The veterans administration has $50,000 grants to Veterans for home adaptation to stay out of the nursing home. My husband was a Colonel and is severly disabled. He requires total care. He is 75 years of age. He handled all the business until he could no longer communicate. I was informed that the VA had adaptive living grant for home modifications. I chose one on their list , met with them, -all the time assuming they new about the disabled needs-and entered into a contract. I had hired a Mr. Lusby to come and supervise the construction. Lone Star Remodeling complained to Mr. Gil Rodrick of the VA and he became angry with me stating I was micro-managing the project and basically (my words) stop it. Mr. Lusby was not able to monitor their work.
A meeting was held with the contractor where I presented a list of questions, that were agreed to by Lone Star Remodeling . I did put it on tape and have the email sent to me by my daughter on the questions to ask and my response to her after the meeting.
I arrived at the house to find that they did not have a garbage dump. The living room had become the dump. The air conditioner were left on over the weekend at the lowest number on air conditioner in the house. When I told Mr Hartman that we had to put a limit on the a/c bill. He became irrate.I also told him that if you run it constantly on the lowest level , it will burn out. Well, with in a short time, a received a email that I should send my a/c man to come and fix the air conditioner because it had burnt out. I was told by the VA representative, Mr. Rodrick that the A/C was expected and I could not hold them liable. The contract states, replace and upgrade the heating and a/c units.
I arrived the next day. The men had already made several mistakes. When told about it, they said that I should be grateful after all it was free. I wanted to fire them then. My husband worked for the government for over twenty five years and it is not free. The VA representive imformed me that it couldn't be done .
Bascially we have an older home , that I had already hired someone to remove several of wall paper , etc., so it looked worse than it was. The reason I mention this is because the VA man and contractor have mentioned it several times as an excuse for the poor performance. For the life of me, I can not imagine why not painting a wall or fixing the tape on the wall has anything to do with the color it was before they stared. Some rooms have some texture. some walls have none and some have big globs on the wall. This all has tobe done over.
They were to redo the bathroom with handicapped adaptations. The colors, etc were all discussed and the contractor had no problem with me. After I was told that they were not responsible for the air conditioner, and I said I wasn['t going to have it fixed because it was their responsiblity they ceased talking or emailing me (only general things) and communicated only with the VA represenrtative. I had told the VA man that we don't have an extra $500.00 per month to air condition the house.
In theire contract it states _ " Our intention is to provide the best service and craftsman available......We will modifyand update the house to allow Mr. Robbins to use it as it is residence. This will be done by perfoming the following tasks.
A. Bathroom changes.
B. Widen Doors and entries
C. Repair and paint the entire downstairs and upstairs
D Sand and prepare floors for use downstairs.
E. Upgrade house cooling and heating systems.
It is my belief that this house project is an intentional fraud of the contract with the VA because they know that we are to old and sick to fight much longer.
What did we get.
We were suppose to get a movable ramp to use for wheelchair. Instead the value of the house was diminished as well as someone has already fallen over the lips sticking up in the cement. It was suppose to be wood or aluminum.
A. The bathroom changes have to be all done over. The tile was to be cream and white- It is brown . The tile is not professionally installed. They removed the clothes closet. The products are the very cheapest you could find. They ruined the plumbing so that the it will cost me $2000.00 to put the stool back in place. They pour cement in it without a licensed plumber and no permit.
The remainding of their cement was poured in the back yard. Basically, there is no handicapped items. The light fixture they put in is so cheap, it has already started to rust. They removed all the overhead lights, wall to lean on to get off of the stool. They did not do anything professionally. This has to be torn out and redone.
B. Sand and mend the floors. Well, they weren't skilled in tiling, and they aren't skilled in sanding. They only sanded parts of the floor, left the sander running and it dug holes throughout he whole house. The sealant was applied over the sand particles and only here and there. Some parts of the floor is bare and others some some coat. It was to have three coats of regular sealant or a basketball sealant for the wheelchair. The foor sanding products were thrown in the back yard to be cleaned up.
