hey planned to make it their dream home, but it turned into a nightmare.
A now-disgraced contractor's home remodel gone wrong left a Rocky River family short on cash and devoid of hope that their home could be made whole again. That was until the family met a local union electrician and his team who have offered their help – free of charge.
In the tree lawn of their home on Jameston Drive are parts of the Smith family's living room floor. Bound together like bushels are the wide-plank boards, many of which a warped, torn or in pieces. There are also jagged chunks of subflooring stacked together in thick plastic bags.
If trash collection day is any exercise to let go, Patrick Smith has a lot to let go of.
"It's a metaphor. I think it's the out with the old in with the new," Smith said.
It has been a long time coming. For the better part of three years, their home has been in a consistent state of construction - and de-construction. Even today, many of the interior walls in their kitchen and living space are exposed. Piecemealed two-by-fours are exposed. Lines of conduit snake through them, often hanging down like Christmas lights.
There's no longer a shower in the master bath. The tile has been removed. The plumbing doesn't work. This room, too, has exposed studs.
And to think this is the best that their home has looked in recent memory.
"When I lost my leg, we lost everything," Smith said as he gestured to his left leg that is amputated from the thigh down. "Then, I saved up for five years, every penny I had to rebuild this home. I lost everything again."
In order to make their home more accessible, Smith and his wife Lori sought to expand their home. The family eventually hired ProCode Construction, a Lakewood general contracting firm owned by Michael Delmonico.
The Smiths spent more than $200,000 on the remodel. The problems started almost immediately, many of which continue to this day.
The structure of the addition wasn't properly secured to the main structure of the house, allowing rainwater, ice and snow to seep into the roof, eventually causing mold to grow. There were plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical issues, including fixtures that were falling out of the walls and frequent brown-outs.