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Forsyth County roofing company steps in to help resident victimized by ‘scam’
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Hopewell Roofing & Restoration gave Forsyth County resident Marilyn Poliacoff a new roof after the 73-year-old was victimized by a 'scam.' - photo by Jon Benson III

Roof of Hope 2019 Presented by Hopewell Roofing

By: Jon Benson III

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Marilyn Poliacoff just needed her gutters fixed, so the Forsyth County resident called a big corporate company but wasn’t satisfied with their service.

Next she went to Facebook. Poliacoff posted on a local Forsyth County group asking for a reliable gutter company, and she quickly got connected with a local business owner. His company seemed legitimate: it was a member of the Better Business Bureau and was insured.

Then the business owner said Poliacoff needed a new roof, which he could do too. Then the business owner needed Poliacoff to make three payments during the job. Then the owner’s crews worked sporadically and “didn’t seem like they knew what was going on,” Poliacoff said. Then the owner needed Poliacoff’s last payment in advance “because he needed more materials,” she said.

“I told him I wasn’t going to give him more money until he finished the job,” Poliacoff said. “And then I didn’t hear anything.”

Poliacoff, 73, was left with bad gutters and a disfigured roof. She was set to get a loan to have the roof fixed until Hopewell Roofing & Restoration stepped in and offered to do it for free.

Her situation was a perfect fit for Hopewell’s annual “Roof of Hope” project that provides a new roof for a local person or family in need.

Poliacoff was a different kind of recipient for Hopewell, though. The company usually works with local organizations to find prospective people or families. Poliacoff found them as she shopped for someone to undo the damage already done to her roof. And past “Roof of Hope” projects have helped homeowners who couldn’t otherwise afford a new roof. Poliacoff was willing to take on a new loan.

Still, Morrison was sure that Poliacoff had been victimized by a bad roofing company. When Hopewell’s crew inspected Poliacoff’s roof, they found “one of the worst attempts at a new roof I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Hopewell owner Andy Morrison. The previous business had used four different kinds of shingles from three manufacturers and not finished the job. Ladders and ladder jacks had been left on the roof. Poliacoff’s yard was littered with materials and trash.

“It literally broke my heart,” Morrison said. “Here’s this woman who’s not even asked for charity. She’s just going to take it on the chin.”

Morrison’s Hopewell crew took off the bad roof and installed a new one in less than a day.

“Hopewell has been amazing,” Poliacoff said.

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Crews with Hopewell Roofing and & Restoration work on Forsyth County resident Marilyn Poliacoff's roof on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. - photo by Jon Benson III
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Hopewell Roofing & Restoration crews remove debris while working on Forsyth County resident Marilyn Poliacoff's roof on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. - photo by Jon Benson III

Poliacoff’s ordeal exposed some of the pitfalls of searching for reliable roofing contractors, Morrison said.

He recommends that homeowners select businesses that are licensed through the Georgia Secretary of State, have been in business at least five years and have been reviewed by multiple customers. The business should also have certifications with several manufacturers and be able to provide a reference list of past customers.

Morrison also cautions homeowners from using Facebook as a source to find reliable contractors.

Poliacoff later came to find out the previous business wasn’t licensed, had no reviews and had only been a member of the Better Business Bureau for a few weeks.

“What he did was a scam,” Morrison said.

The experience has been a lesson for Poliacoff, too.

“A lot of it’s my fault,” she said. “I didn’t do enough research. I didn’t realize how much research you need to do.”

Poliacoff is considering if she can pursue any criminal action against the previous company, but in the meantime, she’s happy to have a sound roof over her head again.