13 investigates disabled homeowner's construction complaints

Updated:
13 investigates disabled homeowner
SCARBOROUGH (WGME) - A disabled homeowner is taking bold and desperate action after he says he got shoddy construction by a local contractor. He's putting up signs in front of his house, calling out the contractor.

We heard from several viewers who pass the house on Broadturn Road in Scarborough and wanted us to find out what's going on. So we stopped by to ask the homeowner about the signs and what he calls his "home addition nightmare."

Dave Roberts and his wife had big dreams and big plans when they bought the house in Scarborough last year. Roberts says he asked around and made a deal with a local contractor to put on an addition with a laundry room, garage, and family room. By the end of October, construction was underway, but now Roberts says he got a lousy job.

"I didn't want a brand new roof that looks like it has a patch in it," Roberts said as he started to show us around.

We brought in contractor Warren O'Shea with O'Shea builders to take a look at the work.

"Two different color shingles, they're both colors are good quality shingles; they just didn't catch it and didn't do anything about it," O'Shea said.

Roberts also showed us pictures of what looks like water leaking in through the new doors.

"These doors are brand new and they leak like a sieve," Roberts said.

"It's not a factory issue; it's an incorrect installation procedure," O'Shea explained.

And Roberts say that's not the only place water is coming into the home. He says the roof in the new stairwell is also leaking.

"This ain't what I signed up for; I just wanted a garage," Roberts told us.

This is where those road signs come back into the story. The first two said, "Local contractor rips off disabled homeowner. Took money will not fix problems."

He later put up a sign that read, "Taking bids for problems with new garage."

We found, Roberts' options are limited. State law requires a written contract for any construction or renovation project of costing more than $3,000. Roberts says he and his contractor didn't have one.

"You can't take someone on their word, unfortunately. It's not a shake of the hand; you need a contract," Paula Fleming with the Better Business Bureau said.

She told us there's a lesson here for all Maine homeowners.

"When the work is done, if it's shoddy, you're out a lot of money and no repercussions, unless it's all documented," Fleming said.

CBS 13 is not naming who Roberts says was the contractor because the two didn't have a contract. The person Roberts identified as the contractor told us he had, "No comment."

Before you begin a project, the BBB and the Maine Attorney General's Office have these reminders:

  • Get a contract.
  • Don't pay cash
  • Always get receipts.
  • Because contractors are not licensed in Maine, do a lot of research

Click here for a sample construction contract from the Attorney General's Office.13 investigates disabled homeowner's construction complaints
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