rebuild chimney that they completed for us was not up to code and they disregarded information which results in parts of the service needing redone
We hired Hinckley Roofing to rebuild our chimney from the roof up, because it was crumbling and water was starting to get into the house. We informed them several different times that we also wanted the chimney to have wood burning capabilities eventually. We asked if an internal inspection needed done first by a chimney inspector and this is in writing. They stated that it could be beneficial to do so, but did not specify if we needed to do it before the rebuild or not in the email.
When they came in person, we again asked about the internal inspection and if we should get it done first, before they worked on the roof up, and the worker ****** said no. So we moved forward with the rebuild at that time. They began working on this around the first week of September. Since that time we have had different chimney inspectors come out to get the chimney wood burning for winter, and the information they shared with us highlighted issues we were unaware of since we are laymen, not chimney experts.
1: No permit was drawn and displayed at our house which eliminated the inspection that would have been required and that would have resulted in failure.
2: The chimney rebuild is not up to code because it is 8 inches too short.
3: Despite having it in writing in an email, the fact that we wanted the fireplace to eventually be a working wood burning fireplace was completely disregarded by Hinckley, and components of the chimney will need redone in order to make it wood burning, so we will have to pay twice for the same work.
4: The worker simply caulked the top flue tower even after discussing with us that we wanted wood burning capacity. The flues should have been replaced during this rebuild. When the worker discussed this issue with us, he made it seem like the right thing to do was just caulk it, because there was a flex liner in the chimney. However, knowing we wanted wood burning, the flex liner was not actually needed and could have been removed, making it possible to replace the cracked flues. We went with "the expert's" suggestion. Unfortunately his suggestion did not take into consideration our long term goal and causes us to have to redo this work.
5. The chimney crown was done too thin and was already cracking before the job was even complete, because the Hinckley worker already put caulk over it instead of fixing it properly. This is one of the items that upsets us the MOST, because he obviously knew it wasn't done right and just tried to band aid it and hoped to get by.
6: The worker had informed us upon leaving that there was a "little dust" on the roof and that the first rain would wash it away. After climbing onto the roof with the latest chimney inspector, it is clear that actual mortar was left on the roof which is now dried onto our shingles, and it cannot be washed off. While this is only a cosmetic issue, it looks horrible and had it been cleaned properly during the job, it would not be an issue.
After several email communications, Hinckley has only offered EITHER a $500 partial refund, OR to come back and redo the work themselves. Since they contracted a chimney person and do not really specialize in chimneys, and since they did such a horrible job the first time, we are not in agreement with them redoing the work. We would prefer to have someone who specializes in chimneys and who may actually listen to us, complete this work. $500 is not anywhere near enough to cover the costs of having this work redone. We asked them to settle with us for $1000, slightly less than half of what they charged us for this horrendous job they did, but they refuse this as a settlement option. The emails also show that the owner will not even address the fact the chimney is not up to code and needs more rows added to be tall enough to be up to code.
If needed, I can forward the email communications between Hinckley and ourselves for your review.
We would like all or most of our money back. This job cost us $2200.
On Aug 27th, 2013 Hinckley Roofing was contracted to re-build the upper portion of the chimney on the homeowner's house so that the chimney could be flashed properly and be made watertight. We were also contracted to install new rings over the 2 soil stack covers.
The work was completed per the contract and a copy is attached herewith.
As for the homeowner's complaint we will address them here in order:
1. No permit was required or needed for the work that was done.
2. We were not contracted to change the height of the chimney or to bring the chimney up to code. And we were not made aware by the homeowner that they were wanting to bring it up to code. And if we were to change the height we would not have been able to due to the fact that the chimney had a flex liner installed and removal of the flex liner would have made the fireplace un-usable.
3. When asked by the homeowner in an e-mail whether the work we would do would give them a working wood burning fireplace, they were instructed that the work we would do would be from the roof top up and that if they wanted a wood burning fireplace that they would need to have the interior of their fireplace inspected by a certified home inspector. (E-mail attached.)
4. After the technician discovered the fireplace was a gas fireplace with a flex liner and that the flue liner was cracked he discussed the options with the home owner as to what they wanted him to do. After their discussion he completed the work with their verbal approval.
5. This has not been verified by Hinckley Roofing and an offer to fix this issue has been made to the homeowner.
6. The mortar will wash off the roof but the offer has been made to the homeowners to replace any shingles around the chimney that they feel have been compromised or stained due to the work done on the chimney.
Even though Hinckley Roofing completed all the work required per the contract. Hinckley Roofing did offer 2 options as a possible resolution. Hinckley Roofing offered $500.00as a refund or to allow HInckley roofing the opportunity to do the work that the homeowner's feel needs to be done even though the wokr they want done is not part of our contract. This was done as a gesture of goodwill.
