Nauwigewauk resident Peter Bourque wants to warn others about a roofer in the Saint John area who insisted on homeowners’ bail but then failed to get the job done.
Bourque said he lost $ 3,000 after Quispamsis’ Valley Roofing failed to do the job it promised and now cannot even be found.
Bourque joined Valley Roofing on the recommendation of a friend who had previously hired the contractor. Bourque said he didn’t think twice when owner Craig Schulz asked for a deposit before starting work on the roof.
Work was scheduled to start on September 20th but was delayed due to the rain.
After a short time it was clear that the work would not take place anytime soon, said Bourque.
“It was a constant set of excuses. Finally after a while he said, ‘Listen, if I don’t get there I’ll just give you your money back.'”
However, the bail was never returned, so Bourque went to the Small Claims Court, where his case has not yet been settled.
“I can’t reach him,” said Bourque of Schulz. “I showed up at his house, wrote e-mails, wrote text messages, left voicemails and no reply.”
Bourque isn’t the only homeowner in the Saint John suburb to lose money to Shulz and his company.
Two more, who have appealed to a small claims court since September, said they had gone through the same trial last year.
Bourque connected with several local residents after sharing a post on Facebook warning neighbors about the company. In either case, the company failed to complete the work after taking several thousand dollars in deposits.
“He was pretty convincing”
Quispamsis’s Ryan Mclean said he lost $ 5,500, the bail the homeowner put on a new roof from Shulz in mid-June.
“Back then he said he was going to collect the shingles. He was pretty persuasive,” said Mclean. “I didn’t suspect anything because he worked for my brother before.”
McLean has filed a lawsuit against the contractor in a small claims court.
If a contractor needs the money up front to pay for materials, it means their cash flow is very low and that would be another red flag.– Source
He also asked Sheriff Services for help delivering the claim documents to Schulz, but the regional office couldn’t find him either.
“They actually found his last address, but they said it looks like the place has been empty for a while,” Mclean said.
Hampton RCMP said an investigation into Schulz was ongoing.
CBC News tried to contact Schulz using the email and phone number listed on his company, but was unable to contact him.
Valley Roofing Owner Sued for $ 16,000
Court records show that lawsuits have already been filed against the contractor and it was difficult to find.
Last year the Saint John small claims court ordered Shulz to pay $ 16,800 to owners of a rental property after he did incorrect work on one of their roofs – an amount he has yet to pay.
Luke Mosher and Joshua Innis paid Schulz more than $ 12,000, according to their claim, after they signed a contract for the work in July 2018.
Immediately after the construction work was completed, the owners discovered several leaks in the roof, which led to water damage in several areas of the house, according to the complaint.
Immediately after construction, the owners of this property discovered multiple leaks in the roof that caused water damage in several areas of the house, according to a lawsuit in the Saint John Small Court. (Saint John Small Claims Court Record)
They tried unsuccessfully to get the contractor to carry out repairs, the complaint states. It did so despite a contract with the company that ensured additional repairs to the roof would be incurred at no additional cost to homeowners.
As a result, the roof had to be completely removed and replaced by another company.
According to the court order of January 14, 2020, the costs ordered by the court cover the costs of repairs to prevent further water damage and the renewal of the roof.
Schulz did not attend the hearing that day either.
The contractor was ordered to appear in a small claims court to review his property last Thursday but did not attend. Three previous appearances had to be canceled due to pandemic-related delays or difficulties in finding Schulz.
Trust your gut feeling, says roofing group
There are several steps homeowners can take to avoid losing to unreliable contractors, said Ron Hutton, executive director of the New Brunswick Roofing Contractors Association. He often hears from homeowners asking if it is advisable to leave security deposits.
“You shouldn’t pay until the job is done,” said Hutton. “If a contractor needs the money up front to pay for materials, it means their cash flow is very low and that would be another red flag.
“If you’re looking for money to buy materials, I would say, ‘I’ll buy the materials, you tell me the amount and I’ll have it delivered to my home.’ That way you have the materials under your finger and you’ve paid for them so that any contractor can use it at this point if that contractor isn’t working for some reason. “
He encouraged seeking references from previous clients and ensuring contractors have liability insurance and certification from WorkSafeNB.
Hutton also advised homeowners to contact the police in such situations. If enough residents are in trouble with the same company, a criminal complaint may be filed, he said.