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Is it Home Improvement?


Sumner and Betty Hood believed Parkersburg's owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program would be the perfect way to renovate the heating and air conditioning problems in the home the elderly couple occupied for five years.

"I've got a house that will freeze you to death," says Betty Hood. "You can't sit and eat (in the kitchen) in the wintertime because from your knees to the floor, you're freezing."

But Hood says the contractor hired for the work did nothing to improve that. She says, furthermore, that renovation work on the home's plumbing has made things worse, not better.

"The ceiling tiles need to be replaced, they need to replace the plumbing," says Kathy Stewart, the Hoods' daughter. "They literally destroyed my mother's living room and dining room carpeting."

The Hood’s say two parties are responsible for their problems are the city of Parkersburg, and the contractor hired to do the renovation work. City officials declined comment, citing confidentiality agreements with the homeowner, but the contractor who did the work said the amount of money in the contract wasn't enough to adequately cover the cost of all the needed repairs.

"This job was written up by the city inspector, and we have to follow that contract," says project foreman Michael Sheppard, of Vienna-based Renaissance Builders. "If they tell us to do a roof, we do a roof. If they tell us to do windows, we do windows. We do as the contract states."

Sheppard adds Renaissance's job was to renovate the heating system. The plumbing, he says, wasn't part of the contract.

"That is an ongoing problem they had in the beginning," Sheppard explains. "We told them we would replace the ceiling tile from where it had leaked before."

But the Hoods' daughter knows how she wants her parents' situation resolved.

"I would like to have them come back," Kathy Stewart says, "and finish the work they started."

Sheppard says his company has never received a complaint about its work, and the West Virginia Attorney General's Office told us that it has not received any complaints about Renaissance Builders within the past four years.


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