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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone....

I'm new to the forum.

This morning I just got off the phone with a homeowner, and it really ruined my day.

Up until now I have never had a problem with this, and ive been working in the business for about 10 years.

I completed a 30+ sq roof this past Saturday. I had 5 bundles left over. The homeowner asked if he gets a credit for the materials. I simple replied, (and this is what I always say to a homeowner when they ask) "I always order a few extra just in case some materials are damaged on delivery or a mistake is made that we need to address. I rather have extra onsite then have to run to the supplier."

99% of homeowners will take this as a valid reason, which is true. Roof measuring isn't a 100% science.

Now for the homeowners who just don't understand that. I will follow up with, "If I had run short on materials, I wouldn't expect you to pay me extra for my mistake."

That almost always nips the question in the bud.

I proceed to load the extras on my truck, and I even left the guy one bundle for "emergencies". All was done, and I was paid for the job. I figured that was it.

Until that phone call this morning. Tried to explain it yet again, but for this homeowner he just didn't get it and continued to believe he got "screwed".

This is the first time I have ever had a customer get in a fight over 4 bundles of materials.

Now if I hadn't already returned them to the supplier I think I might have just brought them back to the guy, but it was too late.

Whats your thoughts ?

PS... My contracts are for the entire roof, I do not break out materials and labor. Its one bottom lump price.
 

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That is your material!

It is also your customer. Our contracts read: All materials removed/salvaged from the project are property of the contractor. All extra material is property of the contactor unless a pre iuos agreement has been reached.

I would give them them the materials back and appologize for the misunderstanding. I had a customer take 5sqthe from me. We order multiple jobs at one time so I dont always count out every last bundle we load. If the roof calls for 20sqthe we take 2 pallets of shingles. The remaining shingles go the next project.

I woild actually bet that your state law spells this out. Your customer paid for his roof and the materials that cover it. Thats all!

Sometimes its easier to give the squeaky wheel the grease. Better than someone talking trash.

Your going to have to eat this one. It really is YOUR fault. If your contract doesnt spell this out then it is YOUR loss.

Sorry!
 

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Roofer
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I wouldn't give it to them...and i dont think its your fault...you explained it properly my guys always order an extra sq. and i would be pissed if they started giving away my money...i dont have anything in my contract about extra material and dont think you need it in there anyway..you just got a douchebag customer and that happens sometimes
 

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DavidC
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I would have maybe given them to the client as a peace keeper, maybe. Depends on the client and the flavor of our relationship.

But you've already been paid in full and returned the materials to your supplier. I would not go buy them back or give a credit at this late hour. You were right in keeping them, right in returning them for credit.

Now chances are this client is going to talk **** about you. Chances are if you went back and delivered him the shingles or issued a credit he will still talk **** about how he had to force your hand, etc. Doesn't sound to me like a resounding reference at any rate.

So how's your rep otherwise? Is one bad review going to sink your ship? You won't please everyone 100% so work forward and make sure that to the best of your ability all clients share the idea that hiring you was money well spent and forget this guy.

Good Luck
Dave
 

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FERRISHI

I agree in short.

Unfortunately sometimes that duchbag customer has allot of money and spare time. He may decide to tie him up in litigation. So what costs less? 5bundles of shingle or a lawsuit and a bad reputation.

If its not inwriting it doesnt exist. That goes for both the customer and the contractor.

Again, I agree that the shingles belong to the contractor but it seems this contractor is now on "damage control".
 

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Well at this point it doesn't sound like there is anything you could do to salvage your rep with this customer or anyone that he knows. Even if you were to go buy 5 bundles and deliver them to the customer with an apology for any misunderstanding he would include the fact that "I had to raise he'll to get the left over material I paid for" in any discussions he has about the "roofer" that did his roof.

I would have just left the 5 bundles if it was twisting his head trying to understand he only paid for what was nailed down. You could try taking him 5 bundles to try to salvage it but I don't think it would do any good.
 

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One of the reasons I don't leave extra material lay around towards the end of a job. All material on a job belongs to me, I always order extra to make sure I have enough and don't end up having to order more especially if it happen to be a special order color. And this is what I tell my customer too. They are being sold a completed job. If I mess up and under figure they don't get charged more neither.
 

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DavidC
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FERRISHI

I agree in short.

Unfortunately sometimes that duchbag customer has allot of money and spare time. He may decide to tie him up in litigation. So what costs less? 5bundles of shingle or a lawsuit and a bad reputation.

If its not inwriting it doesnt exist. That goes for both the customer and the contractor.

Again, I agree that the shingles belong to the contractor but it seems this contractor is now on "damage control".
True, it's best to be in writing to begin with. We don't know that it is or isn't until OP posts it up. But I'd say he delivered the most plausible explanation to the client at least verbally.

Who would seriously take this to court for $150-200? At best it would be small claims court and given the facts as we know them (there may be more) I give at least 50-50 odds with even an unreasonable judge in this case.


Good Luck
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys for the replies.... Glad to hear that others have the same view as myself. It tried every which way to explain why I order extras.

Even stating if I ordered the exact amount I needed, and a bundle or two were damaged by forklifts then we wouldnt be able to finish that day, and would have to wait till monday. Then he said so what.... I said I order the extras to avoid wasting your time, as well as mine and my workers by having to come back. He didnt care.

