Archive for February, 2013

Prison Time for Roof Repair Scammer

In Madison County Nebraska, 29 year old Jerry Hendon from Garland, received 18-24 months for each of the two counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition. Two residents from Norfolk were taken for thousands of dollars for roof work that was never completed.

Hendon told victims he was working with a company called Exterior Torch, provided a business card and quoted a price as a roof contractor. Exterior Torch said Hendon was a former employee.

One victim paid in cash and the other wrote a check leaving the “pay to” line blank. The roof repair was never started and the victims were unable to reach Hendon.

Hendon Said he Used the Money for Sick Daughter

Hendon said he used the money to keep his daughter in an Omaha neonatal intensive care unit instead of being transferred to another hospital. He told Judge Robert Ensz in Madison County district court that he didn’t see himself as a con artist.

Madison County deputy attorney Mike Long said “it was clearly a scheme to defraud people. I don’t think a reasonable person would to come to any other conclusion.”

Hendon has an active warrant on the same type of charges in Kentucky for a similar scam. Kyle Melia, Hendon’s lawyer said he intended to finish the contract in Kentucky as soon as he finished his work in Nebraska but in the meantime, he was arrested.

Hendon will serve another 16 months, with credit for time served to become eligible for parole. He will then be taken to Kentucky to face charges there. He will have 2 years following his release to pay restitution to each victim.

Re-Roofing Considerations

reroofingMany people assume that they can cut corners in the cost of roof repair and replacement by simply adding a new layer of roof materials over an existing layer. Although there are some instances in which this may be an acceptable practice, but there are some things to consider before having the job done.

Proceed With Caution

One of the most obvious reasons that having multiple layers of roof materials installed on your home is the potential for safety hazards. Too many layers of roof materials can be heavy, stressing the weight management abilities of the underlying supporting base. For this reason, many states have laws to regulate the number of layers that is approved for a home. Having too many old roof layers under new  materials can be a code violation, that could make insuring or selling a home difficult.

Multiple layers also increase the risk of fire and pest problems. Between layers can be great breeding grounds for termites, ants and other pests. In hot or moist temperatures, the multiple layers can also be the base of mold, mildew and toxic growths.  Not only are all of these factors potential safety hazards, but they decrease the durability of the materials and increase the need for future maintenance. Further, many manufacturers will consider a warranty null and void if the new roof is damaged due to failure to remove existing layers.


Roof Remodelers Code of Ethics

The Roofing Industry and the home improvement field, like certain others involving consumer products and services has its share of con artists. Not many, but enough to make customer complaints fairly frequent.

The Better Business Bureau indicate that in spite of this relatively high amount of complaints, an large percent of them are settled without court actions.

The high percentage of home improvements complaints has led to the formation of a set of National Standards of Practice for the Home Improvement Industry. The standards are divided into three parts: advertising, selling the product or services, and taking care of the customer after the sale.

While investigating consumer complaints there are two notable conditions:

1. In many complaint cases the consumer arguments are not really factual and the businesses involved have acted legally and ethically;

2. The most common characteristic of the majority of the consumer complaints is a lack of communication that leads to a misunderstanding.

It is clear that most complaints arise from the procedures that home improvement businesses employ in obtaining the customer’s order, rather than from poor workmanship or use of inferior material.

Common Scams Used

According to citations by the Federal Trade Commission resulting from consumer complains on firms selling home improvement services, these are some of the types of misrepresentation:

• A sales gimmick that encourages you to sign a contract now
• A time limit for obtaining a special discount
• Price reduction offered for vague or light weight non-valid reasons
• Sales talk that is heavily anti-competitor in nature
• Loose use of verbal-guarantee type language
• Offers to finance cost through credit which involves the use of a non-recourse instrument.

The offer to give you a special deal because the contractor’s men are working on a couple other jobs in the neighborhood still arouses homeowner interest. Beware of the ‘convenience approach’ in which the contractor simply drops in on you, under no circumstances give any home improvement contractor, roofing contractor or specialist any money in advance or a deposit.

You can read more on the National Association of Remodeling Industry Standards of Practice at

Litigation for Glen Ellyn Roof

The Ackerman Sports and Fitness Center in Glen Ellyn has spent $950,000 so far to fix a leaky roof yet still had buckets and tarps to capture the water leaking from the roof. The 88,000 square foot recreation center opened in 2010, Solaris Roofing Solutions was hired in April 2012 to add a single layer insulated membrane to the original roof.

