SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio woman has been forced to permanently move in with her daughter after a contractor hired to replace her home’s roof walked off the job, leading to extensive water damage inside.
“Well, I don’t want to cry right now, but it’s really been devastating for me. Getting out of bed has been really hard for me,” said homeowner Josephine Hernandez.
This spring, Hernandez and her family hired contractor Eric Piedra to demolish the roof of their home in the 200 block of Dorsey Street and replace it with new rafters, plywood and shingles.
In all, Piedra was paid $18,980, which included more than half of the roof payment up front, as well as payments to extend the back of the structure for a future remodel and for minor plumbing work.
“We invited him to the house to do an estimate. We all felt comfortable with him. We all did research on his business,” said Aimee Loredo, Hernandez’s daughter.
But after tearing down the home’s existing roof, Piedra stopped showing up to the property, the family said.
“It got to the point that we told him we needed the house done, and he kept on having excuses,” said Loredo.
The family said after they asked for their money back, Piedra cut off all communication with them.
By late August, with no roof in place, the home sustained significant damage during several days of rainfall.
“The sheetrock had fallen. We couldn’t open doors. All the furniture was destroyed,” said Loredo, who added that the property resembled a hurricane-ravaged home.
Photos shared by the family with KSAT show the ceilings caved in and waterlogged insulation.
The home’s electrical system has been compromised by water as well.
Hernandez’s grandson has worked alone to try to cover the structure with plywood until the family can come up with enough money for a permanent covering.
The family filed criminal complaints against Piedra with San Antonio police in early September for felony theft and criminal mischief.
SAPD investigators, however, closed the case as “unfounded” since Piedra had done some work on the home.
“It’s heartbreaking, heartbreaking. But, we just do what we can,” said Hernandez.
KSAT Investigates attempted to track down Piedra at the business address listed for his construction company, a two-story office building in Leon Valley.
However, the suite number listed in Piedra’s business records does not exist.
KSAT Investigates was eventually able to reach Piedra on the telephone late last month.
Piedra said he still has all the materials needed for the job but claims the family told him they no longer wanted him to complete the work.
He also said the roof was in worse shape than the family let on when he accepted the job.
Piedra said that he has temporarily relocated to Florida to help homeowners rebuild after Hurricane Ian.
The family has started an online fundraiser to help cover the cost of rebuilding the home.