Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Home Improvement Contractors

Home Improvement Contractors

These words scare me to death.

Some (or most) of you know that I live in a converted barn. A really old (think heritage old) barn. It was built 125 some years ago and housed horses and cows for the farmstead. Then it morphed into a veterinary clinic for said animals plus others and then into a house and an apartment at one point and then back to a single family dwelling where it changed hands over and over again until....
This poor old place sat empty for 4 years after being abused by an alcoholic owner. It needed so much love and attention that no-one in their right mind wanted it.

That's where I came in.

I walked through this place with my mother and we both agreed that this labour of love was something I could take on and accomplish having had some experience in that area with a previous old house.

I've spent over 20 years renovating and restoring this old barn.
When I bought it I had no idea that there was no insulation between the inside where I sat shivering in our -40C winters and the outside which I seemed to be trying to heat as well. I learned how to tear down plaster and lathe so that I could touch the outer wall (shiplap btw) and install insulation and put up a plastic barrier and then drywall, mud, sand, and finish up with a slap or two of paint of my choice and colour. Keep in mind that there is over 3000 square feet to this barn and that's a lot of work. Thinking back I believe it took me about two years to do it all including the hip roof ceiling on the third floors.
Moving forward there has been much work - all done by myself with help from others. I've turned this run-down old barn into a thing of beauty again and I'm - almost - done after 20 some years. I've just got a living room floor to strip and sand and varnish and that's probably it.

Now here's where my rant comes in.

I've had to hire someone 3 times to do things I just can't do. That includes putting on a new roof, installing a new furnace, and hiring someone to completely renovate the kitchen because I couldn't lift a cast iron sink I knew would look great in there but weighs 170lbs.

Let's start with the roof. I regretfully hired COOPER ROOFING out of Red Deer, Alberta. They promised me they had a crew that specialized in barn roofs. I can't tell everyone enough times - DO NOT HIRE COOPER ROOFING IF YOU NEED A NEW ROOF!!

The old roof - even with the hail damage - was a better roof than what I ended up with. I had so much water damage and condensation damage from their 'professionals' that I had to have my dining room ceiling redone because of it.

After eight years of fighting the continual damage we had someone else put on a new roof. Eight years!! And the new roofers gave me a long list of what Cooper Roofing had and had NOT done.

They didn't replace any boards with holes in them on the roof and just covered over any vents that were there - leaving a hole with a shingle over top of it.
Their nail gun was obviously put on maximum pressure as the whole roof is pierced from it.
There wasn't one speck of felt paper put down underneath the shingles so our 30 year shingle warranty was immediately void.
They 'high nailed' which means they didn't put nails in the proper places on the shingles.
I had shingles sliding off of the roof starting in the sixth year. These shingles revealed that they either weren't nailed on at all or had one to three nails in them. Most shingles require four at the minimum and should have six.
The ice dam protection we paid for wasn't installed.
The list goes on and on.

And here's something else I learned that everyone should be aware of if you want to try and do something about a fiasco like this.
You know that five year warranty they give you? Don't count on it.

Someone from COOPER ROOFING was here multiple times a year for those five years. When the shingles started sliding off the roof in the sixth year they suddenly didn't have any record of all the problems we had experienced, just a thing saying they had installed a roof. Even though one of the owners had been here twice to look at the damage their installation was causing - they had no record of it whatsoever.

I had to call a local handyman to come and put shingles on the bald spots on the roof between thunderstorms. I was frantic that I would have more water damage inside the house I have spent so many years restoring.

COOPER ROOFING showed up weeks after I had called them begging for help and that was because the insurance company decided to send a roofing inspector around to see if the roof had been installed correctly in the first place. BTW - that inspector never went on the roof and the insurance company turned a blind eye.

COOPER ROOFING also turned a blind eye and said too bad so sad - you're five year warranty is up.

Now there is where you should be paying attention.

When I checked with two different lawyers they both told me the same thing.
I should have ignored the warranty and immediately started action as there's a two year limit to any action being taken against someone who does this kind of crap to you. That two year limit is from the time you know something is wrong until the time you start action against them.
I had called COOPER ROOFING the day after the roof was installed because I could see a problem. I should have started action right then and there according to the laws of our land.

We are now paying for a new roof without using insurance coverage - so every single cent is coming right out of the lining of our pockets. And this is after COOPER ROOFING put on a new roof eight years ago. A roof that is expected to last about 20 years. It's a contractual job being done that we shouldn't have to think or fret or stress about for the next 15 years at least. Then we start looking at the shingles and evaluating them. Not the next day. And not have to replace the mess in eight years.

Seriously??

Okay - that's the rant for today.

Tomorrow I'm going to rant about AIR CENTRAL who installed a new furnace for us in November of 2015. They've turned my beautiful heritage barn into a steampunk barn - but that's for tomorrow.

For today - remember. If you are thinking of replacing your roof this spring - DO NOT GET COOPER ROOFING TO DO IT!! You'll regret every single shingle and nail they put on. 
 
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4 comments:

Rachel Green said...

Gee. What a nightmare!

ADDY said...

I sympathise very much. You may recall a few years back I had a new roof to the tune of £4,000 put on my humble abode by a supposedly reputable firm and then had leaks afterwards which involved a lot of decorating to put right. Every time we have a torrential downpour, I am still running up and down stairs like a mad thing to make sure there are no leaks. It never fails to amaze me how tradesmen can take money off others knowing they cannot do the job properly. Hope you get it sorted soon.

aims said...

Oh Addy! That's just horrible. I feel for you!! I had forgotten that! Didn't you also have trouble with mold? I have fold forming from a leak on the second floor above the fireplace. It was leaking so badly part of the ceiling has come away and needs repairing and then the mold needs to be blocked and then the ceiling repainted.
The list does go on and on and I get feeling sick when I think of all the problems that were caused...

Ya - contractors!

Every single time I have to hire anyone I cringe as I know something is going to get damaged. Even the new roofers did enough damage that my freshly painted barn now needs to be repainted. Idiots.

aims said...

Rachel - a nightmare that never ends!!