C. They were to paint the entire house. Some rooms are half painted. Some rooms have sheetrock tape hanging. Some rooms have cracks in the walls to be mended and they didn't even touch the upstairs.
D. They replaced a sliding door with a french door to get the wheelchair out. They charged us personally an additional $700.00 to install it. They installation is so poor that I can push it in with my knee. That exposes us to all dangers of anyone getting in. (I have sever arthritis in my legs ) I am not even sure at this point if the french doors are for the outside. They installed the doors with the old dented trim from widening the other doors and took all the kitchen molding out to put around the french door. The quality of the work gets worse and worse everytime I meet with someone to get an estimate to fix this horrible situaton. The boards around the window near the door are pieces of rough wood with stickers sticking out and painted over with globs of paint.
E. The agreement was to put in the same size and brand of air conditioner as was estimated previously by my a/c man of over 25 years. Afterwards, I asked my a/c man to come out, he said there was several violations and that some panels were missing and he couldn't even test out the a/c. I have already been told by the contractor that because the a/c burnt out, he wasn't going to replace it. He tried to repair a heater that had already been red tagged by the city. When I told him I was going to call the city, supposedly he replaced the heater. Situation is now that we don't have a/c. Units are almost four years old and should have lasted years. now I not only have to replace a heater, but I have to replace the a/c unit that they broke. My understanding from the VA representatiave is that I have to mechanical products are not have to be fixed by the contractors when they break them.
Bottom line is they put in a cheaper a/c unit that may not cover the house and made all kinds of mistakes in making it safe to live. The a/c damages can not be determined until some safety panels on the furnace.
F. The took all the good chandliers, wall covers, mirrors, and most of all a handicapped electronic device had been installed for my husband to switch channels while in bed and listen to his music. Tri Star Communications put it in and will now have to replace it. The communications company said this is not something you forget to put back, it was stolen.
Before I got involved with the VA , I had estimates to paint the house, inside and out. Sand and put on hard sealant for the wheelchair for floors. Change the door on the bathroom and redesign the bathroom with the handicap plans taken off of the internet and widen three doors. This done by a reputible contractor in our area would be around $28,000.00 including replacing the heater and upgrade the vents for $2500.00.
It was the biggest mistake letting these people in my house. These errors not picky old lady stuff. This makes it impossible for us to go home for Christmas.My husband doesn't have long to live and will most likely not have very many more Christmas Days. I have severe arthritis as well as other health problems. and I thought this va grant would help me with my handicaps later on in my life as well as enable my husband to stay at home during his last days.
Instead, I am going to have to take out a home loan to redo the damages caused by this VA approved company for the disabled and do the original plans. All I have accomplished is having our home distroyed. Several contractors said these contractors saw old people and new they could get by with it because we do not have a contractors license in Texas..
The Veterans Administration Representative , Mr. Gil Rodrick, is trying to resolve this problem and wants them to come back in to work on the house to solve a few things. The contractor told me he thought it was an excellent job. When I asked him how could the upstairs be an excellent job when you didn't even do it. He replied " What do you expect for free". He then sent me a bill for installing the french door with no locks at the top of the door or bottom and a rubber mat at the bottom that the wheelchair will stick and tear within a day. On top of it, he removed the kitchen molding to put around the door.
I am already in the red from letting these unskilled men work on my house in the first place. If they think it is a good job, then what will they change. I got a letter from them wanting to come touch up a few things per instructions from the VA and they would need a whole day and maybe a second day. You couldn't clean up the mess in a month. I wrote him back and asked if it was a joke.
I now have a reliable floor man and painter. They both have to charge more because of the damage and have said that they will testify because they all feel bad about what has happened. I need to get started and my loan will most likely go through, because I am borrowing against the house.
YOUR TAX DOLLARS PAID $50,000 TO A CONTRACTOR TO DESTROY OUR HOME OF 32 YEARS.
I NEED ADVISE AND HELP. NO ONE SHOULD EVER HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THIS.
Colonel Clyde R. Robbins