Troubleshooters; Island house roof concerns

Posted at 3:46 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 16:14:49-04

The question in today’s Troubleshooters report is, how ?
How could a property owner have a new roof installed at a house without a permit ?
And how could an engineer approve that same roof for Windstorm certification

At first glance, you can’t see why someone called the Troubleshooters about this house.
According to the Nueces County Tax Appraisal District website, it was built in 1974
In 2018, it was appraised at $115,000.
In 2019, it was appraised for $167,100 more.
In March 2018, it was bought by Cozy Coastal Properties, which is owned by Scott Schmidt.

The problem with the house is the roof. It’s pitched.
Gene De Lauro with the city’s Development Services Department.
“We have no record of ever being contacted, nor have no record of issuing a permit for that work.”
De Lauro adds that applying for a permit is the property owners responsibility.

Kevin Kelley, a contractor, lives across the street.
He told the Troubleshooters he watched the new roof being installed in September 2018, and could tell it wasn’t being done right.
“There’s no rafter straps. Rafter straps. There’s none of those attached to the bottom plate to the rafters.”

Nina Nixon Mendez, Director of Development Services, confirmed to the Troubleshooters, that the house was red-tagged in November 2018.
A red tag means improvements were not done according to city code and need to be redone so that they are.

Kelley believes the city red-tagged this place a total of 3 times.
He says he spoke with Code Enforcement officers when they red-tagged it.
“And what did they tell ya ? Uh, no permits. No information. And they red tagged it.”
Development Services further confirmed that in December 2018, a Code Compliance citation was mailed to the owner.

Also in December 2018, based on an engineer’s inspection, the Texas Department of Insurance issued a Certificate of Compliance for an entire re-roof on the house, which means old shingles off. New shingles on.
“In this case, it sounds like the engineer may not have, may have seen the work in the state that it looked like a re-roof, and didn’t understand that the underlying framing had all been recently installed,” De Lauro told us.

In February 2019, Cozy Coastal Properties paid a $540.00 fine in municipal court, to take care of all of this.

De Lauro told the Troubleshooters that on Tuesday, May 28th, representatives with Development Services and Code Enforcement went to the house to check to see whether the framing for the new pitched roof had been installed correctly, but they couldn’t access the attic. There weren’t any openings in the ceiling. And that must be done.

Tuesday, May 28th, the Troubleshooters went to Scott Schmidt’s office on Shoreline.
The door was locked.
Last Thursday, May 30th, we left a message for him.
He has not called us back.

From Kelley’s contractor point of view, this is what needs to be done here.
His concern is the roof could become detached and cause further damage, in the event of another hurricane.
“To tie that to that house, you’re gonna take off that siding, and run your straps. Hurricane straps, to the bottom plate. And there’s nothing like that on that house.”