KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville widow is pursuing a felony charge against an East Tennessee roofer. She signed a contract in May to have her roof replaced, but to date, nothing has happened.
Lois and her late husband bought their West Knoxville home in 1979. The roof was replaced once before. Lois was worried recently about a low part in the middle of the roof that appeared to be sagging.
She hired Roger Blankenship to fix a leak in the roof above her kitchen window last November. She found JWB Roofing and Repairs of Jacksboro on Angie’s List. Blankenship had a partnership with another roofer at the time. The $2,100 repair to a section of the back roof went smoothly a year ago and Lois said there were no problems at all.
She hired Blankenship again in May 2023 to replace her entire roof. He had changed the name of his business to Lucky Star Roofing and Repair Services. The contract for $9,500 was signed by Blankenship on May 12. She paid two-thirds of the total cost in advance.
“He said he would start the following week,” said Lois. “He never came back that week. It wasn’t until I heard from him again on Memorial Day when he said he needed an additional $500 cash to cover a dumpster.”
The dumpster never arrived in either June, July, or August. Then Lois received a relatively optimistic text in September.
“Wrote back to me, ‘I promise I’m going to do right by you. You will get your new roof.’ It always seems to be the dumpster. He can’t get this dumpster. It’s not there. They don’t have one. Anyway, I still haven’t gotten my roof. Now, I’m out $7,000,” said Lois.
Earlier this year, Michael Pinner showed WATE a number of leaks in the ceiling of his mobile home. He called because the roofers he hired never showed up. The company was JWB Roofing and Repairs, the same business Lois had hired last year. Pinner paid nearly $7,000 in advance to the roofers.
We got through to Roger Blankenship’s partner in early August and asked about the unfinished job. Pinner’s contract was signed by Blankenship. Within a few days, he was reimbursed for a job that never started. He said the $8,000 refund came from Blankenship’s former partner and Pinner said Roger Blankenship never followed through.
We contacted Blankenship to ask about Lois’s new roof. We left a message reminding Blankenship about his last text in which he promised he was going to do right by Lois and that he would get a new roof on her home.
“I would like my money back so I can find somebody to do it,” Lois said. “I trusted this man because he had worked with me before. Obviously, he took my money and ran.”
Blankenship called us back after we had left a message. He assured us, he would finish Lois’ roof. He intends to get it done, he claimed, by the second week in December. We asked why is it going to take nearly another month since he’s had her money for six months. He said he’s “had poor health” recently and is still recovering.
He also called Lois. She said he promised her, she would get a new roof. In the meantime, Lois has contacted the sheriff’s department seeking a possible felony investigation for theft, in case Blankenship doesn’t follow through.