5 On Your Side

Volunteers to Fix Botched Remodeling Job

Posted July 25, 2007

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— Contractors and others have volunteered to remodel the house of a local couple after an unlicensed contractor left the project unfinished.

Carol McPhaul hired John Shearers and his company, Home Remodeling Solutions, a year ago to make the home more accessible for her – she is legally blind – and her husband, George, who is recovering from a stroke and is on oxygen therapy.

Shearer received almost $125,000 from the couple, but left them with unfinished rooms, holes in the floor and live wires dangling from the ceiling. The state Attorney General's Office last week sued Shearer, accusing him of deceptive and unfair trade practices.

A judge barred Shearer, who doesn't have a North Carolina contractor's license, from doing other remodeling projects, pending a court hearing next Monday. The state is seeking a permanent order preventing him from working on such projects.

Shearer disputes the allegations in the state's lawsuit.

"I'm going to be vindicated from these lies that are being told, and there are many lies being told," he told WRAL in a telephone interview.

He blamed the problems on Carol McPhaul, saying she "kept changing the plans." He is, he said, "not being treated fairly."

Meanwhile, contractor Mike Marguerat volunteered to help fix the McPhauls' home after he saw a 5 on Your Side report about the  mistake-filled makeover.

"There's so many things wrong, and with them living in the home, it's like, where do you start?" said Marguerat, of Landmark Construction. "There's a lot of the work that does not meet code."

Marguerat and Wake Forest building inspectors said almost everything that was done in the house needs to be redone.

The problems include cabinets that aren't joined together, a floor that is almost 2 inches out of level, the dryer being vented into the attic, hanging wires and holes in the walls, roof and floor.

Lowe's Home Improvement and Stock Building Supply have offered supplies for the project, and Wake Forest officials have waived building permit fees. Church groups, community organizations and individuals also have offered to donate labor and are raising money to help the McPhauls.

Marguerat has set up a phone line at 919-556-9107 for people to volunteer their help. He said he still needs a couple of plumbers for the project, but he said he hopes to start construction next week.

"I can't believe it. Pinch me, and I'll know it's real," Carol McPhaul said. "I feel happy now. I could cry – happy tears now."


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  • DLG Jul 27, 2007

    I am so glad that the couple will get their home fixed after all.

  • Six String Jul 27, 2007

    I would say "take his license", but apparently, according to the story, he doesn't have one. Shearer needs to find an honest way to make a living. There may be some lies being told, but work that doesn't meet code isn't a lie - it's illegal.

  • Jokers Wild II Jul 27, 2007

    Oh and I forgot to mention that yeah Shearer is being treated very unfair!! I Think its past time we allow this unfairness to continue, and show Shearer what exactly would be fair! I say he should be tied to a pole and whipped with a tree branch the size of my arm.. yep that would be fair!

  • Jokers Wild II Jul 27, 2007

    Well I am glad to hear this news. I contacted Lori at WRAL explaining that I was willing to get them supplies etc, and I was told they beat me to the Punch. I plan on donating money to the cause, because I have no Building/technical knowledge of houses, and I even hate changing light bulbs..lol GJ guys for stepping up to the plate and getting this couples home fixed!

  • Bing Used Jul 27, 2007

    Even if the woman kept changing the plans why did the man vent the dryer into the attic, leave live wires hanging, holes in the roof, wall, and floor and the floor unleveled by almost 2"?

  • gopanthers Jul 26, 2007

    Those that lend a hand to someone in need will never have it returned empty. I'm so happy for this couple. God Bless the Volunteers. Just goes to show you there is still a lot of people out there with big hearts.

  • jeebk04 Jul 26, 2007

    I knew some people in the community would step up and help these folks. God will bless those involved in righting this wrong. On a side note, she could have changed her mind a million times and it would not bring all of his subpar work up to code...two separate issues.

  • SimpleGurlNC Jul 26, 2007

    I would like to "THANKS" to everyone willing to help this couple. For the person that took their money your day coming soon. Am a witness of this happen to me. I hired someone to repair my septic system and took my money to leave me with a huge ditch in my back yard. Again "thanks" goes to my husband for repairing the problem at $200 and paid this person $1,000 for a hole. I contact Franklin Co to help get funds back or give advise. Am not lying when they said "take him to civil court" okay for me to shed out more money. I took this as a very high lesson to learn but God has a plan for all evil.

  • 2xMom Jul 26, 2007

    What a nice change to read about. Someone does something wrong and others, out of the kindness of their heart step up and fix it. Reassuring to know goodness is still out there.

  • CestLaVie Jul 26, 2007

    It's nice to read about such a great ending to this unfortunate story. I applaud all those who will be helping.