.

Los Angeles
09-23-2008, 05:54 PM
1) Better business bureau.

2) Firm and clear phone call expressing dismay over them for altering a section of the roof that had nothing to do with the needed repair and working on your property without permission. You were calling them for an estimate ONLY, and will not pay the bill.

You will gladly discuss this in front of a judge, but if they want to go that route, they will be responsible for the damage they caused with the unneeded and dismal caulking job.

Anthem
09-23-2008, 06:02 PM
Don't stress over this, man.

Write a short and calm letter explaining that you won't be paying because:

1. He didn't fix the problem.
2. He "fixed" it without talking to you about what was wrong.
3. You never agreed on a price, or even agreed to let him work on the house.

Tell him that if he wants to submit a bid to deal with the rotten wood, that you'll consider it (even if you won't). And tell him you won't be paying the $50 under any circumstances, for the reasons already stated.

Then say that you consider the matter closed. As an act of good faith, you have declined to report his actions to your lawyer or to the Better Business Bureau.

Print two copies of the letter, and mail one to yourself and one to him.

He's not going to pursue it. Don't sweat it.

Bball
09-23-2008, 07:25 PM
I'd give the guy the benefit of the doubt (he THOUGHT he was helping and giving you a deal) but also chalk it up to realizing this isn't the guy you want working on your roof.

So I'd send a letter stating that the leak was at the roof vent, not the chimney, and that you had some structural issues in the roof that you're also concerned about and that you only wanted an estimate that included those repairs... not a quick fix that ignored the other problem(s).

Tell them you wouldn't have authorized any repairs until speaking with someone about the total project because any partial repairs would likely have to be redone anyway. And lastly reiterate it was the roofing vent, not the chimney.

Personally, I wouldn't immediately go to the "I'll report you to the BBB..." or "I'm inclined to report you...." or "You're lucky I don't report you..." or "Go away or I'll take this to court". It's only 50.00. They (or the owner) might see your point immediately without needing threatening tones or implications. The letter's tone might turn him off and make this worse than it needs to be. And if he doesn't see it your way, THEN take a harder stance.

IF he had fixed the leak for 50.00 then I'd consider that a deal. I wouldn't drive somewhere, climb on someone's roof and put any sealant up there for only 50.00. He probably thought that was the extent of the problem and since he was already there he'd just fix it, not charge much, and gamble that you'd pay him because he didn't try to rake you over the coals. But he screwed up because he misjudged the problem and the situation. Not every contractor is a thief... some are just stupid.

-Bball

Anthem
09-25-2008, 12:13 AM
Yeah, I'd go with bball on this.

Jonathan
09-25-2008, 11:20 AM
1. Call Johnny at 714-6735
He works for J & K Roofing. He will come out and help you.

Unclebuck
09-25-2008, 01:22 PM
I agree with Bball's or Anthem's approach and would advise strongly against LA's approach. No reason to **** them off until you have to

Los Angeles
09-25-2008, 01:39 PM
IT's fine if you guys think my approach is heavy handed. But really, who cares if the contractor gets upset or not? He has no written contract, no signature, no grounds to demand payment. with kid gloves or not, he needs to be told not to pursue the matter any further.

Applying heat at this stage helps anyone else who might be in the future line of fire from this idiot's caulk gun. If he is given any indication that this is "no big deal" then he's going to continue this unethical practice.

I'm not saying to bring down the hammer. Just show him you have one.

Unclebuck
09-25-2008, 04:06 PM
IT's fine if you guys think my approach is heavy handed. But really, who cares if the contractor gets upset or not? He has no written contract, no signature, no grounds to demand payment. with kid gloves or not, he needs to be told not to pursue the matter any further.

Applying heat at this stage helps anyone else who might be in the future line of fire from this idiot's caulk gun. If he is given any indication that this is "no big deal" then he's going to continue this unethical practice.

I'm not saying to bring down the hammer. Just show him you have one.

We just disagree then. I have found you get more accomplished with honey than with a hammer. There is plenty of time for a hammer later on with the honey doesn't work.

Los Angeles
09-25-2008, 09:26 PM
98% of the time, you are correct.

But dealing with contractors and hands-for-hire is a different matter. I should know ... I am one. ;)