South Florida

South Florida Homeowners Wait Months for Roof Repairs

Wording in contract can affect time-frame for completion

Ten months after Hurricane Irma blew through South Florida, many people are still waiting to have their roof repaired or replaced.

"Every time it was raining, it was leaking," said Jorge Andrade.

He hired Home Depot in October 2017 to replace his leaky roof.

He was told he'd have to wait but was given an approximate start date in mid-December.

But when the New Year came and he still didn't have a new roof, he got impatient so he contacted the store.

"They said they didn't have subcontractors. They didn't have people to work in my roof," Andrade recalled.

The work finally started on his roof in March.

But when it failed to pass inspection, he called NBC 6 Responds.

Jenny Vargas also called NBC 6 Responds when work hadn't started in time for hurricane season. She signed her contract with Home Depot in January.

In a statement The Home Depot told us, "Last year's storms created intense demand on roofing and labor that isn't unique to The Home Depot. Regardless, we always want to communicate project timelines clearly and apologize to the Andradeses and Vargases for the inconvenience."

The Roofing Contractors Association of South Florida agreed that a wait is common blaming too few people to do all the work that's here and along the west coast of the state. They say there's also a shortage of materials like some roof tiles.

Jorge Andrade has a new roof that's passed inspection. He was also refunded $1,000 for the delays.

"I don't want anybody else go through what we went through with a roofing project," he said.

And while he's upset at how long it took, his contract includes words like "anticipated delivery date" and "approximate finish date."

Jenny Vargas has her new roof now too. But nothing was put in as a completion date in her contract. It was left blank.

Real estate attorney Juan Perez says the wording used in a contract gives contractors leeway.

"Anytime you have language of 'approximate start date', 'approximate finish date,' it really says well it might start here, it might start there but if it doesn't we're still okay under the terms of the contract," he explained. "What you're signing is what you're going to get so when if there's no specific language as to start time and end time or finish time then you've kind of left that term open."

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