Chicago roofing company blamed for animal infestation

Chicago roofing company blamed for animal infestation

COMPLAINT: Liane Casten, Evanston, Ill.

"Avondale Group estimated my roof's tear-off and reroof at approximately $11,000. I agreed to pay about $10,000 and asked to pay the $1,000 balance in $200 payments.

"They did quality but incomplete work. They didn't properly install the fascia around the house's perimeter, so my attic was filled with squirrels that caused all kinds of damage for more than six months.

"I called the company back out and they identified eight holes from the damage on two sides of the house and said I needed a metal barrier to keep the squirrels out. I now know that with a tear-off, this barrier should have automatically been part of the job.

"After they confirmed the problem, I called the owner, who refused to answer my calls or resolve the problem. I had to hire someone else to complete the work.

"When this happened, I owed them a $600 balance. I've ceased paying it because I had to pay another roofer more than $950 to fix the holes and add fascia, and pay a handyman $800 to do cleanup, animal removal and attic repair.

"I also had to pay half of my neighbor's expense to have a tree the squirrels used to access the roof removed."

DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I want Avondale Group to pay me $2,000 for the expenses and anxiety I endured to get the animals out, secure the openings and finish the job with another company."

RESPONSE: Julie O'Hara, special projects, Avondale Group

"Our company feels bad for the destruction and aggravation the squirrels caused in the member's attic.

"We sent a superintendent and a foreman to inspect the roof after she called. The owner also inspected it. They all found that there were no holes in the roof itself; it was intact and installed in a professional manner.

"The squirrels ate through the soffit and fascia in multiple areas, and entered the attic through those holes. Our contract with the member was for a complete [roof] tear-off and replacement. We bid other work, including the fascia and gutter replacement, which she did not approve at the time.

"The total contract was for $11,000. The member paid a $2,000 deposit and another $6,550 at completion. She asked to pay the rest of the amount in monthly increments of $200, which we approved for her convenience. The owner also allowed for a $450 credit due to lawn damage she had felt was excessive.

"Although we feel the situation is unfortunate, we do not feel responsible for the damage that the member incurred by the squirrels. She owes our company $600 for the balance of the work performed."

STATUS: Stalemate

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