T.A. Bowman Constructors was hired to build the Ackerman Sports Center. They filed a suit in 2011 claiming the park wouldn’t allow their roofers to fix the leaks. The park district filed a countersuit against Bowman and later included project manager Professional Building Services, building designer Ollman Ernest Architects and Mutual Casualty Co. which issued the performance bond on the project.

Park District Hopes to Recoup Damages

Park officials are hoping to recover funds to make the repairs from the parties they are suing stating they are liable for the roof leaks and resulting damages.

Reports state that the roof began leaking immediately after the center opened in 2010. Approximately 20 leaks where being managed by buckets, tarps and flexible piping. The leaks seem to have been taken care of with the new roof membrane.

Dave Harris, the park district’s executive director said “It’s proven to be an outstanding fix. There’s been no water penetration during those torrential downpours a week ago. And with a fairly significant snowstorm and a melting process, we have no sign of any water infiltration.”

Eco-Friendly Roofing Made Simple

eco friendly roofFor the average homeowner, choosing a new roof material simply follows suit with what material was previously used on the home. However, making the change to a green roof product can be both environmentally friendly and cost effective for the homeowner. When looking to upgrade to an eco-friendly roof product, the choices can be narrowed down to four categories:

Solar Roofs

A solar roof is also known as a photovoltaic system. Covering the roof with solar panels made up of photovoltaic cells is the perfect choice for anyone looking to reduce their reliance on traditional energy and power consumption. The panels absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity that can be used to power the home’s energy needs. These systems can last well over 30 years and cut the cost of electrical consumption by up to 75%.

Recycled Roofs

Many traditional roofing materials now come in recycled varieties. Technological advances have improved the composition of traditional asphalt shingles, which can now be manufactured from recycled rubber, plastic and paper products. Metal roofs are also a common roof material made from recycled material. Aluminum, copper and tin products can all be easily recycled into a new metal roof panel, or be made into new products from an existing metal roof panel.

Natural Stone Roofs

Slate, clay and stone tile roofs are becoming a popular choice for many homeowners, as they offer an upgraded look to the home. Great for areas that are prone to pests, hail and fire, these tiles are highly resistant to weather elements. Since they are  made up of elements found naturally around the globe, these products are a great addition to the eco-friendly family of roof  materials.

Coated Roofs

Having been used among commercial buildings for decades, the white roof system is gaining popularity among residential buildings. Using a reflective white coating to protect against the absorption of harmful ultraviolet rays, these roof systems can significantly lower the energy consumption of a building by keeping it cool.

Roofing Contractors

When choosing a contractor, if your home has a relatively low sloped roof, the re-roofing job will not be too much of a problem. Steeper or more completed roofs will require more diligence when selecting a roofing contractor.

If you take more time choosing your contractor, asking a lot of questions, making a few phone calls, you will have a better chance of success with your roofing job.

While gathering roofing companies contact information, use a variety of sources. Plan on making 5 to 7 contacts by using the internet, yellow pages, friends or neighbors and your insurance company sometimes have list of roofers in your area
Choose roofers that specialize in residential re-roofing jobs.

Generally, the better contractors will take their time, walking the length and width of the house and asking you questions about what you wanted. The better ones will already know what options will suit your home better and will discuss these with you.

Find out when the work will begin

Ask each contractor when they plan on starting the job and how long they anticipate it will take. Contractors usually like to keep the times a little loose to cover their existing work schedule.

After you have spoken to the contractors and taken notes on your impression of them next you will wait for the written proposals. Some contractors will now show up or fail to send you a proposal. Some bids will be unusually high and some will be too good to be true. Read each proposal carefully to insure all the work you wanted done is included.

Once you have narrowed down your choices, call customer references and check with the Better Business Bureau for any information regarding the contractor.

Before signing a contract be sure all the work you wanted done is included. Make sure the payment information is clearly spelled out and verify the contractors insurance and compensation liability forms are current.

A roofing job is a major expense and the more diligent you are, the less surprises can occur.

Governor Urges to Clear Roofs

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy toured the state Monday to observe the damage done by the recent storm, calling school superintendents urging them to make sure drains are clear and flat roofs are cleared of snow.

Malloy said “Schools are important resources. Please get somebody up on the roof. At the very least, make sure that the drains are clear and working. We don’t want a tragedy to occur at one of our school buildings.”

