This problem is a huge weight on me.
I bought a 5-unit property in June 2007. While it was still in escrow, I happened to drive by and saw roofers on my future property tearing a roof off. I stopped my car–“Stop, you guys, this is my new property and I have to be a part of any roof decisions!” There were giant trucks parked all over the grass with piles of debris everywhere.
It ended with the seller putting the insurance proceeds from the 100% hail-totaled roofs into an escrow account at the Title Company. I negotiated a $10,000 upgrade with the seller’s roofer to have all metal roofs installed instead of the cheap, tacky shingles the seller had contracted for.
Thirteen months later and the roofs are still not completed. One cottage had paper put on twice and suffered rain and mold damage. The roofer gave me drywall and I fixed it,
The main house had paper put on twice. The metal panels were cut wrong. Valleys are not broad enough. Leaks have developed in 2 units. Skylights were caulked with BLACK TAR on the white metal roof. The chimney has inadequate flashing. Water is getting in under the panels. On and on.
I have had the building inspector out there three times. He said, “This is a really sh___ job!” He has documented the deficiencies with several pages of notes, and photographs and sent them a correction notice.
I had 3 other recommended roofing contractors come and bid correcting the roofs. They will not do it. They say everything must be ripped off and new roofs installed. They bid $28,000, $32,000 and the 3rd bid is pending. It will be high too. The cost of metal has gone up.
The new roofers say THEY CANNOT WARRANTY REPAIR, ONLY WARRANTY A NEW ROOF. I will not allow the original roofer to make any corrections as all their work was sub-par. They lied so many times about why it took so long: death in the family, illness, materials stolen, couldn’t get right color, crews didn’t show, etc. The truth was that they got busy building a new sub-division. I must have been to their office a dozen times. We have been through a major monsoon season here with those roofs with unsealed vents, incomplete flashings and missing screws.
Must I allow the original roofing contractor to do his own corrections when the previous work was so shoddy?
They said they would not give any money for a new roof, “Alright, so sue us!” I still owe them $5,000 towards the metal.
What kind of court pressure/lawsuit would not bankrupt me in legal fees but get them to pay for a new roof? Has anyone any experience with this kind of nightmare? Would I get legal fees if I won a lawsuit?