Troubleshooter

Woman unhappy with roof repair

Friday, May 10, 2013

Several cities and towns in the Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville area have rehabilitation programs to help homeowners with major home improvements. Fayetteville resident Valerie Jackson tried to take advantage of the one in her city to get her roof replaced. But instead of a new roof, she says she got a lot of headaches.

"They had started the work, and a storm came up while they were on the roof, and it flooded pretty much the whole house," she explained.

Jackson was at work when it happened, and when she got home, she says she was shocked by what she found.

"My son came into the living room and he was like 'Mom! Come look, you're not gonna believe this.' I came in, and the water stains were all over this roof. I came in, and the ceiling fan was full of water," Jackson recalled.

She says she called the roof contractor right away.

"He told me that they thought that maybe there would have been a little bit of damage, but that they couldn't get in the house," she said.

Jackson also called the representative with the city of Fayetteville, since she was getting the roof replaced through the city's community development rehabilitation program.  

"The city found all the contractors. They choose the contractors that they use. They send them out, and they give bids on the work, and then the city chooses the contractor that's going to actually perform the work," said Jackson.

By being part of the program, Jackson got a low interest loan for the new roof.  She says there were no problems with the job until the storm came through in the middle of the construction.  She says when the roofing contractor did come out to look at the damage, he downplayed what he saw.

"He looked and he said that it was no big deal. It was nothing to be concerned about, not a problem," she said.

But all the water was a problem for Jackson, so she called her insurance company. She was told the bill just for the repairs of the interior water damage would be more than $7,000.  What was even more frustrating, there were questions about the quality of work the city's roofing contractor did, so she called in a city building inspector.  He ordered a stop work notice.  On the order, the reasons noted include: no permit, not an approved method of roofing, the sheathing on the roof not structurally sound, and the work does not comply with the contract.  

Jackson said she wondered how the city could ever approve the roofing contractor to do the work.

"This is my major investment. This is my house. This is a roof over my head and my children's heads.   The damage really was very concerning, very concerning to me," she offered.

Jackson wanted the city to cover the $7,000 worth of damages, which included a $1,000 insurance deductible she had to pay.  She says the city wanted the original roofing contractor back on the job, but she says that wasn't happening.

"I had lost all faith in these people, the contractors and the city of Fayetteville, to come out and do a proper job," she said.

For months, Jackson says she couldn't get any resolution.

"I feel like the city did fail me," she said. "We had gone back and forth with the city, and had had meetings, and nothing was resolved to my satisfaction."

She got in touch with me, and I reached out to the City of Fayetteville.  A rep said they've been working with Jackson's insurance company trying to make it right.  He added when the storm came through, the contractor had already finished about 75% of the work and that the water damage appeared to be minimal.  He also added that the contractor could have taken care of it, but Jackson did not want him back on the job.  But, he said the city did plan to pay for the interior damages to Jackson's home which added up to more than $7,200.  That was welcome news to Jackson.  

"Thank you for helping me because I was at a point that I was frustrated. I was actually at a point where I didn't think anything was going to be addressed," she said.

Jackson did get another company to put on a new roof.

When I asked the city rep if they were still using the roofing contractor, the rep said no, he's been booted from the program and would not be doing any more work for the city.  

The rep also added, to be part of the program, the contractor has to comply by a number of rules, which requires them getting a permit prior to work beginning, which did not happen in this case.

The rep with the city also said they're sorry Jackson had to go through this and that it took so long to resolve.  

He said the city's main focus is to provide community development programs that benefit citizens and business in the community.

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