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Case involving Colorado Springs contractor sledgehammering bathroom under review by DA’s office

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- 13 Investigates has learned the now-viral Colorado Springs contractor who took a sledgehammer to a bathroom he renovated could lose his contractor's license and face criminal charges.

A viral video showing the moments Terry Gregory, a co-owner of Dream Home Remodels of Colorado, and bashed the bathroom tiles he just finished working on for Colorado Springs homeowner Amber Trucke has been viewed online millions of times.

The Colorado Springs Police Department told 13 Investigates on Tuesday it had turned over its criminal findings and the investigation is now in the hands of the 4th Judicial District Attorney. The DA's office is now tasked with deciding if Gregory could face criminal prosecution.

In addition to possible criminal charges, the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD) said its investigation of the incident revealed the original bathroom work was done without the proper and required permits. As a result, Gregory and Dream Home Remodels could potentially face their licensing being revoked and fines, according to a PPRBD spokesperson.

However, the spokesperson tells KRDO, the customer would have to file an official complaint to move forward. The case would then be reviewed by the licensing board who would decide the contractor's potential punishment.

Dream Home Remodels previously told 13 Investigates he was repossessing the bathroom tiles after a payment dispute with the customer.

Jason McDaniel, a certified tile installer based in Oregon is now stepping up to help the homeowner.

"This isn’t about tile this about taking a shameful situation and putting a bright light on it," McDaniel said.

McDaniel is the founder of Global Tile Posse and says when he first saw the viral video of Gregory bashing tiles, he immediately sympathized with the homeowner.

“The national narrative right now is that she refused to pay, but the job wasn’t finished. I absolutely agree with Amber. She was doing the right thing. Every step of the way she did the right thing," said McDaniel.

McDaniel -- along with two separate tile and grout contractors from Colorado Springs, Ardex America, and The Tile Shop -- will try to make it right.

Next month, the tile and grout artist will make his way from Oregon to Colorado Springs to fix up Trucke's bathroom at no cost to her.

“I want tile mechanics and artists to be respected, and when I see something like that happen. It’s a shame to this trade,” said McDaniel

13 Investigates reached out to Dream Home Remodels for a comment, but the contractors never responded.

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

21 Comments

  1. The home owner should not be “rewarded” for her not wanting to pay her bill and for the sounds of it never intended to pay it. Holding $4K for just the bathroom tile is a joke. I see this happen all the time. People want the work but then they get the bill and try to refute every little bit and start saying it wasn’t what I envisioned…. Then make you go file a lien and or take them to small claims court which takes several months and more money out of the contractors pocket. Courts are so backed up now it could be over a year. Many in the end then pay before court hits because they find out the contractor is serious and they will be out more money of they go to court.

    1. She had already paid for the materials. The contractor’s claim he was repossessing the tiles is pure hogwash. They never belonged to him.

    2. Are you Terry Gregory? I have watched your posts on these articles, and you’re the only one that’s so vocal in favor of the nasty thing that contractor did.

      FIRST AND FOREMOST – you don’t “reposess” structural work. That becomes part of the structure, and belongs to the owner, not the contractor. Going in and damaging it while calling it “repossessing” doesn’t change anything, it is a criminal act.

      If the contractee doesn’t pay for the work (which is allegedly guaranteed) then there are legal means of taking care of that. That you are too impatient to wait on the courts is too bad, that’s a chance any contractor takes, it’s part of the biz. The wheels of justice move at the same pace for everyone.

      SECONDLY and equally important – $7000+ is way too much money to charge for that job, especially in that condition. I saw the pictures – what a mess! My two year old can do a better job! I wouldn’t have paid for that either. That tile job should have cost no more than about $1500 on the extremely high end. I would never have agreed to that amount.

      I don’t even know where to begin on the next points – not even waiting until the grout was cured, no sealant, uneven tiles – some with holes in them, air pockets in the mortar, raw edges — that entire “job” would have had to be completed properly in my house for me to pay anything. Any contractor that pulled that garbage on me would find his sledge hammer having to be surgically removed from his backside.

