Call For Action Investigates Greenlife Exteriors

Storm damage means at least 25,000 homeowners in Colorado Springs and El Paso County are getting new roofs.

Insurance companies are handling most of the claims, but some folks are running into problems with their roofers. More in this Call for Action Investigation.

Melissa Finn has a new roof, but the owner of this Colorado Springs home isn't satisfied. Finn says the work hasn't passed inspection and calls to the roofer to fix it have been ignored.

Melissa says, "Of course, they got our money upfront. That was part of the contract, but it's been horrible; a complete runaround."

Melissa says she hired Greenlife Exteriors of Franktown, Colorado when the company came door knocking, looking for business after a storm.

Greenlife called her insurance company and made arrangements for her to get a new, $6,000 roof.
But Melissa says it went downhill from there with roofers not starting the job for three months and then stopping and refusing to finish because Greenlife hadn't paid them.

Melissa says she was asked to pay the workers close to $1,300 and Greenlife would pay her back, so she did.
But she hasn't been repaid.

And her roof?

Melissa says, "They didn't put up flashing ... so all the water, it runs down our roof, but runs in between the gutters and that can do damage. It's just been a nightmare."

11 News has learned the dumpster company which was picking up her old shingles hasn't been paid either. Bob's of Colorado says it's owed close to $1,500.

Melissa says she felt comfortable using Greenlife because it had an A rating from the Denver Better Business Bureau. But now, because of numerous complaints, that rating is down to an F.

After a phone call from Melissa and several other Colorado Springs homeowners, our 11 Call for Action Team has been trying to speak with the couple running Greenlife, but they're not returning our calls.

11 News has learned the Douglas County Sheriff's Office is investigating Bill Bowen, who's listed on the website as Greenlife's founder, for theft and not completing work.

I've also been told Bowen spent close to four years in prison in Virginia after being convicted for conspiracy and mail fraud and was on supervised release when he started racking up complaints here in Colorado.

The woman listed as Greenlife's president and owner, Tina Vogelgesang, is accused of running off with more than $37,000 she borrowed from someone in Florida and never paid back.

Right now, the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department has frozen Greenlife's license. That means the company can't work in El Paso County and Colorado Springs while the department investigates.
Melissa says, "I just want it to be finished. And it still isn't."

The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department is holding a hearing about Greenlife Exteriors, which is open to the public.
Homeowners impacted by the roofer will be allowed to voice their concerns at a meeting at PPRBD on Wednesday, October 6th at 9 a.m.

We can all learn from Melissa's experience. In fact, there are several things homeowners should do when hiring contractors for major work, like roofing.

- Check with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD) or go online to to see if a contractor is licensed to work here.

PPRBD regulates building codes and requires that contractors who work in El Paso County and Colorado Springs are licensed with its office. Contractors also must prove they have liability insurance and Worker's Compensation. Liability insurance will protect you if a worker is injured on your property.

The department also does a Colorado background check. It takes steps to ensure it doesn't license a contractor with a felony record. Inspectors don't regulate contracts or get in the middle of homeowner-contractor disputes, so it's important to do your homework first, before hiring a company.

- Check with PPRBD to see if a contractor has pulled a permit to do work on your home.

The PPRBD website is an important resource that lists permit information and more. Inspectors can tell you over the phone or you can check online to see if a contractor has taken that first step and pulled a permit. That's important because you'll need proof that the work has passed inspection, if you ever try to sell your home.

- Always get a couple of bids fom companies you select... not those who simply knock on your door. Fly-by-nighters won't be around for long, so it's important to deal with a company who can make follow up visits if needed.

Be careful signing a contract until you've read it first. Some companies may charge you a fee if you sign a contract and later change your mind.

- Don't be afraid to ask for references and check them out. The Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado is another ally. Its' workers can check a company over the phone for you and its' website lists complaints against companies.

- Never pay in full until the work's passed inspection.

The El Paso County Roofing Contractor's Association, is another place to turn for help. It polices its own members and its website is informative about roofing materials and contractors.

- When a contractor has completed work on your home, ask for a mechanic's lien release. Most contractors I talk to say they'll be happy to supply a conditional release which helps ensure there are no outstanding claims against your property.

