Botched roofing and siding job - what should I do?

Briefly: We used the same company for roofing and siding. Roofing was bid at $6600 (30sq, very simple gable, certainteed landmark 50year shingle), Siding at $17,168. Roofer put on the wrong color shingles. I was AWESOME about that. Bummed, but I said I could live with it. Siding, which was supposed to take one week, took six and a half. They gave me one guy to do 40 squares. They made a huge freaking mess all over the place, and now have to come back at some point after the snow melts to pick up all the nails, vinyl and aluminum bits all around the house. Claimed to be done, even though clearly cleanup is NOT.

Got the bill for the siding. The first one included $1442 of additional charges. I detailed which line items I wasn’t going to pay for, and now he’s saying it’s $942 additional. Contract says that any additional work over $500 requires a signed change order/acceptance from me, which of course they don’t have.

The shingles can stay. If things degrade and he takes me to court, it would be small claims (because I’d pay what I think is acceptable before he got the chance). I’m a stay-at-home mom who general contracted my whole build (these people are the only problems I had), you can’t take lawyers to court, and we’ve done almost everything by email, so I have records.

I’m really pissed they’re trying to screw me on the siding after mucking up the roof so badly. I can fight some of the siding bill, but my best leverage is the shingle error. What do you all think is fair? What should I do?

-Lauren

Either the roof color is right or its wrong. If you can live with it then your in a good bargaining position. The siding issues sound minor, sure they made a mess and they need to clean it up. Not doing so is not going to earn you $1000 discount, its just a clean up make them do it until your happy with it.

If they didn’t get a signed change order for extra work then don’t pay it, but if you talked about it and gave the go ahead with no change order signed then your in the wrong morally and should pay it.

Do you want to drag this out or be done with it and them…work it out and be fair.

As for the time frame of the job, we do not know who is at fault or if its partly your fault. Too many HO’s acting as GC creating a giant CF for the contractors is usually what happen when a HO tries to run a job. This may or may not be the case here, but working it out fairly is in your best interest. Keep it out of court.

If this were my job I would settle up for what I was approved to do and take care of your punch list. I may knock $500 off the final balance unless you were a pita customer…but even so I still may :slight_smile:

I am 100% completely not at fault. Repeatedly I was told the siding would take around one week, and we had two days of rain delay. As I said, they assigned one person to do a 40 square job. His work is excellent, but I’ve never seen someone try to work slower. It’s vertical vinyl, and he’d go up on the lift, measure one piece, come down, cut that piece, go up again, etc. Worked 9-4. And the mess is completely his fault because if it had taken AT ALL a reasonable amount of time there wouldn’t have been snow on the ground covering it up. This is part of why I’m completely disgusted with them. The shingles: their fault. The timeline: their fault. The inability to clean up in a timely fashion: their fault.

Incidentally, I’ve had two of the subs I’ve used say they’d hire me if I wanted to get into construction. I may be new at this, but I’m good.

Some of the work I approved at the beginning of the job. That’s about $300 of it, and I agree I should pay that. They tried to charge me $400 for my electrician borrowing the lift after hours. I’m pissed because I was SO NICE about the roofing error, and now they’re trying to nickel-and-diming me on the siding. I mean, as long as we’re talking about ethics, if you put the wrong roof on someone’s house, would you try to scam them on the siding?

I wouldn’t pay anything until all is completely finished. Then as long as everything ended up done according to the agreement you had, (other than the roof color which you seem to be ok with) I would pay what was agreed upon but not a penny more.

If/when they ask for more than that, I would refuse. They charged you $23,768 for this work, put the wrong color roof on your house and took 6 1/2 weeks to do a job they told you would take a week, they should be tickled pink to collect the original agreed upon amount of $23,768 as payment in full.

[quote=“explauren”]I am 100% completely not at fault. Repeatedly I was told the siding would take around one week, and we had two days of rain delay. As I said, they assigned one person to do a 40 square job. His work is excellent, but I’ve never seen someone try to work slower. It’s vertical vinyl, and he’d go up on the lift, measure one piece, come down, cut that piece, go up again, etc. Worked 9-4. And the mess is completely his fault because if it had taken AT ALL a reasonable amount of time there wouldn’t have been snow on the ground covering it up. This is part of why I’m completely disgusted with them. The shingles: their fault. The timeline: their fault. The inability to clean up in a timely fashion: their fault.

Incidentally, I’ve had two of the subs I’ve used say they’d hire me if I wanted to get into construction. I may be new at this, but I’m good.