I could have said the sky was blue, and he would have disagreed.

After I had left his house on Saturday, I guess he checked with some of the references I gave him to see if they had a lot of left overs. He said they all said marginal amount left over.

In the end I do regret not just leaving the 4 bundles. Its in a retirement community where there are 1200+ homes, we have done over 10 years 150-175 houses so far. Hate to have a squeaky wheel in that community. But as you guys have said cant keep em all 100% happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
looks like more replies....

No I do not have an extra materials clause in my terms and conditions for my contracts.

Two things I learned today from here.

1. Either right away, or twards the end start putting any extra on the truck, so its outta sight outta mind.

2. Add some kind of extra materials clause. Would be curious as to what you guys put as far as wording.
 

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I know we live in a sue happy nation, but by this logic you would have to spell out every possible scenario in your contract. I think some things you just chalk up to common sense knowing that the individuals who may have issues are the rare clients you don't want to be working for anyways.

My contracts are for completed projects and spell out very clearly what is provided to 'make' that completed project. We mention what materials will be used, but nothing about any extra we may have after completion.

I would tell that client that you would be more than happy to return the five bundles and that you would drop it off with all the bundle wrappings and cutoffs that are 'his' as well. Ask when and where he would like the trailer dumped. :thumbsup:
 

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Thom
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You did everything right. DO NOT give him the materials back, that will convince him he was right, you tried to screw him. Then, he will demand compensation for labor, profit, overhead on those shingles. He will forever be convinced that you were screwing him and he caught you. Your capitulation will be received as evidence of that.

If he is sue happy, he will sue anyway. He will want triple damages then, then go after you for the nails in the grass, the debris that he found, compensation for blocking his driveway, stress, mental anguish, and his ulcer medication and medical bills.

Stand your ground, it is the right thing to do and your safest course.
 

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Hair Splitter
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I agree that he purchased a new roof, not the materials. It is insane for him to think that he deserved a credit for those materials. Logically we order a little extra to cover any incidentals, and return the left over to put back into the profit of the job, not add to the profit. He thinks that he purchased those shingles, when in reality he purchased a completed roof, which he got.

I don't care what the outcome would have been, he wouldn't have gotten the shingles from me. He mine as well take the $200 out of one of my daughters hands. It's my money.

Move on and forget about him. You didn't do anything wrong and the fact that you are concerned about it, shows how much heart you have for your business and clients. Keep up the good work!

Rob
 

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i always order more than i need but charge for whats needed. if my estimate is 500 screws and i order a box of 1000 they don't get to keep the extra 500 screws because i decided i wanted spares in case i used more. they got charged for 500 they don't keep the other 500 but if i go over 50 they dont get charged so its win win for them. if they tried what your customer tried i would be pissed. same go for almost every job i do. i estimate i need 3 bags of thinset they get charged for 3 i bring 4 bags. they dont get the 4th bag as thats mine and if i need to use it its out of my pocket because i estimated wrong.
 

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This homeowner has a misconception that you charged him for all of the shingles delivered to the job. If you give him the leftover bundles he still may have the notion that you estimated labor based on the ordered quantity of shingles. Now, what do you tell him when he asks for a refund of a square of labor?
My roofer sometimes will bring shingles on his own trucks. It seems less questionable to a homeowner if the bundles haven't come off of your truck than if they were delivered rooftop and then carried off of his job.
 

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they are yours
if he wants to whine and talk trash i would not worry about it
i am sure all his friends already know he is a crybaby and would expect to hear him say what he said......it won't hurt your reputation
 

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Something like this may help you for the future:

MATERIALS: Company shall provide necessary labor and materials to complete the Work as specified. Company shall not be responsible for an exact match of any materials, including but not limited to, roofing, siding, metal work, and shingle shading. All materials shall remain the property and title of the Company unless, at Company’s option, turned over to the Owner upon the completion of the Work. Company is not responsible for replacement of any lumber, sheathing, trim or rotted wood, or replacement parts in excess of the agreed amount unless specified in this Agreement.



Instead of arguing with him over the three bundles, tell him you were short nails and underlayments and if you have to give him the shingles back, you'll take out the amount for the extra materials you had to buy.
 

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looks like more replies....

No I do not have an extra materials clause in my terms and conditions for my contracts.

Two things I learned today from here.

1. Either right away, or twards the end start putting any extra on the truck, so its outta sight outta mind.

2. Add some kind of extra materials clause. Would be curious as to what you guys put as far as wording.
In addition to our contract and recision, we also have a project checklist the customer must sign. In that checklist, we cover shrubs that may need to be trimmed out of the way before starting, removing blinds and window coverings, moving furniture, securing pets and kids from the work area, having electrical and water available, providing a staging area for the guys to set up saws, brakes etc.... and the very last item on the list is all materials remaining at the end of the job are the property of CWD.

We cover every point on the checklist and they sign it.... end of discussion.

Doesn't help much in this situation, but might help eliminate any problems from the 1% of the a$$holes you encounter in the future.
 

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I've only run across one customer like this in about 40 years.
They are a rare breed.Hoarders?Pack-rats?Who knows?
I'd keep the shingles and move on without giving it much
thought.
If I do run across this again,I'd just tell the HO he could have
them,but leave them on the roof for him to retrieve on his own.:laughing:
 
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