Saturday, May 18, 2013

Starting Off Badly...Again

Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them.
~Henry David Thoreau

Last week I had a roofer finally come out to inspect our roof, which was an ordeal in itself. We have no leaks but we had quite a bit of hail about a month ago and the man said we had hail damage. Wednesday the insurance adjuster was here and did not agree about the hail damage, but he did see enough wind damage to make a claim. Because the shingles are older and more brittle, it would be very difficult to replace the damaged ones without damaging more of them, and even though one side of our roof had no damage, three-fourths did have scattered damage so he totaled all the shingles on the roof. That would not include the layer of felt and extra venting that we should have and do not, but at least it will pay for nearly half of the estimate with those things included. I thought we had the roofer we wanted, but I ended up sending this email to the company:

Dear [Roof Company Owner],

About three years ago you personally came to my house and assessed it for roof damage, but my insurance company did not agree there was enough damage at that time. Still, I have recommended your company for the past three years to several people just because you personally impressed me to be a man who would do right for his customers. Because I promised you then that if I ever had any roof work to be done I would go with your company, about a month ago I called to have the roof inspected. A man answered and said that another man would be calling me to set up a date and time. Two weeks later, I called again and [the office woman] told me that a man would be calling that day plus she would call me back the next day to be sure. Again, no calls at all. Because I had some unrelated things come up, I let it go for another two weeks before I called again.

This time [your roof inspector] set up a time to inspect the roof. He said there was hail damage and gave me an estimate. We also talked about preparing an estimate for replacing the siding and a window on the south side. He took measurements and said he would get back with me. I set up a time with my insurance adjuster for Wednesday at 9:00 AM and called [the company's roof inspector] with the appointment info on Monday. He said he would be here, but he was not. Seeing he was past due, I called his cell phone leaving a message on voice mail and then called the office. [The office woman] told me she would try to do something for me, but I did not hear from anyone all day.

I now have an insurance check for replacing the shingles, because while the adjuster did not agree there was any hail damage, he could see enough wind damage to warrant the claim. I also have a house that needs its entire skin replaced and was happy to see that your company had expanded to do siding and windows. However, I need a company that is going to be reliable for the next few years as we work through the process of replacing all the siding and windows as we can afford to do it. What I do not have is any confidence that [the company name] can be trusted to do the work simply because of poor phone customer service, lack of communication, and a missed appointment.

I am sorry as I did promise you the job three years ago and I had more work to be done. I spent this time writing out my experience out of respect for you as the owner, because I think you would be concerned about how a customer was lost.


I wanted to handle this with truth in a loving way, because I have a history with bad home improvement companies, but that is a very long story I will not be getting into. I will just say that this is one of the reasons we need all our siding and windows replaced and so it has become more characteristic of me to voice my dissatisfaction far more strongly than this.

~ My Lord, guide us to a good company that will do excellent work on our roof and siding. We really need Your guidance in this area. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.