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Advice of roofer problem

uop1497

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Hello,

This post is very long, if you have time, please read and give me advice .

My roof is tile, made with material like cement or so. I have 2 leak areas in my roof. The first roofer (with license over 20 years) have not done a good job, one of area (#1 is fixed) and area #2 still leaking. After he come back a second time to fix it ( area #2), He never pick up the phone or answer my calls although his work is still under guarantee for 1 year .

I waited and waited around 3 months for him to come back to fix my leaking roof , but he never did contact me . I decide to find another roofer.

In September 2015, I contacted a company name Dan Elliott Roofing, 35 years in business , have license and everything else. When I first talked to Mr. Elliott (on the phone), he was very nice and understanding .

I was told by the owner(over the phone) that he will guarantee the work for 1 year ( same promise like the first roofer) . If after his men fix my roof, it it is still leak in the same area, he will come back to do until it no longer leak .

I scheduled the roof inspection and explained to the roof inspector (Steve) where the leak located. I also mentioned the previous roofer does not fix it correctly and my roof still leak at area#2 .

I also states that I am looking for a good roofer who can do the job right .And asked him to help me fixed the leak on my roof so that I do not have to worry the rain this winter season.

A couples weeks later, Mr Elliott's man come to fix my roof. I never get a quote in writing from Mr Elliott before that. To my surprise, the worker do a brief work on my roof (area#2) for around 30 minutes max, and they left. I have the bad feeling that the problem does not get fix correctly .

I received the billed around 2 week later. They charge me ~$450 ( for 7 hrs labor work) . I feel odd because they actual only work on it for around 30 minutes . However, DH told me just pay the amount, maybe this is a minimum charge they use . And we paid the amount with personal check.

The rain come and my roof still leaking in the same place ( area#2) . I contact Mr Elliot again. He told me over the phone he will not charge me and he sent his men back to fix it second time a few day laters.

At the same time,DH discover the area #1 leak again, in the same place (and worsen then before roof #1 fixed it). DH told the Mr Elliot's men to inspect and fix it if they can since they are here now and we will pay the extra fee . However, after inspection, they told DH, they do not fix it now and will let the owner know and will come back to fix after the owner given us a new quote for that.

I tried to contact Mr Elliott to get an O.K for these men to fix my leak #1 now, but he never picked up the phone and the roof worker left . FYI area#2 is no longer leak, but I am not sure if they do a good job or not. I must wait and see more rain coming in order to verify

Later that day, I contacted Mr Elliott to see how much it costs for him to fix the (area #1) leak and when he can send his men back . He first told me that let's him talk to his man and he will get back to me.

Here is the list to show how many times I try to contact him to discuss a fix on #1 area.

Call#1: Mr Elliott answer: I will talked to my man and will get back to you

call #2: Mr Elliott answer: I will send someone else to fix your roof, not the same men last time, rest assure, we will do it right

call#3: Mr Elliott answer: I will send my men first thing tomorrow morning

Call #4: Mr Elliott answer: We behind work a little bit, my man will be there tomorrow morning, we will inspected your roof and fix it, don't worry. Please call me back

call #5: We will wait for the rain come and when it rains, we can see where it leak so that we can fix it correctly. Please call me tomorrow

call #6: I talk to my man, they said no leak on their fix. please call me tomorrow, I will let you talk to my men. I told him this fix is for #1 area which his men already inspected .

These are just a few examples of many phone calls which I always nicely ask to see if he can schedule my house in his work schedule and when he think he can send his men to my house

So far, Mr. Elliott never once contact me by phone when I leave him a voice message. He never said anything like he do not want to fix my roof any more .

DH feels that since, we are in the middle of him fixing our roof, we should wait for him. I still do not know if I will get a second bill from him (for coming back to fix the area #2) or not. I will wait and see

I have the feeling he do not pick up my phone any more when he see my number. I contact him with my home number several times today but no one pick up the call . As soon as I use use my cell phone he answers the call right away . And before I said anything he knew my property number

What do you think about my problem, what best option I can go from here . Should I contact another roofer . What can I do to have Mr Elliott to resume fixing my roof .

