Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A R.E.A.L. Roof Disaster

As you all know, the recent hailstorm of 2012 that hit McAllen caused a lot of damage and really opened our eyes to how unprepared we can be. As with any disaster or when people are in need, the money hungry scam artists, shammers, and kermugens arrive and try to take advantage of those in need and the gullible. There are countless stories in the RGV regarding people getting ripped off and scammed on roof repairs. Most simply have to suck up the costs and others spend additional money for lawsuits. Well, here is my story. I’m an active duty military soldier with 15 years in the military so I’m not a wealthy person. My wife and I had been saving our money for years to buy a bigger home for our family. Nothing fancy, just comfortable. We finally found one in our price range in a great neighborhood. All was going well until the hail storm that occurred during the middle of the sale. The sellers being obligated to turn over the house in good condition, filed a claim for a new roof and contracted a “roofer” to do the job so I had no say in the matter as the house was not yet mine. As the roof replacement was completed, my closing date was moved back because an “inspector” had to inspect the roof. I thought, “ok, I can wait another day”. Four more days went by because the inspector’s report had not been received. More waiting. After the closing and finding out the roof was a useless disaster waiting to happen, I set on trying to find out who this “inspector” was. After several phone calls to the bank, mortgage company, and title company, I found out the “inspector” was actually an appraiser who only confirmed the new roof was completed. The shingles could have been installed upside down and he could not of said anything about it because he is not a roofer. He only agreed that the new roof was completed.
I am posting my little saga online so that others Valleyites and netizens can be aware of one particular “contractor”. He may not be so much a scam artist as an apathetic contractor who sticks his head in the sand when it’s time to represent his work.
What originally caught my attention to the pathetic roof was when I went in the attic. I wondered why it was 500 degrees in there. I looked up and noticed the ridge vent openings were covered up. So, they sealed the opening then installed a vent on top? Seriously? Does it require a master’s degree in thermo dynamics to figure out that a vent would require an opening? Note the nails through the tar paper.

















 
I contacted him several times over a period of a month. The few times I have spoken with him, he’s assured me he will come fix the problems. He never showed. On the fourth time, he finally arrived at my house and again, told me he would be there tomorrow at 7:30 with my real estate agent as my witness. Again he failed to show up. No phone call, not even a lame excuse. Just blew me off.
I then got on the roof wondering what other problems I may find. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I’m no roofer but it really doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to see that this roof was not done correctly.

I put the red line to show how the bad the shingles are misaligned.















This is what the edges of roof looks like on three sides of my roof. In most areas, the shingles hang up to ½ inch over the flashing. Obviously, a straight line is foreign concept to these guys. A few shingles look like they were torn off rather than cut.



































The only straight lines on the roof are the shingle manufacturer’s ones.

 
Three nails within one inch through the flashing? SERIOUSLY?
Note the tar paper hanging out from UNDER the flashing. It wasn’t even cut, it was torn off!

 
If the “roofers” had started aligning the shingle corners from the bottom, there would have been a straight diagonal line from bottom to top. The red lines indicate how the diagonal lines would have lined up if they had started lining them up from the bottom. The yellow lines indicate how they actually lined up and the blue line indicates the middle of the roof. Again, nothing is aligned properly.

 
I guess there weren’t even enough scraps left over to fill in this spot, probably because there were no straight pieces left. No tar on the gutters. Probably didn’t want to get their hands all sticky. They’re also supposed to be overlapping.



 
There are exposed nails all over the place. Some weren’t even hammered all the way in and a few used rusty nails were used here and there.

 
Aside from completely covering the ridge opening with tar paper and shingles, they replaced the ridge vent, damaging it in the process. In some areas, they only used 2 nails to secure the 6 ft. long vent and did put the end caps on. I suspect these are used ridge vents from a previous “job” as they are scuffed up but do not appear to have any hail damage.
So who is this man who did this piece of work on my roof?

