Monday, May 26, 2008

When the roofer says he's done and the City says no.

A long long time ago in a post far far away, (it was back in early Feb 08) we wrote that we had hired a roofer, BenchMark. Since then we've had our problems with them, mainly that they came and started work on the boxgutters, only to leave them unfinished for two months, which let water and snow our into the house, all the way through the attic, down to the first floor.

At one point we has a 1" ice skating arena on the second floor. That's when the 'water feature' was built to shunt the rainwater out of the second floor window. So that at least stopped the damage from continuing.

Then one sunny day, in late April, they came to not only finish the boxgutters, but to remove the old metal roof and install a new one. It was a one day job that took three. Like I cared that it took 3x as long, I had already waited ten weeks, I could wait another two days. I was finally getting a roof and was thrilled about it.

But by the end of the third day, we still didn't have a downspout at the front of the house. The Duke Energy folks came by the previous week and took it down because we called and said it was too close to the power lines coming into the house. Instead of moving the lines, they took the easy way out and took down our downspout. It was promptly stolen as scrap.

The contract with Benchmark said, in relation to the boxgutters:

"Re-construct sections of gutter on rear of main section of roof and shed roof. Includes removal of remaining gutter, wood framing new gutter, and lining gutter with metal and/or rubber as needed. Install new round downspouts and tie into existing drain locations. Paint wood on all new gutters in customer's choice of color. New gutter will be similar in fashion to existing gutter,but may not match exactly."Price: $1,800.00 - One Thousand Eight Hundred"Install new round downspoutS and tie into existing drain locationS." Plural. Does ANYONE believe that they weren't supposed to install a downspout at the front of the house as well as at the back? To this day, they are still insisting that it was not in the contract, and they are not responsible for a front downspout. They DID come and install one though, even through they say they didn't have to. So we now have a downspout, but it leaks from the first bend near the boxgutter, much like it did before when it wasn't there. Of course now it's dripping on the paint and eventually will wear it away and cause damage if it's not repaired. In the larger picture, you can actually see the water dripping off of the downspout bend.

Benchmark claims they didn't need to install it and so they apparently don't care if the downspout leaks. Oh, yeah, and it's not round, it's that rectangular waffled tin.

Oh yeah, and they installed the rear downspout into a clogged storm drain, which then flooded our basement with rain water, to which Bert the Plumber, red cape and all, came to the rescue.
I love Bert. Don't tell my husband, ok?

Then there was the Box gutter or wading pool matter where the brand new boxgutter was clogged right after the boxgutter was finished and the down spout connector had to be cut out and we bought a new strainer that actually did work.

And then there's the flashing. "Factory drip edge"? No, not quite. Looks like a professional job, no? Well the City of Covington Housing Department doesn't think their work is done, and according to the contact Benchmark signed with the City the City isn't releasing funds until they give their approval of Benchmark's work.
Well, Benchmark agreed that they didn't install the factory drip edge and graciously deducted $144 from the invoice.

Anyone think I can get someone to fix all this stuff for $144?

So here's where we stand now: We have a new roof that (so far) doesn't leak, and looks good. The front downspout leaks, the flashing and the trim look like hell, and we even have a new nest of baby birds living under the roofline where the flashing isn't attached to the roof. And the boxgutters are severely warped (mainly because they used 1/4" plywood on the undersides of the boxgutters that sat out exposed to the rain and snow for 2 months.

When we called the boxgutter subcontractor that works for Benchmark to see how we could get the warped boards replaced, (btw, he's understandably upset that he hasn't been paid for his work... by Benchmark) well, he decided to threaten to 'rip his work off of our house' if he's not paid. Niiiiice.

Benchmark has claimed that their work is finished and they are demanding payment in full (minus the $144). They have even threatened to put a lien on our home.

Considering that we've found a local contractor who has agreed to fix the entire mess for $460, you'd think that Benchmark would be willing so subtract that amount from the invoice, and send us a bill for the remainder (we already paid them $2000) in the amount of $3690, and let the City of Covington pass judgment on someone else's work instead.

Well, that's what we told Benchmark, and considering I don't think I want a roofing contractor I can't trust not to destroy his work (instead of repair it) working on my house, I hope they decide to take the easy way out and send us an amended invoice.

It's been a learning experience, folks, and I hope you've learned as much as we have about Benchmark Roofing.

Class dismissed.

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