I have not been able to find a good trusted roofer yet . I begin to think I should replace my roof. However, if I decide to do it, I do not know whether I can find someone who are good and trusted to do it .

And it cost over 20K to have a new roof and I know nothing about roof in order to select the correct material nor can tell whether the result is good or not . I am afraid that I may get myself into a deeper hole than I am right now with planing to replace my roof.

Thank you for reading and please give me good advise and if you know someone who will do a good job fixing roof, please let me know.

Thank you
 

DeniseM

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Please don't take this wrong, but you seem to have one consumer problem after another. Do you have a younger family member, who can perhaps help you with your business interactions - or someone else who is a native English speaker? I suspect that there is a language barrier, and that people may take advantage of you, because English is not your first language.

A couples weeks later, Mr Elliott's man come to fix my roof. I never get a quote in writing from Mr Elliott before that. To my surprise, the worker do a brief work on my roof (area#2) for around 30 minutes max, and they left. I have the bad feeling that the problem does not get fix correctly .

I received the billed around 2 week later. They charge me ~$450 ( for 7 hrs labor work) . I feel odd because they actual only work on it for around 30 minutes . However, DH told me just pay the amount, maybe this is a minimum charge they use . And we paid the amount with personal check.

To begin with, in California, a licensed contractor is required by law to present you with a written contract, before they do any work. If they don't give you a contract, or you don't approve it, you don't owe them a cent, and you should not pay them for work you did not authorize.

This is similar to the situation where you received an order of expensive food that was contaminated with ants, and you paid them anyway. You have to stand up for yourself!
 
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itchyfeet

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File a complaint for both contractors with the CA Contractors Licensing Board. That may get some action from the contractors.
 

itchyfeet

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You could also consider a Small Claims action since you have already paid them. Before doing this, however, write a letter (or have someone write the letter for you) outlining your complaints. If no response, then file the Small Claims action.
 

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If they are licensed contractors file a complaint with the state contractors license board. Someone from the board will try and mediate a solution between you and the roofer.
 

uop1497

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Thank You ALL for coming into my thread and give me advice .

Both of my boy is far from home and busy with their studies, even I ask them to contact Mr Elliott on my behalf, I do not think Mr. Elliott will give them a clear answer .

I have been in this country over 30 years and do not know all my rights . Maybe we are not lucky in finding the good trusted . When it come into situation like this, I just feel sad and learning a lesson at the same time.

Regarding the quote to fix my house, Mr. Elliott give given me an estimate over the phone. I asked him to send me a written quote, but he never did . He also tell me he will not know how much it cost until his men come to do the work. He give me an estimate number which is no more than $800. I have no idea if the quote given over the phone ( without a contract) is legal or not. At that time, all I care is having a roofer company to fix my roof asap


I was raised to believe on karma . If you do good thing you get good result. DH does not like to fight with anyone . He feels that fighting in court will take a lot of time and money . Plus we have no knowledge of the legal system . His point of view is to get our roof fix as soon as we can instead of using our time and money to fight a roofer company and wait for that company to come back fix out roof. That may take months to see a result .

Regarding the quote to fix my house, Mr. Elliott giva me an estimate over the phone. I asked him to send me a written quote, but he never did . He also tell me he will not know how much it cost until his men is there to do the work. He give me an estimate # . That is no more than $800.

On my last conversation, I asked Mr . Elliott directly if he still wants to fix my roof. I told him that I do not feel very good to keep calling him over and over again. He did not answer my question and told me to call him back tomorrow which is Tuesday 1/5/2015 .

From reading your post this is what I plan to do . Please give your inputs.

1) I will contact Mr Elliott one last time and tell him since he does not give me a straight answer which scheduled day his men come back to fix my roof , I am going to look for another roofer. I will ask him if I own him any money? .

I am debating whether I should contact Mr Elliott & I send a written letter too (to let him know my plan besides the phone call to cover myself) in case we were force to go to small court later to fight for the extra $XXX he may bill us .

OR, I just silently give up and find myself another roofer .

Will my call & written note help to make a clear break and no further obligation with Mr Elliott company and I am free to find another roofer.

