Sarah (whysperingwynd) wrote in bad_service,

How hard is it to find a good roofing company?

This saga has gone on for about a month and finally concluded the other day, so I thought I'd share and ask your opinions.

I live in a double-wide mobile home with two additions; one which serves as our porch/mud room and one who serves as my bedroom and the computer room.

Whoever built my addition was a moron and, rather than building a proper foundation, he or she simply stacked blocks of wood beneath it. Our city is built on marshland, so every year my room slips a little away from the main house. Precarious, true, but unavoidable. To make matters worse, the roof was built completely flat without any sort of drainage system, so snow piles up in heaps during the winter, and rain collects quite badly during the spring. All these factors combined make for horrible leaks, one of which spilled on my computer monitor and destroyed it. The roof has been tarred and re-flashed many times, but it was time for a professional job to get it done and over with.

In addition, my sister's room had a leak as well, which had not been discovered until the insulation had rotted. We gutted the ceiling ourselves, and now all that needed to be done was installing new insulation, covering the leak, and replacing the t-bar ceiling.

So my mother began calling around every roofing company in town (we live in a very small town) to get an estimate and compare prices. Now, I don't know if it's because we live in a mobile home or because leaks are common this time of year, but for three weeks, not a single company returned our calls or offered to give us an estimate. My mother was miffed, but patient. A few days before easter, a particular company, which will herein be referred to as "Jackass Roofing", called back and said he would give us an estimate. Excellent.

At the time, I didn't know my mother was planning on fixing my sister's room as well, so when the Jackass Roofing's owner, herein referred to as Sir Jackass, came over to take a look, I showed him only my room and roof. He took a quick look and said he would call back with an estimate.

A week passes with no word from Sir Jackass.

Annoyed, my mother calls Jackass Roofing and gets ahold of Sir Jackass. Offhandedly, he says the job will cost roughly $1200. My mother is a single mom who works full-time without child support, so understandably, if she is going to spend a month's income on a job, she wants to know where her money is going, so she asks for a written, itemized estimate before she'll commit. She also adds that I had not known about my sisters room, and asked him for an estimate to have that roof repaired as well. Sir Jackass says this won't be a problem, and he'll drop off the estimate tomorrow.

Another week passes with no word from Sir Jackass.

By now, my mother was just fed up with roofing companies and this poor communication between her and them. She was working that day, so she asked me to call Sir Jackass and tell him that she'll be getting her best friend's husband to fix the roof.

I called Sir Jackass, and immediately, he began spouting off about how underhanded it was to just walk away from a job like that, and how he'd already ordered parts for the job. I countered with the fact that my mother had expressly stated that she would not commit without an itemized estimate. He huffed and we said our goodbyes.

When I told my mother of the conversation, she was irritated but felt bad that he had already ordered supplies (she's honestly a very sweet person, truth be told) so she called him back and said that so long as he provided her with the estimate, she would go through with the job.

He showed up a few days later with a poorly typed, unprofessional outline of the job to be done. I was just on my way out the door to work, so I thanked him for the quote and went on my way.

When my mother and I came home that night, the job was done perfectly... on my room. My sister's room has a bunch of supplies left just sitting on it, such as a bucket with a brick in it (???). There is still a gaping hole in her ceiling, and mom isn't happy.

For the next few days, my mother tries to get ahold of Sir Jackass and ask what had been done with my sister's room, if anything. She wanted to know if there was work done on it, why were there still supplies left scattered about, and would they be back to clean it up.

When she finally contacted Sir Jackass, he became extremely condescending, stating, "Lady, we fixed your daughter's roof" and "There is no junk left up there". She calmly explained that she had two daughters, both of which needed to have their roofs fixed, and that she could plainly see the construction debris left up there. The conversation escalated as he continued to be belligerent and unresponsive, ignoring her concerns and actually eating while he was talking to her, claiming he didn't know what junk she was talking about, and that they had done the job right, and she needed to calm down.

She exploded like I've never seen her in twenty years. She demanded he send a bill and never speak to her again, then hung up the phone.Five minutes later, he called back and left a message that he would send his men up there to check out "this f--king brick in a bucket" to prove he was right.

Oh, the roofers came all right. Sir Jackass stayed behind, but his employees (who were very kind and helpful, truth be told) went up on the roof and gawked at the huge gaping hole in my sister's room, and the debris left behind. They apologized profusely for the confusion (they hadn't been the ones who had done the work) and offered to fix my sister's roof for free. Satisfied, my mother thanked them for coming over, and explained that they were amazing people...but their boss was a pig.

And..just because she was so satisfied, she took the brick from the bucket left behind, tied the cheque to it, and sent the roofers on their way with instructions to hand it to Sir Jackass. And they did.

All in all.... a fiasco, but the work is now done, and my monitor is safe.

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