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  1. #1

    Unhappy Roofing Contractor Let Leak Sit Unfixed for 6 Months, Wants Full Payment

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Wisconsin

    I contracted a roofer to fix my roof this past summer. The roofer seemed to do a decent job, except for the fact that a short time after the roof was completed there was a small leak. The leak allowed water to drain down from the roof, through the attic, and drop down from the ceiling in a 2nd floor bedroom. The roofer was immediately notified of this leak, and it was obviously requested that the leak be fixed. The roofing contractor made several (4-6) appointments with me to look at the leak in which nobody showed up. I do not live in this property (I actually live 60 miles away) and had to take off of work and travel to make some of these missed appointments. The leak was not dripping constantly the entire time, but anytime snow would melt from the roof it would leak and obviously cause damage.

    Since this leak was affecting a rental unit, I had to repair the drywall (scrape, putty and repaint) three times so that prospective tenants did not see that the roof was leaking.

    The roofer quoted the job out at around $11,000. We made the full payment of $11,000 and were informed that there was an additional $4,000 for extra costs involving decking boards that needed to be replaced and the additional labor involved with that. The roofer agreed to allow me to pay the remaining $4,000 later since it was so far above the estimate. In the meantime, the roof started leaking.

    The leak has now been fixed (over 6 months later), and the roofer is seeking the full $4,000. I have contacted them and informed them that I do not believe $4,000 is a fair payment because of:

    1.) The damage done to the house while the roof was leaking (cant really tell the extent of it because most of the path of the leaked water is behind walls).
    2.) My time and materials spent repairing the drywall 3 times.
    3.) My time and money spent traveling and waiting for them to not show up for appointments and
    4.) My time that I had to take off of work. I get paid vacation at my job, but to me that doesn't mean one of my limited paid vacation days isn't worth as much as I would actually get paid that day.

    The roofers are only willing to take about $500 off of my bill, which I think is FAR too low. I think the bill should be reduced to no more than $2500 so we are very far apart.

    Am I being unreasonable here? What legal recourse do I have if they will not agree to reduce what is owed and threaten to send it to collections?

    Thank you so much for your time and advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,824

    Default Re: Roofing Contractor Let Leak Sit Unfixed for 6 Months, Wants Full Payment

    the full $4000 is due and payable because that is what you contracted to pay.


    1.) The damage done to the house while the roof was leaking (cant really tell the extent of it because most of the path of the leaked water is behind walls).
    first, if you want to seek damages, you will need to quantify them. If you walk into court and say "I know there are damages behind the wall. I have no idea what the value of the damages is", the judge will tell you you do not get compensated for something you cannot prove.
    2.) My time and materials spent repairing the drywall 3 times.
    You might get one repair worth of time and materials but after that, if you knew the leak was still there, you don't get to collect to repair something that you knew would be a problem, or that actually still was.
    3.) My time and money spent traveling and waiting for them to not show up for appointments and


    that is the cost of doing business sometimes.
    4.) My time that I had to take off of work. I get paid vacation
    sorry but first, if you have paid vacation days and were paid for the time off, you lost nothing. Beyond that, it is not compensable anyway.

    What legal recourse do I have if they will not agree to reduce what is owed and threaten to send it to collections?
    pay what you contracted to pay and sue the roofer for whatever you believe would be proper.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: Roofing Contractor Let Leak Sit Unfixed for 6 Months, Wants Full Payment

    In all my roofing contracts I put in that the roofing company has 3 days to repair any defect and 1 day for any leaks & if not, I can hire another party & they would have to reimburse me. Guess what? When I had leaks they said it would be a week or two until I told them or reminded them of the amendment to their standard contract ... they showed up in 1 day

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    218

    Default Re: Roofing Contractor Let Leak Sit Unfixed for 6 Months, Wants Full Payment

    I had my roof done by a BBB A rated roofer. They asked for 1/3 up front, 1/3 mid way and a 1/3 when finished. They also had a guarantee in the contract and a reasonable quote for possible extras like decking boards/plywood etc. They did a spectacular job and when the roof needed some extra work - they came on time, fixed it quickly (several times) and never complained. Your roofers do not sound like my roofers. Sorry.

    Big question - is this a reputable roofer who would not skip town should he get the balance? Someone who does not show up for appointments sounds like a very sketchy person to deal with in my opinion - not to mention take to small claims court. I wish you the best outcome.

    Ben T

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