Is "Reputable Roofer" an oxymoron?

Mortgage and Lending with Crescent Bank & Trust

Go to fullsize imageIt rained all weekend in Atlanta. As the joke goes, "Great weather if you're in Seattle."  Goodness knows we needed the rain in North GA and we're thankful for all we can get.  The cloud in my silver lining is a roof leak. Not a big blue tarp kind of leak, but one that's caused a softball-sized drywall stain.

Having grown up in this area and having been a community banker here for 21 years, you'd think I'd know a roofer personally. Unfortunately that's not the case. 

I started at 8:05 this morning by calling two of my customers, a construction contractor and an owner of a disaster recovery company, requesting personal referrals.  It's now 11 AM and I'm still waiting on return calls from the roofers each guy recommended.  Both customers were somewhat reluctant with their recommendations, each ending their statements with variations of "I've used these guys before, but don't forget, they're roofers, so I really can't guarantee it'll be done right."

Oh, joy, oh happy day.

After a 2nd cup of brain-clearing coffee, I next tried Atlanta Home Reports, a construction industry referral / rating service to which I've subscribed for the past 3 years, with great success. Tradesmen aren't allowed a listing unless multiple satisfied homeowners recommend them for membership. Given my prior experience with roofers and my customers' nervous disclaimers, I was surprised to find that Home Reports even had a "Roofer" category.

By human nature I started with the company at the top of the list.  My call was answered by a nice lady who was obviously employed by an Answering Service. She promised to have someone return my call. Same situation for call #2.

Roofers have banker's hours.

Call #3 was answered by a live employee of the roofing company who happily informed me that they don't service Cherokee County. Apparently 35 miles if too far from Atlanta. As I was ending that call I heard back from the first message. Same story. Is this a gas thing? Maybe they don't know it's not 4 bucks a gallon anymore? I'm keeping my fingers crossed about the other one.

I'll stop now 'cause I'm going to have to go buy a blue tarp.Go to fullsize image

No one would ever (nor should ever have to) go to this much trouble to hire either a reputable Realtor or banker.

Posted by

North Metro Atlanta community banker, Woodstock, GA

Comments (7)

Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

We hired a roofer day before yesterday who was referred by one of my customers. The guy was neat, courteous, prompt, and appeared professional and knowledgable (a "preppie roofer"). He set up a ladder, walked around on the roof, and pronounced that the problem was the flashing around the base of the chimney, an out-of-whack ridge vent, and a single broken shingle.  The damage? 200 bucks.

I'm not gonna be out ten grand for a new roof, friends, just 200 bucks. Oh Joy! Oh Happy Day! We blow that at Publix on groceries.

At my request, he promised to email a copy of his liability & workmen's comp policies prior to arrival today.  "Today" has come & gone. No email, no roofer. Thank goodness the rain has stopped & the five-day forecast is clear.

I called and cordially mentioned that I hadn't received the email verifying insurance coverage "maybe I gave you the wrong e-mail address. . .". He apologized for failing to send the email, blamed the no-show on an emergency call in which a tree had fallen on a house,  and promised to fix our roof this coming Monday (four calendar days from now).

This begs the question, "Does it ever occur to a roofer to call the customer first?" Stay tuned. . .

Mar 19, 2009 09:16 AM
Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

My roofer called back the next day to say that he'd had a cancellation and that his guy would be out to fix my roof today. We had a short delay while I waited on him to email proof of GL & WC coverage, but I eventually received it & the work was done. 

Oh joy. Oh happy day!

We're keeping our fingers crossed that the rain predicted for tomorrow through the next 4 days will run off our roof rather than through it.  If the leak is indeed repaired, I won't mention the sharp-edged piece of metal flashing I just missed stepping on with bare feet in my driveway or the 2 broken singles in the front lawn, all of which should have been cleaned up when the work was done.

Mar 24, 2009 08:38 AM
Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

Clark: I don't get the not communication either - it's not just roofers, but other "tradesmen." It's as if they are above it all. Maybe I'm not seeing it from their perspective.

Mar 28, 2009 08:12 AM
Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

Janice, Thank you for reading my post! As the late, great Paul Harvey used to say, "Now for the rest of the story": I wasn't able to get to office until 10 AM today because I had to meet with the roofer again this morning. It rained 5 inches in Cherokee County, GA this past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and some of that rain made its way (again) to the already-stained drywall in the ceiling of my master bathroom.

The good news: No extra charge. Though I had no intention paying another dime under the circumstances, I have to admit that it was a somewhat pleasant surprise that he understood the ethics of the situation without argument.

Rain's predicted for our area day after tomorrow. Stay tuned. . .

Mar 30, 2009 02:05 AM
Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

Our leak is fixed. Apparently I DID find a reputable roofer. It's not an oxymoron. It rained about three inches since this past Monday, and my attic and upstairs bath never knew it. If you're in Metro Atlanta, call Mike Grummer. If you're interested, please email me and I'll pass along his contact information.

Apr 03, 2009 06:59 AM
Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

Scratch the post from April 3rd. Based on the drip line running behind my wall clock in the Master Bath after last night's rain, the roof leak is NOT fixed.


Stay tuned.

Apr 13, 2009 01:45 AM
Clark Blackwell

Today is April 24th. This past Monday I met with another roofer AND with an insurance adjuster. We've had hail, rain, and strong winds since the original roofer failed to repair my leak. Since then, my kids' basketball goal was blown over & the backboard cracked all over the driveway like a vinyl 66. Stay tuned. . .

Apr 23, 2009 08:52 AM