Bellevue homeowner’s project stopped after inspection finds contractor’s license, permits not in order

Investing in a larger kitchen, a Bellevue woman learned a lesson about a project started the wrong way.
Investing in a larger kitchen, a Bellevue woman learned a lesson about a project that started the wrong way.
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 8:48 PM CST
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - Laurie States wanted a bigger kitchen in her Bellevue home that would also help with her lessons at Omaha Street School.

Work got underway and she, along with her husband, paid Royal Construction $42,000, a large chunk of the remodeling cost.

However, the work must now stop. Bellevue’s chief building inspector says a stop-work order will be issued for the project because contractor Chad Trout of Royal Construction is not licensed for this job and didn’t pull several required permits.

“By not pulling the permits, the law was not followed and it just broke that trust,” said Laurie.

The home has a modern tankless water heater and the homeowner has been using it for months. But there’s no tag or permit saying its safe to operate.

Trout told Laurie, “Yes I should have got the permits and always had intentions to get them but that has nothing to do with the capability and workmanship.”

David Benson of Superior Home Improvement and a founding member of a local remodelers association checked the work already done. He said there’s a window that needs to be taken out and lowered to bring it to code. There’s also a loose board and a missing fire block that would prevent flames from getting into a soffit.

In the contract, Royal Construction promises to acquire adequate building permits.

“I know you can probably pull some silly ‘well, I said I’d pull it but I didn’t say when.’ But still, I expect them to pull the permits before the work begins,” said homeowner Dennis States.

The States filed a better business bureau complaint.

“Clearly, we’re concerned about the fact a permit wasn’t pulled and we want to know why that has not happened and we’re awaiting the company’s response,” said Jim Hegarty with the Better Business Bureau.

Bellevue’s chief building inspector says the law requires the obtaining of permits before any remodeling whatsoever.

“As a homeowner I’ve now learned before one nail gets pounded in, I ask for the permit,” said Laurie.

Calls to numbers for Royal Construction lead to full voice mail boxes. Text messages and emails haven’t been answered by the company. The contractor is licensed in Omaha and has pulled permits on several jobs.

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