Tuesday, June 6

New Roof Miscommunications Lead to Buyer's Remorse and This Review

My neighbor recommended CNR Roofing in Jacksonville because of the warranty and price. Assuming the company is still in business, workmanship is guaranteed for 10 years rather than the typical 5 years. I liked that, too, so I added CNR to my list of roofing estimates. 

The salesman told me what they'd do and materials they'd use and how it was all quality, and I was pretty much sold, so I asked if I could get a cash or special-financing-rate credit card discount or offer. I was told 1% cash discount. That was cool, though I assumed my other options were to pay with check or credit card (also about 1% cash back depending on the card). I was wrong.

CNR pushed the date around to account for rain. That's not a big deal when it was pushed back, but when it was pushed up, I didn't have time to get cash in hand (though it was in the bank). When I told the salesman this, he said just pay with a check, and in my mind, a check would be the same as cash when compared to a credit card (which I know charges fees to companies), so I saw it as a green light to pay partial cash and the rest a check. Nope. I was later told cash or check was all they took, and I lost my discount because I didn't go get $8,000 from the bank, even though I was also told it costs then money to process cash, so I was confused. I thought they'd want cash for maybe paying a worker cash once in a while or whatever it is companies sometimes want cash for, and I was willing to go get the cash, but then they didn't really want it and seemed to want payment immediately, even though the roof was done a day early. I hadn't slept much in the previous 24 hours, so I went with it. 1% isn't such a big deal if the job's done right.

However, even before I didn't get my 1%, I had let CNR know that a rusty nail went through my foot the night before. I was very surprised to hear that I wasn't getting my discount AND that I need to be careful in my yard. No apology discount or immediate calling for a crew with magnets. Or an inspection of the yard together. Just be careful. After my overpayment, I headed outside to inspect, hoping the crew had picked up some nails since the previous night (they finished in the morning of the second day). I found over a dozen nails in the yard. That's worse than just be careful. All told, I found enough nails in the yard, plant pots, the shed roof, etc., to make the yard officially dangerous. Even the nails not in the yard itself, like the ten or so on top of the shed, would eventually end up in the yard. Honestly, if I wanted a crappy job of a roof tear-off, I would have done it myself. The photo I took of the nails I found does not include one my wife found (which she handed to the workers) and the one in my foot (which I tossed into the dumpster before cracking open a beer for self-healing heal).

We chose to keep cars in the garage to protect them from the elements, and we assumed the dumpster would leave when the crew was finished. Nope. I couldn't pick my kid up from school or use my vehicle to get to work. Again, probably just another miscommunication, but enough to make me feel like there should have been better communication. As in, "Have cash on hand for the discount (even if we go a day early), and have your cars out of the garage for as long as it takes because our dumpster leaves when it feels like leaving. And be prepared to clean up your yard yourself."

If I'd known all that, I'd be much happier. In fact, if you hire CNR, now you know. I think the roof is fine, and I hope they stay in business 10 years, honestly. Being from Wisconsin, my expectations are just high, even when Florida proves time and again that even big-ticket purchases are just barely adequate in most cases. I'm not saying you should pay twice as much to ensure a better roof experience or go with a cut-rate company that uses worse materials. Mostly, I'd just say to not expect an excellent experience no matter which Florida roofer, car dealership, plumber, painter, contractor, or whatever you choose. I've seen the results of those and more, and it's just not all that good.

After the roof was done, the bills paid, and my clean-up complete, my insurance guy told me to get a wind mitigation report from the roofer. He said roofers and contractors in Florida can fill out the form. Again, nope. While someone at CNR could take a class and be qualified, they are not, so that means an extra $80 to $135 needs to be in your CNR roofing budget. Also, the inspector said my underlayment was basic and not necessarily the better material insurance looks for, so I guess I misunderstood the sales pitch that said CNR used something better than other roofers. 

I was told when I paid that I could leave the CNR sign up as long as I wanted, so I walked down to the street as the bill collector was leaving in order to remove the sign. The job is done, and I hope it's the last I have to deal with CNR or any other roofer for a very long time. I obviously do not recommend using CNR roofing for those of you who expect the best, but as long as you know what you're getting, I'd say the company is worth an estimate.

I wanted to add that my bill to CNR for poor cleanup, storage of their dumpster, and lack of communication comes to $280. I'll update this page if the company decides to pay the bill. Cash or check would be fine.

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