January 25, 2006

Roof Replacement

About three months ago I decided to have a new roof put on our house. We are in the process of putting solar heat on our house and our shingles needed replacement before we put the panels up. I contacted a couple of contractors and ultimately decided to go with Minnesota Statewide Roofing & Remodeling. Their estimator was prompt to come out and give an estimate, and they provided a good price. I told them the timeline I was looking at and that I needed to coordinate the installation with some other work. Everything was fine.

They were scheduled to start the job on Thursday, November 10th. I took the day off so that I could be at home when they got started, and to be there for a couple of other contractors that were visiting for some smaller projects. I expected a roofing crew to show up early and get going on the roof. Statewide had told me the job should take a full day with a half-day for finishing work.

At around 9am a vehicle pulled up. I was working with one of the other contractors who was on time and saw that one person got out of the vehicle and looked around. After I got done showing the other contractor in, the vehicle that I thought was the roofing crew, was gone. At 10am, with nobody here still, I tried to contact Statewide.

This started the most frustrating part of my entire interaction with Statewide. They were simply impossible to reach. I had cellular numbers for everyone but they never answered their phones. I would leave several messages and would be lucky to get a call back from them. This frustrated me beyond belief. In retrospect, I think if they would have simply been reachable, attentive to my calls and honest with me, I wouldn’t have been so frustrated.

Back to the installation. They never showed up on Thursday but Statewide assured me that they would be their first thing on Friday, November 11th. I didn’t stay home that day but called home at 10am and nobody had shown up yet. I left messages for Statewide but got no call. At noon nobody had shown up still and I placed more calls into Statewide. Finally in the early afternoon Statewide called me and told me a crew was driving to my house to begin the job. I went home early that day so I could be there and they never showed.

At this point I felt I was simply being lied to, flat out. How could someone be driving to my house and never show up. It just didn’t make any sense. I was infuriated and still unable to reach anyone at Statewide. That night they contacted me and said that they would be there tomorrow. I just couldn’t believe how poorly they seemed to be running this engagement.

That Saturday, November 12th at 11:00am a roofing crew finally showed up at my house. It was clear that rain was coming soon. They got on the roof and ripped off a bunch of shingles, and then left after 3 hours when it started to rain. I have no idea why they even felt like starting. They put down some tarps and left. That night a huge windstorm came in blew all the tarps off of the house.

To Statewide’s credit, they did get over to my house on that Sunday and nailed down the tarps and then 5 days passed before they started working on the roof again. In the meantime nothing was done. On the next weekend they came out, starting at 10am everyday and finished the job. If they would have started earlier they could have finished a day earlier, and the job took 3 and 1/2 days, more than twice the time they told me it would take. However, their materials and dumpster were at our house for nearly 3 weeks.

After the job was finished I was so frustrated I didn’t even want to talk to them. They never called to see how the job finished. We saw Statewide at our house one day looking at the roof but they never even bothered to speak to us or ask if everything was okay. Over a month later they finally sent a bill however the roof hadn’t passed inspection. I told them I wouldn’t pay until it did, and they promptly resolved the inspection.

I’m sure many have had worse roofing projects. Our roof did get done after all. However, the lack of prompt communication and professional service should be noted. I chose to write this note so others would have a reference. They had several reference letters about how great they are, and it should be balanced with other experiences. I’ve filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau as well.

Dear Diary

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