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Sherry
I'll be out next Monday.......

10 years ago in May two massive storms went through Minnesota. There were tornados, heavy rain, downed trees, and hail. Many, many people had storm damage. My house was hit by hail. It was difficult to find any contractors. Worse, I had been preparing my house to put it on the market and move and this was delaying my plans. After some searching I found a contractor who seemed to have good references. I hired him to have the house repainted and to reroof the house.

The job was scheduled to begin on a Monday. He didn’t show up. I called him. He said he’d start the following Monday.

On the following Monday he didn’t show up. I called him. He said he’d start the following Monday.

On the following Monday he didn’t show up. I called him. He said he’d start the following Monday.

The next day I called him and asked him to let me know if he was still interested in doing the work and if he wasn’t I’d find someone else. He called back and said they’d be out on Thursday.

Now, since I’d been getting my house ready to sell I’d repainted it the previous summer so the paint job was in good shape except where it was damaged by hail. So only the hail-damaged sides needed to be repainted. I’d given my contractor a partial can of paint so he could get the same brand and color.

They actually did show up on Thursday and paint the house. When I came home after work my first thought on seeing the painted house was how nice it looked with the new paint job. But then I looked at a newly painted side and an adjacent side that wasn’t damaged and repainted. It was then that it became quite apparent that the new paint didn’t match the old paint. It was close but very clearly not the same color. It was also glossier than the old paint.

Now I had to get the insurance adjuster out to get them to cover repainting the rest of the house. My house was not a simple rectangle and from any spot you could see the two different colored paint jobs. At first the insurance adjuster was not going to pay for repainting the north side of my garage and the north side of the chimney chase. I had to point out that the different colored paint jobs were noticeable. Finally he agreed.

After the house was painted it was time to do the roof. We had a scheduled start date. Guess what? He didn’t show up but said he’d be out next Monday. At this point we came to a mutual agreement that he was not going to do my roof. Unfortunately by this time every reputable roofer was booked up. So at the end of September with snow a distinct possibility in the near future I and some helpers started roofing the house ourselves. We were not professionals and the roof was a difficult roof: 10/12 pitch, two stories with a walkout, multiple roof structures, and dormers so it took us about a month to do it working evenings and weekends. We finished before the snow and it looked great.

I was fortunate in that I got the money back I’d put down on the roof. I saw a story on the local news channel a couple years later that this contractor was sent to prison for swindling his customers.

Re: I'll be out next Monday.......

You have already addressed many of the concerns raised.

Most of the 'reliable' contractors do stay booked up; reason being is that their work and reputation keeps them busy.

The red flags should have been waving when the original contractor failed to show up the first time, much less afterwards. This should have been a premonition of things to follow.

Being in a service-based industry, I hold those I do business with to the same levels of expectation that I am held to. I do not believe in rewarding bad behavior.

Get references and then CHECK those references. Don's simply give them lip service. More often than not, you will have a pretty good idea of what to expect BEFORE finding out the hard way.

Also, an added piece of advice. Although you had damage, had put yourself on a limited time table, make your decisions and choose your contractor as if you are not under the gun. Chances are you will make a more thought out decision that one that is made under duress.

All the best, Irishmist

Sherry
Re: I'll be out next Monday.......

You are right. There were some red flags and I ignored them. I am going to be much smarter the next time I hire someone. And I will be willing to wait for someone good.

Sherry

Marjorie
Re: I'll be out next Monday.......

Sherry - are you still in the Minn. area? How'd you make out through the storms yesterday? I heard there was a nasty tornado around St. Paul area... :(

I had a problem with a sider the same way - didn't return calls and wasn't here when he said he'd be. I finally got someone else through my bathroom remodel contractor and had the sider pick his sample books up at my office...

then the sider i did use will never be used again by my contractor because of the way he did stuff. Not at all like they'd done on previous jobs for him. sheesh. How do some of these guys stay in business?!

Sherry
Re: I'll be out next Monday.......

Reply to Marjorie,

Yes, I am still in Minnesota near St. Paul. You are correct – we had some nasty storms go through the northern suburbs of St. Paul about a week and a half ago. There were many homes damaged and destroyed. Sadly, one 2-year-old boy was killed when he was picked up by the tornado and dropped into the pond behind his house. His 4-year-old sister was critically injured, too. It was so sad. My heart just goes out to the family. On a brighter note many, many people turned out when they asked for volunteers to help clean up. They had so many volunteers they had to turn some away.

I’m sorry to hear about the problems with your sider. I can relate. I am going to try to only hire people who come recommended to me by people I know. And I’m going to check them out more carefully.

Good luck on your future projects.

Marjorie
Re: I'll be out next Monday.......

Glad you made it through ok.... that's terrible about that little boy, and the girl. their poor families! No telling what the tornadoes will do, that's so scary.

Yeah, it's good to get all the info about them you can... my siders came recommended by someone i trust (my contractor, who's my brother-in-law's cousin and a good and ethical man)... those guys had done work for him in the past and he was pleased with all previous work. He'll never use them again nor will anyone he talks to about them.
It cost the sider a big chunk of his pay because of something they were supposed to do and didn't, -in the eaves, they cut holes and were to have tightly attached small mesh screen to keep spiders out and they didn't do it - started out saying he never heard me say that much less ageed to it, but that changed when my contractor stepped in and since he was there for the entire estimate process and in on that particular conversation told him in no uncertain terms and suddenly the fella remembered. They had to reduce their bill by a lot because now i have to have my attic dusted by the exterminators twice a year instead of just once.
Wow, i sure got long-winded on that one, huh?! :rolleyes:

misfitter
Re: I'll be out next Monday.......

Intereasting.

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