GREENSBORO, N.C. -- We all know renovating a home can be stressful, but Elizabeth Turner says her experience was not the norm.
Turner hired a general contractor, Bruce Sawyers with Carolina Renovators, to remodel her Greensboro home. It was a $50,000 job.
Turner says Sawyers told her he hired a structural engineer and licensed plumbers and electricians.
Turner told FOX8 she discovered that wasn’t true. She also found that Sawyers is not licensed as a general contractor in North Carolina. FOX8 found that this project was not permitted by the City of Greensboro as required by the state.
Turner says she asked Sawyers about those permits. She said, “I believed him when I asked him where the permits were. He said they're in my truck. I forgot to bring them in.”
Permits are required to be posted outside of the house, but that's not even what concerned Turner the most. She received a disturbing call from one of Sawyer's workers. She said he told her, “It's not safe to move into your house.”
The Greensboro city inspector confirmed that. They found the master bathroom didn't have a shower pan, electrical wiring that was open and a structural problem with a load bearing wall. The city issued a stop-work order on the project.
Turner is glad that a worker blew the whistle. She hired another contractor to fix the problems and paid that company additional $23,000. They pulled the permits and her home passed all inspections.
She learned an expensive lesson, but hopes her mistake helps others.
FOX8 called and emailed Sawyers to ask about these problems. He didn't respond.
Before you hire a general contractor, ask for a copy of their license.
Also, ask for copies of the licenses for the electrician and plumber.
It’s a red flag if the general contractor asks you to pull the permits for the renovation.