2) I will contact another roofer company which has license and everything else, let them come over to inspect my roof. I will make sure I get a written quote before any work is done .

One thing I do not know why any roofer I come across insists I pay them with check or cash, none of them accept credit card method. Is it legal to do so.

Please continue to give me your good advice
 
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DeniseM

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They want a check or cash, so you can't dispute the charges when they rip you off. That is not a good sign - you should insist on using a credit card, and don't be afraid to dispute the charges, when something like this happens.

By law, the contractor has to give you a written quote - if they don't, you should not allow them to do the work, or pay them.

You do not have to go to court to make a complaint against a contractor.

You just make the complaint to the state contractors licensing board - that is how you make a complaint against a contractor.

I would not ask for Eliott to come back and fix the roof - I'd ask for my money back.

Calling Elliott again is not going to work - if he was going to do the right thing, he would have already done it.

Whatever you do, don't offer to pay him more money. You have no contract with him - he can't charge you with no contract - so don't offer!

Letting Elliott get away with this, and finding another roofer, is likely to put you back in the same situation. You need to contact the state contractors licensing board and make a complaint - when you call, ask if they have someone who can help you in your language.

More Info - http://www.dca.ca.gov/online_services/complaints/complain_cslb.shtml
 
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Kel

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How old is the roof? Maybe it is time to have the entire roof refelted. If the existing roof tile is still in good shape it can be reinstalled over new roof felt. Did any of the roofing contractors recommend it was time a new roof?
 

uop1497

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@ Kel,

My roof is around 25 years old. It has been in good shape and I have no problem until now.

When the roof inspector did an inspection at my house, I asked him whether I need a new roof. I was told "No"because my roof still in very good condition .

The leaking area is outside my house, just under the porch area and along the side of my house, very close to the gutter .

None of my neighbor have roof leaking problem. I am not sure they do not pay any attention to their roof and not see it yet or their roof still O.K . I was told by the builder , the tile have at least 30 year warranty . Not sure what is cover in the warranty

@ Denise,

I do not plan to pay Mr. Elliott any more money. I do not think he will return my money either. DH agrees to find another roofer . It is very hard to find an honest and trusted roofer today.


I will fix my roof first and may file the complaint to the state contractors licensing board as you and others suggested later. I need DH O.K with it first because still against it .

Thanks everyone again for your time and advice, If you know a good trusted roofer in the Bay area, please let me know.
 

ace2000

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@ Kel,

My roof is around 25 years old. It has been in good shape and I have no problem until now.

I didn't see whether you mentioned what type of shingles you have, but after 25 years, it really is time to replace the roof. (I realize you said the previous guy said they were still in "very good" shape).

So, I'll recommend two things. First, call your home insurance company to look at your roof for weather damage (tell them you suspect that is the cause of the leaks). Second, call another roofer.

I've had three roofs replaced in about 25 years (different homes), and all of them were covered by my home insurance policy because of weather damage. Your case might be different, depending on your location, but it's definitely worth a shot.

Edit: I see now that you have a tile roof, so disregard my post.
 
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pedro47

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Every time you walked on a tile roof that is 25 years old. You may be adding to the problem. Any contractor who will not take a bank check or a major credit card. Run away from that contractor; do not walk away from that contractor. Run as fast as you can from that contractor.

Sound like there may be a seam or a metal flashing problem on the roof.

May I suggest you talk to someone who install tile roofing or ask the Dept. of Calf. License Bureau for an approved roofing list of contractors for your area..
 
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Kel

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We refelted and put new flashing on our 27 year old roof last year. We reused all the existing tile. Although we did have to buy some replacement tiles. Many homes in our neighborhood have been doing the same. And, we did not have any leaks when we took care of the roof. It was just time to do it. We are planning to stay in our home for a long time and now we don't need to worry about the roof for a long time.
 

rickandcindy23

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People here will say the BBB is of no help, but honestly, the Better Business Bureau keeps contractors in line with issues like this. No one wants a bad reputation with the BBB, and because they arbitrate between parties, the outcome can be very good for the consumer.

We own a chimney cleaning business for 33 years and have had only one complaint with the BBB, which we couldn't resolve because the customer was absolutely ridiculous. That being said, we went out of our way, and so do most contractors, just to appease the customer after a complaint is initiated through the BBB.
 

DeniseM

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When we got our tile roof repaired, we got written quotes from 3 different licensed contractors. Then we compared the 3 quotes and picked one.

In our case, mud and debris were building up in the valleys of the roof, and it needed to be cleaned out, and the material under the tiles needed to be replaced. All 3 contractors stated the exact same thing in their quote, so we were confident that this was the problem.

When you get the 3 quotes, don't mention the other contractor's quotes, or that they were even there - make each contractor tell you in writing what needs to be done, and how much it will cost to repair it, so you can compare what the 3 contractors say.

Don't make a decision while the contractors are there. Sit down with the 3 written quotes, and go over them on your own.

If you don't understand the quotes - get someone to help you interpret them.

Don't pay upfront.

Don't pay with cash or a check.

Pay with a credit card so you can dispute the payment if necessary.
 
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uop1497

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Thanks for sharing good tips with me.

I do not quite understand why it is very hard to make even appointment for roof inspection . When I talked to the lady who set up an appointment of one of the roofer company this morning, I was told the written quote only good within 10 days to 2 weeks for us to decide whether we will use their service or not.

I contacted a few roofing company listed on line) , 2 of them do not take roof fixing job until a few months later and they told me to call back

The third company able to give me an first appointment which is the first week of February ( for roof inspection) and give me a written quote.
Not sure how long after that the actual fixing my roof will take place if I agree with the written quote.

I do not think I am able to find 3 companies at the same time which will do an inspection within a week time frame and give me a written quotes . However, Denis suggestion (about asking them to put it in writing how they plan to fix the leaking good in their quote) is a very good tip. I will ask them but not sure if they will do it

The reason my DH against the idea (to take the bad roofer to small claim court) because he thinks, if they ( roofer company's men) are forced to come back to fix it, who know, they could create a hidden damage to our roof somewhere and we have no way to know until another leaking area appear .

I also believe the leak on my roof could be similar to what Denise describe (mud and debris were building up in the valleys of the roof, and it needed to be cleaned out, and the material under the tiles needed to be replaced) .

@ Kel,

Can you please more about "new flashing" , please point me to information so that I can read to understand better . How much is the cost compared replacing with new roof.
 

DeniseM

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However, Denis suggestion (about asking them to put it in writing how they plan to fix the leaking good in their quote) is a very good tip. I will ask them but not sure if they will do it
Just to clarify - contractors are required by law to put their quote in writing. If they won't do it, then you do not want to do business with them.

The reason my DH against the idea (to take the bad roofer to small claim court) because he thinks, if they ( roofer company's men) are forced to come back to fix it, who know, they could create a hidden damage to our roof somewhere and we have no way to know until another leaking area appear .

Again - you don't have to take them to small claims court.

What you want to do is to make a complaint to the California contractor's licensing board.

The board issues a contractor's license, so if the contractor don't cooperate with them, the contractor could lose their license and be out of business. So it would be very foolish for them to damage your roof.

If you are concerned about this - have the roof inspected by a licensed independent inspector, after the job is done.

Did you look at this link posted earlier? http://www.dca.ca.gov/online_service...ain_cslb.shtml

*In California, public agencies often have help in other languages - if you call, ask if someone can help you in your language
 
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Brett

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When we got our tile roof repaired, we got written quotes from 3 different licensed contractors. Then we compared the 3 quotes and picked one.

In our case, mud and debris were building up in the valleys of the roof, and it needed to be cleaned out, and the material under the tiles needed to be replaced. All 3 contractors stated the exact same thing in their quote, so we were confident that this was the problem.

When you get the 3 quotes, don't mention the other contractor's quotes, or that they were even there - make each contractor tell you in writing what needs to be done, and how much it will cost to repair it, so you can compare what the 3 contractors say.

Don't make a decision while the contractors are there. Sit down with the 3 written quotes, and go over them on your own.

If you don't understand the quotes - get someone to help you interpret them.

Don't pay upfront.

Don't pay with cash or a check.

Pay with a credit card so you can dispute the payment if necessary.


