DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — A disabled veteran says he regrets hiring a contractor to put a new roof on his house. The job never started, but the roofer was paid 100% of the work in advance. Recently, the roofer left the materials in Tom Westphal’s front yard, and that’s all.
Tom and Kim Westphal have waited more than a year to get a new metal roof on their mobile home in Dandridge. The original quote to put a roof on the house was $10,000, but their receipt shows the contractor accepted $7,500 more than 13 months ago. The contract said the $7,500 dollars would cover materials, labor, and installation.
The couple paid cash to Tommy and Amy Rippy in September 2022. Tom Westphal said he knows now, he should never have paid the entire cost of the roof in advance.
“Well when we first called them, we didn’t know whether the whole roof needed to be done or just repaired. Tommy came and looked at it and said the whole roof needed to be re-done,” said Kim Westphal.
The 30-year-old trailer, that Tom Westphal inherited from his father, had multiple roof leaks causing damage inside their home.
Tom Westphal received several text messages from Rippy over the last 12 months, but the contract was never honored.
“They said it was going to be next week and they’d be here to take care of it. Suddenly their tire was flat on their trailer and they couldn’t come. Then their tire was flat on their truck,” said Tom Westphal.
“I’ve texted with Amy quite a bit,” said Kim Westphal. “It was always, ‘we are going to get it done, we are going to get it done.'”
It’s never gotten done, no roofing project ever got underway by Rippy. WATE called Rippy asking why he didn’t do the job. He said he didn’t want to meet on camera, but did talk on the phone. We asked about the year-long delay.
“We got it worked out. I’m just delivering the materials,” said Rippy.
WATE’s Don Dare replied, “You going to just deliver the materials? But I’m looking at a contract you signed with them in September of last year that says you are going to complete the roof on their home.”
“No, just deliver the material,” said Rippy.
He delivered the roofing materials three days after we talked with him. The Westphals were somewhat satisfied, but not totally.
“I’m very glad he brought it. But there is a difference between whatever this cost and the $7,500 we gave him. And it still isn’t getting it installed on my roof. I need a contractor to do that,” said Tom Westphal.
To date, the Westphals have not found a contractor to install the metal roof. Rippy told us their original quote was $10,000 for materials, labor and installation of the metal roof, he said that was a good deal, but Rippy said when the Westpahls told him they couldn’t afford that much, Rippy said he lowered the cost to $7,500. Rippy told us, he feels he’s done nothing wrong. Tom Westphal said today, a deal is a deal, especially when it’s a signed contract.