Action 9

‘I’m about to cry’: Homeowners angry after paying contractor thousands for jobs never started

ORLANDO, Fla. — Some central Florida homeowners claim a local contractor ghosted them after they paid thousands of dollars for home renovations.  They contacted Action 9 claiming they’ve waited nearly a year for jobs that haven’t even begun.

When Hurricane Ian swept through central Florida last year, homeowners like Franzetta Thomas felt the impact.

“The tree from other people’s yard fell on my roof, from next door, and put a hole up there,” Thomas said.

The roof on her Orlando home needed to be repaired in a hurry.  In November she signed an agreement with Nationwide Roofing on Sand Lake Road in Orlando and paid a deposit of nearly $8,000. The job was supposed to be started in eight to 15 weeks.  It’s been nine months.

Thomas said company representatives made excuses and then promises.

READ: ‘Useless panels’: Solar company complaints heating up

“‘Oh, Miss Thomas don’t worry. We’ll be there tomorrow.’  And next week, ‘We will start next week. You’ll the first on the list. I got you the first on the list,’” Thomas told Action 9′s Jeff Deal as she described her conversations with Nationwide Roofing employees.

Thomas isn’t alone.  Jeff Oar signed a contract with Nationwide Exteriors, that’s part of the same company. He financed $34,000 worth of new windows for his home. That was nearly a year ago.  Oar and his wife have been making monthly payments for something they still don’t have.

“We were expecting the job to be done no later than, you know, late October. And it’s just been one excuse after another,” Oar said.

Deal went to Nationwide Roofing for answers. The doors were locked, and no one answered when he rang the bell and knocked.

The business owner, Jonathan Dorosh, has been active on social media in recent years often talking about helping customers. In one video, he’s heard saying, “At the end of the day, my rule #1 is to take care of our client.”

READ: Event tickets bought from online marketplaces, not always a sure thing

The company website boasts it’s the Official Roofing and Solar Partner of the Orlando Magic.

The Better Business Bureau revoked the company’s accreditation and gave them an ‘F’ rating because of unanswered complaints.

Oar told Deal, “I can’t even begin to describe the frustration that we feel as a family. It feels like we’re just throwing money out the windows.”

After Deal sent messages to Nationwide Roofing to address these complaints, a company representative called back and said they are now working to help both consumers.

Thomas’ roof could be done soon, but the company representative said Oar’s windows likely won’t be delivered for another three to five weeks.

Oar told Action 9, at this point, he’d rather cancel the contract and find another company to install the windows.

As for Thomas, the new roof can’t come soon enough. The rainy season has made her situation even worse. Parts of her ceiling are damaged from water in her bedroom and living room.  Every time it rains. she has to use buckets to catch the water dripping in her laundry room.

“Really, I’m about to cry now. My roof is about to leak in here and in there it’s leaking and they haven’t done a thing,” she told Deal when he asked about her level of frustration.

When asked about the length of time it’s taken, the Nationwide representative said the business has been a mess with supply and labor shortages.

In general, if someone makes a down payment greater than 10% of the job’s cost, the contractor must apply for permits within 30-days and start the work within 90-days of the permits being issued.  If that doesn’t happen, legal action might be an option.

Nationwide’s owner, Dorosh, later reached out to Deal and said he doesn’t want to hurt people and that he’s doing everything he can to make it right. He also said they are getting another company to help take care of every client they have.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Comments on this article