$12K roof turns into frustration drip by drip | News

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$12K roof turns into frustration drip by drip
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Gaines family has lived in their Arlington home for decades, but what they're now experiencing is a first and they're not happy.

"It is not a tremendous problem for them," said Henry Gaines, "but it is for us."

Gaines, 71, said three years ago they hired Home Improvement Services to replace the roof on their home. They were relatively content until now.

"My wife is more upset than I am and when she's upset, I am upset," said Gaines.

They're upset because the roof, which was installed January 30, 2010, has a leak and the water is dripping down the walls in their bedroom.

"If the water keeps accumulating," said Gaines," I'm afraid the ceiling will sink in."

Since the holidays, they have made several attempts to reach Home Improvement Services.

"We've called at least ten times now," he said.

A big part of the problem is the company has closed its Jacksonville office and the only office is in Clearwater, Florida.

"We even sent them a letter -- nothing," said Gaines.

Gaines said the irony is the installers created the holes in his new roof.

"They removed the satellite dish and when they removed it, they drilled two holes to try and put it back," said Gaines, "They couldn't so they placed tar over it."

The holes are big enough to create a problem.

"They're small, but they're a big problem," said Gaines.

What's being done to fix them if anything?

"We should know by the end of the week what we can do," said Denise White.

White is with Home Improvement Services in Clearwater.

"We don't have anyone there, so our service manager is trying to find a solution," she said.

The state license on the contractor belongs to Joseph Rayl, who has his own company in Leesburg, Florida.

It is not unusual for a company to use another person's state license for jobs.

"I apologize," said Rayl, "I do not do business like this."

Rayl said he just learned of the problem on Wednesday and is working a on solution.

"It is unfortunate we do not have an office there," he said.

As for Home Improvement Services, he said he is not happy with the relationship.

"I have distanced myself from them," he said.

Rayl said they will do right with the Gaines.

As we head into the home improvement season what can you learn from this experience?

Here's a First For You checklist before you hire a roofer:

Check for a professional license:

http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/ 

Check references; at least five:

http://jacksonville.bbb.org/find-business-reviews/

Never pay the final until all suppliers are paid:

http://s96028.gridserver.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/contractors-final-release-and-waiver-of-lien.pdf

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