7 On Your Side helps finish ramp project

May 14, 2009 6:27:16 PM PDT
We have an incredible development to a story that six months ago looked hopeless for an Oakland family.

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The family paid a contractor $91,000 for a home remodel project, but says the contractor abandoned the project after getting his money. Now after an ordeal that's lasted two years, the family has received a little miracle.

A state inspector showed 7 On Your side stucco left undone at the Oakland home in December. He said the windows were installed improperly and likely to leak.

He also pointed out several safety hazards including a water heater that could potentially explode in flames.

"We have defects at the exterior of the house, the interior of the house. We have defects in the laundry room, hallway, kitchen and the bathroom," said John Schneider, an authorized industry expert.

But none of that worried the family as much as the backdoor from the son's bedroom that leads to a big drop. The contractor was supposed to have installed a handicap ramp there.

The family's 20-year-old son Edward suffers from a spinal condition that confines him to a wheelchair.

"God forbid anything happen back there. My grandson would be in serious trouble," said Edward's grandmother Gracie Madden.

The family contacted 7 On Your Side and we helped them through the system.

Now the Contractor State License Board has referred its case against Trappco General Contractor to the attorney general and district attorney for possible action.

Victor Trapps of Trappco General Contractors declined to comment. But his attorney defended his client's competency, and says Trapps couldn't finish the job because he was told by the homeowners not to come back.

"If you receive a notice from a homeowner saying don't work at the property, then to go there and go on property is trespassing," said Trapps attorney Paul Bryant.

This is the miracle we promised: last month, dozens of volunteers began working to complete the job.

Cannon Constructors stepped up to finish the project with the help of an all volunteer crew, including some who are unemployed.

"It's very heartwarming. Again, we do it because we can. We have the opportunity to take care of somebody else," said Ken Kuhn from Cannon Constructors.

This is one of 40 homes being repaired by the non-profit group Rebuilding Together Oakland Nationally, rebuilding together rehabilitated 4,000 homes and non-profits in April.

"It's wonderful how we're able to leverage the resources that are out here and able to do the work at no cost to our homeowners," said Kym Luqman from Rebuilding Oakland Together.

Good feelings were all around.

"There's is good people still out here and it just overwhelms our hearts," said Edward's mom Leora Clay.

Within a matter of weeks, volunteers turned an eyesore into a thing of beauty.

"I love each and everyone of you and I thank you so much and God bless every single one that ever laid their hands on this home," said Madden.

Best of all, Edward has a handicap ramp that gives him the freedom to come and go.

"They made a miracle happen here. I'm so appreciative of them," said Clay.

Related Links:

  • Rebuilding Together Oakland
  • Rebuilding Together

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