The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website
Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In

Direct Energy / substandard work goes unresolved

1 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Review updated:

We live in a house that was built circa 1920 and have been systematically renovating. The first part was a total tear down and rebuild of a kitchen addition completed in early 2004. A year later we began to address other structural and infrastructure issues prior to tackling cosmetic upgrades. We invited Direct Energy to submit a bid for replacing our roof, gutters, and soffits. When the salesman, John Bailey, came to inspect the scope of the project and give us a bid, we told him we were also putting siding on the new addition and replacing siding on the original house. He told us they could provide a quote on that work also. We signed contracts for all of this work to be done. There were specific guidelines requested, such as how the window trim would be done.

The crew that did the roofing seemed professional, but when I was concerned that I didn't see any ice shield. The workers pretended they could not speak English (I had heard the foreman talking to John in English). Anyway, I was assured by John that the job had been done to spec. The shingles seemed to wave along the edge and he said the floor of the roof had some warping. Don't know why that was not addressed initially before the shingles were applied. And the old shingles did not wave along the edge. In addition the shingles began lifting later and he sent someone to address that problem.

Another subcontractor did the siding. The windows were not framed as requested. I complained, and all that was done was John took photos. He did get the contractor to remove soffit material he attempted to complete the job with rather than open another box of the siding material. The siding guys removed the old siding material and did not protect it overnight when they left. A rain/wind storm drove water into the house and was dripping from the light fixtures of the new addition. A late night call did summon them out to tarp the area they had not protected.

We also had contracted with Direct Energy at the same time to have insulation put into the walls and attic. We now thought we have a home that is secure from the elements. WRONG. We have lived in this house over twenty years and now for the first time we have ice dams every winter. This only started happening after the "improvements." We have called every year, and nothing gets resolved. Last year an "expert" was sent to evaluate the problem. He stood on the sidewalk and concluded we needed to purchase additional service of heaters in our gutters to the tune of approximately another $1000. He came to that conclusion by contrasting our house with another nearby similar house that also had ice dams. That house we already know is in desperate need of a new roof and gutters.

This past week the ice dams were worse than ever with huge ice cycles draping down like stalactites. No other house in the neighbourhood had these except for the same house that had been noted before that still needs a new roof and gutters. We also for two years straight have now had water dripping into the house from a window frame when the ice dams form.

We have spent a lot of money with Direct Energy, including a new Trane central air conditioner (the ONLY thing that has not had a problem). I cannot proceed with interior work until these issues are resolved.

Sort by: UpDate | Rating


  • My
      28th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have been in home improvement industry for a long time and not saying that they did or did not do a good job but Ice damming is a very difficult thing to fix. It is some thing that you have to do one thing at a time until the problem goes away. The problem with old houses is there isn't enough if any sofit intake which makes the attic warm in the winter and cause a lot of problems. Also a house built in the 20s was not energy efficient and when we start tightening up the house this also creates problems. I don't know this guy or you but usually to fix the ice damming problems in a old house takes a lot of work and money and people don't want to spend the money do do the whole job. Old houses don't have vapour barriers in the walls or attic and more times than not don't have enough wall or attic insulation, and need a lot of air sealing work as well. The use of spray foam in the attic and walls is a great way to solve a lot of problems but is very expensive. Well thats my 2 cent!!!

    Have a good day

Post your comment