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New contractor helps Council Bluffs family with remodeling project for accessibility

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 10:27 PM CST
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (WOWT) - This story of disappointment, anger, and hope involves a family with special needs that didn’t get what they needed in a costly remodeling project.

A loved one needing extended care brought the Roberts family from the pacific northwest to Council Bluffs.

But now their finances are in critical condition after claiming they paid a contractor $150,000 for a handicap accessible remodeling project that failed city inspection.

“We came to look at this house when he was in the ICU. We would likely have to take everything out because there were so many code violations,” says Homeowner Sandy Roberts.

Their dream home became a hazardous place to live. The homeowners say the first contractor installed the flooring in the kitchen but a look underneath shows a big gap with no support.

“I almost fell through that hole with my wheelchair,” says Sandy.

Dan Roberts says trust alone isn’t a strong enough foundation.

“Got to check on permits, he assured us he would get all the permits and he never did.” says homeowner Dan Roberts.

The contractor Carson Cusick of A1 Air Tech construction has been fined $400 with court cost by the city.

Steve Carmichael from C.B. Building Official says, “It’s the cost of doing business for people who tend not to have licenses and permits. Call us, we’ll give you the information we have on contractors.”

Licensed contractor Mike Klusman has been hired to right the wrongs and the work is expensive.

Mike Klusman from C & M Remodeling says, “No stud guards which is a huge fire hazard.”

This time the city permits have been pulled.

“I’m sure whatever discrepancies that are there will get corrected, just costs more money,” says Klusman.

It cost an estimated quarter of a million dollars more.

Mike Klusman: We’re going to do whatever we can to keep the cost down for you.

Sandy Roberts: It’s one less worry for us on our plate except for the money. We’ve got to figure out how to pay for it.

With the help of a new contractor and generous subcontractors the Washingon transplants still have hope of living the dream in Council Bluffs.

“We wanted this to be our home,” says Sandy.

Contractor Carson Cusick sent 6 News an email that says he doesn’t comment on pending cases but the truth will come out in the end.

While lawyers have sent letters back and forth, no lawsuit is on file. The homeowners have set up a GoFundMe to help pay for a project that is up to code.

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