Posted: Sep 12, 2013 9:40 PM
Updated: Sep 13, 2013 12:37 AM
McALLEN - A McAllen resident said she paid a contractor thousands of dollars to fix her roof, but the man never finished the job.
She called 5 On Your Side for help.
Perla Barabasz admits she did not check out the remodeling contractor's credentials before she hired him. She said it's a decision she now regrets.
Barabasz said the hail storm of 2012 damaged her roof. A few months later, she hired H&L Remodeling from Mission to make the repairs.
The contractor, Joe Luna, itemized the job estimate to include shingles, wood and disposing of the old shingles. He gave her an estimate for $7,300.
Barabasz wrote him a check for $4,000. Then, the problems began.
Barabasz said Luna told her there was a problem with the roof. He said most of the plywood on the roof needed to be replaced. He wrote down a new estimate, this time for $13,750.
She said Luna asked for more money. Barabasz told him she didn't have the amount and he told her to call him back when she did. She said Luna told her he would not guarantee the job if he didn't replace all the plywood.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS called Luna for an explanation.
"All the plywood was all screwed up, all broken and everything. I could not install my shingles with that type of wood there," he said.
Luna said he had to raise the price of the job because the plywood under the shingles was worn out. He said the insurance company would not cover the cost of the plywood because the damage wasn't caused by the hailstorm.
Tommy Wilson, with State Farm, said he sent two different adjusters to check the roof. He said neither adjuster found widespread damage to the plywood.
Wilson said he has never seen a case where all the plywood on a roof had to be replaced.
Barabasz said she eventually found someone else to finish the job. She went to police, but they said her claim against Luna was a civil matter.
"I called him several times and he said he was busy. Finally he said, ‘you know, do whatever you want. I won't return your money," Barabasz said.
Luna said he put about $1,500 worth of labor into the job. He claims some of the money went to materials.
Luna agreed to meet with a CHANNEL 5 NEWS reporter, but later changed his mind and said he would have his lawyer call the reporter. The lawyer never called.