CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — One Chesterfield couple is back in their home after a fire forced them out and a contractor left them with unfinished work.
Last summer, an electrical fire started in the bathroom of the Brown family’s home and left heavy smoke damage. But what Ida Brown thought would be a quick fix turned into several months of waiting for the job to get done right.
“It was just hurtful that we done been out all that time and then when we get back in it’s almost like when we left,” said Brown.
8News previously reported the couple’s insurance company, State Auto Insurance Companies, initially sent out a contractor from their referral program.
Brown said that when she and her husband returned from the hotel, after waiting months for repairs, they noticed a broken TV and doorknob, a leaking toilet and a shower that wasn’t installed properly.
She said the contractor also failed to put things back, such as light switch covers, smoke detectors and an exhaust fan.
New carpeting and fresh paint were promised from their insurance company, but Brown said the cabinets and carpet were left untouched. “It didn’t look good,” she said.
State Auto Insurance Companies previously told 8News that the independent contractor’s quality of work did not meet their standards. After 8News stepped in, the company sent out a different contractor to complete the repairs.
Wayne Gerrald, with Paul Davis Restoration of Greater Richmond, said he spotted a lot of problems with the previous contractor’s work.
“I was a little surprised at what I found the first day,” he said. “Some of the work to include the bathroom and the shower, very substandard work and cheap materials.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Brown showed 8News all of the improvements the new contractor has made.
Their home has fresh paint, covered light fixtures, brand new flooring and new molding in the bathroom.
Brown also pointed out the new exhaust fan, the newly installed smoke detectors, shower door and shower head and a toilet that doesn’t leak.
“It was just amazing to walk in and just ‘Ahh.’ I felt so relieved somebody finally came in and did the right thing, and I mean they went above and beyond,” said Brown.
Gerrald said he likes to leave homes looking as if it’s the best one on the block.
“It’s nice to see the expression on a homeowners face when we let them back in for the first time. It’s almost like a fresh start, in most cases it’s like a fresh start. I’m sure it’s been a long time since the house has looked like this,” he said.
Emmitt, the Browns’ family friend, said the home looks like it came back to life. “It looks like a brand new house inside. This is what we were hoping for,” he said.