      Your last remark, “Many in the end then pay before court hits because they find out the contractor is serious and they will be out more money of they go to court.” I seriously doubt that’s the case here. That video shows too much – a contractor with a hot temper destroying the lousy work he did. A smart contractor would have taken pictures to show the judge, unless he was ashamed of his work and had something to hide.

      And I don’t care how good he thinks his lawyers are – no lawyer in his right mind would defend that job unless it’s a court ordered public defender trying to keep his client out of jail, and good luck with that one – the video and pictures show too much. There’s no weaseling out of this one.

    3. THIS is not the way to get what you are owed.
      Besides he destroyed not only the materials she paid for but seriously damaged the integrity of that whole shower.
      The man does not know how to grout and tile. He messed with the plumbing with NO permit.

    4. Viral Dude, I’m not sure if you own a home or not BUT you never pay up front for ANY repairs or upgrades you put half in escrow then pay the remainder at job completion. this goes for anything you have done to your property. this lady had full intention of paying but wanted to view the work before she paid.

    5. In addition to possible criminal charges, the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD) said its investigation of the incident revealed the original bathroom work was done without the proper and required permits. As a result, Gregory and Dream Home Remodels could potentially face their licensing being revoked and fines, according to a PPRBD spokesperson.

      I think she’s going to do just fine…

  2. You obviously are clueless as well since the very poor quality of this work was evident and no one in their right mind would pay this guy one cent for the work, if you can call it that. As i said when this came out, the contractor should be charged criminally since he was asked to stop numerous times and did not. Hopefully the DA’s office will conclude the contractor will face burglary and criminal mischief charges, both felonies.

    1. I do not disagree the contractor was severely in the wrong. How do you know what the quality was? She said she wanted to make sure the shower worked before final payment…… $4k…. that does not make sense. By the contractors actions you can tell there was more conversations between the two and he felt she was not going to pay. There is more than what has been reported and what she says. Something set him off to go to this extreme. I have been there…but I also have a tiger of a lawyer who takes care of these incidents.

      1. Pictures of the “tile work” were posted on yelp and it looks like a 2 year old installed that tile. I would have never paid either. Doesn’t really matter what she thought or he thought as he can not go into someone’s house and start destroying property, that is what is called burglary and criminal mischief.

        1. Yes go search for the yelp pictures of the tile job. It was horrible not only cosmetically but from the looks of it there would have been many defects that would have caused long term water damage as well.

          She absolutely was in the right to not pay the final bill until those things were corrected.

      2. Based on available video the workmanship is substandard.

        1. Note the poor workmanship around the window.
        2. Based on residual thin-set adhesive mortar coverage on the walls the coverage was at best 50%.
        Industry standards require 95% coverage in wet areas.
        3. The significant number of tiles that release on each strike of the hammer indicate poor adhesion. This could be due to improperly mixed thin-set as well as poor coverage.
        4. Thin-set bleeding through the grout.
        5. Apparently no sealant in the corners.
        6. Raw tile edges exposed on un-evenly tiled corners.
        7. What appears to be the shower dam presents with uneven and misaligned tiles with no bullnose or appropriate profiles.

        Watch the video very carefully. There is more evidence of poor workmanship beyond the tile.
        Be ware the “jack of all trades master of none”.

      3. Your lawyer isn’t going to save your sh!t, let’s wait and see what the plea deal is. There will be jail time so they can make an example of this idiocy.

      4. There are pictures of this project posted all over his Yelp page. He’s taken down his facebook and business sites. However, he can’t remove things from Yelp as it doesn’t allow that.

  3. First you dont pay upfront we can ALL agree on that, that being said she paid the standard half up front and half on delivery. according to the news and her own account she was at work when the tile was finished and he wanted money right then, she wasnt even home when he destroyed her tile and bathroom it was the roommate who let him inside. also it seems there was no contract for the work which is highly unusual. I “contractor should be charged with destruction of private property due to it already being installed and partially paid for.

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