Some of the work I approved at the beginning of the job. That’s about $300 of it, and I agree I should pay that. They tried to charge me $400 for my electrician borrowing the lift after hours. I’m pissed because I was SO NICE about the roofing error, and now they’re trying to nickel-and-diming me on the siding. I mean, as long as we’re talking about ethics, if you put the wrong roof on someone’s house, would you try to scam them on the siding?[/quote]

How else is one guy supposed to do siding by himself? Why does it matter if he works slow or not, are you paying him his wages? Did the length of time truly affect the ability to live in your home? We often do jobs in the winter and make sure the homeowner knows we will have to come back in spring and let them withhold a hundred or two dollars if they feel like it.

It seems you should be going to your electrician for using that machine. Was he allowed to use it? Did he pay for the fuel used? Who would’ve been liable had he tipped it or damaged the machine in anyway? Did you tell the electrician he could use it?

As far as the shingle color, I don’t agree with it but you said it was OKAY. Either it is okay or it isn’t. You can’t go back now and say you aren’t happy with the shingle color although you already admitted that you are.

How exactly are they “scamming” you on the siding? What did the original contract call for and what unforeseen errors did they run into?

Sorry to play devils advocate but after dealing with thousands of homeowners and being on the other side of things a few times, I know there are two sides to every story.

[quote=“BAMBAMM5144”]

[quote=“explauren”]I am 100% completely not at fault. Repeatedly I was told the siding would take around one week, and we had two days of rain delay. As I said, they assigned one person to do a 40 square job. His work is excellent, but I’ve never seen someone try to work slower. It’s vertical vinyl, and he’d go up on the lift, measure one piece, come down, cut that piece, go up again, etc. Worked 9-4. And the mess is completely his fault because if it had taken AT ALL a reasonable amount of time there wouldn’t have been snow on the ground covering it up. This is part of why I’m completely disgusted with them. The shingles: their fault. The timeline: their fault. The inability to clean up in a timely fashion: their fault.

Incidentally, I’ve had two of the subs I’ve used say they’d hire me if I wanted to get into construction. I may be new at this, but I’m good.

Some of the work I approved at the beginning of the job. That’s about $300 of it, and I agree I should pay that. They tried to charge me $400 for my electrician borrowing the lift after hours. I’m pissed because I was SO NICE about the roofing error, and now they’re trying to nickel-and-diming me on the siding. I mean, as long as we’re talking about ethics, if you put the wrong roof on someone’s house, would you try to scam them on the siding?[/quote]

How else is one guy supposed to do siding by himself? Why does it matter if he works slow or not, are you paying him his wages? Did the length of time truly affect the ability to live in your home? We often do jobs in the winter and make sure the homeowner knows we will have to come back in spring and let them withhold a hundred or two dollars if they feel like it.

It seems you should be going to your electrician for using that machine. Was he allowed to use it? Did he pay for the fuel used? Who would’ve been liable had he tipped it or damaged the machine in anyway? Did you tell the electrician he could use it?

As far as the shingle color, I don’t agree with it but you said it was OKAY. Either it is okay or it isn’t. You can’t go back now and say you aren’t happy with the shingle color although you already admitted that you are.

How exactly are they “scamming” you on the siding? What did the original contract call for and what unforeseen errors did they run into?

Sorry to play devils advocate but after dealing with thousands of homeowners and being on the other side of things a few times, I know there are two sides to every story.[/quote]

Re: the lift, I was not in the picture. The electrician used it for max 45 minutes to install the floods, and the sider said nothing about there being any cost. They removed that charge and said it was a misunderstanding.

I don’t care at all about the sider using the lift. Well, that’s not entirely true. He was all over the thing for a few weeks mucking up my grade, but while I find that irritating, it’s expected. The length of time was an issue for two reasons. One is that since it took so long, now he can’t do cleanup until the snow melts. If he’d been faster, or picked up each day, we wouldn’t have the cleanup issue. Secondly, while we weren’t living here, no, it didn’t matter. But I was clear about when we would be, and now my first week in my new house in the quiet country, my kids’ naps are screwed up by the sider hammering away outside their rooms. Oh, and not being done meant my electrician couldn’t set the front porch fixture and thus get his final inspection. We got approval for the temp occupancy we needed, but it’s costing the electrician $75 for the extra inspection.

I don’t know that they’re scamming me on the siding. It just feels like that. The contract requires anything over $500 additional work have a signed change order. They don’t have one, of course. Surprising me with $1400 extra is what makes it feel icky.

Some of it was trim around the garage and exterior doors. Apparently that’s not something they usually do, though I’ve no idea why. Some of it was framing the returns for the soffit. I’d wanted the soffit to be angled, but the sider didn’t order long enough siding (vertical vinyl) to make it all the way up without a third row. We agreed to make the soffit flat so there wouldn’t be a delay in getting the longer pieces. Of course that’s laughable now, since there was ample time to have made the switch. Some of it is trimming on the front porch, which again, I don’t know why that wasn’t included. I explicitly said I wanted the whole shebang, that I wanted to wave my hand at it and not have to mess with anything outside for decades. And all this after screwing up the roof. Plus, that roof screwup meant I had to change my siding color so it wasn’t totally awful, which means I got my second choice of siding, too. We’re at Cobblestone gray roof and Herringbone siding, should’ve been Weathered Wood/Clay.

