Bellevue veteran learns contractor not up to code

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 10:49 PM CDT
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - A Bellevue homeowner learned an expensive lesson in background checks.

In the middle of a deck project, Jared Biltoft learned the contractor did not follow the rules.

Retired after 21 years in the army, Biltoft didn’t expect to pull guard duty again.

“Try to make sure nobody takes a header out of it," he said.

After paying Steve Miller Construction of Shelby, Iowa $7,500 down, Biltoft stopped the project.

“When I started to do an investigation on him, I found he wasn’t registered with the state of Nebraska," he said.

The homeowner discovered Miller isn’t a licensed contractor in Bellevue nor has a permit been pulled for the deck project.

Without important documentation, city inspectors didn’t know about this major deck project and Bellevue’s chief building official says the contractor never should have started it.

Miller responded through a text message stating, “I did not know you needed to be registered in Bellevue.” The contractor claims the customer knew he had to get the permit but Biltoft disagrees.

"This is a job for a professional. I thought was going to take care of all those things,” Biltoft said.

Steve Miller Construction has consumer alerts and an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau.

“Of the nine complaints that we brought to the attention of this company, eight of those remain unresolved or completely ignored by the company," said Jim Hegarty, president of the BBB.

After paying almost half down, Biltoft is back to square one.

“Extremely disappointing after retiring out of the military and this being my forever home and now I got to look at this every day until I get time or somebody out here to fix it," he said.

Biltoft says a 10 percent military discount persuaded him to hire Steve Miller Construction but after learning the contractor is not licensed and poorly rated, the retired more solid wishes he’d done more recon.

The contractor says he has no problem working out some sort of refund. Miller claims he doesn’t intentionally avoid permits pointing that he pulled one for a roof in Papillion that passed inspection.

Papillion doesn’t have contractor registration.

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