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Remodel Rampage: Contractor returns to customer’s home, destroys shower he built

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- A Colorado Springs woman says contractors she hired to remodel her bathroom shower came back into her home to destroy the project.

Amber Trucke paid contractors from Dream Home Remodels of Colorado $3,330 of an owed $7,555 to rebuild her bathroom shower. Trucke said she wasn't pleased with the work the contractors had done and wanted to inspect it further before handing over the final payment.

That was apparently not reasonable in the eyes of business co-owners Terry James Gregory and Jordan Cazares, who returned to the home and destroyed the shower.

"I put weeks into this, thousands of dollars into this," Gregory screamed as he took a sledgehammer to the tiles and walls.

Trucke lives with her dog and her roommate, who let the contractors back in on Saturday while Trucke was at work, figuring they were coming to pick up their materials.

"They showed up with just a crowbar, a sawzall, and a sledgehammer," Trucke says.

Turns out they were doing more than just picking up their material.

In the video, a woman inside Trucke's home can be heard asking Gregory to stop. He then replies, "Is someone going to pay me?"

"Watching it just brings tears to my eyes," Trucke told KRDO. "It makes me sick, it makes me scared. This is more than just trashing my bathroom, my sense of safety is gone."

The contractors from Dream Home Remodels of Colorado had done some other work in the house, fixing two ceiling fans and working on the back door.

But Trucke didn't think they'd done a good job on the shower, or the door, and wanted to be sure the plumbing worked before paying the final $4,300.

"I wanted to be wowed and I wasn't wowed," she said. "But I knew she was coming back Friday to clean things up and I figured maybe I'd be more impressed then. So I was not going to pay them until I saw the actual finished product. 

What she was wowed by though was how they demolished the shower, and how putting off the payment set off the contractors to an extreme extent.

Cazares says the story is fabricated and she's received death threats since the incident. She sent this statement to KRDO:

"After several weeks of work for a customer, communication broke down at the end of a project. There was no displeasure expressed, and we proceeded to ask for payment on the project by the end of the day. Communication broke further after that and resulted in our company repossessing a tile shower. We regret that this contract went sour. It has never happened before and is not something that is made regular practice. There was several other projects included in the contract that she is also unwilling to pay for, including a vanity, mirror, light fixture, 2 ceiling fans, plumbing work, fixing rotten framing in her walls, and an exterior door replacement."

Trucke insists she paid for those items, and she says she's learned to vet anyone she hires before they come into her home.

"Obviously people are sometimes not what they seem, and that was certainly the case this time."

Trucke plans to take the company to small claims court.

At least one other business with a similar name to Dream Home Remodels reached out to KRDO after receiving threatening messages from a stranger and confusion from existing clients when this story went viral.

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.

Comments

48 Comments

  1. “resulted in our company repossessing a tile shower”

    So would you care to explain that in a way that doesn’t sound like you took a crowbar and smashed up her bathroom? Because it really sounds like taking a crowbar and smashing up her bathroom.

    1. And that is how you repossess a shower. You destroy it. I have a friend who put in a driveway and sidewalk for a house and, when they refused to pay for it, he repossessed the concrete. This article tries to make it sound like the contractor was horrible. Contractors have bills to pay as well. And when people think they can just keep the work you did and not pay you, guess what? There may be consequences. I do not believe for one minute that the homeowner was just waiting to inspect the work before paying.

      1. The pictures of the work done is horrible shoddy, subpar, and completely unacceptable. I would not pay another dime to them. The name of their company should be called “Nightmare Homes” not Dream Homes.

    2. actually, the dude had a sledgehammer which sort of froze the roommate. You don’t want to be his next target.

  2. KRDO, have you contacted the Colorado Springs Police Department about this in your investigation? They have “Crimes Against Property” division. These contractors came back to the property with the intent do damage and destroy. It is vandalism, a criminal act, not “repossession”.

  3. I’m disappointed this story didn’t emphasize how bad a job the contractors did. Trucke has several pictures that show how utterly pathetic the tile job was. She was entirely justified not paying the full amount until it was repaired which couldn’t be done without redoing it. I hope she wins in small claims court but it seems there should be criminal charges as well.

    1. I agree. The story should of showed the pictures of the horrible, unacceptable, unprofessional job the the thug did. Also the story did not explain that the job was not even completed yet. In addition my understanding is it was only a day after the thugs requested payment in full that they did their criminal act.

  4. There has to be more to this story. That said, there are legal means in which to collect money owed. Small claims court and even going as far as to put a lien on the home.

    1. The legal way takes sooo long now with the pandemic back log. I have seen this before someone signs a contract for work with the intention of fighting the end results because they can’t afford it and then challenging the workers to either eat it or pay money to go to court and have it drawn out for years. yes, years. This sounds like this exact same scam. This happens all the time. I can understand the contractor frustration with a dead beat like that

      1. Of course it is frustrating, but it’s always been this way, that’s why you can’t get work done without paying some money up front. If she paid half a $7,000 bill you have to sue for the rest, get paychecks garnisheed, etc. — you can’t just go to someone’s house and smash up the place, yelling at someone with a sledgehammer in your hand. There are walls and pipes behind that tile that he was destroying, and how much of what she paid is “applied” legally to the tiles he destroyed? You can’t do it this way.

