Collier County cracks down on roofer after complaints

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Graphic of a tile roof on a home. Credit: MGN.

Larry Abrams never thought he would be waiting more than a year for his roof to be completed.

“Here we are, in 2019, in June still waiting for My Affordable [Roof] to finish this roof,” Abrams said.

He and his wife signed a contract with My Affordable Roof, which operates out of multiple states according to its website, after Hurricane Irma hit in 2017. The business incorporated in Florida just days before Irma hit.

Both retired police officers, the Abrams said they did their homework before hiring the business.

“She knows the state statutes. She’s very astute when it comes to knowing the law,” he said.

But their experience has been less than pleasant.

“I’ve never had this many problems with a contractor,” he said.

While the metal roof is on, it only partially passed its final inspection in November 2018 because the roof’s vents were never installed. So, they continue to wait.

Not only does My Affordable Roof have about 75% of their money, but they say a subcontractor put a lien on their house for thousands more.

Abrams says he has complained to several agencies including Collier County.

Collier County tells us they are no longer issuing permits to My Affordable Roof for new jobs. The business , however, may renew expired permits or reapply for canceled permits.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation cited president Christopher Dutruch in April for acting as a general contractor, but only having a roofing license.

Dutruch has other pending complaints with the agency for not pulling permits quick enough or not pulling them at all.

The Florida Attorney General’s office tells WINK News it has an active consumer protection investigation into My Affordable Roof, but would not give any specifics.

Dutruch was also charged by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office for grand theft stemming from a separate roofing job almost a year ago. He has since been granted pretrial diversion.

The City of Cape Coral tells WINK News that “Christopher Dutruch has seven expired roofing permits with six of those expired permits being for shingle roof replacement due to Hurricane Irma. A new investigation will be opened for each of the seven permits that have expired over the last few months based on the recent inquiry. Our investigation has just begun, and we are not aware at this time of any disciplinary history with this contractor.

We first covered My Affordable Roof in September 2018.

Like Abrams, customers said they put down a hefty deposit for a roof and the work wasn’t getting done. Dee Paul and Andy Bos tell us that their roofs have since been completed.

My Affordable Roof told WINK News via email:

“The staff continues to work seven days a week to complete the contracts for roof repairs. Since Irma, our industry has experienced unprecedented challenges. Material delays, labor shortages, insurance approvals, payment delays, and longer than normal inspection processes, has made the challenging task of replacing a roof that much more.

“Although we have thousands of satisfied customers we still have approximately 30 homes to complete in Collier County. These jobs have taken longer than anyone anticipated, but our focus has been and will continue to be to get them finished.

“We are proud to serve the people of Collier County and will continue to do so with excellence. Due to the challenges our team has faced it has exposed our weakest links and we have made the necessary changes to make us better.

“Although the delays can be contributed to many factors at the end of the day we realize it is our responsibility.”

For Abrams, the solution is simple: finish the job.

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