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DENVER — A Denver family contacted the FOX31 Problem Solvers after they say the contractor, they hired for a remodeling job abandoned the project, leaving them without a kitchen and out thousands of dollars.

“We have to get down, all the way down here and wash it on our hands and knees,” Heather Black said.

Black and her family said they are forced to wash their dishes in the bathtub after they say their contractor bailed on the job.

“It happened so fast I can’t even tell you. He came in here and in three weeks totally wiped us out,” Black said.

The walls inside the house are striped. The floor is down to the wood, and the cabinets are stacked up in the backyard.

“We were cooking on a camping stove,” Black said.

Black said she found the company MR1- Mold Response One and Remodeling on Facebook. She said the owner, Harlan Woods, and her boyfriend exchanged work services. She said her boyfriend did mechanic work and Woods was going to do a remodeling job on their house. She said Woods came out at the beginning of June and started the demo but then she said three weeks later he suddenly stopped showing up.

“Another excuse was that the truck that the trailer that had the materials got pulled over and was impounded,” Black said.

Black says she had already paid him with an 18-hundred-dollar check and created a contract that outlines their work agreement.

“The cabinets never happened. The counter never happened. The flooring never happened,” she said.

She said she paid him a total of nearly ten thousand dollars.

“That’s his signature. We both signed it on 6-15,” Black said.

But the Problem Solvers discovered the company flyer that’s hanging in Black’s window is not a registered business. According to the Colorado Secretary of State website, the business was voluntarily dissolved in 2016.  The owner does not have a current contractor’s license with the city of Denver and the BBB gave them an ‘F’ rating.

“Contractor, it says it on here. On this flyer. Right here. Contractor,” Black said.

“We even drove by his house because we know where he lives to talk to him because we have no other way to get a hold of him. But he’s like stop harassing me. I’m going to file a lawsuit for harassment.”

Another woman reached out to the Problem Solvers and said Woods sold her a defective stove. When she wrote a negative review on-line, she claims he verbally attacked her. We gave him a call.

FOX31: “We’re wondering why you haven’t finished the remodeling job on their house.”

Harlan Woods: “Why haven’t I? I wasn’t obligated to finish it.”

The owner denies entering into a contract and said the family owes him money.

Harlan Woods: “They said they paid me 10 thousand dollars? I doubt it. No. Show me check stubs. They owe me like 8 thousand dollars.”

The family says they paid the rest in cash but have nothing to prove it. Now they face a hard lesson to always check the legitimacy of a business before you let anyone inside your home.

“Research people. Look up people. Do your work. We obviously didn’t,” Black said.

The Problem Solvers have these tips to keep in mind when hiring a contractor:

  • Check to make sure the contractor has a current license with the city. People who live in the city of Denver can verify a contractor’s license online. Contractors need to show their license to pick up building permits.
  • Search the Secretary of State’s website to ensure the business is legitimate.
  • Read over the entirety of the contract.