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'Right down the tubes': Toronto senior regrets paying $55,000 for 'poor' roofing job

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A Scarborough senior said roofers came to his door and told him he had serious roofing problems that needed to be repaired right away.

“He got up on the roof and he said, ‘your roof is rotting, the wood is rotting,’ and that’s what scared me,” Robert Buchan said, adding that he just had his roof repaired just two years earlier.

Buchan, a 75-year-old senior, said the roofers were directed to his home after going door-to-door and meeting other seniors in his neighbourhood.

Buchan felt he did need to have some eavestroughs replaced, but the roofer suggested he needed much more work done at a total cost of $55,000 to replace wood and shingles on the roof’s side of his duplex.

Buchan said he was dealing with medical issues at the time and felt he wasn’t thinking straight when he agreed to pay $55,000 in advance to have the work done.

He became concerned when the roofers left and failed to come back, leaving sections of eavestrough missing, issues with the roof due to the wrong materials being used, and a gazebo with a hole smashed through it.

“I knew they weren’t legit when they didn’t come back to finish the job,” said Buchan.

CTV News Toronto reviewed the contract Buchman signed but the phone number was disconnected, the email was not working and the name of the company appeared to be made up (using partial names of existing legitimate roofing companies) and didn’t seem to exist anywhere on the internet.

Buchan filed a police report and said he feels he should be given back a large portion of the $55,000 he paid.

“My wife and I are almost divorced over it to be honest with you and we love each other very much, but it's a lot of pressure on my wife and myself,” said Buchan.

Robert Buchan says he regrets paying a door-to-door roofer in Toronto $55,000.

Buchan hired another roofer who said it will cost almost $8,000 to fix all the mistakes left behind by the roofers who worked on his home.

Toronto police said that roofing scams have been on the rise this year in the Greater Toronto Area. To avoid roofing scams, beware of door-to-door offers, verify businesses carefully and don't pay money in advance.

Also, door-to-door contractors can be quite aggressive so remember you don’t have to let strangers on your property and don't be afraid to tell them to leave.

Buchan said he is devastated to lose such a large amount of money and wanted to share his story to help warn others.

Robert Buchan says he regrets paying a door-to-door roofer in Toronto $55,000.

“Seniors be careful, get second quotes, third quotes even. And don't pay up front like I did. Hold your money back" said Buchan who added “my faith in mankind went right down the tubes."

Another tactic scammers use is offering to do free inspections or saying they have a drone that spotted a hole in your roof that needs to be fixed right away. 

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