RAUL LUNA
Doing business as,
R.E.A.L. Construction
214 Glasscock, Edinburg, TX 78541

 
I am not a vengeful person and my intent is not to slander him nor put him out of business. All I want is a roof that was paid for installed to standard. I don’t even care if I get an apology from this man, but I do expect accountability and a good job from a person who calls himself a business man of our community. I have given this man ample opportunity to rectify the situation but he simply refuses to show up at the appointed times. They were all times and dates he set, not me. All I have gotten from this man is the standard polite, “I’ll be there tomorrow”. Now he now does not answer my calls or return my calls. I believe he thinks that if he ignores me long enough, I’ll forget about the issue. Mr. Luna, I will not forget and I will not just let it go. If you call yourself a business person, stand behind your work proudly. If you call yourself a Valleyite, support your local citizens. If you call yourself a man, be accountable for your actions. 

 
July 20, 2012.

I started collecting any documentation regarding the roof, which is not much, to start planning on filing a lawsuit and called my attorney. Since Mr. Luna never gave me a copy of the warranty, I would have to file the lawsuit against the seller (who also never received the contract or warranty from Mr. Luna). 

July 21, 2012.

I hired a professional TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) home inspector to evaluate my roof. I didn’t say a word about the condition of the roof. I told him I just bought the house and was curious about the condition of the roof. $100.00 later and a written report, my suspicions we dead on. The report used remarks like “amateurishly and improperly installed”, “inadequate fastening“, “sloppy installation”, “unsecured shingles”, “excessive and unnecessary use of sealant”,

 
Damaged vent and shingle ‘decoratively’ applied (consistent with amateur installation).

This roof covering is readily identifiable as amateurishly and improperly installed. This
level of workmanship creates a system wide concern. The photos below identify
some of the concerns. I recommend a professional roofer be consulted for system
wide repair. (Actual statement from TREC Inspector’s report).

July 23, 2012.
I filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

July 31, 2012.
On Monday the 30th, Mr. Luna called the seller’s realtor in response to my realtor’s persistent calls. He stated that he would come to my house at 8 am and fix the problem. My realtor volunteered to be present as a witness. Based on my experience, I doubted he would show up. Tuesday morning, two of his workers showed up in a car with no equipment.
 
They entered my attic and cut the paper and shingles covering the ridge breather. As I figured, Mr. Luna did not show up. He was in S. Padre Island. He didn’t say if he was working or hiding. I proceeded to show his workers the other problems with the roof. Even they admitted it was done improperly. They said they would let Mr. Luna know of the other problems.
I have filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and the Federal Trade Commission. I will also post a review on every consumer website I can find. At this point I have also forwarded everything in this post and supporting documentation from a real roofer to an attorney. I will also continue to update this blog until he repairs my roof.

Aug 02, 2012.
I received a call from my realtor out of the blue telling me that Mr. Luna had called to set an appointment to go to my house at 10 am on Friday morning. Based on his record, I was doubtful he would show up. As he probably feared facing his failure of a job, he failed to show up. No big surprise. My realtor called him from my house. He would not answer his phone. I continued doing what I had to do knowing he would not come. My realtor gave him the benefit of the doubt and waited until 10:30. As usual, a no show.

 
Aug 07, 2012.
I thought I’d sneak call Mr. Raul Luna out of the blue hoping he wouldn’t recognize my number. To my shock, he answered on the second ring. I was determined to explain the entire situation and find out why he has failed to respond to my complaints. We were both polite and level headed but I started feeling anger well up when he started back tracking and said the 2 year warranty he offered with the roof was non-transferable and that he sub-contracted the job to someone else. Talk about passing the buck! My realtor was standing right next to me at my house when Mr. Luna told us that there was a two year warranty on the roof. He NEVER mentioned anything about a sub-contractor. Now Mr. Luna started stumbling through an excuse about calling the sub-contractor and setting up an appointment to go to my house. He said he would also be there with the sub-contractor. Mr. Luna then said he would set things up and call me back. You guessed it, no call back. During that call, I finally got to ask him how he could possibly feel OK about letting that pathetic roof represent his integrity. It sounded like he took offense to that and got defensive and ended the conversation.

