Friday, March 8, 2013

Roofing Problems

I finally had enough money saved to replace the leaky flat roof over the back porch with a pitched roof, and I hired a roofer who started last Monday. I really thought I had made a good choice of someone who would do the job correctly, and for a reasonable price.

The 3-man crew worked just one short day before I fired them, partly for shoddy workmanship (the new framing is very out-of-square), and partly for the bossman being a liar and a cheat. I tolerate things many people wouldn't, but lying to me isn't on the list. (I've even shed long-time friends, and Lovers, for lying to me. I may not like the truth, but I can accept it far better than a lie.)

Now I'll be looking for another roofer, and the overall job price will be higher because they will have to remove and repair what this guy did. (I'm out over $475 to this guy.) If we were just going to re-roof the whole house with new shingles, it wouldn't have been so bad, but he knew we plan on a metal roof, and he even gave me a quote on that job. Metal roofing does NOT allow for a roof to be out of square!

The thing that bothers me the most (besides the aggravation and money) is that I'm no longer able to do the roofing job myself. I was a licensed contractor for many years, and even had a house I built published in the magazine Fine Homebuilding. (Actually I was the first woman builder to be published in that magazine.)

I will be out of town until the middle of next week for some time with friends and then appointments at Wake Forest Hospital in NC to follow up on my medical problems. 

Then the search for a new roofer begins...


  1. It is so hard to find good contractors. I've been trying to find someone to come string new fence for me & having a devil of a time. Good luck w/all the tests!

  2. Do you have any Amish folk near you? We have an Amish crew working for us, and they have been SO good. Skilled, and get way more done in an 8 hour day than any "English" crew we've ever hired for anything. Plus, these Amish (every different group has their own practices) charges only $13/hour per laborer. They will make a bid if asked to, but have to make it larger than lowest possible cost, as it has to include possible "what-if"s that could cost more manhours. For instance, in reshingling a roof, if they find the underlying wood is rotting and that also has to be replaced - that won't always be discovered (though it can sometimes be suspected) until the old roofing has been removed. When they do run into unexpected problems they lay it out, and what the options might be. They are honest/fair to a fault. We are providing them transportation to the job, but they won't start charging till they are actually working, despite the fact that we're taking them nearly an hour away from their farms and the work they could be doing there. If it happens we pick them up late for some unforeseen reason due to no fault of their own, they still won't charge us for the lost hours, despite those hours being reserved for paying work. It might be worth looking around for an Amish crew. Each Amish community is different and works by their own system, and I can't swear every crew would be as honest or skilled as the fellows working for us, but you could ask for references of others they have done work for in your area, and go check it out for yourself.

    Hope that all goes well with your appointments. Sara (

    1. I wish there were some close by.... sigh.

  3. In a recently divorced mom of 4 kids still in school...I hired someone to re roof my house. I got references with flying colors from 4 different people that I know as to the quality of their work.

    It was a crap job. I lost all my money (about $4000) and couldn't pay to have it redone. It still hasn't been redone to this day...but has had lots of patches.

    Very frustrating as I did my homework and checked references, etc. for months before deciding to hire.

    Turns out the contractor always had different crew members due to turnover of young guys just out to make a few bucks. So the crew I got was different from the others.

    Shortly afterwards, the business owner lost a son in a motorcycle/train accident. He left town to retire to FL and I never had my roof made right (although I heard that he had a reputation for righting any wrongs). He just wasn't here any more to follow up after the tragic loss of his son.

    Anyway..share that to let you know I feel your pain. I actually sat down on the living room floor and cried every time it rained for a month after the fact.


I'd love to hear what you think about my posts! We all learn together.