Tuesday, September 24, 2013

As the Worm Turns.......

or....continuing on with the drama of the raccoons. I last left you with my fears that I would be locked into a contract that I did not want.

Well, the rep for that company turned out to be much better than I had given him credit for. Either that or he could see that there just was not that much money to be made. He came out to see me and when I once more told him that there was no way I could pay more than double what the insurance had given me, he stated that he would then rip on the contract. He was very nice about it....so I was greatly relieved.

I finally picked the roofing company that offered me the most for my money and he was willing to work with me on financing. Plus that he was local and had some very good recommendations.....like even from my employer.(the Township has used him previously)  So now I just had to make sure the raccoons had vacated.

After a week and a half of not hearing them in the attic and the trap not being tripped, I correctly assumed they were gone. I started making calls to companies that offered the service of decontamination and insulation replacement. One place boasted $7. a square foot for both. My attic is 1100 sq. feet. There was no way I could afford this. I started to think about only getting half the attic done as less than half of the attic was damaged by the coons. I sat at my desk at work and thought....my eyes coming to rest upon a business card in my in box. It was from a company we've long done business with that specialize in crime scene cleanup and fire board ups. But I decided to call them and see if they could recommend someone for my particular problem.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they do that type of work as well. A rep came out, went up in my attic, took pictures and got back to me via email the next morning. They came in about $5500 cheaper than that $7700 quote. This includes disposing of any contaminants, disinfection and blown-in insulation over my complete attic. So....they are going to start as soon as the roof is completed.

Next up....a handyman to fix the ceiling over my tub, finish and paint it. I believe I may have found one but I won't know for sure until I meet him and that won't be until the attic is finished. But he's a friend of a friend so it's not like I don't have any idea about what kind of guy he is.

The shingles for my roof were delivered today and sit in neat stacks on top of my house. Things are coming together and not a moment too soon.  I've heard reports of a vicious winter for us here and I'm glad to get this all taken care of.

Now.....if all that pounding doesn't give me a headache, all will be well.  I'm headed to the kitchen for a Margarita.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Is honesty a thing of the past?.....

I feel as if I have walked down a long dark alley full of mysterious and dangerous people who would slit your throat for promise of a cigarette. I'm not out of that alley yet, but I can see light at the end and I know my journey is close to its end.

Journey you say? Why yes.....yes a journey of devious lies and charming salesmen all in the name of making a buck. The best prey......a lone and vulnerable woman. Ah....but some might do well to remember you can't always judge a book by its cover.

I am alone. yes.  I am quite vulnerable, yes. I know a little about a lot of things but not very much at all about construction. Therein lies my vulnerability.

My problem is not unique. I have a damaged roof and since I live in a heavily wooded area, raccoons took advantage and also took up residency. Not being very considerate freeloaders, they did some damage. I simply needed a company to fix the damage and I also needed a new roof before it started springing leaks like a sieve. 

I went to the yellow pages.....the entrance to the dark alley......and researched. I picked companies that were located in my area. At first I picked large companies but only found out that the larger the company, the larger the quote.  (SOMEONE has to pay for all those TV ads and yellow pages referrals, not to mention all those employees).  Never in my life had I expected such a HUGE difference in prices. They ranged from $16,000. to $5,800. In the case of the $16,000 quote, it was for metal shingles that last 100 years, so basically I shouldn't even count that one. The next quote down for just regular shingles was $10,400.....then another company gave me $7,850.....then another $7,000 and finally $5,800.  These quotes are for exactly the same repairs and work to be performed.  Amazing.

I hate being humiliated by these salesmen trying to get me to sign a contract for triple the amount of money I can comfortably spend. I did sign a contract with one company to do only the repair work the insurance company would pay for. That amount ended up being $4,000, which I thought was very generous of my homeowner's. Now THAT company is trying to say it's going to cost double that amount to do the job and they want ME to pay the extra. This is only for replacing some insulation and repairing the damaged ceiling in my bathroom.....nothing to the actual roof itself. I wish I would have never signed that piece of paper......I would get someone else to do the job if I hadn't. I'm glad, however, that I did make him put on the contract that it was only for work paid for by the insurance company.  I called my insurance adjuster and even she agreed that he was high pressure and had acted the same way with her. Does anyone know how long you have to cancel a contract? It's been 8 days since I signed it, counting weekends.  I feel this company is trying to take advantage of my situation.

I may be old.....but I'm NOT stupid and I've been around the block enough times to realize when someone is taking advantage of a bad situation.  Shame on them.  Stay tuned.