Some of our readers will be familiar with the HGTV series, “Love It Or List It,” which features homeowning couples choosing between renovating their current home or selling and purchasing a new home better suited to their needs. The series has one host, Hilary Farr, proposing and managing the renovation plan, and the other host, David Visentin, searching out and showing new homes.
As in any such series, the long-term view is limited. The couple is typically shown being very happy with their decision after they make it, but we don’t really know how they feel months and years after that decision is made. While couples may, in many cases, be happy with their decision in the long term, we know that isn’t always the case.
One example is a Chatham County couple who participated in the show and ended up deciding to renovate their home. The couple ended up suing Big Coat TV, the Canadian company that produces the show, as well as a North Carolina contractor hired to do the renovation work. In their suit, the couple alleges, among other things, that the work was substandard, that the terms of the contract were breached, that the defendants’ violated North Carolina general contractor laws concerning unfair trade practices.
The individual portrayed as the general contractor allegedly wasn’t licensed to work in North Carolina and played only a minimal role in the renovation. Most of the contracting work was actually done by a contractor out of Triangle whom the couple had apparently not wanted to work with due to quality concerns.
In addition to these claims, the couple also alleges that the production company did not use a licensed architect to come up with their renovation plans, and that the team assembled by the production company ended up going with a simplified version of renovation plans the couple previously obtained from a general contractor licensed in North Carolina.
In our next post, we’ll continue looking at the lawsuit and some of the legal issues that need to be kept in mind when working with any contractor.
Source: Miami Herald, “‘Love It Or List It’ homeowners sue over Raleigh renovation,” Anne Blythe, April 17, 2016.