5 On Your Side

Roof rip-off leaves homeowners in the cold

Posted January 3, 2013

— Imagine coming home to find a section of your roof torn off.

That’s what Clayton resident Joyce Graham found when she came home one day in October. The entire top left quarter of her roof was removed down to the plywood.

“Oh no, where did my roof go!” Graham recalled. “Um, this can't be happening."

Graham's neighbor a few houses away had hired M&S Contracting of Garner to replace her roof. But the workers got the addresses mixed up. Graham’s house number is 212, and the neighbor lives at 217.

That day, Graham called company owner Chris Mihalic.

"He said, ‘You know, you probably have some storm damage on that roof and you'll get a new roof out of it. So it'll work out,’” she said.

The next day, Mihalic came to the house. Graham said he claimed her roof did have some storm damage.

“He said, ‘So I can, you know, help you get up with your insurance company and you can put in a claim and I'll pay your deductible,’” Graham said. “I'm like looking at my roof going, ‘Um, I don't really see any storm damage – except the damage that you've done – and I have a problem putting in a claim.’"

Graham had an independent roof inspector assess the situation.

roof Roof rip-off leaves homeowners in the cold

"They came and said that there is no storm damage on my roof at all,” she said. The inspector only found shingle damage apparently caused by Mihalic's crew.

Graham says Mihalic later denied saying anything about storm damage.

As for the fix, Graham said, “We bickered back and forth and (Mihalic) finally told my husband to get in touch with his lawyer.”

So Graham contacted 5 On your Side.

We found out Chris Mihalic's company started under another name in Indiana, where the Better Business Bureau revoked its accreditation because of unresolved complaints.

When 5 On Your Side called Mihalic, he told us the fair amount to cover the roof fix is $8,300. But he did not offer to pay the Grahams, and he ultimately hung up on us.

The Grahams can't believe his lack of response.

“It's not a huge percentage of the roof, so we probably really could have worked out something if he had worked with me. But he never did,” Joyce Graham said.

Another company has since been paid $11,000 to replace the roof. The Grahams had to fork out a $1,000 deductible.

"It's been frustrating, really frustrating,” she said.

Chris Mihalic has since shut down M&S Contracting. Graham said her insurance company is aware of the circumstances and told her they plan to contact Mihalic.



15 Comments

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  • Unfair Moderators Stink Jan 8, 2013

    He'll just change his company name and start up another shady business until that one gets outted like this one and on and on it will go.

  • Damien Thorne Jan 8, 2013

    I have to wonder, this guy trespassed onto someone elses' property, did damage and left.

    Why was he not arrested?

  • kcrawford27513 Jan 7, 2013

    "Back in the day, this would not have even made the news because when people were honest, in my childhood and in my parents' time, someone who made a mistake like this would have made good on it, no questions." --- tayled

    Six String has already commented on this (and I agree with them 100%)...and just to reinforce their comments, why was the Better Business Bureau created in 1912 then?

    The past is a lot more sinister than some naive people will admit to...

  • Six String Jan 7, 2013

    "Back in the day, this would not have even made the news because when people were honest, in my childhood and in my parents' time, someone who made a mistake like this would have made good on it, no questions." --- tayled
    --- I think that we both remember 'back in the day' stories, but as I recall we had crooks back then too. We just didn't have the media coverage that we have now. Regardless of whether then or now, any honest company owner would make this good without question. We like to think of the past in romantic terms, but does anyone remember polio, measle epidemics, bomb shelters, the cold war, and cars that wore out at 36,000 miles? True, it was a more innocent time, but we had problems then too. The world wasn't like "Leave it to Beaver" with Ward and June or "Ozzie and Harriet". That was not the reality then either, I'm afraid.

  • Six String Jan 7, 2013

    Why doesn't the Sec. of State's office get involved with the help of the state's attorney general? Find this guy (and others like him) and force him to make restitution or go to jail for a year or so.

  • superman Jan 7, 2013

    The guy is out of business broke and probably bankrupt. Dont think the insurance company is going to be able to collect anything. They will probably just write it off and forget it. Will cost them a lot to try to recover and then they wont ever collect from him. Not sure why the insurance company would even pay for a new roof. If they got a new roof for 1,000 they actually gained more than they lost on the deal. Love my roof resingled for that.

  • sarahweil101 Jan 7, 2013

    Wow, that's ridiculous.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 4, 2013

    holy-shnikes mom of 4 I didn't realize roofs are that expensive now.

  • mommyof4 Jan 4, 2013

    68_dodge_polara,

    If you price shingles at today's price they have tripled over the last 6 years. Shingles are a petroleum based product. When gas increases, shingles increase. The only difference is, when gas prices go down the shingle prices don't. They just continue to rise.

  • tayled Jan 4, 2013

    Back in the day, this would not have even made the news because when people were honest, in my childhood and in my parents' time, someone who made a mistake like this would have made good on it, no questions.

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