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Five On Your Side Helps Woman With Home Improvement Woes

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A walk down the aisle at a home improvement store gives you all sorts of possibilities. It is even easier when the store not only sells the products, but also does the installation. Everything usually goes fine, but in one woman's case, it did not.

Laminate flooring completely changes the look of a room. In December, Dody O'Brien paid Home Depot about $3,200 for the flooring and installation. Home Depot sub-contracted the job.

"It was beautiful. It looked great," O'Brien said.

However, a month later, she noticed a problem.

"It rippled, and now it has rippled all the way back all the way to the end," she said.

O'Brien called Home Depot. Both an installer and a laminate representative went out to look at the floor and determined the problem was moisture.

Meanwhile, more boards were buckling. In June, O'Brien said Home Depot told her to hire a contractor to find out what caused the moisture. She was told that the installer did not put down a proper vapor barrier.

"There's not supposed to be exposed concrete. There's no vapor barrier if you have exposed concrete," O'Brien said.

O'Brien then sent Home Depot a certified letter, asking for a refund.

"At that point, I never heard from them again," she said.

Five On Your Side called Home Depot. The company refunded O'Brien's $3,200, plus an additional $500 for her trouble. A representative said Home Depot will also try to make sure this type of problem does not happen again.

Five On Your Side talked with the installer. He does not think changing the vapor barrier will make a difference. At this point, O'Brien is not sure what she will get to replace the laminate.


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