Jake, I understand what you're saying. He probably DOESn't need the work, but I needed to get this taken care of. I'm just trying to get a hole at the edge of my roof covered before more rain comes in.
I was coming in from out of town and had spoken with the contractor by phone. I described the situation as best I knew and explained that this was to cover a breach at the eaves. It was just to get the roof tarped to buy time. He assured me that he could get it tarped, from the outside, even if I wasn't there, no problem.
He quoted me an amount to tarp it, told me about how long it would take him, said he would use a 20x20' tarp, etc. I'm not a construction guy, but I can look stuff up. His price was in line with what I've seen discussed here and other sites. I know how long it SHOULD take someone with experience - which is about 1/4 to 1/8th the amount of time it would take a no-nothing fumbler like me to do it.
I told him when I was going to be in town, asked repeatedly what he needed for payment (never got an answer) and he promised it would be taken care of.
Somebody I DIDN'T know / expect showed up and launched into "I can just tack some shingles over that. Got any shingles?" and then "I can just slide some metal under there and tack it down. Got any metal?"
OK, that freaked me out a little bit. I didn't know what was going on and it's sounding really suspicious.
No real information, no introduction, just some guy showing up and peering at the roof and sounding like he just happened to be driving by.
Finally get some more communications and it turns out he works for the other guy. Nobody told me. Can't get the first guy on the phone. I'm counting down hours because I've got to be somewhere on time, 2 hours away and it's all through heavy traffic and construction areas.
Fine. A solution is a solution. But that's not what was discussed, and frankly, I have no idea whether metal was a good solution, but I need SOME solution.
The guy who showed up "has just got to go up the road to pin a door" and would be right back. I'd get taken care of.
Finally get a chance to talk to the first guy and I'm trying to figure out what's going on.
I thinking, "this isn't at all like I expected it. Is it more work to slide some aluminum or something under the shingles at the gutter? Is the metal more expensive? Is this going to get done!?"
Some more phone calls with the original guy.
I am trying to play the grown-up game and be responsible and ask questions and get reasonable answers, and I get the dialog discussed above.
I need to get this taken care of, and I'm trying to do the responsible thing. They're calling for rain in the next day and over the weekend, and I'm still not sure anyone's going to show up. I've told him that I'm still here and that I'm willing to stay as long as I can. I'll take my wife to lunch and then come back if he can come by or can send somebody.
I am STILL trying to find out what he needs for payment at the point. I've got cash, checks, credit cards. I don't like the idea of having someone work for me if I can't even pay them (hence, "how much is this going to cost?")
"Just leave a check in a secret place and tell me where..." I HAVE to get on the road, I don't have a choice on that. I either trust him or drive up and drive back the next day (today).
"We'll take care of you and I'll send you pictures of the completed work. I promise." These last sentences were repeated multiple times.
I have no idea whether it was a good solution. Right now, I have no idea whether it was even done. I do have an idea of the weather - I can check that online. Started raining today and it will continue through the weekend.
I spoke with him last evening, he assured me I was taken care of and that he has pictures and he'll send 'em.
I called again and left a voice message. I have re-emailed him to make sure he has my email address.
I'm sure you can smell my frustration.