This offer to compromise still stands to the homeowner's as a gesture of goodwill to resolve their issues.
Hinckley Roofing, Inc.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We will address their response in order:
1- Tearing down and rebuilding a chimney from the roof up DOES indeed require a building permit according to the ****** County Building Department, they also stated that any structural build is required to be up to code whether completed by professionals or handymen.
2- We would like to think that a consumer would NOT have to ask that a build/repair be done to code, as that should be implied in that we are a contracting a professional to do a complete professional job, in line with all requirements that we as homeowners may not be aware of. If you were to hire someone to build an addition onto your house, would you need to specify that it be done up to code so it is safe etc.? The idea that we as consumers would need to specify this requirement is ridiculous. OF COURSE the consumer wants the work done up to code! We also informed the worker that we were planning on making the chimney wood burning eventually, so the flex liner was not needed, so yes, they could have built it taller so it would be up to code.
3- As stated by us in original complaint, yes the email shows that we asked about having the inside inspected and yes we realize that ****** indicted that that would be a good idea. However it unfortunately does not show that we also asked him verbally if we needed to have the inside inspected first, before the rebuild, and he stated NO.
4- The technician never discovered it was a GAS fireplace, because it is NOT. He discovered it had an electrical insert, and that it had a flex liner. A flex liner is not even needed for the electrical insert, and was not even connected at the bottom of the chimney. The previous owners must have just left the insert in the chimney out of apathy. During our discussion of the options with the technician, it was mentioned again that we wanted it to be wood burning eventually, and so whatever would be best for that goal was the option we wanted. Again, as laymen, we were not aware at the time which of those options would be best, and we TRUSTED that the technician/chimney "expert" would not steer us wrong. Seeing as we now know that the flex liner is not needed for a wood burning fireplace, we are at a loss for why this "expert" would have left the liner in the chimney and not completed other essential work because of it. The existence of that flex liner is Hinckley Roofing's big excuse for not building a chimney (that they knew needed to be wood burning eventually) up to code from the roof up?
As a chimney technician, he should have been able to deduce that there was no need for the liner and moved on from there. When we first began this complaint with Hinckley, they stated that they had no recollection of us discussing the long term goal of it being a working wood burning fireplace, and stated that was why they did the job the way they did. After we directed them to the email that showed us specifically asking about the chimney being wood burning eventually, they have clung to the fact that ****** suggested an inside inspection be done as well, but then they ignore the fact that he stated we did not need to get that done previous to their rebuilding of the chimney. Then they fall back onto this excuse of the flex liner for why it wasn't done up to code, but if they had paid attention to the long term goal of a working wood burning fireplace, they would have realized the flex liner was not even needed. All indications that they simply did not listen to us and pay attention to the goals.
5-from original complaint "The chimney crown was done too thin and was already cracking before the job was even complete, because the Hinckley worker already caulked over it." This has been verified by two separate chimney inspections and if Hinckley doesn't believe us they are more than welcome to come look at it themselves. It is simply another example of the shoddy work ethic we were shown in their completion of this job.
6- The mortar left on the shingles is not just dust and we were told by two separate chimney inspectors that the amount of mortar left on the shingles will NOT wash off. While this is a cosmetic issue, it was left in worse condition than before the job, which is unacceptable.
-As far as the partial refund of $500 offered, it is nowhere near enough to get this job redone the right way, and is insulting when you look at the shoddy job that was actually completed. We asked the company for $1000 refund, which is less than half of what we paid, but much closer to the amount of money we will have to pay out to get this done RIGHT. As far as having Hinckley Roofing come "fix" this shoddy job: why would we feel comfortable having the company that did not listen to our needs in the first place, did not think a structure needed to be up to code unless specifically asked, and did shoddy work that was already cracking before it was even finished (and was not even mentioned to us by the way) come back to our house to try again?
They have tried to find excuses for all of these issues and simply will not take responsibility and own up to the fact that they did a bad job on this particular house, possibly because they contracted a less than stellar chimney technician to do the work because they usually just focus on the roofing work, but that is STILL their responsibility. We in no way trust this company AT ALL ANYMORE. Any company that stands behind the reasoning that they completed the work that was contracted because the contract did not specifically say "build all parts up to code as you should on any building structure if you are a professional," has lost us as a consumer, and that includes repairing the job they botched in the first place.
A true gesture of goodwill would be to admit that they messed up this one job, and give the consumer the refund that would leave them as satisfied as possible after all of this hassle. We will not have a source of a heat if the power goes out this winter, because instead of spending some money to get the internal workings of the fireplace ready, we will have to spend money to redo the outside of the chimney first, although we already paid Hinckley $2200 to do that. We need a better refund settlement to be satisfied with this issue. We have attached the chain of emails between ourselves and Hinckley that starts with our formal complaint to them, to illustrate the back and forth, the ignoring of issues, and the basic denial that they did anything wrong in this situation.
