Saturday, December 22, 2007

A tale of two roofers...

Several months ago DH and I noticed the ceiling in the guest bathroom was discolored along the edge in the shower. The wall of the shower was warped too, because water had gotten in there. Of course we put a ladder on the porch and looked at the edge of the roof above the bathroom and felt the soft spot and saw a small hole. We immediately contacted LL who promptly came up one day and fixed it. Problem was it was still leaking. Finally, knowing that we can't have mold growing and that the problem would only get much worse, we contacted LL again and told him we needed to get professional help.

I contacted two local roofing companies. First I called Company #1, who is a very well known and reputable roofing company with trucks all over the place (in fact I once knew the brother of the guy who owns it). I gave the answering service a very detailed message and included our home phone number and even my work number complete with my office extension.

Then I contacted roofer #2, another family business which has been around for nearly 47 years, I'd picked them out of the yellow pages. I like a family run business and I like it when they've been around awhile, that says something about their reputation. I also liked the fact that roof leaks were their specialty. The owner picked up his phone (on a Sunday mind you!) and told me he would be glad to give me a call Monday evening after he and we were home from work. Not only did #2 call us when he said he would, but he came out that same evening to survey the damage. He checked that area and then the entire roof for other possible problems. Finding nothing more than what was above the bathroom, he wrote us an estimate, it was $590 and stated any structural work would coast more. That was good for us, LL had already told us to go forth, and even if we hadn't heard from him yet we would have still gone forth and done it. We told #2 it was a go. He said he'd order the materials.

That was a week ago.

This morning he was here at 7 am, knocking on the door, waking me up LOL (DH was already gone) and by 10:30 a.m. he had departed smiling--with check in hand, roof repaired and mess cleaned up. It cost us--$590.00 He had not only done what he had written on the estimate, but he had also replaced a few pieces of lumber up there just to reinforce the structure, without charging extra.

Now that is the way you do business.

I can't tell you whether #1 actually received my message but I'm tempted to call them and ask them if they did. If they didn't, I'll tell them they should fire their answering service. If they did, I'll tell them that they suck--in a nice way of course. Even if they had just been too busy to fit our roof into their schedule, they should have at the very least returned my call, conveyed their situation and referred us to a competitor. That's just good business practice.

But whatever happened, they never contacted us and it's their loss, but a big gain #2 who is polite, prompt, and professional. Ok so the job was a small one in comparison to others he's done and it was only $590, but he's gained customers, not just with us, but every person we refer to him in the future.

DH and I believe in supporting local businesses, in fact #2 and I were discussing that the importance of it before he departed this morning. It's so hard to find dependable, honest people you can count on to do work for you whether it be a plumber, roofer or any other type of contractor or even a mechanic, doctor, or lawyer. It's so hard to trust people anymore, it's so difficult to get a callback, an appointment, or get anyone to just do their job right the first time and stand behind it should there ever be a problem. We're not the only ones who feel this way. We try to trust our judgment and when we feel good about someone, when they initially show us they can be trusted, and that they're reliable, we go with that. But like you, like many others, we've been burned before. And it makes you hate calling anyone for help. But the fact remains that most of us can't do it all and that's why we rely on trained professionals to do it for us.

Anyway, that's my tale of two roofers---that one who got our business and the one who didn't.


  1. Anonymous12/23/2007

    Not related to your post--Just dropping in from the North to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!.

  2. We used a roofing co. like #1 once... they sent a guy to look at it, then a guy to give the extimate, then a gu to do the work, and another guy to do the work because they didn't realize they had already sent a guy, then a guy to collect the money and finally a guy to check the work one of the guys in the middle did... it was exhausting... I like family run business better too!

  3. Anonymous12/26/2007

    When you find someone who does good quality work stick with them. $590 for a few hours work is nothing to sneeze at. Anyone should be willing to show up and do a good job for that kind of money. I'm glad you got the problem taken care of. Leaky roofs can be very difficult to fix.--ST

  4. Anonymous12/26/2007

    So give the good guys a plug, huh? Who were they? ~RQ

  5. Hiya RQ---good idea!

    Dave Pabst at Whittle's Roofing,, 352-472-2410