A homeowner in Louisville, Ky., told local media outlets he had planned to fix some minor damage his roof sustained during a recent windstorm, but after an address snafu, those repairs totaled nearly $10,000.

The property owner, identified as Danny Hayes, told NBC’s Louisville affiliate, WAVE, that he received a phone call from the house's occupants, which he rents out, saying that three roofers on top of his house had begun tearing off its existing roof.  

The story has a ring similar to tales of people having the wrong kidney removed or some other careless mishaps; the mistaken identity — an apparent mix-up of addresses — resulted in thousands of dollars in unscheduled, unauthorized work. 

WAVE News reported the confusion led to a “tense back-and-forth” between Hayes, the property owner, and the local roofing concern that dispatched the crew.  

The address of Hayes’ rental house is 1598. WAVE reported that it was his neighbor, living at 1596, that was supposed to have roofing work done. Apparently, something got lost in translation. When Hayes’ tenants called to tell him about the crew on the roof, he reportedly thought they might have been mistaken, knowing the neighbor had a roof repair previously scheduled. 

Louisville_Reroof_Mix-up_2.jpg“I come around the corner [and] I found the whole back half of this sheathing and shingles gone,” Hayes told a Channel 3 reporter. “All laying on the ground, all spread out around the house.”

Hayes went to his rental house, saw the three workers on his roof and told them to stop work. Regrettably, the damage was done; Hayes said half the roof had been removed by then.

“Fortunately, I have a contractor that I use for other jobs, and he was able to get over here and get the materials that night and [placed] the next morning because there was a rainstorm coming in the next day,” Hayes said.

The cost to Hayes incurred by the mistake: $9,991.30 

Hayes acknowledged he had planned to fix some minor wind damage, but those repairs would have been a fraction of the cost, not to mention the labor and material involved from wind damage. Naturally, he expected the local contractor to stand by his crew and cover the cost of repairs. 

“I’d just like him to pay it, that’s all,” Hayes told WAVE. “It’s a $9,900 bill that somebody needs to pay.”

Hayes said he made two unsuccessful attempts to contact someone from the contracting firm, JP Roofing and Construction, a concern based in Louisville that services the metropolitan area and has been in business for 40 years, according to the company’s website. The third attempt was successful, if still unsatisfying. Hays said a company representative told him “…a lawyer would call him.” 

WAVE News reported it called JP Roofing and Construction to investigate the claims and was told the mix-up was “an honest mistake.” The company’s principal said the roofers were not his employees but subcontractors. Essentially a distinction without a difference as far as Hayes was concerned. The owner insisted to WAVE he had given the subcontractors the correct address, and it was their carelessness ending up working at the wrong house. 

“I understand that mistakes happen, but simple things like knocking on the door would’ve helped,” Hayes said. “Let us know you’re here, introduce yourself or say something.”

The contractor said his company cleaned up the debris and offered to replace the roof, but Hayes declined. 

Hayes contends that the conversation between him and the company principal was entirely fabricated. 

“Either way, I’m not going to let somebody that I don’t know – I don’t know if they’re insured or what – up on my roof again,” Hayes said. “Why would I want to do that?”

Hayes added that the easiest solution would be for JP Roofing and Construction to pay for the repairs his subcontractors caused. The saga is still unfolding.