I have removed the original post regarding the work performed by Fusion Roofing on my box gutters as I can no longer stand by my original assessment of their work. My latest discovery of their improper, short-cut, intentional conceal, workmanship has now reared its head a third time and this latest discovery will probably set me back at least $500 and possibly delay the painting of my house.
The restoration of my box gutters was the first major expense of my restoration. They didn’t exist in most areas. Ricky raccoon and his family had free reign access to my house for shelter. All the quotes came in over $10,000. I paid Fusion over $15,000.
Since this was one of the first projects to take place at my house, very early into my General Contracting role, I had no complaints with their work. You don’t know, what you don’t know and I wasn’t onsite all the time to see everything that was done. The house looked good after they were finished.
The first instance of their inferior work was discovered by a Dan Shepard who was doing some roof work for me in March 2018. He discovered that Fusion had failed to nail down the three rows of shingles they laid while restoring the gutters. The owner, Kevin Helman, found that hard to believe when I called him to report it, but he did come out, investigated, and confirmed Dan’s findings. Dan’s crew member had done some of the repair, but Kevin did finish it. Strike one.
The second instance was discovered November 2019 and I talked about it in the post A Blessing in Disguise. On fluke I discovered a huge gap in the crown moulding. They did a poorly executed mitered corner cut and instead of re-cutting it they filled the huge gap with caulk, which fell out over time. Again they came out and made the repair. Randy, the crew leader was very apologetic for the poor workmanship, which he said must have happened when he wasn’t onsite. I took that in stride and was grateful for the helping hand they gave with the vent caps, which help me get over the final plumbing inspection. Nevertheless, this was Strike Two.
The final strike I discovered last night while trying to replace more of the asbestos tile at the roof line. When I went to scrape the paint away from the tile being replaced about 8″ of the bottom of the crown moulding broke off. The piece was literally held with paint and caulk. The underside of the broken piece was charred wood, that section was part of the fire. With that piece off I noticed a lot of play in the piece, so I began to polk around it with my tool and it went straight through the board. It was rotten. At that point I knew it would need to be replaced so I began looking for the screws to remove it. In the approximate 5′ length, Fusion had only used two screws that actually attached to something and they were both located with 8″ of each other at the end of the board. One 8″ from end the the other at the end to screw the miters together. A third was actually screwed into the original blown-in installation, so basically attached to nothing. Caulk and paint was holding the piece in place.
Lyle Homes is still scraping paint from the second floor dormers (started June 9), but if his crew person that worked on first floor windows had started with the first floor crown, this would have been discovered weeks ago. Since I discovered it my first call was to Tom Milfeld, my go to guy. I wasn’t going to bother calling Fusion and just fix it. I got up this morning and took the piece to Hyde Park lumber who said they didn’t have that profile. I knew Fusion had replaced crown in November, so I called them to find out where they got it from and they said Hyde Park. I have two sections of crown on the house and the repair they did was on upper section. The lower crown is 5 5/8″ wide; the closes they have is 5 1/4″. I will have no choice but to replace the entire rear of my house as a custom milled 5′ section would be triple the cost of the in-stock 48′ I’ll need.
Kevin asked that I send him pictures of the section in question. He said his work did not include the crown attached to the house, which this is. I pointed out that it is also attached to the soffit that they did replace and even if it wasn’t part of their bid (I feel it was) they still deliberately covered over decayed wood vs. giving me an option to allow them to repair it. My original bid from them was $10,875 and it said “Replace any damaged wood as needed at an additional charge per foot, price chart listed above”. One of their references warned me to get everything in writing as they will only do what is listed, so before they started work I had another conversation with Coy Baker, which led to me agreeing to pay another $4,833 for this scope of services: Remove all wood from box gutters, including, fall, fascia, crown, cap, and soffit boards, from entire house; Replace all wood on box gutters including rater tails, fall boards, fascia boards, crown molding, and plywood soffit boards; Properly pitch new gutters to ensure proper flow (I asked for this as someone warned me this could be an issue if not done properly); and All exposed wood will be caulked at the joints and all exposed wood will be primed. This extra money was specifically to address “wood as needed at an additional charge per foot” as Coy said given the condition it was all going to need to be replaced anyway and this additional amount would cover it.
Kevin felt I was being argumentative and hung up on me as I interrupted him while he was onsite at another job. I didn’t force him to answer his phone. Kevin is the owner of the company, but he didn’t do the work. I wanted to speak with Randy, since twice before Randy confirmed the work was done improperly and he fixed it. Based on the hang up I have no confidence anything will be done, so I’ve moved forward with ordering 48′ of new primed crown moulding and I’ve lined up Tom to help me get it installed. Since the new crown will be almost a 1/2″ shorter than the original I know all the asbestos tiles along the top edge of the house will need to be replaced. It was installed after the house was built and butts up against the crown. There will now be an approx 1/2″ gap. That has to be ordered from Home Depot and will take at least a week. Putting it up first, so the crown can sit on top of it is the proper fix. The only positive is, like with all the 1st floor windows, this will be one more area Lyle won’t have to deal with. The crown is already primed, so when Tom and I are done he can just paint.
Of course I fear when I start removing the remainder of the crown that I’m going to uncover even more of Fusion’s poor workmanship. Now that I know what to look for I can see other areas around the house that they filled with caulk to hide a poor cut or seam. I’m almost tempted to dig the caulk out of these areas and fill them with the WoodEpox, since I know that works so well. Every soffit seam is separating now.
Even if I let the seams go, the two ends of the gutters on the rear where I will need to replace the crown is troubling and I fear the soffits themselves will need to be replaced. I truly don’t understand the need to splice in such a small section, which is what they did on the right side of house. They caulked to hide, but as with all the other sections of the house that caulk is failing and splice is exposed. The soffit is just cheap plywood. They could have cut another piece and learned from the mistake. On the left side, they didn’t splice, but filled a huge gap with caulk. It hasn’t failed like the piece did in the front which led to the November repair, but it may give way when I remove the crown. I’ll run it by Tom, but I think the best answer is to just run that crown to the end of the gutter instead of stopping where it is now. That won’t match the front of the house, but hell the crown isn’t going to match either. Fingers crossed Lyle won’t find rot on the front when he starts that prep.