‘Rico to the Rescue’ Reveals Some Sneaky Yet Legit Ways To Spot (and Deal With) Shady Contractors

Disreputable contractors who botch renovations or, worse but, get a homeowner’s cash and operate are all way too common—and a new HGTV demonstrate highlights the drama and some substantially-essential remedies.

On “Rico to the Rescue,” Denver-dependent real estate agent and construction restoration guide Rico León helps homeowners rectify half-done renovation careers, while also chasing down the contractors who’ve carried out the shoddy get the job done.

“I take care of conflicts concerning property owners and homebuilders,” states León. “Years ago, my moms and dads received taken edge of by a contractor. That is why I’m these kinds of an advocate for home owners.”

In the episode “Ranch Residence Redo,” León performs with Chris and Katie, who acquired a ’70s ranch residence with 4 bedrooms and a significant basement that desired a total renovation from leading to base.

They interviewed at least 10 contractors and picked the a single they considered would do the very best work. However, six months later on, pretty very little had been performed, and what was carried out was accomplished poorly—so badly, in point, that León and his crew have to rip a large amount of it out and commence in excess of again.

Katie and Chris had currently paid out the contractor $230,000, and the occupation was not even near to staying entire. León and his crew try to end the dwelling speedily and economically, and they also reach out to the contractor to see if he will make things proper. In the method, we get a must have ideas for dealing with contractors on our very own initiatives. Read through on to discover out what we discovered this 7 days.

The cheapest bid may not be the very best

León and his team discuss what the renovation will really cost.
Rico León and his workforce of specialists talk about what the renovation will genuinely price.


The contractor at first hired experienced given a very minimal bid for the couple’s task. Even though this is unquestionably tempting to dollars-strapped house owners, it is also a red flag that the contractor may possibly not know what he’s accomplishing.

“The largest oversight the contractor did was not bidding it properly,” León says soon after inspecting the unprofessional workmanship and looking at that pretty much absolutely nothing was finished. “He experienced it at close to $200,000. This really should have been at least a $350,000 renovation.”

Owners must generally be suspicious of a very low bid.

House enhancement financial loans have their benefits

Rico León and the homeowners in the house the way the contractor left it.
León and the householders in the residence the way the contractor still left it.


Though most have extensive read that it’s best and most secure to fork out with funds, León will come up with a decent explanation for taking out a dwelling enhancement financial loan.

“Did you fellas consider out a bank loan, or was this cash that you saved?” asks León.

“We experienced been conserving for a extensive time,” suggests Chris.

“It was income,” confirms Katie.

“That’s fantastic and poor,” responds León. “Because when you do a mortgage, the home loan corporation will be on top rated of the contractor as well.” Now which is a thing to feel about.

Make sure your contractor is licensed and insured

León's licensed dog
León’s dog observes the renovation perform.


One more prerequisite for any contractor is to make guaranteed he (or she) is certified and insured—that way, if anything at all goes incorrect, the contractor’s insurance policies company will deal with numerous of the expenses.

In this case, “The few has made statements versus the contractor with his insurance business,” clarifies León. “Now it is in their hands.”

Though working with an insurance enterprise is rarely pleasant, it is improved than making an attempt to offer with a disappearing contractor who will no longer acquire your calls.

Come across out if there are further elements waiting to be shipped

Empty basement left without finishes
Empty basement left with no finishes


When León and his crew initial walk into the home, they see only partial building perform. There are no resources in bins waiting around to be utilized or put in. They never know if the previous contractor ordered any cupboards, flooring, appliances, fixtures, countertops, etcetera. And if they have, the place are they? Is there any way they can get and use them?

“The major worry that I have is, out of the $230,000 that they gave him, how a lot of that was put in on materials and the place they are,” claims León.

If the unique contractor did not spend the couple’s money on products, the completed renovation project would be considerably extra highly-priced.

When they locate out that nothing more has been purchased, León’s designer, Poonam, arrives to the rescue. She informs Katie and Chris that the distributors she will work with will donate flooring resources, cabinetry for kitchens and loos, counter tops, some of the lights, and all of the tiles. What a generous windfall!

Finished basement with generously donated materials
Finished basement with generously donated supplies


Ask to hear the contractor’s side

León speaks with the contractor
León speaks with the contractor.


León receives the option to converse with Mike, the initial contractor, each in particular person and on the phone.

“Mike and I had a quite extended conversation,” he stories. “I always want to hear the contractor’s aspect of items.”

The contractor admits he has about $30,000 that he had planned to use on labor and that he would be ready to return that.

But later, when León speaks to Mike on the phone and reminds him of the $30,000, Mike accuses León of bullying him and says he’ll have to talk to his law firm. Then he hangs up.

The discussions have been legally recorded and can afterwards provide as evidence.

How does this renovation transform out?

Freshly renovated kitchen
Newly renovated kitchen


When León is attempting to kind items out with the contractor, his crew is doing work on a excellent rework. With their donated materials and exceptional abilities, they switch these raw, ruined rooms into stunning dwelling spaces.

Katie and Chris are surprised.

“Rico, this is so gangster!” Chris exclaims. His attractive new house is far extra attractive than he at any time dreamed it could be.

“We weren’t guaranteed if we were going to be content in the space just after the trauma that we went via,” adds Katie.

And as for the sketchy contractor? “Unfortunately, we’re not completed with our aged contractor,” describes Katie. “We have building defect statements, we have breach of agreement and overpayment difficulties that we’re likely to test and get back again. It’s heading to be a journey from right here, but at the very least we can do it from dwelling, from a much improved location.”