Yes yes yes, it's been forever since I made a post, and I suppose that's largely because I feel so stupid for hiring Alpine Restorations to work on my roof, but it's time I explained what happened. Let me first say that I'm sort of the trusting type, and I'll give about anyone at least one chance to do the right thing. Sometimes that rears back and bites me on the butt, and unfortunately, when it comes to extremely costly home improvement type things it's best not to take chances.
So Chad Weprin (and yes, I'm naming names in case there are other people attempting to look up these guys) came up to my house one weekend afternoon while we were working outdoors on our house and said, hey we're going through the area and looking for anyone that hasn't yet had hail damage repaired from the last storm. He said he'd work with our insurance company on the claim and do the job at whatever price they came up with, and should the claim be denied there was no charge to us. Well great I thought, but honestly I didn't really think the insurance company would approve it because we hadn't lived here very long, and the roof was pretty beat up when we moved in. But if they did approve it, hey that'd be great also; we get a new roof and there's standards that these guys have to adhere to and there's inspectors that have to check stuff out and everything, right?
So anyway, Chad's a nice guy and whatever, and he turns me over to Jarrod Dehn, the company manager or something, and he's a nice guy also. They figure it will take two or three days and they decide when they're going to start, and then some guys from Heavy Duty Home Improvement show up. Okay, who are these guys? I call Jarrod, because Chad's basically out of the picture at this point. Oh yeah, he says, those are our guys, and I'm thinking, I thought Chad said you had all your own workers, but whatever, so they sub-contracted this out; it happens. But they say, well there's more layers of shingles on your house than we thought, so we've got to take some pictures and send them to your insurance company to approve the extra demolition and then we'll start.
A week goes by and finally they show up, and most of the guys there either clearly do not speak English or clearly want me to think that they don't. Whatever, my father's been a sheet metal worker for 30 years, I know how it goes. They start tearing the roof apart and throwing it all over the place. Now I knew it was going to be messy, and I knew there was a lot of demolition that was going to need to be done, but they left a heap to the side of the house that went over our fence and spilled all over our neighbor's driveway. Fortunately our neighbor is pretty laid back, so when Katherine saw her pulling up she went over and explained it and helped pick everything up. Regardless, this is something that shouldn't happen, so a call was made to Rick Unruh, owner of Heavy Duty Home Improvement, because neither Jarrod nor Chad could be reached on the line, and he was told that this was unacceptable.
After that they were at least somewhat more respectful of our neighbor's property. However, this job, which everyone, Jarrod, Rick and the foreman in broken English assured me wouldn't take more than a few days, drug on until the end of the week. Normally, I wouldn't have minded so much--like I said I knew it was going to be a big job--but Katherine and I were headed to Colorado again for our first anniversary, and there was no way we were going to have these jokers crawling all over our house with no one here to keep an eye on things. So I tried to get a hold of Jarrod, but his cell phone wouldn't pick up, and all I got was an error code when I called him. A quick Google search revealed that this was the code you get when someone's pre-paid phone is out of minutes. Ah ha, I said, so this was why I'd never met this guy, he got Chad to bring him a phone with a local area code, so that he could pretend to be a local contractor. It's not that I mind being lied to, I sort of expected that, but it's that they seemingly thought I was stupid...although, obviously I was for hiring these guys.
So we called Rick again, and told him that we were going to have them stop work until after we got back. He wasn't super happy about it, and I surprisingly got a phone call from Jarrod in very short order trying to assure me that they could work while we were gone. No dice, buddy, you should have stayed in better contact, and I'd already had to postpone my trip a few days because of this. He said he apologized for being out of touch, but he was on some "R&R" and didn't realize his phone wasn't working...sure.
We went on our trip, which was fun, but the whole time I had this cloud hovering over my head, because I really wasn't looking forward to all of this when I got back. And I have to say that these jerks made my first anniversary less enjoyable than it should have been, for which I have apologized endlessly to Katherine, and she really took it all in stride, and for that I'm very grateful of her.
We got back, and they started work again. A week and a half later they finished their "two or three day job." But there were two problems. They busted the vent for the new furnace in the attic, and judging from their first attempt to fix it, they had no idea what they were doing. And amazingly, our gutters had disappeared. So a call was made to Jarrod, again. I said that we had a brand new furnace, and that I wasn't confident in their ability to fix the vent in a way that would protect my family, and I was going to have Hannah Heating and Air come back out and fix it, and they were going to deduct the cost from what we owed them. He tried to convince me otherwise, but I said no. As to the gutters, he said that Rick said I told them to get rid of them, to which I said, "No, I did not." And Jarrod, of course, was surprised by this as he couldn't believe that Rick would tell him one thing and I would say another...sure. So he checked around and called back, and said okay okay, we're sending some guys out to put new gutters on your house and take care of it, to which I said, no, we're going to get some bids and you're going to pick one and pay for it too. He started to argue, and I said, look, I've got to get back to work and you can talk it over with my wife (she's not as nice--or rather, gullible--as I am). So Katherine gave him an ear full, and a week later he agreed to one of the bids.
In the end, we wound up with a new roof; although, one that I question some of the craftsmanship of, but one that so far has shown no signs of leakage, and new professionally installed gutters which Alpine paid for. And most importantly, the insurance company paid for it, minus our deductible or course. For the final payment, Chad Weprin showed up one more time, and he says, "Boy the roof looks great." I looked at him like he was stupid, because the front of the house looked the worst (I should have taken a picture of it, we've since fixed their sloppy work, but it was almost laughable how slap-dash it looked). He apologized for the mistakes, but then he had the nerve to ask for a favorable recommendation. I really didn't know what to say...what a turd.
Anyway, moral of the story. Never hire solicitors to work on your house, hire a local company that you know something about and trust. Ask if you can contact some home-owners in the area that have had them work on their houses. And never be afraid to stand up to anyone working on your house; it's your property and your money after all.