I appreciate devil’s advocating. I’m trying to figure out what a reasonable solution (i.e., discount) would be fair, and I’m all pissed and I’m sure that makes me less rational. I should also say that the quality of the work is superb. It’s just not what I picked and now it costs more too? You build your forever house and it doesn’t look like you thought, that’s upsetting.

Like I said in my 1st post, the roof color is either good or its not. You already have said the roof is ok. Now however, after the delays, clean up issue, billing issue, lift use issue ect… you now want to say the roof is ok but I want a discount. That doesn’t sit well with me, even though I do feel they should have done something of the sort to get you to not make them tear it off. It is worth something at time the color issue is brought up, but not after you gave it a thumbs up and at the end of the job that you felt didn’t go well.

When was the shingle color error discovered? was the roof done? What is written on the contract for color?

Bottom line if they were at fault for the color, they should discount your roof job but they are not obligated to after you gave it a thumbs up. Once you gave it the OK that issue was resolved. All you can do is ask, if they say no then you have your answer as to a discount…but it wont reflect well on you for giving it the ok then changing your mind at the end of the job.

Your time to get compensated was when the error was first discovered.

I don’t agree with that at all.
The HO should be entitled to some sort of compensation for having the wrong colour shingle applied, the job taking a lot longer than originally planned, and a mess left around the yard. Not to mention doing things without the HO approval and then charging them for it. Gees, how many errors does the HO have to forgive???

Who knows (but the homeowner) what the roof looks like with the new siding, maybe the “accepted” roof colour clashes with the new siding, which wouldn’t have been known until after the 6 week siding job.

As a contractor, it’s MY job to ensure that all materials used on a project are in accordance with the contract, that my clients are aware of any additional costs they may have to pay before any additional work is performed and that the work is both started and finished in a timely manner as agreed upon. If I fail in any of these things, it is nobody’s fault but my own. Under promise and over deliver should be the goal. Not the other way around.

These guys failed with the roof materials, the additional work and the timeline. They should just be extremely thankful that you are not being a difficult customer. You absolutely have them by the groin on the roof color from a legal standpoint. Especially if all the work was listed on one contract.

However, since you are satisfied with the end result in spite of the poor service by management, the right thing to do is pay the bill. The one you agreed to pay that is. $23,768 plus the first $500 of additional work. You agreed to this when you signed the contract that stated such and paying it keeps you on the right side of the street legally. In my professional opinion, if you thought all the other work was inclusive, were never told otherwise and never agreed to anything otherwise then you don’t owe anything above what you agreed to.

The last thing that companies with poor management need is to be rewarded for it. They will never learn or care to do any better unless there is some kind of consequence, however minimal that may be. Receiving 97% of payment after severely under delivering on a job is a far cry from an extreme consequence.

This is why I feel the way I do. That company will keep on screwing HO until someone basically teaches them a lesson.

My first question would be, why didn’t you complain about only having one person there for the siding on the 8th day? Unlike others, I don’t agree it is okay for the Contractor to set expectations at one week and then making ZERO effort to meet that commitment.

Very nice of you to be okay with wrong color of shingles. Given everything else that happened, that’s rather indicative of how poorly these clowns operated.

I would recommend you pay them only what you agreed upon. Did they tell you using the lift would be a $400 charge? If not, you’re certainly not obligated to pay it, morally or legally. You agreed on $300 in extras? That’s what you owe. I also would hold back at least $500 to $1,000 until spring arrives and they complete the job.

I can’t imagine them taking you to court. They should be happy you’re not taking them to court. I’m not sure what State you’re in but I would be surprised if you can’t take your own Attorney into small claims court. In many States, when a Corporation is involved in a small claims case, they are required by law to retain an Attorney. Obviously, it is only fair that you have the right to be represented as well. Should they file a claim against you, I suspect your Attorney would recommend filing one right back at them for breach of contract and filing a frivolous law suit. IMHO, it is likely you would prevail and they would end up paying your Attorney’s fees. They might threaten you and if they do, threaten back with filing complaints with the local BBB and a bad report with Angie’s List.

By the way, it is also my opinion, should the Contractor attempt to get nasty with you, it is perfectly okay for you to change your mind about the shingles color mistake being okay. You tried to be nice, if they try to be nasty, you have more ammunition on your side than they do by a long shot.