Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Red-Headed Roofer from Hell

I rue the day I called the Acme Roofing Company of Northern Virginia.  This was the day that the Red-Headed Roofer from Hell arrived at my doorstep.  He was short, around 5’ 6”, had the construction, rough-look going and was courteous and made me a good offer on his estimate of the job.

Our roof sort of sagged on one end of the house and I was looking for someone to not only replace the roof but to fix the problem.  I knew that it would be extra and was willing to pay for it.  I wanted someone with structural expertise of roofs.  I specifically had him add language to the contract that conveyed that the problem would be corrected.  I signed and gave him half of the amount and waited for his call.

He called a week later with a Saturday date which was fine with me because I wouldn’t have to take off work to be there.  I have a strong disdain for home repair people; I have a long sordid list of stories that helped me acquire such feelings.  Jim was a no-show on Saturday, aggravating!  He called later in the day to say that he could come the following day, Sunday.  I wasn’t pleased because it was a day that I had planned to go to plant flowers at Rick’s mom’s house.  I would be gone for the afternoon.  He told me that it was no problem; he would see me in the morning.

Just as I was about to get into the van to leave, Jim and his men pulled up in front of the house.  I had told him that I couldn’t be there and he assured me that it was fine.  I had two electrical outlets on the outside of the house that they could use.  I gave him my cell phone number and left them to work on my house.

I arrived home later that day and there was no sign of them.  They finished the roof and left.  I looked up at the roof as I drove in and noticed that the roof was still sagging…NOT HAPPY!  I walked across the street to look from there and my neighbor came out to look; she agreed, sagging.  I couldn’t do anything then so I waited until the next day.

I made the call and spoke to company representative.  I told the person that the job was not done to my satisfaction and that I wanted it fixed.  Jim called me back later with a bit of an attitude.  He said he would meet me at my home the next evening.  He came to my house and walked around it with me, telling me that there was nothing wrong with the roof.  I told him that was fine but that I wasn’t satisfied and wouldn’t pay the balance until it was fixed.

Jim was more than a little miffed with me.  He got very frustrated and started yelling at me.  We were standing in the backyard near the gate and I said, “Get out of my yard now!”  He started yelling, “You’re crazy!  You’re going to pay me!” Then he threw something he had in his hand across my yard.  I closed and locked my gate went in my house and called the police.

Jack was very scared and Michael was looking antsy; they knew something was wrong.  When the police officer arrived at the door, Jim and his truck were gone.  The officer took a report and advised me to call his company and warn them not to send him out to the house again.  I was a nervous wreck and frightened that he would return.  The officer told me that I should call as soon as I saw him if he should return.  I thanked him and he left.

I called the company and left a detailed message to have a supervisor call me back.  He called me the next day and agreed to come out and inspect the job.

The supervisor, Tom was not pleased with the job either.  He looked into the attic to see what the problem was: as I had suspected, there was a structural problem.  I paid for the materials to fix it.  Jim had not done the job.  The company sent out another roofer who completed the job.

I know that problems with home repair issues are not fun for anyone.  I also know that one has to be practical with expectations; it will never look perfect.  However,  as a widow, I already felt vulnerable without Rick.  The Red-Headed Roofer just made life one bit more miserable at the time.  I have used many home repair people since and have had my fair share of both good and bad experiences.  It comes with the territory but since I was already on the edge, I didn't really need one more thing.

1 comment:

  1. What an experience, I hope you got some satisfaction with that roofing company!