Unlicensed Subcontractor Adds To Home Buyer's Nightmare

A dream of home ownership turns into a nightmare for a newcomer to Omaha. A danger is uncovered beneath the house. But it only gets worse when she hires an unlicensed contractor to make repairs.

Annie the home buyer says, "This was going to be my retirement home." She knowingly purchased an empty house full of code violations and 61 year old Annie is determined to fix it up into her home. Annie says, "This whole thing has been embarrassing and it’s been quite a lesson."

Omaha City inspector Kurt Holmstrom uncovers problems worse than Annie expected. The code inspector tells her, "Annie I know this is hard but the city is going to do everything we can to help you get back in the house." He posts a danger closed sign

Annie says she knew the house needed work but she thought this insulation was to protect the foundation. When the city inspector tore it away he found in this section, no foundation. But Annie thought she laid the groundwork for remodeling by hiring a contractor off Craigslist.

Annie paid James Blann nearly five dollars down and he showed Fact Finders a water heater on his porch and a furnace in his basement bought he says for the remodeling project.
James Blann the subcontractor says, "We were trying to help her. We have posts on craigslist to try to get material for her so she didn't have to come out of pocket."
But Blann worked under a company name whose owner knew nothing about the project and his boss is upset.
Remodeling company owner Ted Horacek says, " We have to have a contract signed." Subcontractor Blann says, " Exactly that was what I was in the process of doing." But Ted replies, "Then why did we take her money? "Blann answers, "Because these things were available and she wanted it."

Fact Finders checked with the city and discovered the subcontractor James Blann is not a licensed contractor and he hadn't pulled permits on Annie's house yet.

Though unaware the subcontractor had used his company name, The owner went to Annie's house the next day. Ted Horacek tells her, " I feel bad that this happened to you and I want to make sure you get your money reimbursed. Annie: thank you."

Money Annie can use to start the makeover of a not so sweet home. Annie says, " I feel much better, yes I do."

With guidance from the city inspector-- licensed contractors-- are assessing what it will take to remodel Annie’s house. The work to be done in a few weeks at little or no cost to her.

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