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Contractor leaves family in danger in their own home

Experts say the bedroom roof could cave in
Posted at 5:08 PM, Aug 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-16 18:09:43-04

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — Every night Melissa Moore converts her family room couches into beds. She and her husband Chad moved out of their bedroom over two years ago out of fear.

The Moore’s spent $24,000 in 2015 on a master suite remodel. But soon after the work was complete the couple says the ceiling cracked and the roof started to make groaning noises.

Chad and Melissa say they abandoned their bedroom after an engineer confirmed their fears — the roof was in danger of caving in.

ABC Action News brought in two licensed contractors, both members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to examine Moore's bedroom.

Doug King, the owner of King Contracting and John Marzulli of Emerald Contractors, showed us where the last remodeler removed many of the wood beams that supported the roof. King explained a strong wind could cause the entire bedroom ceiling and roof to collapse inward. 

When dealing with extensive remodeling or structural issues, Hernando County requires contractors to pull permits and turn in drawings to building officials for approval before any work gets underway.

We checked and the contractor, in this case, Artisan Custom Kitchen and Bath never filed any plans or pulled any permits with county officials.

According to the contract, Steve Edgecomb and Kevin Laielli owned the company that did the work. Neither held a state license. Deputies arrested Laielli in 2016 and charged him with one misdemeanor count of unlicensed contracting. 

More than two and a half years later the Moores say they continue to pay the price for hiring unlicensed contractors.

The couple collected just under $22,000 from the company's insurance but estimates to repair and restore this area of this house run as high as $65,000 dollars.

We could not reach Artisan owner Steve Edgecomb. When we called Laielli he referred us to his attorney. That attorney, Robert Morris, told us last week he and his client would work to reach a settlement with the Moores. Meanwhile, the case is set for a pretrial hearing next month.