Final Business Response
Hinckley Roofing's response to ***********' rebuttal
1 - As discussed previous and confirmed by the ****** County Building Department. Because the flue was not replaced and it was only the bricks around the flue that were replaced there was no permit needed. This was checked on prior to the work being done and that is why no permit was pulled or needed. The homeowner did not disclose this when discussing this matter with the **** and they did not explain to the county that the clay flue had a metal flex liner inside the flue as was not replaced.
2 - Per the ****** County Building Department, because the flue was not replaced the chimney did not need to be brought up to code. When we explained the scope of work to the inspector, he said we did exactly what was required per the County.
3 - ****** did not ever tell the homeowners that they would not need to have the chimney inspected and in fact as shown in his e-mail he specifically instructed them to have the chimney inspected and that our work was from the roof top up.
4 - As previously stated, once the technician discovered there was a crack in the flue, he discussed the options with the homeowners and a gave them a plan of action. The homeowners approved of this action. Nothing was done without the homeowners approval. Our purpose and focus was to make the upper portion of the chimney strong enough to have the flashing replaced as to make the roof watertight and that is as far as our scope of work went. That is what we were contracted to do. Our focus was to ensure that their roof did not leak in the immediate future and not that they would at some point in time like to convert their fireplace into a wood burner. This is something outside the scope of work required or discussed. We are a roofing contractor trying to make the roof watertight. The work that the **********' want done, should be able to be completed without affecting any of the work that we were contracted to do except the top wash which we have offered to re-do at no charge. Our focus from day one has been to ensure the integrity of the roof and the bricks so as to be able to properly flash them and seal the area where the chimney meets the roof.
5 - As previously stated, if there is a problem with the chimney crown or chimney wash we would be happy to correct it.
6 - As previously stated, we would happy to replace any shingles around the chimney that the homeowners feel need to be replaced.
As for a settlement refund, in good faith, we have already offered the homeowners 3 times the amount needed to replace the top wash so that the other chimney work needed could be done. If there is additional work needed on the chimney it would have been an additional cost as it was not part of the original scope of work. The work we completed is covered under warranty and if the homeowners are concerned with any part of the work we have done we would like the opportunity to correct these issues. It is our goal at Hinckley Roofing to ensure that each job is done right and we stand behind our work.
I just checked this link because I was wondering what was taking so long for a response and I see that our case has been closed. I submitted a rebuttal through BBB on 1-11-13. This is showing that we did not respond so the case was assumed to be resolved. I am quite sure I hit submit etc so I am not sure why it's showing as no response. Please advise on how to move forward.
Rebuttal to Hinckley
1 - I disclosed EVERYTHING to the **** and if we were given different information that is out of my control. However, had Hinckley LISTENED to the consumer in the first place, the flue WOULD have been replaced because the metal flex liner wouldn't have needed to stay and a permit WOULD have been required. AGAIN, all of this would have been avoidable if Hinckley had LISTENED to the consumer.
2 - AGAIN, had Hinckley LISTENED to the goals of the consumer, all of the work would have been done and would have needed a permit and to be UP TO CODE.
3 - We never claimed that ****** told us not to get an inspection, in fact we pointed that email out to Hinckley, because they had NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON which is also evident in that email. We are upset that when asked if the inspection needed to be completed BEFORE Hinckley's work he stated NO. This was in person, and not in any email.
4 - We approved all work based on the "professional" information we were given by your worker, which was NOT CORRECT. Had just ONE worker LISTENED to us, we would have been told that the flex liner was not needed, and that the flues could be replaced etc. We were naive in that we TRUSTED Hinckley to listen to us and advise us accordingly. During our very first communications, we stated we wanted it to be airtight AND for it to have wood burning capabilities when all was said and done. So, AGAIN, if just ONE person had cared at all about what our goals were, EVEN if it meant that we would have to contract a different company for the work, we would not be in this VERY DISSATISFIED situation.
5 AND 6- As previously stated, we have no faith remaining in this company, so why would we want Hinckley to come here and "fix" anything. We would rather pay someone who at least MIGHT listen and care.
**If Hinckley's goal is to make sure each job is done right then perhaps they should try to LISTEN to what the consumers are asking about and advise them properly instead of misleading them into decisions which will cost them more money in the end. Good faith would be to accept that since you did not do those things, you burned this one particular customer, and maybe it makes sense that they want a different company to move forward with any further work. The amount of refund you have offered is enough for maybe supplies but NOT for labor and we DO NOT WANT YOUR LABOR EVER AGAIN. Half of the money back is MORE than reasonable for the work you completed which will need redone anyway, and to help us pay someone else who might actually do the job with open ears.