Are there any shows, people, programs anything to help me out? I am a medically retired newly single woman of 60. What I thought was a good contractor (used previously successfully) did a water damage repair on the floor joists and outer wall of the foundation in my crawl space. Now a couple of years down the road, my house is twisting itself apart. I had a friend go down to look at the repairs and found out the contractor totally screwed up. He did not sister on new wood to the old joists that had good wood remaining. He jacked the house with CAR JACKs (the kind you find in your trunk!) and cemented them in place.
When I attempted to find the contractor again, he had disappeared. Apparently between the first job he did for me and the second he got hooked on cocaine. All the money I gave him for materials and work went up his nose. Now I am stuck with an old house I love but one I can no longer shut doors in, I have a 3" wedge under 1 side of my refridgerator to level it and my floors are so uneven I feel like I am on a rolling ship when I walk on them.
Is there any help available for me? I am on Social Security so have no cash. My homeowner's insurance tell me this is not covered and I need to sue the contractor. The contractor is gone so I have no recourse. I am desperate. Please find me some help. I don't know what else to do.
Alanna Zvingilas Heaton
I am going to be realistic here. Which means that what I have to say is not what you are hoping to hear.
Getting a TV show to help you out in this situation is such a long shot that I would not even consider it. Most shows are pre-scheduled to be in certain regions. Also, you are not of the 'popular' age demographic that is common for a TV show homeowner. While you have many of the factors that can add interest to several of the current DIY show formats, those factors are actually secondary to your location.
I will say that the positive reality is that it can't hurt to apply. Your type problem is the mainstay of shows like Holmes on Homes. I Hate My Contractor is similar and it does tape in the Northeast. There is also a new show out called Catastrophe Inc. that may do this type of thing. In all cases, the way to apply is to go to the main DIY page, find the link to "Be on DIY" and then look for shows. Here;
While it can't hurt to apply, please don't plan on this being the means to your salvation. Maine is not exactly a hotbed of television production so you could be out simply due to location.
There may be some volunteer groups in your area who can do the repairs that you need. Some places have them, many do not. This would be your best bet to making the basic repairs for as little money as possible. I don't know where to direct you other than say that it's up to you to search locally and see what may be available.
Finally, don't give up yet on getting something back from the contractor. While this too is a long-shot, the odds are way better than getting picked to be on a TV show. Try tracking him down through your local building code department or your state contracting license dept. If he was a licensed contractor then many license requirements have provisions for bonding or performance insurance. Your guy may be snorted out on Coke and long gone but if he had insurance in place when he was working on your house you could still collect. Also, many license departments hold a portion of licensing fees as potential performance bond payments. If your guy was licensed then he could fall under this type of protection and compensation for you. If he was unlicensed, then you are back into the near-impossible to collect area.
I sorry this has happened to you. Like any businesses, there are good contractors but also some who give a bad name to the entire industry. Good luck.
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