The governor also encouraged homeowners to clear their roofs of snow. Reported roof collapses was up to 16 across Connecticut by Monday evening. Local roofers are staying busy trying to keep up with customer demands. The storm left 3 feet of snow on New England and killed seven people in Connecticut. At least 18 deaths are being blamed on the storm in the United States and Canada.

Drifts up to 10 Feet High

Malloy said “This is a historic storm; we had historic levels of snow in every one of our counties.”

Thousands of homes and businesses were without electricity and hundreds of cars were scattered on the roadways.

Heavy machinery, massive snow blowers and pay loaders are being sent from the state to help municipalities with snow removal as well as to prepare for another storm forecasted to arrive this week.

National Guard members from Pennsylvania are bringing excavators and extra equipment to remove the snow. National Guard Humvees are being used to transport sick and injured people.

College Students Install New Roof for Training

The carpentry class at Missoula College got hands on training while putting on asphalt shingles onto an elderly disabled woman’s home this week. The 8 second year students became roofers under the direction of Dennis Deneke their teacher. The students fixed the leaky roof for the mobile home owner Mary Steinert who uses a wheelchair to get around.

Three years ago Missoula Housing Authority inspector Norm Verworn had to red tag Steinert’s home for roof damage due to the addition pulling away from the house.

A Gap in the Roof

Verworn said “what had happened was she had a contractor come and put an addition on her trailer house and he didn’t secure it right underneath, over the years, the addition was slowly pulling away on the top from the house, which created a pretty good leak.”

Verworn knew Steinert could not afford to fix the roof so he spent time at lumber yards attempting to get materials to help her out. Verworn said “So in order to keep us from forcing her to move away, I thought it was a better deal to see if we could get volunteer work to repair the roof and keep her there”.

The college students did the labor, Beaudette Consulting Engineers checked out the project. Boyce Lumber donated money and Home depot donated a ridge cap. Missoula College donated flashings and other roof materials for the project.

Deneke said “She’s just thrilled about it, to finally get the problem taken care of. We’re still looking to get the inside taken care of. Since she’s had water for some time, I’m sure there’s mold up in the ceiling.”

Elderly Woman Claims Overcharged for Roof

In another case of buyer beware, an elderly woman in Knoxville Tennessee said she overpaid for a new roof for her house. Mary, the 86 year old woman said she signed 3 contracts with B and E roofing in the same day saying the contractor said he didn’t want to have to make multiple trips out. Mike Bowles from B and E Roofing said he did not cheat Mary.

Mary ultimately paid $11,000 for her 1,400 square foot home roof. One of the contracts was for a roof and screened in deck for $12,000. One was remove and apply new shingles for $5,364 and the third contract said to install 83 sheets of OSB for a total cost of $5,000. Listed in the last contract the price of the OSB was $60 per sheet, plus installation.

Bowles has 2 weeks to respond to BBB

Mary said she was not informed at the beginning that the sheeting and the roof would be $11,000. She did not get a screened deck. She has filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and Mike Bowls of B and E Roofing wants the Better Business Bureau to settle the dispute through arbitration.

To avoid confusion when you are negotiating for a new roof, only sign one contract with your local roofer so you know exactly what work is being done and what you will be paying for it. Having it all spelled out in one place is your best defense in case you do have to go to arbitration for any reason.

Historic Missouri Church Gets New Metal Roof

St. Patrick’s Old Rock Church in Catawissa Missouri got a new green metal roof. The “old rock church” dates back to 1853 when it was a log church next to Meramec River. The limestone church’s construction was halted during the civil war and then the church was completed in 1867.

The original church was built of hewn logs and covered with a clapboard roof. In 1852 a new priest took charge of the parish and began to build a rock church. In 1885 a fire consumed the roof of the church leaving nothing but the rock walls. Three months later the damage was repaired and the church roof was covered.

Graf Construction Established in 1979

Graf Construction from Robertsville Missouri replaced the roof with a 50 year metal interlocking roof. The roofers used 30 foot by 18 inch interlocking panels. The roof replacement cost $31,000. Billy Murphy of St. Patrick’s Preservation Society said the roof was made possible by “a good picnic year”. For over 40 years the society has maintained the church and hosted picnics.

The new roof matches the roof of the Pross Pavilion that is located in the churchyard.

Mass is held at St. Patrick’s 3 times a year, St. Patrick’s day, Memorial day and the annual homecoming picnic in August.