Roof rip-off leaves homeowners in the cold
Posted January 3, 2013
Wake County, N.C. — 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.
"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.