 
Aug 13, 2012.
My ever persistent realtor and the seller’s realtor have been faithfully calling Mr. Luna and bugging him about my roof. Mr. Luna probably got sick of their calls and answered their call. He set an appointment to go to my house on Wednesday morning. Anyone wanna place any bets on this?
So I started trying to figure out this guy’s logic just for a little mental work out. From a business standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to trash someone’s roof knowing that it won’t take much to figure out whose name is attached to that mess. Does Mr. Raul Luna from REAL Construction really believe that doing something like that would benefit his business or is he really just that stupid? I know he probably saw the house needed a new roof and saw only dollar signs but, can a business person really think that work that shoddy would serve its purpose and help his company name and image? As a former business owner myself, I can say that I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I made a mess of someone’s home for a quick buck then avoid the consequences. This is where the INTEGRITY issue comes in. No one will readily admit that don’t have any integrity and will quickly spit out plenty examples of their integrity or they will simply make excuses. Mr. Raul Luna from REAL Construction has done both. His failure to show up to appointments that he has set and failure to return phone calls are examples of a lack of integrity. His refusal to stand behind his work and make things right is his finest example of a lack of INTEGRITY and ACCOUNTABILITY.


How do I know he’s avoiding the issue and not just really busy or something? OK, let’s analyze his modus operandi. According to the seller’s statements, Mr. Luna was at the house every day while it was being roofed. If that’s the case, shouldn’t he of seen the mess that was being made? The one time he did show up, he stated that the reason the ridge vent breather was covered up was because another storm was coming and he didn’t want water coming in the attic. If that was the case, he would of known the vent was covered up. If the imaginary sub-contractor did it, he must of forgotten to tell Mr. Luna. Why did he not blame a sub-contractor then? He said HE would come out and fix it. 2. When I asked him for a copy of the contract and warranty, he said he gave it the house seller. I think he said that because he knew the seller had moved away and it could not be verified. My realtor did get a hold of the seller who emphatically stated that she did NOT get a copy of the contract or warranty. 3. If he sub-contracted out the job, why did he never mention that before? Why did he tell me in front of my realtor that there was a 2 year warranty, but know he’s saying the warranty is non-transferable? Why won’t he tell me the name of the sub-contractor? I’ll tell you why. Because, if there is no contract or warranty given to anyone, there is no paper trail leading back to him or his imaginary sub-contractor. Plausible deniability through here-say and lack of documentation. That coupled with a lack of conscience and integrity produces a deceptive business practice. One Mr. Raul Luna believes he has mastered.
 I do realize that there are people out there who truly believe that that is how a business is supposed to be operated. “Every man for himself”, some say. Make as much money as you can without regard for others or laws. There’s also the “buyer beware” mentality some business owners seem to have. They know they’re doing wrong but feel it’s the buyer’s responsibility to know if they’re being screwed. Mr. Luna has already shown he has characteristics of all three. But, for every negative belief, there is an equal or more powerful positive one. That’s the road I will choose to take. If I choose to be vengeful, mean or get even, then I will be like him. I refuse to stoop to his level.

 
August 15, 2012
Well today was yet another appointment Mr. Luna shamelessly failed to make. No phone call, no excuses, just no show as usual. This time, my realtor didn’t even bother coming as she is fully aware of his penchant for not showing up. Two realtors called him this morning to confirm the appointment. He didn’t answer either call so they left messages. As I told my realtor, “this guy put the CON in contractor”. BTW, the “sub-contractor” didn’t show up either. Or maybe he did and I just couldn’t see him!
Today, I decided to get on the roof and really take my time looking at the roof. I actually found several more deficiencies and took pictures. (Below).

   I found a lot more exposed nails.


This is just, the shingles are... This is just wrong no matter how you look at it.

I wonder why this one shingle is not laying flat?
Oh, I should have guessed that one!

When in doubt, use scraps.

Note where the nail is placed through the drain hole instead of the nail hole to the right. See the nail in the background, its not even nailed in all the way in. Even common sense escapes this highly trained crew.


OK. This one defies any human logic. They ignored the pre-drilled placement holes altogether. They even missed the drain hole and nailed right through the vent itself. Seriously, you have to try hard to be this stupid.

So I guess they either ran out of shingles or they couldn't figure out how to slide the shingles under the ridge vent. So what if there are nails exposed.

 They skipped some placement holes, missed others, and put 2 nails in this hole on the ridge vent. Boggles the mind doesn't it?

What do you suppose is under those two loose shingles? Notice the lack of end caps on the ridge vents.

Uh....What can you say about that but DAMN!

And finally, the award for the most excessive use of nails, goes to, (pause for effect) REAL Construction's sub-contractor (who may or not exist).