I agree, get at least three written estimates from licensed contractors
don't pay upfront
pay with credit card (not cash or check)

And check the ratings and feedback from BBB - Better Business Bureau and other services like Angies List
 

uop1497

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I agree, get at least three written estimates from licensed contractors
don't pay upfront
pay with credit card (not cash or check)

And check the ratings and feedback from BBB - Better Business Bureau and other services like Angies List


I tried to check the rating and feedback from BBB of this roofing company.
Shadowfax Roofing and Solar Company
Address : Serving San Jose and surrounding area Cambrian Park
Phone number (408) 628-0065
Business websiteshadowfaxroofing.com

But nothing show on the review and I wonder if I do the search incorrectly . No positive or negative review is posted. However, I found some reviews posted on YELD website. I contact this company today and waiting for the roof inspection to contact me . unsure when they can inspect my roof because the weather is raining for the whole week in my area.

Please advise how I can check the rating on Angies List . All I can see about this roofing company is information of the company, I can not see a section of customer review.

Thank you
 

uop1497

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I received another bill from Mr Elliot's company, he charges me another $110 for coming back to fix the same leak. There is a statement in this bill saying past due bill $415 which we paid on November 29th, 2015 . They cashed out check on December 4th, 2015.

I wrote a long letter to document of what have been going (in dealing with their company) and sent it by certified mail . I also given a deadline for them to reply whether they will come back to fix my leaking roof or not. In addition, I justify that I do not think I own them any money since my roof still leaking.

The new company (Shadowfax Roofing and Solar Company) inspected our leaking roof but only give me 2 days to respond to their written quote.

Another company (#3) will come to do inspect the leak area on Jan 28, 2016.

Here is my questions and please advise the following:

1) Can I hold on to the written quote of Shadowfax Roofing and Solar Company until company #3 done with roof inspection at my property. The man doing the inspection keeps sending email to ask me if I will let them do the job.

2) When you are making your decision, what criteria you check in order choose which company is the right one to do the job for you

Thank you
 
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DeniseM

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Until you report Elliott to the California contractor's licensing board, this will never end, because you have no leverage to make it end.

No offense, but it doesn't do any good to keep asking for advice, if you are unwilling to take action.
 

uop1497

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Denise,

Thank you for your reply.

I am continuing to seek advice (not to deal with Mr Elliott). My questions toward more on how to select the correct roofer.
 
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Brett

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Denise,

Thank you for your reply.

I am continuing to seek advice (not to deal with Mr Elliott). My questions toward more on how to select the correct roofer.

First ask your neighbors, friends and co-workers where they got for their roof repairs and their experience with those firms. Then look at review sites that post ratings like Homeadvisor, Angieslist, Better Business Bureau, etc. but there have been criticisms of the screening process of rating sites so if it's a significant amount of money do the homework such as checking references, how long they've been in business, licensed contractor, etc.
 
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uop1497

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First ask your neighbors, friends and co-workers where they got for their roof repairs and their experience with those firms. Then look at review sites that post ratings like Homeadvisor, Angieslist, Better Business Bureau, etc. but there have been criticisms of the screening process of rating sites so if it's a significant amount of money do the homework such as checking references, how long they've been in business, licensed contractor, etc.

Thank you for your good tips. I have asked my co-worker and they do not know any roofer. In my neighborhood, no one has a leaking problem with their roof currently. I think our house is the first one having leaking roof.

Regarding checking a references, I can see how long the roofer company on business, where and what type of job is done on certain property, but no other information listed such as if any complaint or feed back from owner.

I always check the BBB site to see if any complaint is filed .Somehow, I am not able to read review of roofer on Angieslist. If you know how, please share.
 

Talent312

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I needed a contractor to replace my siding.
I used these online sources for lists + reviews of local contractors:
... Home Advisor - www.homeadvisor.com - a free service.
... Angie's List ---- www.angieslist.com - you must pay a membership fee.

I picked guys who graded "A" for estimates, and chose one who wasn't the cheapest, but who seemed better organized that the others.

You can also look around to see who is has the most jobs in your area.
Look for their signs in people's yards by the street and if their crew is active.
.
 
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