Phone Numbers:

Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (719) 327-2880
El Paso County Roofing Contractors Assn (719) 633-2998
Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado (719) 636-5076

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Agreed on Apr 18, 2011 at 04:39 PM
    Bill Bowen sucks. total scammer. I'm happy to see his house for sale in Franktown for 750k when he paid 1350000. He deserves it.
    • reply
      by At it again on Apr 14, 2012 at 04:33 PM in reply to Agreed
      Bowen is in Larkspur, Co. scamming again
  • by pam mulder Location: Colorado Springs on Nov 7, 2010 at 09:43 PM
    I have read all your stories and i thought mine was bad, but someone else always seems to have gotten it worse. So on that note, I am trying to be a little more upbeat and not so "poor me" However I do believe that the consumer needs to be protected better than this.I believe that this man should be put away in jail, these indiv. think that they are only hurting the insur. co,he looks at our nice house n prob thinks these folks here r prob. well off,well we can barely make ends meet,between my husb being laid off from his engineering job almost 2yrs ago, 2 small children,& trying to raise a fam. of four on uemplymt benefits. Well Bill I listened 2 you about your family n your health issues, after u had left my roof with only roof felt on it for 3 wks,which resulted in my dry wall gettin soakeed in the gara year before that u r individual who you learned that was in deep with the gov of kansas for consumer fraud, but then can open a same type of business here in colorado, HOW ARE WE PRO
  • by tony Location: c.s. on Oct 7, 2010 at 05:42 AM
    I am a local roofing contractor. Here is the one basic rule you should know when hiring: if a contractor needs money to get started, don't use them. Reputable contractors like myself have plenty of good credit at the local supplier, and credit cards. At any given time I have purchaced materials for 5-10 reroofs before invoicing the customers, and sometimes many more. Think of it as a very simple credit check, if they need money up front...bad credit. In the case that you are doing a very expensive remodel..say above 20k or so, it is reasonable to pay some early for material, but only when the material is at your project sight ie. in your possession. If you don't pay until completion, you never have to worry about anything, you always carry the trump card. Only use the insurance company to identify bad eggs, not to choose your contractor. Get competing bids, ask for references, check the building department, and never let them deal directly with your insurance company.
  • by Monica Location: Colorado Springs on Oct 5, 2010 at 03:33 AM
    The hearing about Greenlife Exteriors at the PPRBD meeting planned for this Wednesday October 6th at 9am has been postponed until Wednesday November 3rd at 9am.
  • by Anonymous Location: Colorado Springs, Pueblo on Sep 30, 2010 at 01:21 PM
    P & P Roofing, LLC 719-542-(Roof) 7663 Licensed, insured, local references.
  • by Suzanne Location: colorado springs on Sep 30, 2010 at 10:12 AM
    As a person who does work for an Insurance Company, I find this distressing and sad. If anyone is thinking of filing a claim PLEASE check with your Insurance Company. Most of them will have a list of roofing companies they refer to because of their work and reputation. Since the checks are made payable to the policyholder, it is not up to the Insurance Company as to whom you use to complete the work. If you choose not to use one of the companies we refer to, PLEASE do your homework on the company. Make sure through Regional that they are licensed to do roofs (and any other work you would pay them for) and check with the BBB. Also ask your Insurance Company if they have heard anything about the company you are choosing to use to see if they have heard of them, good, bad or indifferent. Insurance Companies pay the insured, you, not the roofing company. It is your choice to use whom you would like, just check them out 1st.
  • by Don't let them get you on Sep 30, 2010 at 09:02 AM
    I would only go with a company that my insurance company recommended. People like these storm chasers come to my door all the time asking to inspect my roof. I just tell them that I'm a renter and I'll give their business card to my landlord.
  • by Whotocall on Sep 30, 2010 at 06:13 AM
    How sad. I hope they get a resolution. Why do people have to be so ugly?
  • by Monica Location: Colorado Springs on Sep 29, 2010 at 10:26 PM
    Thank you Betty Sexton and KKTV for airing this report. I am so glad that this story has finally come out about this company. My hope is that it will save some people the stress and heartache that they would go through if they did business with this company or any "fly by night storm chaser." My husband and I had a similar experience in that Bill Bowen of Greenlife Exteriors, LLC walked away before the job was done, they did not pay the roofers or the dumpster company leaving us to pay to finish the job. I hope that anyone who has had a bad experience with them will call the Colorado Springs Police Dept or the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department to add their names to the growing list for the investigation that is on going. I know that there are a lot of people out there like us that are embarrassed that they were taken in by this guy but you can help send a message that we don't want companies like this in our community. I know I don't. Thanks again, Betty. Good Job!!!
  • by Sandie Location: Colorado Springs on Sep 29, 2010 at 09:43 PM
    My husband and I also used Greenlife exteriors. It was the worst experience we have ever dealt with. They never got a permit pulled and it took then 2 1/2 months after they got there 1st payment to finish our roof. My insurance company has it on record never to allow this company to do work for their customers.
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