Monique Frisco said she and her husband signed a contract with Nehemiah Home Solutions in March of 2017 with the company estimating the job would be completed about seven months later. But two years later, the home is still gutted and uninhabitable, forcing the Friscos and their two children to move in with a neighbor.
“To know that you've paid $86,000 and to be left with this is just gut wrenching,” said Frisco.
Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway uncovered the Frisco family signed what is known as a cost-plus contract. They agreed to pay Nehemiah Home Solutions for all materials and labor – plus a fee. But the problem is there is nothing in writing stating what the total job would cost.
Construction attorney Brian Oblow, who is not involved in this case, explains remodeling jobs can end in disaster when every detail is not put in writing in a contract.
“It can become a major problem if you don’t have something in writing where everybody can go back to and say, ‘See, this is what we agreed upon,’” said Oblow.
The Frisco family did get one important clause in their contract, calling for contractor Gilbert Tyrell of Nehemiah Home Solutions to provide a full account of how much he spent on materials and labor costs – something the family said he has yet to fully provide.
Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway tried tracking down Tyrell, who would not answer any questions on camera. He later told ABC Action News over the phone that the Frisco family changed the renovation plan several times, which increased the cost.
Lawyers for the Frisco family and the contractor are currently trying to negotiate a resolution
But experts advise homeowners to avoid a similar situation by making sure every detail for renovation work is put into writing – especially for large jobs.
You can also check a contractor’s license and complaint record at www.myfloridalicense.com