It may not be October but that doesn’t mean horror stories don’t happen all the time. Unfortunately, this horror story happened just this past weekend. I wanted to tell it so it could serve as a cautionary tale. Actually two tales.
While I’m not going to share the name of the family or the contractor they were working with, I will say this all happened in Bucks County, not far from Philly. They live in a town with a lot of history, in an old home with great bones.
If it needs fixing, fix it if you’re able
That being said, this home was in need of a new roof. It was in need for a long time. They waited until the last possible moment actually. They went by the old school thinking that springtime was when you took on the fixing of your home.
The family chose their contractor based on price and sales pitch. They knew the whole roof needed replacing and was told how long the job would take based on the estimate, 5 days, which they were told was padded for an extra day. Just in case.
When you’re a roofing contractor, you’re always at the mercy of the weather. That means looking at those 10-day forecasts every day and planning accordingly. You have a duty to protect your clients home. To make sure you never leave their home exposed to harsh weather.
I think you see where this story is going.
When it goes horribly wrong
While work started on time and everything seemed to be proceeding according to the timeline laid out, the contractor started leaving halfway through the third and fourth workday. This turned into not showing up on Friday. The start of Memorial day weekend and ahead of forecasted dangerous storms the would be rolling through over the weekend.
Had the contractors worked the full week, the job would have been done on Friday and if their work was properly done, the weather wouldn’t have been an issue. If the contractor had looked at the forecasts all week long, they would have known to button up the job. This would have given the homeowner peace of mind and contractor less liability to worry about.
Instead, the roof was left half done with blue tarp left to handle the bad weather everyone planning a BBQ knew to expect. And then the storm came.
As those of us in the area know, the thunderstorm came during the Saturday/Sunday overnight and tore that tarp and whatever protection the contractor had in-place like it was toilet paper. The homeowner’s entire 2nd floor was left trashed in the storm’s wake.
What can be learned?
I’m not going to get preachy about what went wrong in the instance. For the homeowners, as soon as you see a problem, if the means are available, take care of it. The best season for home repairs is every season. When you hire a contractor, don’t be afraid to call them out if you notice anything. For contractors, we know things happen that can pull you away from a job. If it’s pulling you away for 3 days, it’s time to evaluate your management skills. You’re not doing yourself or other contractors any favors. Word of mouth can and will kill your business.