    2. Yes, if you do work for someone and they do not pay the entire bill you take it to court.

      This is a criminal act, it should be addressed by law enforcement. Civil action for the damages to her bathroom can follow, as they obviously left it in a condition worse than it was pre-remodel. But raising your voice while holding a sledgehammer, refusing to stop destruction of property, refusing to leave, those are all criminal acts. The “contractor” will be lucky if he doesn’t go to prison for intimidation. Obviously will lose his license, if he has one.

        1. Not always true. If your project includes electrical work, or plumbing work, you may still need a permit.

        2. I’m sure you’re right, but I don’t think this is a “handyman” business, its advertising looks like this is a remodel company. But if they are doing this work fairly informally, that would explain why they didn’t use the courts properly. Not saying this is the case, I have no info at all about these folks, but I’d wonder if the payment was maybe in cash, something they didn’t declare for taxes, etc. so that’s why they didn’t use proper channels.

        3. They did plumbing work and a permit is definitely required. Their PPRBD license does not allow this type of work to be contracted with them under their current license which also states “The contractor has expired insurance or obligations” for their license. The pictures on Yelp of the tile installation are so pathetic. I would of not paid for that subpar unprofessional job either. And I shudder to wonder what the plumbing job looks like.

    3. You’d think there would be, wouldn’t you? Because it’s truly insane, I know. I’ve been living it.

      Feel free to check out pictures of all of their work on my facebook page. (Amber Deann)

    1. pay for damages, emotional distress to the homeowner and at the least ordered into anger management clas#ses.

      1. The # symbol in clas#ses made the difference between my post being censored or not. Krdo you are not fit to be online.

        1. some of us have figured out the triggers for a “no-post”
          Here are some:
          A S S in any word,not spaced-or altered as you have found..
          even the word “a s sumption”is bad,
          T I T- as in ConsT I Tution 🙂
          C UM- no spaces- will get you example:cirC UMstances
          there is one or two more.

        1. Well, if the work was “repossessed”, I guess she doesn’t owe it any more, right? And does he then owe her the $3,500 she had prepaid? This is why, as you know, courts are better for contract disputes.

  5. The reaction to non payment is extreme, but so is the shoddy excuse made not to pay the man. Neither side has my sympathy.

    1. Have you seen the photos of the work he carried out.

      It was bad, he didn’t deserve to be paid , he’s done the homeowner a favour by starting the demo.

    2. ” I wasn’t wowwed” is a silly thing to say. Which is why, if he’d taken her to court, she’d have been ordered to pay if the “wow factor” was the problem. Video at the end of the clip above shows work done, and it doesn’t look non-wow, it’s looks shoddy and maybe non-functional, so if that’s the case the court would have ruled in her favor.

  6. Depends on the terms of the contract. If the homeowner wasn’t satisfied with the work done, the guy should have brought it to spec. Then he would have been paid the full amount. As it stands, guy can be charged with any number of crimes and certainly word of mouth is going to make sure he’s not going to work in this town again.

  7. Go look at the Yelp review which has the photos of the tile work. I would not have accepted that work. The sledge hammer is probably the right start to fixing it actually. That is a complete tear out and redo. I would be concerned about the level of waterproofing underneath the tile if that is their representation of quality work!

      1. That is what you call being clueless with respect to workmanship. I would bet this “contractor” has no business doing this job let alone any job. He needs to be in jail.

  8. Is it wrong that I’m on the contractors side?? If they did the work you have to pay them, if you didn’t like their work you should have discussed it with them BEFORE you had them fix your whole house, why would you keep adding stuff for them to do if you weren’t happy with their work, if you couldn’t afford to pay for it you shouldn’t be doing a remodel

  9. I’m disappointed the story didn’t emphasize the incredibly poor quality of the work that was done. The pictures of the tile work are utterly pathetic. Looks like it was done by an amateur. It’s too bad he didn’t meticulously remove all the tiles to “repossess” it since it would all have to be removed and redone by a professional which this person obviously was not.

  10. She obviously hired the cheapest bid bc she is cheap then expected the work the highest bidder would have done and she wonders why this happened. He shouldn’t have gone here but if she hired the higher priced bid and or had just paid this wouldn’t have happened.

  11. I suspect the balance due was basically all for labor. She paid for the materials beforehand for $3300 I bet this guy went without a paycheck for a bit while doing this “project”-and this was going to be all his share after completion.
    When that didn’t happen he became enraged (as everyone is under the gun financially these days), but she paid for the materials upfront. I fear that he went beyond destroying tiles and may have damaged the integrity of the shower itself.
    When it gets to a courtroom, she may “have to pay him the balance” however the cost of the damage may be way beyond the $4K he raged about.
    ITs a mess-this homeowner called 911 and told them exactly what was going on and the cops said they were too busy to make the trip. If they had gotten there-e may have been arrested.
    The way he acted though leads many to believe he was “methin’ around to be in such a rage.

  12. og and that grout work is a nightmare. Self-taught tile contractor ??
    HE certainly put in ENOUGH GROUT.

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