I have more pictures but I'm getting tired of uploading. I'll post them after Mr. Luna fails to show up again.


August 22, 2012
I had come up with a deal for Mr. Luna. A way that both of us would get us what we want. I called Mr. Luna to propose this agreement that would get me new roof and save face for him. As you can probably guess, he didn’t answer his phone. He actually did for about 1 second then hung up. I called at 12:00 PM then 3 minutes later, at 1:26, 1:35, 7:06, and the last call at 7:52 PM. I’m not really surprised but I wanted to make it perfectly clear that I AGAIN, gave him plenty of opportunities to respond. As usual, he failed.
As I had stated earlier, I will continue posting reviews on REAL Construction and their business practices on consumer websites. The latest two are:
Merchantcircle.com. REAL Construction is actually listed on this site. You can see my review here.
Also, while you’re there, click on the View gallery page for more of his awesome work and his mug.
I also posted on Ripoff Report.com
Merchantcircle.com has a link to his website which has been disabled. Hmmm, disabled or taken down? Why would a business take down it’s own website? Disabled?  By whom?  And why?
As I am a man of MY word, I am posting more pictures as I stated I would if Mr. Luna didn’t show up.

I know this pic has already been posted but I wanted to point out the details in this image. Nail #1 is protruding through the shingle and the flashing. Nail #2 is actually nailed into the wood trim. Only one side of the nail head is holding the flashing. Nail #3 was nailed only through the flashing, it is not nailed into anything behind the flashing. #4 is not a roofing nail and #5 is a used rusty nail. I should also mention that they used about twice the number of nails as is required.



This is the same area but taken from above to show how bad the shingles were cut. Also notice that neither the flashing nor shingles overhang the actual roof. That means that rain will simply go right under the shingles.



Come on! Really???

Bent and rusty. Note how banged up the ridge vent is. By the way, the ridge vents are not supposed to be nailed on. They're supposed to be screwed on.

Mr. Luna, would you allow this roof on your home? How can you feel it's OK to do this other peoples' homes?
How in the WORLD can you possibly justify doing something like this to your fellow man for a few bucks?

And, How can you look others in the eye as a business person then shirk your responsibility when you fail on your deal? How do you sleep at night?

August 29, 2012.

Yesterday afternoon, we had a good, much needed rain shower.  As was expected, the roof leaked. How can it NOT leak? It's almost as it was put on to encourage leaking.  Fortunately, the rain only lasted about half an hour and didn't wet the ceiling. I found a few wet spots on the insulation in the attic but, with this roof,  I expected some leaks. Just glad the rain didn't last longer or was any stronger.

I also posted another online complaint at Complaintsboard.com see it at,

8 comments:

  1. I'm just plain sorry, I don't even know what to say at this point. Except for the simple truth and fact that Raul sucks at roofing. I hope you got yourself a real professional on that badboy.

    -Adam Ahmed
    Roofing Queens

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is there a way to contact you? I will have my day in court against Raul Luna in about a month. It would be great if I could use your situation as evidence of his incompetence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, we have been scammed by this guy as well. I'm curious to now the outcome of your legal case against him and if it may help ours against him. You can email at snwdrpangel@hotmail.com

      Delete
    2. Hi, we have been scammed by this guy as well. I'm curious to now the outcome of your legal case against him and if it may help ours against him. You can email at snwdrpangel@hotmail.com

      Delete
  3. Man, that’s really awful. I hope you that you get a better deal next time. There are quality roofers out there. All you have to do is look. Asking for advice from reliable friends may not be bad. Thanks for sharing! At least you can remind everyone to be cautious in signing deals especially when it comes to house repairs because it costs a lot of money either way; it's just worse if it doesn't work out.


    Willie Norman

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is certainly nothing wrong about informing other people about the awful deal you had from Mr. Luna. You can actually save other people from signing a deal with him and have a substandard roof.

    Lino Kosters

    ReplyDelete
  5. It’s puzzling why scam artists have the guts to take advantage of other people. :s Your contractor is accountable for the sloppy work he did: exposed nails and unaligned shingles. :( My friend, you better hire a trustworthy professional contractor, instead.

    Tristan German

    ReplyDelete
  6. We've been scammed by him as well. Can we use your situation as proof of his past behavior as well? Email me at snwdrpangel@hotmail.com. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete