Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Help Me Howard: Roof
When it started pouring this weekend, did you look up at your ceiling and cross your fingers hoping it would not leak? And what if you've paid a roofer, but are still waiting for them to finish the job? The answer in tonight's Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Cathi Letendre: "Ferret drive. I guess that is for a reason."
No doubt Cathi has a good reason to call her place Ferret Drive.
Cathi Letendre: "Little nat of ferrets. Your choice."
She rescues sick ferrets that wind up as pets.
Cathi Letendre: "I know, baby, mommy loves you. Yes I do."
She loves her ferrets and really likes her neighbors.
Cheryl Levy: "It's very family oriented. In fact my house is two houses down and my daughter bought this house."
They like each other but they loathe a roofer they hired.
Cathi Letendre: "I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. And I feel so bad that I reccomended him. I feel horrible."
Cathi referred the roofer to Cheryl, who then reccommended him to her daughters that live nearby. They all hired him.
Cathi Letendre: "He started ours in november."
Cheryl Levy: "Mine was December"
Kara Moody: "I signed in january."
And on this day in June, months and months later, none of them have a nice water tight roof.
Kara Moody: "I have had leaks that I have never had before. They just don't care."
Patrick Fraser: "Now in all the years we have been doing help me howard i dont remember so many people have the same problems. In this Broward neighborhood you can see roof after roof still under repair on house after house. Look at all these emails from the last few days each person fuming about a roofer. Combine that with dozens of calls each day about an unlicensed or unethical roofer."
Kara Moody: "And I was was promised within 6 weeks I would have my roof started or completed. They have been giving me the run-around. A roofer that has left me and 7 of my neighbors stranded."
Howard what can people do to get someone to repair what they have been paid to repair.
Howard Finkelstein: "The problem is that alot of roofers took alot of deposits and and weren't honest in telling the customers how long it would take to get to them. If this happened to you, complain, complain, complain to the roofer and during all this send a certified letter to put them on notice that you are ready to go after them."
Of course when the roofer finally showed up at the Levy's he started an electrical fire in their bedroom.
That day they did put down the roofing paper and said it was sealed it rained and it leaked.
Cheryl Levy: "This really came in after the roof was sealed...this particular one over here and this one over here."
And when they called to complain about their damages...
Cheryl Levy: "What are you going to do about fixing my ceilings? He says he is not, he's not, it's not his problem."
Is the roofer right Howard? Is water damage after he seals the roof someone elses problem?
Howard Finkelstein: "No, it's the roofers responsibility to pay for the damage they cause and you don't have to let the roofer make the repairs. You can hire someone else and deduct it from the money you still owe the roofer."
Once in awhile the roofer they hired does work on their homes but the city of Sunrise doesn't consider it good work.
Cheryl Levy: "We fail every inspection."
And now when they get the roofer on the phone, it's not a pleasant converstaion.
Cheryl Levy: "Well, then I guess you are saying the city of Sunrises Chief Inspector is lying to me."
Clearly, after six, seven and eight months of roofing hell, they have all had enough.
Cheryl Levy: "What I would really like to do is get out of my contract with him. Call it even with him."
But how do you get out of what appears to be a binding contract?
Howard Finkelstein: "You can get out of a contract after waiting a reasonable period of inactivity and I certainly believe after six months these people have the right to declare the roofer in breach of the contract and hire someone else. What they need to do is send him a certified letter giving him a deadline to complete the job or be declared in breach of contract."
I called the roofer several times -- when I finally got him on his cell phone he hung up when I told him who I was.
But finally a little good news; Kara's roof was finished and passed inspection..
Cathi's roof was finished but has not passed inspection.
Cheryl says the leaks in her new roof have been patched up, but the shingles have still not been put down and she is now going to fire the roofer.
The entire nightmare has made Cathi extremely cynical.
Cathi Letendre: "Very scared to hire a contractor. If something needs to be done we figure out how to do it ourselves."
Patrick Fraser: "Now with all this rain we are focusing on bad roofers. But I know alot of good honest roofers. After the hurricane season they were telling people up front that they were backed up and would take awhile to get to them.
Delays dripping down on you? Looking for a nice dry spot? Contact us we'll try to nail down a sensible solution for you.
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