Kitchen remodel leaves home severely damaged, builder fined for lack of permits

Kitchen remodel leaves home severely damaged, builder fined for lack of permits (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Susan Sander's Riverton home it's cracking and splitting as it sinks in the middle.

It's a situation that all began with what she thought was a relatively small kitchen remodel. She hired a licensed contractor with a good reputation to knock out a wall and open up the space.

“I checked and made sure they were licensed and insured and had engineers,” she said.

Susan says there are numerous things that were done that do not live up to city building codes. Her home builder had not applied for a building permit.

Riverton’s spokesperson Angela Meine says permits are important, and required by law.

"They're in place, really, for the protection of consumers to help ensure that standard for structural and safety are being met," Meine said.

As a result of Susan’s situation, Riverton City charged her contractor for building without a permit - fining him $300.

That doesn't help Susan now.

Had Susan's contractor gotten a permit, city inspectors would have gone over the plans and also visited her home during contrition, likely catching some of the oversights before it messed up her home, Riverton says.

By phone, Susan's builder points the finger of blame at the engineer he hired to review the plans and provide and engineering report. The contractor stated that the engineer "did it wrong" and "missed two posts" that could have prevented the entire mess.

The contractor says he no longer lives in Utah but that he's been trying to work with Susan to get everything fixed.

As for Susan, she says she's reluctant to continue to work with the contractor that she blames for this mess. Instead, she's taking her frustrations to court.

In the meantime, she says she's struggling to find a contractor who is willing to step in and work on her damaged home.

"It's shifted so much, they're telling me it's not ever going to be the same," Susan said.

According to Utah state law, if there is a contractor on the job, it is his or her responsibility to get the permits and handle the inspections.

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